Sep 30, 2015

Seagrass Search Dive 1 31-08-2015

Elli and I were stuck as to where to dive next and had been to St Agnes and Newquay on the North coast but it was a bit choppy so we headed to the South coast and decided a nice easy dive at one of the secret little spots where it is almost always flat. It started out as just another dive, but we found Seagrass in the surf as we were walking out and decided to swim straight out, instead of following the reef round as I have done so many times before and it was on, a hunt to see if there was a Seagrass bed in the small bay.

Seagrass

We had done our buddy check on the beach and made our way into the water, it may seem daft to some to change the dive plan on entry, and normally at most other dive sites I would agree, yet we had near perfect conditions with no surf or surge, clear skies and a mass of sandy bay that we hadn’t explored before in front of us with a max depth of about 7m at low tide, the only concern was the vis. As I had my camera, Elli was towing the DSMB, we donned our fins, looked at each other to make sure we were OK and headed off, as we started to go down it was clear the vis wasn’t going to be great yet we were pleasantly surprised as to how patchy the areas of bad vis were and it was 5-8m in most places, there were tracks of higher particulate in some areas that were easy to spot and either avoid or move quickly through and the channels in the sand created by the currents gave us advanced warning of where those areas were.

So we bimbled along, never more than 3m apart and as most of you know there wasn’t a huge amount of life, well there would have been but it was hiding in the shallow water or out with the tide and waiting for it to turn with the large amount of food it would bring back in. One thing I noticed was the number of Lesser Weaver fish there were, seeing them dart from our path and bury themselves again made me glad this was too deep for land lubbers to stand, and as always there was a huge amount of Hermit Crabs that are common all over the Cornish coastline,they are actually quite interesting to watch, and it was a shame that a lot of my pics didn’t come out as well because we came across 3 fighting over homes, one had already left its home and was in the process of pulling a larger Crab out of his, they look very strange out of their shells and if you have ever accidentally stood on a snail would get the idea.

Hermit Crab

We were bimbling around for ages, heading straight out from the beach and apart from the odd bit of Seagrass floating freely in the current there was nothing on that dive, have to say I was gutted and we started to head back in, we saw more and more Hermit Crabs but not much else which was gutting, but then all of a sudden, and literally 20m or so from the beach, we were surrounded by silver flashes, now the pics aren’t very good, but it was my first shoal to be properly surrounded by, and no it wasn’t as impressive as a Sardine run but it was still awesome as they went round and round us as if they were taunting us and thinking we were Seals. My head was darting side to side and I was spinning over to keep track of them (like you do) and with poor lighting (the sun had gone behind clouds) this was the best of the pics, and I’m glad I didn’t get whiplash.

Fish shoal

So it was another dive down for Elli and while we didn’t see much life was worth it to cross the bay off the list of places to explore, something I have wanted to do for a long time and my Seagrass bed sightings are still limited to Swanpool down in Falmouth (and no Seahorses).

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