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Monday, 4 June 2012

Mother's Little Helper

Superb diving today, despite 4-5 foot swells at the surface. We had 10+ metre viz in the water and loads of light coming in up top. 
Storm clouds brewing on the horizon.....
Captain O had a full boat today, so we were merely along for the ride and as they all wanted to do the Glanmire, we did the sensible thing and jumped overboard on the Craigs. The Craigs is one of those oft overlooked dive sites which doesn't get as much attention as the more well known ones but it has a unique charm and plenty of features all of its own. The site is peppered with large boulders, pinnacles, walls and shelves with all manner of goodies to find.
Vibrant Dahlia anemones abound on the Craigs
The plumose and dahlia anemones where out in full bloom with moon jellyfish gracefully undulating all around us in the water. Edible crabs, velvet swimming crabs, decorator crabs, lobsters, gobies, blennies, wrasse, pollock, flounders and wolfies, moon and lions mane jellyfish were out in force today enjoying the good weather.
The staring contest continues......
I was lucky enough to spot a nice big wolfie out in the open. Unfortunately it was facing the wrong way from as and as we maneuvered for an optimal shooting angle it shot off like a rat up a drainpipe. You would not believe how fast these things move through the water. Seriously, greasy weasels don't get a look in. 
Split second before take off. Next time....
With an average of 8 degrees in the water, it's still not up to usual summer time temperatures but with quality scenery and marine life like this, there's hardly room to complain. 
Velvet swimming crab says "OLE!"
We were also graced with a full escort of guillemots on out ascent to the surface after 66 minutes in the water. Unfortunately carrying my rig in one hand and the smb in the other I wasn't able to get any shots off but the guillies this week were particularly curious and were getting very up close and personal with us which always makes for a pleasing spectacle.
I can't believe it's not butter(fish)!
Back on top we had the challenging task of getting back on the boat, which despite Pathfinder having a tail lift was still a task and a half. My buddy made one of the most ungracious and unladylike like exits I've ever seen her do which probably didn't help with me pushing her up by her cylinder and her arse to keep her upright. Good job we're close friends.........

Less people went out on our boat as well as all the other boats for the second dive due to green faces and regurgitated breakfasts. Which meant more room for us on the boat so I'll not complain. Dive 2 saw us jumping on Wuddy Rocks for a nice bimble around before heading for the second pinnacle on Black Carr. 
Left at Wuddy and straight on to the second pinnacle
I found a nice big Yarrell's blenny sitting out in the open which makes 2 weekends on the trot which I've found one, so I'm a happy camper.
Another Yarrell's Blenny for the scrap book
I also clocked an octopus as well, but only managed to get it's backside before it disappeared under a rock and despite waiting for it to come back out, it wasn't going to happen. Never mind, there's always next time.
Damn you octopus!! Come back here!!
Surprisingly this dive was quite wolfie free for a change however there was still plenty of other critters vying for our attention including another swarm of guillemots.
Feeding time on Wuddy Rocks
Once we hit the surface, the grey skies and rain had gone and the blazing sunshine blessed us with it's warming rays as we carved our way through the wall of waves to end another great days diving.The weather is slowly, very slowly getting better and better. Bring it on!
My new goby best friend