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Sunday, 13 November 2011

Mystical Reef

Well today was a bit of a landmark day. After diving here many times, we finally achieved thew long sought after quest of the mystical reef at 30m. I put it down to superb navigational skills, but others might say it was pure chance. To be fair Elaine did find our wreck on the second dive. With the water at a balmy 10 degrees and the visability at a good 10m+, we had more than plenty to see down there.
Juvenile dogfish
It's a site of many delights with reefs at multiple depths and a plethora of surprises. Not to mention the strange array of crap that gets dumped in these sea lochs, in this case a computer monitor. You have to think to yourself, "who would come all the way out here into the middle of a sea loch to dump a monitor?". Maybe it died and wanted a burial at sea, I don't know.....
Squat lobsters monitor the sea bed.......ho ho. I amuse myself sometimes
On the mystical reef itself  there were a multitude of squat lobsters, anemones, gobies, blennies, butter fish and and the mother of all dogfish, easily 4 foot plus. A real whopper. And a pincushion starfish as well which was a nice find.
More cushion for the push'in
Vibrant juvenile squat lobster
There was also quite a few dragonets dotted around the seabed as well which added a little colour to the proceedings with their emerald eyes and blue markings.
No, don't panic, I said "dragonet", not drag net! (jokes are thick and fast today folks)
Whilst Elaine was off on her solo outing further up on the reef, I also spotted a whopper of a dextral flatfish who was more than happy to get up close and personal with my rig. As if you couldn't tell by the majority of shots, I do love my +16 diopter attachment.
The face only a mother could love
On the way back up we passed another of the many unique features of this site, a nice rebar and concrete table top coral. Not that I ever thought thats what it was intended to be but that what it looks like covered in growth after sitting down here for a number of years. But I did get Elaine to strike a pose for a few shots behind it.
"You mean I have to be the centre of attention again? *sigh* I suppose...."
With the end of a nice first dive amongst the wafting fronds of the kelp and the flickering god rays of the sunshine, it's moments like this that make you relise how good british diving can be. And how much more enjoyable it can be with camera rig in your hand. 
Bring me sunshine, bring me smiles
It never gets dull even after all these years. I would have shared this special moment with my buddy had she not scarpered out of the water a few minutes earlier to rush off for the call of nature!  But I did get to find a lovely little juvenile scorpionfish. At least someone was there to share the moment with.....
It's you and me, kiddo. No words, just enjoy the moment
And with the second dive completed, so end the saga of UK diving as we jet of to the warmer climes of Egypt in a weeks time to get an article finished of and do some training as well. All things being well (like the weather!), normal UK service will be resumed on the 3rd, and we should have my Southern name sake coming up to spend an enjoyable day with us. Toodle-pip!