Apr 13, 2014

Secret Dive Spot 12/04/2014

Kurt and I were planning on doing an early morning dive tomorrow because the weather this weekend, along with the calm sea made for almost ideal conditions, I say almost because we are still plagued in the UK by a lot of particulate matter in the water column making vis extremely poor at less than 1m.

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Kurt had finished with family things earlier today than he thought he would and suggested we go for a dive today instead so after a mad panic getting all my gear together and setting up my camera we headed off to one of our secret dive spots that at most is 7-8m at high tide, but as I hadn’t been in since last August we decided it was best.

When we arrived just after high tide we kitted up faster than superman could fly, so excited about getting wet for the first time in ages and glad my semi-dry still fitted, the 7mm though not the 5mm I used in 2C at Vobster February last year.

Buddy check and we were off, almost running down the beach to get in. We already knew where we were going (and the way back) so as we indicated to each other we were ready to go down I couldn’t help but smile and must have looked like a Cheshire cat from behind my regs.

I was aware I was going to have a few issues with my buoyancy after such a long break and hitting the sand before I could clear my ears made me realise how out of practice I was. This wasn’t going to stop us though, and we had agreed to be in the water no longer than 30 mins so it gave me a good dive time but not too long even though we would only reach a max depth of 5-6m with the tide going out, meaning our air would last well over an hour.

Critters on the dive.

With the tide on the way out we knew there wouldn’t be as many critters as we usually see there and we were right, with a couple of nice surprises near the end of the dive. There were plenty of starfish, and some beautiful anemones like all the dive sites round Cornwall, so as to not let you down I took a few pics.

tiny_starfish

Anenome1

Anenome3 Open

Anenome2

After weaving in and out of the reef Kurt found a well hidden but beautiful anemone.

Anenome4 Open

Then there were lots of small green eggs, I believe they are from a worm that mainly lives on the South coast of the UK but I saw last year on a Seasearch dive on the North coast.

Worm Egg

The torch holder from Alex was worth its weight in gold, it made it so much easier to see under rocks with the camera ready to snap anything hidden there, as well as aiding the auto-focus as I hoped it would. It was just a shame we were on the wrong side of the tide with a slightly improved vis at around 2m and that I had forgotten the piece of plastic I was going to use to diffuse the light as can be seen with the large white spot in the photos. I do need a tray with handles next as my wrist was cramping up after about 10 minutes so will be calling on my friendly Nauticam dealer when I have finished sorting my new car out.

We found a branch that was about 9ft long and Kurt posed for the shot I am going to call ‘You shall not pass!’

You Shall Not Pass

After about 20 minutes weaving in and out of the reef in a South-Westerly direction we headed in an Easterly direction out across the sand to where we knew a rowing boat was anchored, on the way I saw the flash of 2 very small eyes staring at me, about a foot from my face and a small black cloud appeared and it sped off away from me; I suddenly became like a discover scuba diver and glanced over my shoulder to see Kurt and slowly started chasing what I knew to be a baby cuttlefish. I saw it burying itself into the sand and spread my fins to slow down as I was trying to find it on my small 3″ screen, wished I had a viewer on my camera at that point as I couldn’t find it and when I looked up could see it speeding off into the distance. As I was kicking myself in the backside (in my mind) for missing my favourite little critter I saw the unmistakeable lips and eyes of a Flounder staring at me.

Flounder_3

I waited patiently with my light shining on him for Kurt to see what I was pointing at when it lifted (as they do) and sped off so we couldn’t eat it, not that we would have, I did manage to just catch this though, one of my best photos taken so far I think.

Flounder_4

I’m not sure if it was, but back on the reef I saw what looked like Maerl, it isn’t a great shot but found it very strange being this far from known Maerl beds, there was quite a bit of it spread around the area that I hadn’t seen here last year.

Mearl_2

So back to the boat, Kurt was guiding us and keeping an eye on out on our heading after I had chased the cuttlefish like a child in a sweet shop and I could see he wanted us to head slightly North-East and just like a pro he hit us right on the anchor, I still think it was more luck as it was dragging with the tide.

Dragging Anchor

After a few minutes of some attempts at some arty shots with the boat and a model that couldn’t stop grinning ear to ear.

Rowing Boat

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We headed in North-Westerly direction and started to surface to find ourselves right back in the beach on the right hand side. Divers will know how I feel right now after not being in the water since August, and I hope the smile on my face and glint in my eyes will show my non-diver friends what they are missing. If all goes well I will be in the water in the next 3 or 4 days and I will need to start widening doorways to get my smile through 😉

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