Dive Report for Wednesday 8th April.
The planned dive site was the Menai, but an early slack and reports of poor viiz. on the north side caused a move to Gimblet Rock, in spite of it being low water at about 6pm. There were 7 takers, Peter & Adrian, Dewi & Dilwyn while Brett & I were assigned to look after a newly twin-setted Andrew. Nia, Vi and a crook Mike turned out to do shore cover, so it was quite a gathering. The weather was perfect, sunny and windless, so much so that it is unlikely to be bettered all season, and the sea appeared to be crystal. The object of the dive was to locate the sewage outfall, which a surprisingly high number of us have yet to witness. However, not for the first time, the Club's navigation skills were found to be woeful, with only Adrian hitting the mark although, by way of mitigation, I should note that there was a surprisingly strong incoming current forcing us to the east. When our little group had clearly missed the outfall, Brett was dispatched up an SMB to get a bearing on the outfall buoy, as my compass bezel had stuck solid, only to then lead us back into shore which was what he thought we were looking for!! Oh ye of little faith. The viz. was a cloudy 3-4 metres at a not so chilly 10 degrees for those testing out not so waterproof, Waterproof semi-dry suits. The live scallop population was very poor, adding substance to the rumours that professional divers had been collecting in the area over the winter, but there were a few left for the hunter gatherers. While there was a selection of mostly small squidgy life on the seabed the highlight for our group was a juvenile cuttlefish, or two for Brett. Andrew managed his new set up and even made it back up the beach in one go. Most then adjourned to the Vic, much to the consternation of the bar staff, who were not expecting to see us again before the autumn, and thus there were no butties and chips.
Dive Report for Wednesday 22nd April.
Although we have enjoyed some excellent weather this month none of it has coincided with a weekend. This Wednesday and that of 2 weeks ago hit it spot on though. Not that you would have thought it when we met up at the Normal College to find swathes of brown water along the edge and extending well into the Straits in places. I very nearly did shore cover but as my dry suit valves had been leaking and I had played with them I did need to retest it. (I was predictable very wet and quite chilled after a 40 minute dive). Brett took Nia for a check out dive which left Irfon with Dewi and Andrew with me. The viz. turned out to be far better than expected at a very cloudy metre plus, as there seemed to be algae in suspension, this early in the summer?? Anyway, it was good enough to enable us to see what was there which to me was disappointingly little with a dearth of the usual spring crop of juvenile crustaceans. Plenty of butterfish and even an octopus or two but very few lobsters and crabs. There were several signs of fishing activities, one of the lobsters had both claws banded, a hooked wire with a handle, and the end panel of a lobster pot were fairly damning evidence. Too bad for an area that is designated as a Special Area of Conservation. On the other hand Dewi, having discarded his buddy early on, and failing miserably to look for him, reported lots of life, but he was mostly shallower than us. Nia had a miserable time, being unable to equalize and so their dive was quite short but Brett was still able to spot the banded lobster in shallow water. However, we all got over our different disappointments, or whatever, with an excellent curry at the Antelope.