Dive Report for Sunday 9th October.
Wyn stuck with the Dive Programme and took us out early to the Gwynfaen on an excellent neap tide, launching from Porth Ysgaden. This was, I believe, the first outing at a weekend since we visited the Segontium on 14th August, but it went some way to compensate for those lost days. Although there had been a stiff easterly for much of the preceding week the viz., from the shore at least, seemed to be excellent, and so it proved. There were 5 divers, and after a brief delay, while we worked out how to use the new GPS and sounder, Wyn expertly located the wreck. Jake and I were first in, spotting the outline of the wreck from half way down the shot line. Suffice to say that although the Gwynfaen was ever smaller. the life on it was as abundant as ever and in viz. of around 10 to 12 metres we got to see most of it. We were met by shoals of whiting and bib, with many large wrasse, pollock, & tompots amongst them. There were also a surprisingly large number of big crabs and lobsters. The second wave of Wyn, John and Melanie were equally impressed, especially as the period of slack extended for most of their dive. They did, though, unwittingly survive a plummeting shot, as the lift bag came up like a rocket and deflated on hitting the surface. The sea state was calm with light winds and a lot of sun, making it as perfect a day as could be wished for at any time, let alone well into October. There were Rizzo and "ordinary" dolphins around, some making big splashes, and while we were having lunch, inshore near the site of the Cyprian wreck, a very young seal came over to check us out. The second dive was a deepish drift on one of the Porth Ysgaden reefs, which was chosen at random as the GPS chose to lock us out of GOTO so we couldn't readily locate the usual suspects. (We later worked out that the morning's GOTO had to be cancelled before it would allow a replacement!!) However, the topography was excellent, and with the good viz. it was a bit like descending onto a mountain ridge. Problem was that there was a dearth of life. Jake did see a cray and an octopus, and Melanie a couple of crays, but otherwise it was a few dogfish and shoals of sandeels. The scallops were covered in a thick layer of crud which on the sample brought back for inspection proved to be a mass of living organisms. Wyn missed out as he couldn't equalize. We were back in Porth Ysgaden well before 3pm as planned to catch high tide for recovering the rib, but it was a close run thing as the neap tide only just provided enough water for us to do so. Even then we had to remove all the heavy gear from the boat to get it in to the bottom of the access road. It was a memorable day.
DIVE REPORT FOR SUNDAY 30TH OCTOBER
Launching from Porth Ysgaden with 6 divers on board and Irfon at the helm we headed to towards some reefs not too far out of Porth Ysgaden. Mike Duke while waiting on the repair of his drysuit was clothed in a semi dry and with myself being a newly qualified OD it was decided that we get wet at a reef no deeper than 20 meters. Mike Duke and John were first to kit up and get in the water, with myself and David following shortly after. Descending to 20 meters in a dark and murky reef, visibility was low, with a strong current it was advised that I take hold of Davids SMB line. The reef on whole was pretty baron with not much life to see at all, Mike Duke managed to scavenge a few scallops and I think I managed to spot an octopus but with the fast-moving current and low visibility it could have been anything. Myself and David ascended after around 40mins to greet John and a very cold Mike on the boat with Jake and Wyn getting ready to dive. After Jake and Wyn ascending having pretty much the same encounters as myself and David we decided to drop Mike off back at Port Ysgaden to warm up and get some lunch.
For the afternoon dive we headed over to Portdinllanean just below the life guard look out station. Myself, David and and John were first in diving as a threesome, as we descended to 14m it was clear that we made a good choice in the change of location given the good visibility and lack of current. There was a lot more life to be found here along with numerous golf balls, plenty of lobster including an American lobster which we later found out are an invasive species to our shore. Much to everyone’s delight we spotted some crayfish throughout the dive with Jake topping the leader board having noticed 5. We surfaced happy after what started as a pretty dull day and arrived back to shore to a warmed up Mike and good weather.