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Monday, 11 June 2012

Beyond the sea

The skies were grey and heavy threatening to let go at any moment, the surf was crashing off the rocks, the swell was about 6 -7 feet at the surface and the surge could be felt at anything less than 14 metres.
The last voyage of the original dive team and crew
Despite all this the diving was superb with an empty boat and cameras in hand, myself and my buddy of many years and long standing jokes took to the seas in what was to be our last dives together in UK waters. With a 5 knot Easterly buffeting the coast line, we were very limited to where we could get in so it was a no brainer to get in the water on the back of Black Carr along with the Pathfinder and Tiger Lily.
"Gan hurry up in the water, ya knaa's wor lass has gissies, tetties and bagies for dinna!"
Once in, we pushed on through the current and surge to the front and hunkered down on the wall at 28 metres to enjoy the scenery. I must say in all my years diving Black Carr this is the quietest in terms of marine life I have ever seen it.
I just love the vibrant colours
The wolfies were not in their usual holes, the wrasse and pollock were absent, nudis, crabs and lobsters where making themselves scarce. Obviously they knew that there would be no more diving here and were in a state of mourning! 
Anemone and sunstars abound
We made the best of it and weaved our way through the multitude of swimthroughs and nooks, absorbing the magnificence of the scenery with naught but the occasional moon jelly fish wafting by to distract us. 
Captain Crowe can't resist a cheeky wee grin as he drives by to pick up his divers
My buddy even elected to put the SMB up at the end for a change which sent me in to total shock. Still, the practice was good for her as I wouldn't be around to sort her out in the future. And just as well as her line decided to get snagged on the reel handle and we waved good bye to the whole lot as it headed for the surface. 

So back to me to deploy the balloon. As usual. We did mange to rescue it back on the surface though, so all was not lost. I do worry for her when I'm not around....
Seconds away from snagging...
We took a chance at lunchtime and headed round the headland to see what the conditions were like at the Skellies. 
I perform my amazing levitation routine off the side of the boat
Still as lumpy as an old mattress but we got in and down and cracked on with it. Water temp was staying consistent at 10 degrees and the vis was touching 7 metres in places with a fair amount of particulate in the water.
A wolfie pops out to say goodbye
However for this dive the marine life didn't disappoint with lobsters, squaties, wolfies, humungous nudis, crabs, wrasse and guillemots.
Gigantor, king of the nudibranchs
I think my buddy thought I might have been dominating one particular wolfie with the camera when she decide to elbow me to the head to get me out the way. I know it was secretly a sign of affection.....
The lobster whisperer's final conversation
Still, it was a fitting way to end the day . My buddy managed to hang on to her reel this time (not that I'm casting it up at all...) and we were escorted back to the surface by dive bombing guillemots.
Pick up at 2:30pm for two?
If I'm lucky, I'll get out one final jolly this weekend with the outrageous Captain O'Callaghan but seeing as my buddy is abandoning me to see another man down in Exeter of all places (women are fickle creatures), the original dive team will never be seen in this part of the world again. So long, and thanks for all the fish.