Brixham BSAC dive every Sunday morning and Tuesday evening. We have a rib which Brian very kindly launches and returns to its roost every trip. One of our favourite destinations is Dartmouth Eastern Black Stone which at 30 knots will be rising above us in about 12 minutes. The jagged pinnacles rise from the sea bed at about 24 meters and form a labyrinth of hull shattering needles which beg to be explored.
At This time of year and with the Viz at around 4-5 meters it is breading season for Sharks and Rays at Eastern Black (I'm no marine biologist but I'm making the assumption on the numbers and presence of the mermaids purses by the thousand!!)
Today with a rapidly dropping tide Robbo and I jumped in to 14oC water to find an aquarium of Chondrichthyes - more specifically large Blonde Rays up to a meter across and Bull Huss up to six feet long. There aren't many places around here where you can dive with sharks but this is the next best thing! They appear placid, sleeping quietly on the bottom or in crags but get to close or give them a nudge and look out! They burst into action, shaking off sediment, often heading straight for your mask, mouth agape. This Blonde ray was filmed at around 17 meters in reasonable viz with a light-ish tide. Within a 20 meter radius there must have been 15 very large Bull Huss lying deathly still in the gloom. I regret not taking any photos or footage of these but they are very dark in color and not as friendly as this guy! (next time) I imagine a night dive here would be like a feeding frenzy on the barrier reef- sharks everywhere!
If you would like to guest dive with us get in touch through facebook, 15£, we also invite clubs to visit and use our boat and handler for a small charge ££££££ :)
The Barrel Jelly fish are back, last year they got a lot of press but less so this year (so far) This photo was taken during a coasteering session under a fly-by during the Torbay air show. It was very large, one of the largest I've seen. The guys took some persuasion to get close enough for this photo as the beast swam powerfully to the south! On the same session we were visited by an inquisitive seal which danced in the kelp below while amazed stags peeked through the masks I take on every coasteer- you never know what you are going to find!
Welcome to my first blog of 2016, well actually, my first ever blog!
When interesting things happen you will see them and read about them right here. How this will evolve over the coming weeks and months who knows... but I hope you enjoy.
Tonight was the first serious boat dive of the season, Brixham BSAC keep a 6.2m RIB primed and ready to go (outside diver Brian's house). After worries over whether the engine would start and why the pumps were not sucking we headed out onto a silky calm and ominously dark ebbing tide.
The location we visited (not named due to its secret status) never ceases to amaze me with the things it throws up! This evening, as I scrambled aboard with numb hands after 45 minutes on the bottom, there were excited whispers over what was struggling inside Brian's sack. Diver Brian and Paul have a reputation for finding the monsters of the deep (and sometimes mating with them- another story perhaps). Tonight, on his Birthday, he seemed to have located a creature perhaps even older than him! The tragedy of this tale lies in the fact that the record breaking Arthropod was not running free but was tangled in a spiders web of fishing tackle, unable to move and loosing strength from lack of food, his liberator had arrived.
Never have I seen such a beast! To display it for the camera in the first picture I had to cradle it like a small child resting its MASSIVE crushing and slicing claws across my forearm. Measuring nearly three feet long this monster must be 100 years old! This thing has lived through world wars for god sake! ....crawling about in the depths dodging mines and submarines.
My dive was a stunner, everything bathed in a beautiful green light as seen in the last picture, a large hermit crab whom I snapped while having a debate with a velvet swimming crab. I very quickly grabbed my quota of scallops and used the tide to skydive along searching for treasure. I found a HUGE Bull Huss hiding in a previously unnoticed boulder cliff- another reason I love this dive - always new features to stumble across. How he got in that hole is a mystery but I imagined him coming out at night to play havoc with unprepared fishermen.
I managed to collect some submarine litter, justifying and giving something back for the food I had collected... at least that's what I told myself. If you don't believe in a little foraging then remember it's the most sustainable method of obtaining sea food and leaves behind no nets, dredging scars or line.
What did Brian do with the monster of the deep? After some photo's he assures me that it was returned to the sea to recover and inspire eager divers to take the plunge. (I personally think he's got it in his bath tub at home and is charging his neighbors £20 for the latest in foot health treatment 'the lobster soak').
See you soon.... I hope you enjoyed this short post, I'd like to write more but its late and there are more adventures to be had, energy must be conserved.