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Wednesday, 13 July 2011

I can see clearly now the bloom has gone....

Well it's only taken us since the 1st of January to get good vis, but we finally got there. This year has proven to have been pants for vis and completely uncharacteristic compared to years gone by but we finally got 12-14 metres on Sunday. Still not the 20+m we're accustomed to but better than a kick in the teeth. And even better is that eveyone else on the boat followed our example and was actually kitted up and prepped to jump in on site, instead of the usual getting on site and then them taking 30 minutes to jump in. Amazing.

Black Carr first up, and as we always keep saying, never a bad dive on Black Carr and this proved to be abolutely true. With excellent vis, the wall round the front of Big Black Carr was well lit and teaming with life. Soft corals, dead mens fingers and plumose anemones in abundance, with scorpion fish and butter fish playing hide and seek from the camera lens.
Yea? What you looking at??

Several wolfies made appearances throughout the dive as we snaked our way in and out the swim throughs with a great find by Mabs right at the end, although I question if it was a find as it was quite happily wandering over the rocks in plain view.

This is the twin brother of Grandfather lobster from the Skellies. Just as big, close to 70-75cm and pincers as big as my forearm. None fo the girls would go near it to show a good size comparison but you can tell by the size of barnacles and urchins in the picture that he was a big old brute. He didnt give a toss about moving  out of the way or trying to hide and just sat there and looked decidedly surly about the whole episode!

Grandfather lobster despairs at young divers today....
After a 71 minute run time and some cracking shots, we reluctanly had to hit the surface before all the chocolate digestives were eaten by everyone else waiting for us. Luckily Paul keeps a good stash and never fails to keep us in biscuits.
Elaine gets some Black Carr wall action

I made executive decision of Skellies for second dive. Originally going to be the Craigs but went with Skellies in the end and jumped in at the hole. Tide was starting to ebb and there was a bit of a push on to get out of the hole but once in the gulllies the current settled down and we had another spectacular dive with the Wolfies making another appearance along with the usual suspects of blennies, gobies, squat lobsters, edible crabs and absolutely covered in nudibranchs.  

Just one of many nudis mooching around
No guilliemots dive bombing us today but plenty of moon jelly fish. They were causing a problem for the Torness power station earlier in the week as they had clogged up the water intakes and the authorities had to hire the local fishermen to trawl round the station and clear the waters. Serious jelly infestation.
Who's afraid of the big, bad wolfie?
Spectacular walls in the gullies and the lighting proved to excellent for some scenic shots. 77min run time and back on board for more tea and biccies. We also had radio chatter about minke whale sightings a couple hundred metres away from pick up and we went over to investigate but didnt get to see any today, which is a shame, but they had been around during the week with people reporting regular sightings, so you never know what you'll see on the day.
Mabs drops into the Skellies