Sep 16, 2015

Fraggle Rock 29-08-2015

Finally got to dive the home of the elusive Fraggles at Fraggle Rock, just outside of Falmouth Harbour. Departure time was 4pm with Mark Milburn from Atlantic Scuba on the RHIB Stingray (starting to sound like a string of 80’s TV shows) from Mylor Harbour. We arrived at about 2 and found a sneaky place to park outside the car park for free, we would have had to pay £5 due to the time of arrival and the time the boat would have returned so Elli and I were both glad of that, we hung our wetsuits over the car (inside out) and settled down for lunch and a cuppa while we waited.

When everyone was ready we headed down to put our kit on the RHIB and then headed back to the car to get back into our slightly damp wetsuits. When we were all onboard and ready to go there was a shout from the harbour masters office about something in the water, Steve (one of the other divers on the boat) jumped in and swam over to where he was pointing, pics aren’t great as wet lens was still on with water drops trapped inside.

Bird Rescue

It turned out to be a young swift that had fallen into the water and become water logged, Steve took him up to the harbour masters office and left him on the enclosed balcony to dry off.

Swift

As far as we know it was fine and must have flown off after drying out in the sun, was a great bit of quick thinking by Steve and hopefully the little fella is now doing well back in the skies.

Then off we went, and after a few minutes I had my first sighting of Fraggle Rock lighthouse and when we pulled up to it was lucky to have caught the infamous Red Fraggle right there in the boat, she said she was visiting old memories from happier times.

fraggle_rock_01

On the way out it was discussed the route to take, and who was leading the dive, who had been there before, and of course we had the introduction to the safety gear onboard Stingray, a well kitted out RHIB. As everyone was dropping in I had time to adjust the settings on my camera, nothing worse than taking pics underwater on the wrong white balance (yes I know I should be doing custom WB by now) but then it was our turn to drop in, have to say I was nervous as this was my third boat dive and it was at a site I didn’t know but when I popped back up, gathered myself and signaled OK to the boat had to grab the boat so my camera could be passed to me, making sure to clip it on and holding it tight.

As I swam round the boat to find Elli and everyone else I was surprised to see the rock was covered in Shags or Cormorants, can never tell which through my mask, As Ellie was ready we signaled to go down and slowly we passed through the boundary that the air breathers rarely break. As we dropped it was clear the area was a massive kelp forest to the North and South and a sandy bottom off the the West into the Estuary mouth, I glanced at Elli and turned around to see a rock face in front of me, still not reaching the bottom and it looked an interesting site with all the gullies.

Fraggle Rock Elli

With being gullies there wasn’t as much natural light as I have found at other sites in the 8-14m range and my photos suffered from only having the internal flash on my Oly PEN, yes strobes are on my list of things I need, along with a new battery in my dive computer, power bands for my Aqualung Slingshots, new boots and so much more.

Fraggle_rock_wrasse_02

Elli and I followed the other divers and to be fair everyone was moving so fast it was hard to stop and take pics, but that wasn’t an issue as I would rather enjoy the dive this time, then next time I come back will be more snap happy.

We went down this gully to the left and I suddenly realised someone was tapping me on the shoulder, I had gone the wrong way (glad I could see the surface light here), so I turned around and we continued following the group, we went into a small swim through and down the entrance (which was more of a short cave opening up to a large overhang) but there was no sign of any Fraggles, they had moved out and allowed the cave to become flooded, everything was gone, no dozer constructions, no evidence of anything ever being there, and then I swam round a corner and saw a shiney white thing staring at me, I was in shock as I had found a Fraggle egg, I took it home and gave it to a good friend, she has it in an incubator in the hope it will hatch.

fraggle_egg

fraggle_rock_swim_through

There was so much life around the gullies, many species of fish, crab and even a squat lobster that was hidden in a very thin crack in the rock face, Elli was doing her usual thing of sticking her head everywhere to have found it.

fraggle_rock_squat_lobster

I didn’t get a great shot as it was too far in, the Blennie next to it was even harder to get a pic of.

fraggle_rock_blenny

It was a fun, but hard 40 minute dive, one gully had a strong current that went the wrong way, physicists can get their head round that one as I’m just glad we got in and out of it without any major issues.

spider_crab_08

fraggle_rock_wrasse

Then I saw my first sponge, beautiful and so colourful, obviously my pic doesn’t do it justice.

fraggle_rock_sponge

When we surfaced we were about 10m or so from the RHIB and had the fun of getting back onboard, Mark had been a lot of fun on the trip and was attentive when we were getting back onboard, it was a shame the dive was over and we were on our way back but after growing up with the Fraggles of Fraggle Rock it was an experience to have visited their home.

We found out that at Mylor there are warm showers outside and Elli and I used the opportunity to rinse out kit off, Elli had other thoughts on her mind and wanted to see if she could re-create Mr Softy from the mint advert by filling her suit with water, couldn’t stop laughing, and did join in and fill mine a little as it was fun, and warm.

elli_inflating_wetsuit

By the time we finished messing around, and rinsing the kit off, we headed back toward home, only to realise the sunset was amazing, so we headed to the North coast to a place called Pentire, at Newquay and we watched the final moments of the sun setting with a load of tourists and their cameras.

Cornwall_sunset_01

There are many good schools in Cornwall, and only a few charters for diving, I can’t recommend Mark at Atlantic Scuba enough though as his knowledge and genuine passion for Cornwall is second to none. If my fraggle egg hatches at my friends house, she knows it is going to be taken home to try and revive Fraggle Rock back to the glory it once was thanks to Jim Henson who managed to hide cameras in the cave and bring us their adventures.

 

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