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Sunday, 23 October 2011

Dogfish City

With the weather still completely rubbish on the East, we played safe and headed over to Loch Fyne on the left coast which was certainly a very wise move as we had lovely conditions with almost a burst sunshine to brighten the surface interval.
Barely a ripple. Lovely
We headed out left for the 7 metre reef first off once we'd got through the halocline and mooched around for a while enjoying the squat lobsters, plumose anemones, starfish and dogfish.
One of many, many, many dogfish
It's not uncommon to see the odd dogfish here from time to time but today was utterly ludicrous. There was dogfish all over the place. You could barely see the bottom for the dogfish. Big, small, medium sized dogfish, I've never seen so many in one place before and all vey photogenic and very accommodating with strobes flickering in their general direction. 


Carrying on down the slope we hit the depths and the start of the firework anemones which come alive under torch and strobe light.
A dazzling display of colours exploding from a firework anemone
Heading back up the slope we past some pots with some poor victims ready to get picked up and ready for someones plate. What a shame.

A langoustine in a pot ready for the pot
 With another flurry of dogfish in the shallows, we cleared the safety stop and headed for a fine repast of tea, cookies and bacon butties with the odd pringle thrown in for good measure. We needed to keep our strength up after all......
Camouflaged scorpionfish
Heading out to the right for the second dive, we had another round of dogfish and accompanied by an honour guard of squat lobsters, gobies and blennies. We also managed to ferret out a couple of scorpionfish hiding amongst the reef at 22 metres. 
Elaine gets quality time with one of the many, many dogfish
There was also quite a few nice big spider crabs scuttling around as well today which are always nice to watch and equally nice to photo. They always try to out stare their reflection in the camera housing to see which one will blink first! 
Spider crab stares down it's reflection in the camera lens housing. Reflection loses...
With the run off from the hills and the slightly overcast nature of the day, it was dark underwater for both dives but the water clarity was excellent with visability by torch light at least a good 12-15 metres. 

Overall, we had a top days diving, Elaine didn't abandon us once, and the other Simon made a sterling job with spotting duties. It doesn't get better than that really. Oh, did I mention we saw some dogfish as well?