Dive Report for Sunday 14th April.
Only Andrew phoned in so there were just three of us with Jake and me. On Sunday morning it was a wee bit chilly and just a bit breezy but we plugged on. The plan to dive under the Suspension bridge was thwarted as an awful lot of divers had got there before us, so we moved on to the slipway near the Liverpool Arms. I had only dived there once before with Irfon many moons ago and it was a bit different as we largely stayed in the moorings. This time we headed straight out over a gravel bed with a reef sloping up on out right side. The viz. was a clear 3-4 metres with the life starting at about 5-6 metres with more beautiful tube worms than any of us had encountered elsewhere. The dahlia anenomes were thick between about 9-12 metres. Plenty of small crabs, butterfish and a few dragonets before the life died away as we crossed the centre of the channel at just over 14 metres. The life picked up again as we rose gradually up the far side. After just under 20 minutes my diminishing air and the chill in my fingers caused me to turn them around. On the way out Andrew found the head of a huge anchor, which was mainly buried, and Jake and he saw a large flounder on the way back. We skirted a rocky reef to our left on the way in and were back at the slipway after 36 minutes, chilled but well pleased with the effort.
Dive Report for Sunday 21st April
With numbers still being sparse a shore dive in Porth Ysgaden was planned for the regular threesome of Andrew, Jake and myself for early Sunday morning to beat the crowds, with the possibility of a boat dive on the Monday if we had the numbers. But when no one phoned in to Adrian, the non diving organizer, Brett took pity on us and offered his boat for a single late morning dive from the Rheol. We dived the ridge at high water with a gentle current. Adrian had offered to cox so we were in a single wave. Andrew and Jake were first in, lasting 52 minutes, while Brett and I managed just 43 minutes. Viz. was OK at about 4 metres with lots of small fish, big crabs, small lobsters, big urchins and a few rarities. Brett saw a clingfish, and our deco in the kelp went quickly as we followed a big pipefish around. Many thanks to Brett and Adrian, and to Nia of course for the refreshments!
Dive Report for Wednesday 24th April
With the good weather forecast to end abruptly sometime during the day, the Straits were preferred to low water at Gimblet Rock. It was slack at about 7pm so we met up in the carpark at the Antelope to reduce car numbers only to find that there was no one else parked under the bridge. There were four divers, Jake, Andrew, Mike and me and an equal and record number of shore cover, comprising Brett, Nia, Carol and Esme. It was raining and dark, and Mike announced that it looked awful, wheras it did in fact look quite good. So before his enthusiasm disappeared completely Brett paired him up with Jake and me with Andrew. Andrew than had to rejig his weights in the pockets of his BC to make up for a left at home harness, but then during sea trials found that his dry suit was leaking badly, so after two attempts he aborted. Fortunately, the other two were still on the surface so I rashly offered to lead. As the plan, as devised by Mike, was for a simple, straightforward, easy, short dive we found the cable and followed it out. The yellow sponge was abundant as, a bit deeper, were the beds of dahlia anenomes. Viz. was a cloudy couple of metres due to the start of a plankton bloom. In the centre of the channel the cable swung off to the left and snaked until we found it's frayed end. So we headed on south but when I started to climb up the far bank they'd both disappeared. After an encounter with a big lobster I headed back and through the gloom saw their lights, finding them sitting on the bottom! It then went slightly pearshaped, as I inadvertently led them off south, instead of north. The bed here was deeper than the initial crossing at about 17 metres and was featureless fine gravel. When I spotted my mistake we turned round but it meant that we were at that depth on the gravel for a long time. Knowing that it was still a biggish tide we scooted along and came back on a very different bed, indicating that we were some distance off line, as was proved when we eventually surfaced, after a very long 30 minutes, well along to the east. The tide had turned and was running so we were glad to be back in. Quite enjoyable despite the mishaps. The rain had abated, and Nia even claimed to have seen the sun coming out, until Brett pointed out that it was the bridge lights coming on, such was the gloom. We adjourned to the Antelope for sustenance, with Brett announcing that he could eat three meals, only to find that they had run out of food and stopped serving meals. So pretty much all our plans went awry.