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Wednesday, 11 April 2012

The small faces

Well thats the quietest I've ever seen the harbour on an Easter weekend. From what I hear, some people were talking to other people saying not to go out because the weather was bad. But these people didn't bother to speak to the people that know best i.e. the skippers. Which is their loss as we had a stonkingly good day of diving!
A whiter shade of pale
Vis had doubled in the last 48 hours, so instead of the 2 metres from Saturday, we had nearly 5 metres! I know it's still not the best ever but you make the best with what you got. There was a lot of light coming in from the surface but still a bit of plankton haging around in the water (as evidenced in some shots), but the amount of maring life running (metaphorically) around was superb.
Herman's hermit
Knowing that the vis was going to be the best, I stuck with the 188-55 lens and used the stacked dipoter wet lenses as and when suited me. As it turned out, I used them alot. The small stuff was out in force. Elaine swears she saw a sea hare, but with no photographic proof, we'll just chalk that one up to flights of fancy!
Elaine on the prowl...look! a sea hare! haha
With just on the right side of low water, the tide was with us for the Skellies so Peter dropped us in up the West end and we spent plenty of time mooching up and down the gullies. Water was a steady 7 degrees so not too bad for this time of year. Plumose anemones, dead mans fingers, devonshire cup corals, brittle stars, sun stars, eveything was covered wall to wall.
A riot of life in the Skellies
We only manage to find the one Wolf fish this dive and he was a reticent little bugger to having his picture taken.
A very grumpy wolf fish
Still there was a nice big flat fish on the other side of his rock who didn't seem to mind the attention.
In love with the spotlight
 Nudibranchs were out in force and it was hard to fin anywhere without tripping over them but as usual most of them are stuck in some very inconvenient places for photographers. How rude.
One nudi makes a break from cover to dash to the other urchin....
BLennies, gobies, butter fish and scorpion fish all but in guest appearances as well especially when we got up to the 15-13m mark, which provided us with some more excellent opportunites. Well it would be rude not to.
Cheese!
And I might also add that Elaine even put the SMB up at the end of the dive. She claimed she was bored after 72 minutes but I know she secretly just wants to play with brightly coloured objects. She has very simple feline pleasures. I've seen her idly batting the SMB at the surface for her own amusement when she thinks no one is looking.........

After a nice interval in the sun (yes the sun did make an appearance foir a short time and it was glorious) we headed out to Black Carr. You know what they say about Black Carr.....

The current was absolutely ripping so we jumped in at the North end at shot out towards the wall on the East side.
I just cant get enough of the colours
We followed the wall for a little while then for a change, instead of ducking round the back into Wuddy Rocks we kept on East South East with the current and had a good look around the rocks, which is just as well as we found a nice big lump sucker perched on a pinnacle.
Do lumpsuckers actually suck lumps though?
She was more than happy to pose for us before swimming off. Elaine got some video footage of it which I will stick on at the end. Which I am loathed to do as I hate being infront of a camera. As a double bonus we also found a nice big mature wolf fish right opposite the lumpsucker, but again he proved difficult to coax out of his lair.
Looking moody and artistic for the camera. Makeup!
But we there were plenty of pink prawns, scorpionfish and blennies fighting for quality lens time and who were we to say no.
Stay away from the cocktails
With the current pushing us on at a great rate of knots, it would have been remiss of us if we didn't do our superman impersonation. So we did. And it was fun. But it did make it very akward for taking shots of the nudis. Not only were they flapping about in the current, so were we.
Like a flag on a flagpole. Flapping all over the place
Another nudi seeks safe harbour in the storm
With the current pushing us on and deco limits looming, we drifted off into mid water and counted down the clock till the familiar sound of the Selkie's prop recalled us from Neptunes cold and wet embrace. Till next week that is.......

Ok, I did promise I'd upload Elaine's video that she shot with her new toy during the dives. I hate being in front of a lens.....