Sunday August 1st 2021
Well it’s as a mixed forecast and I did plan A,B,C to Z. The phone in made a-team up of five divers. I contemplated just coxing but knowing this was August I decided to dive. The pairings were David, Andrew and Mike and Jake with me.
We met at 8:30 loaded the cat and away we went. First stop was around the Islands in Aberdaron. The tide was still running on the tip, so the site was-chosen behind the big island. David, Mike and Andrew went in 9:20 and had a dive of 48 minutes. They went from the tip of Ynys Gwylan Fawr and David navigated past the tide and to the tip of Ynys Gwylan Bach, pretty damn good I would say.
Reports of good vis and loads of squidgy things (dead mans fingers) and a very pleasant dive. Jake and myself went to Cadlan to look for Crays. We dropped in at ten metres, I had set a bearing which should of taken us to fourteen metres, but alas it took us to 8 metres. Peter James would have been in his element. I did look closely under the kelp to see if I could find any pieces or steel off the Bristol which was in that vicinity “alas no” from my prospective could of been better. We went back to the Rhuol for lunch and then headed out to the ridge.
The three some reported poorer vis than the islands but more life. Jake and I dived a different location around a one hundred yards closer to the Rhuol to take in the increasing tide. As I entered the water a cold rush of water entered my suit as I had failed to close my zip properly. Highly recommended NOT 🥶 I told Jake to be prepared for a short dive. The first thing of interest was the tail end of a good sized ling hiding under a large boulder. There were Pollock, Ballan Wrasse, Corkwings, Cuckoos to name a few. Jake drew my attention with his torch and on arrival saw the antenna of my first Cray of the season. After 30 minutes my joints were struggling so we headed shallower and eventually we surfaced having done 45 minutes.
Without further to do straight back to Rhuol and a dry down change of clothes and a warm drink. It was a nice day off but colder than I was expecting. I will be double and treble checking my zip from now on.
Wednesday August 4th 2021
With some real settled conditions and poor weather forecasted until after the weekend it was probably going to be the last opportunity to dive for a while.
Dewi was organising and Trefor Pier was down on the schedule, having not dived the location for some years it was decided to stick to the plan. A total of three persons phoned in namely David, Andrew and Jake, with Jake unsure if he could make it on time.
On the day the weather conditions were perfect, unfortunately Jake was unable to make and boy did he miss out. Meeting at 18.30hrs with the car park virtually empty which was a welcome change from Porth Ysgaden, Andrew had already done a recci and reported good viz and had a compass bearing to follow. Little in the way of fishermen but numerous Treforian Children enjoying the sunshine and tomb stoning off the pier.
Diving a a threesome we decided to surface swim the length of the pier to avoid being bombed by the children. Decending down we were rewarded with near perfect viz, with fantastic colours and plenty of life. Rounding the corner to where the pier once stood we began to explore what was left, a very healthy reef, we were met with a shoal of juvenile Bib and numerous other juvenile fish with some large Dragonets on the sand. Visibility was in the region of 12m which made it far easier for Andrew to lead and navigate the dive. Lobsters and Crab were in abundance and Andrew spotted a young Conger eel sheltering. On the return home a Pipe fish was spotted by David and an Octopus by Andrew which was duly captured by Andrew on the video. I personally had never dived further than the pier before, but the lack of pier and fantastic viz allowed us to cross the sand onto the second reef which in turn was full of life.
In total a Dive time of 60 minutes was recorded with a max depth of 6.5m, this shore dive should definitely be on the programme more often, a little gem to be honest.
Tuesday 10th August 2021
With the weather forecast for Wednesday evening looking a bit dodgy a late attempt was made made to see if we could get out on Tuesday instead. Keiran and Melanie phoned in with Keiran offering to check out the intended dive site in Criccieth on his way past in the afternoon. By then he found that the wind had picked up to a strong southerly breeze which had done for the morning’s clear viz. In passing, Melanie had mentioned that she had been down at Porth Colmon the previous evening and found it to be quiet with excellent looking viz. So, as the wind remained from the south, and not having dived there for many years, that’s what we decided on.
On arrival, just before 8pm, we weren’t disappointed as it was calm and clear, although Melanie did complain that there were a few more ripples than a day earlier. The plan was to follow the reef to the left but not to venture out too far as it was mid-tide on a biggish Spring. We were rewarded with viz. of 8-10 metres and a lot of fish, young pollack and cod (I was told) plus the usual hordes of corkwing wrasse, which morphed into bigger pollack and ballan wrasse as we got further out. There were the odd small lobsters and crabs while the two pots we came across, just around the corner can you believe, had attracted only weed covered little spider crabs and small brown crabs. Following the edge of the reef took us to the west initially but then to the north, i.e. straight out from the shore so, wary of picking up a sudden current, we turned round after 20 minutes and retraced our route back into the bay. There was the expected mat of dead seaweed initially but it cleared to a bed of course sand and rocky outcrops with interesting stands of different types of tall weed. I forgot to check the water temperature but it was nice and toasty as it was my first outing of the season in the old wet suit. However, on reflection, this may not have been the ideal site to check the wet suit out, as it and I carried the unique odour of Porth Colmon all the way back home and into the shower.
As we surfaced at the end of the dive we found ourselves right next to a fisherman and a small group of onlookers who started laughing in relief as they couldn’t work out “what the hell the lights in the water were” and as it was well into dusk by then I can understand their confusion. A quite enjoyable dive which I for one will be happy to do again.
Wednesday 25th August 2021.
Brett was down to manage so it was expected for Criccieth to morph into The Rheol, but Brett is rushed off his feet these days so I took it over late on and kept to the original plan which was for a night dive at Criccieth, modifying the plan to the West Beach and a slightly earlier time for a dusk dive.
There was considerable interest with four definites, Andrew, Keiran, new member Ned and me with three maybes, Melanie, Laura and Jake. When we met up at 19.30 there was not enough water to allow us to get in and the carpark was full. But as we stood around and chatted the carpark emptied and the tide raced in so by 8pm, the originally planned time, we were good to go. Only Laura was there to represent the maybes but Mike and Vi and grand-daughter Lucy had arrived to cheer us on. It was now going to be a proper night dive so we were rewarded with good viz., plenty of small fish and the occasional crabs and lobsters already out and about foraging. Ned and I turned back after20 minutes without finding the end of the reef, coming in about 50 metres to the west, while Andrew, Keiron and Laura went further out, also without finding the sand, and came in slightly to the east. Everybody reported a good dive in toasty water of 18 degrees.