Jul 13, 2014

Secret Dive Spot – Cornwall, UK 30-06-2014

Last day of a great weekend with Elli and as I was now the guide had decided to take her to one secret dive spot that has been fun to dive in the past with some nice critters. We were both absolutely knackered and I had pain in muscles I had forgotten were there, planning on doing 7 dives over the weekend turned out to be 5, not because we weren’t willing but because we were both a little un-use to it and the dives we had done over the last couple of days had all been shallow gentle dives, so far.

The train was at 2.45PM so we did have enough time to do 2 dives if we had been up early enough, wasn’t going to happen though and I knocked for Elli at about 8.30 with breakfast cooking away downstairs. By the time we had eaten and loaded the car it was about 10.30am, I had spent some of the evening before sorting out the photos and video from the day before and I showed Elli, even though we were both tired I was looking forward to this dive as I knew cuttlefish were in the bay on previous dives, but what we did find surprised me a lot more.

As most times we have been there this secret dive spot was quiet when we arrived, the sea was mirror like with a gentle breeze blowing onshore, we kitted up and took our BC’s to the wall at the head of the beach, as I was sorting my camera out Elli suddenly turned into a penguin.


Penguin Elli from Diving Junkie on Vimeo.

¬†Helping each other with our BC’s I told Elli about the dive and that we would follow the reef out of the bay, go to the right to follow the reef at about 3-4m while the tide was out and turn around when one of us was at 100bar, and off down the beach we went.


A young flounder was hiding, hoping the big black burly things hovering over him wouldn’t see him, must have had a ‘PHEW!’ moment as we left him in peace and Elli was sticking her head into holes again and came out of one with an excitement in her eyes, as she looked at me and pointed into the hole I carefully stuck my head in to see what had her gleaming so much to find these little critters hiding there.


There was a lot of them scurrying up toward the back of the small cave to hide from my light.


We carried on looking around, there was a lot of critters about, mostly small shrimps and fry darting in and out of the seaweed, crabs and a few wrasse but then Elli was pointing at something with her finger and I couldn’t make it out as it was suspended in the water column, then I realised it was a baby jellyfish, it is the blur on her glove by her thumb, I think it was a moon jelly.


In the past diving at this site it had always been sandy around the base of the reef but this time there was a lot of seaweed, like a carpet across the seabed as far as the eye could see (about 4-5m vis)


After seeing the baby jelly I started looking a little more closely at the things floating above the seafloor, there were hundreds of baby jellies, and I think they are called water fleas, I took this one on seaweed but there were hundreds of these in the water column as well.


By now the wind must have picked up as the swell was starting to get a little much, I noticed we were finding it harder and harder to keep away from the gullies and signaled Elli to turn around as I thought it was best to start heading back but then Elli had that look in her eyes again, and she was pointing at something in the water column again, I watched it fall to the seaweed and saw it was a nudibranch, it was my first proper sighting and it even got me excited as I looked around on the weed and saw they were everywhere. Being aware of how I was feeling and knowing Elli must have been a bit more tired I took a couple of shots to try and capture it and was even more pleased when I got home to find this.


I cropped it slightly to bring it more into frame, with the wide angle lens on it wasn’t the best thing to crop though with the loss of detail.


We then started to head back, Elli looked at me and I saw she was really tired, I signaled to go up so I could tow her back around the bay to the beach and we had a pleasant chat about the prawns and nudibranchs we had seen as I was towing her. I hadn’t realised how far we had come out from the bay though and made a sweeping curve back to get away from the tidal surges at shallower water.

Getting to the beach I helped Elli out of her fins and got her to drop her weights at the tide line to make it easier for her to walk back up the beach, we de-kitted chatting about the dive (and I collected her weights for her), and me apologising for the sudden pick up of of the swell even though the wind was to blame and headed to a superstore in town so she could get a container for her collection of malted crab claws and shells, then I treated her to her first Cornish pasty, a proper Cornish pasty made here and not some fake mock up in a store in London.

We washed the kit back at mine and I took her to the train station in time for her train, it had been a great weekend of diving and seeing Elli pick it back up so easily after learning on the Great Barrier reef in Australia 2 years ago was a real pleasure. I arranged to drop her kit back the following morning as I could hardly keep my eyes open on the way home and thought a drive to Falmouth was a bit stupid in the state I was in, especially after towing her back over 100m in slightly choppy surface conditions earlier and went to sleep watching an episode of The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau on octopus.

I am really looking forward to Elli coming down again and hope she will, we may not have as much life around Cornwall, or it be as warm as where she learnt but being with another diver who is relaxed in the water and getting excited about the things they are seeing is worth it.

Leave a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.