This post follows on from the previous scuba round up, there has been plenty going on, although as ever there had been a few trips missed due to adverse conditions.
I have been trying to dive Chesil all year, but being based in Brighton makes this a pretty long haul trip. I finally made it there on a Saturday evening after work. Unfortunately the plan to dive on the Sunday was wiped out because of the weather, however we did manage to get a cracking dusk/night dive on the Saturday evening.
It was a choppy entrance, on a steeper section of beach and I could feel the surge of the water throughout the dive. Nearly immediately I came across a pipe fish on the open rocks, this was the first one I’ve seen this year. I later saw another hiding in some reeds.
The dive was teeming with life and my new cheap torch was picking out all sorts, a few large dogfish, a couple of lobster and some beautiful anemones were the highlights. As ever chesil did not disappoint.
The exit was worse than the entrance, as was to be expected. In the end it was a hands and knees job slithering out of the water everytime the water came in and clawing to stones to stop it dragging us back out to sea. A dignified exit it was not, but it still adds to the experience. I’m super keen to get back here and dive again.
Another new dive site for me this season was the Ore Wreck out of Littlehampton. A wreck aptly named as it was carrying lots of ore that not sits on the sea bed. This was an after work dive and as such had the added bonus of meaning I had my diving fix mid week, keeping the weekend free!
The dive started with a little current which had also dragged the shot from the wreck. I picked it up and followed the trough until I could the first piece of metal and hooked it on.
I think we found the spare prop, complete and lay on the sea bed. I took my camera out for a photo, and only then realised I had forgotten to put the memory card in. Time to forget about the photos and enjoy the dive.
We followed the wreckage to the stern and found the prob buried. The wreck was covered with life, lots of blennys! Whilst exploring Jess grabbed my attention, and in a hole that I looked into was the biggest congur I think I’ve ever seen! If m not sure how I missed it tbh.we continued forward and found the smallest blue nudibranch, with red tips in the torch light.
We passed the other group of divers and not long after put up our dsmb and made our ascent to the surface. We had to wait outside the harbour due to low tide, but was it was nice to watch the sun set whilst we waited.
Once again we booked onto the sky. This time, instead of being the stressfest of the previous dive it was the complete opposite.
Down on slack, I had a problem with my neck seal, everytime I moved my head water came in. In the end I wrapped my arm on the shot line and resealed my neck seal, which as you might have guessed let in a flood of water. However once I’d done this it was sealed properly so the dive went on.
I started pottering around the wreck. It was great visibility, and I was looking at the various small pink and purple anemones on the wreck. When I looked back around I couldn’t see my buddy (turns out he had gone into the wreck and found the spare prop, so slightly jealous). After circling the same spot I lost him for ten minutes or so I decided to continue without him.
With twin 12’s and a stage I had enough bail out and alternative sources to feel comfortable solo diving. I managed to find the wreckage of vehicles and also found a large lobster between the plates. At one stage I had gone over the top of the wreck and was just swimming over metal plates.
At this point the current was picking up a little and I let it drift me by much if the structure, I popped my dsmb and started to make my way to the surface. I completed my deco stops, carrying out the drills for accelerated decompression, as this dive was in preparation for the next weekends deeper ADP dives.
Neither me nor Mike were overly keen for a second dive. I was soaked and Mike had no air, but Swanage Pier is only 3-6m deep and is usually an interesting dive, so we both jumped off the back of the boat when it docked and got a second dive.
In what seemed to be the done thing, I managed to loose Mike again. And so again ended up diving solo, at least this time I could pop to the surface at any time with no worries!
There are so many pillars of wood and bits left over that there is plenty of space for things to hide. I found some protective shrimps in one of the holes, some crabs in others and quite a few different wrasse. It was by no means a classic dive, but it was certainly better than nothing at all!
Compared to the last dives out if Swanage, this day was a success. Unfortunately, this weekend was preparation for a weekend diving on a couple of 40m wrecks that was blown out. Hopefully our luck with booking dives on bad weather weekends will change as the season progresses, as so far we have had 12 or more dives cancelled due to weather.