Monday, 25 May 2009

25th May - Unexpected weather and Thornback Rays

Getting ready for our first boat dive this morning, we weren't too dismayed when it started to rain -however the sudden severe increase in wind speed did catch our attention. Within a few minutes, the scene had changed dramatically - white horses all around and white surf onto the beach - the Lifeboat station recorded a maximum gust of 51 mph - trawlers started appearing from all directions and the divers under the Lifeboat reported a decrease in visibility.

By mid-morning the wind had died down although we were still left with big swells around High Water. Managed to get the second planned dive away to drift across the Parks - as yesterday, Thornback Rays, flatfish and lots of dogfish / smoothhounds. By the mid-afternoon, the water was completely flat with barely a breath of wind-the Far Mulberry was oily smooth and bubbles could be seen over the whole site. It seems that the plankton bloom has arrived and hence visibility was correspondingly variable. However there does seems to have been an late increase in cuttlefish - several large ones on the Mulberry this weekend.

This week sees the public consultation on the proposals to re-develop the East Beach area and we'll be looking to see whether there is any specific provision for divers; following the beachworks earlier in the year, the Council are also due to clear the East Beach ramp on Wednesday - this should again make it accessible for visiting Ribs.

Saturday, 23 May 2009

23rd May - Better weather and visibility :-)

As forecast, better winds today - visibility at the Far Mulberry was a good 4-5m with plenty of large wrasse in residence. The site was busy with Big Blue and two club boats in addition to Phoenix. Our Junior Open Water course reported equally good visibility under Selsey Lifeboat station.
I'm hoping that tomorrow we'll be able to accurately pinpoint the wrecked red speedboat location at East Beach as its Spring low water. Retrieval is unlikely and it won't be long before its colonised so we'll mark and use a night dive site near the existing VW Caddy 'donated' several years ago.

Sunday, 17 May 2009

17th May - blown out :-(

For the first time this season we cancelled all our boat dives - high winds from the wrong direction (S/SE) obliterated any visibility as well as making it impossible to get off the beach. However there was good news that the Council have agreed to move the gravel from the launch ramp at East Beach. Whilst we seem to be near the end of the cuttlefish season (and anecdotally there seem to have been fewer this year), there have been more nudibranch sightings including a few that required consulting reference books for identification.