Out early to the Mulberry for a drift dive although in practice, most opted to stay on the wreck – good visibility approx 5m. Lots of Pollack, sightings of Conger but nothing as big as the 38 stone Halibut in today’s Guardian. We left as the hordes arrived :-).
A mixed day since Phoenix had a few minor technical issues which meant that we decided to only do the one dive today and then spent the rest of the day giving her some TLC.
Linda had a successful morning in the pool and Lizzie certified a new Seal – congratulations to Nicholas
For the fifh year running we co-ordinated with the Manhood Wildlife and Heritage Group (http://www.mwhg.org.uk/) for a Selsey Beach Clean-up under and out of the water. This year the weather decided not to co-operate; for us the last two weeks of storm and high winds from East and West meant minimal visibility and the rain this morning undoubtedly deterred many people from the surface activity.
Despite this 14 people dived and managed to find one Coke can and a cable tie underwater – visibility can only be described as ‘challenging’, ‘minimal’ and ’15cms’ – one buddy pair had a 40 minute excursion whilst most spent considerably less time in the water. On the beach at the Lifeboat over 10kg of Debris was collected by one of our newest PADI Seals, the Surface Cover team and particularly Andy Parks with the 6kg he accumulated. Post dive, Hot Dogs and Burgers were supplied by the Selsey Lions and we added our bags to the Debris pile. As previously, money raised from 50% of the Kit Hire and Sponsorship goes to two charities – Selsey RNLI and Project Aware – this year they will each get £87.
Our grateful thanks to everyone who braved the elements and contributed………..
Given the very poor weather we’ll arrange another Dive for Debris when we have more settled weather.
Nice to run a complete weekend’s boat schedule; it hasn’t happened often since the end of April – two training dives and a Drift; visibility on the Mulberry murkier in the afternoon than yesterday reflecting the afternoon increasing wind. Red Gurnards, Undulate Rays and Smoothounds all seen on the Drift. Lifeboat had 7-10m vis on the 3 after slack; as typical, just 3-4m vis on the 4 before slack – the Open Water divers saw pipefish, small sponge crabs and plenty of juvenile fish.
Some better weather at last……….opted to start the Drift Dive on the Far Mulberry; excellent visibility at 8m and plenty of marine life ( a theme that continued all day) – one group that drifted off the Mulberry at the end of their dive saw a large Thornback Ray. The planned Mulberry dive had the same vis – they managed to find an unusual anenome (or is it a shellfish) that had a fan, disappears into the sand when approached and seemed to have a hard shell. Tompot blennies, starfish, pollack, bib, possibly a Cod and nudibranchs – on the surface, Simon and I watched a small jellyfish swim slowly past (trailing tentacles suggested perhaps a Lion’s Mane). Opted again for the Mulberry instead of Landing Craft for the last dive of the day – it seems that the largest Lobster lives on the Mulberry.
Although the wind picked up later in the day on both Saturday and Sunday we managed to run several boat trips and there was a well attended Marshalled Lifeboat dive. Visibility on Saturday varied – 3m on the Shirala with 5m on the Waldrens and Mixon (this is consistent with what we heard from other divers – further out was not necessarily better vis)…..plenty of marine life on all the dives although nothing that quite matched seahorses.
Sunday’s Mixon dive had even better vis (8m) – large Thornback Ray was seen at the end by the group that had drifted out of the Hole and were heading East.
With thanks to Tim and Carole Mapstone
Much nicer this morning with reduced wind – busy at the Far Mulberry with four club boats and ourselves; good visibility at 5m and the large conger still much in evidence. Opted to start the Drift dive a couple of hours later at the Mulberry as well but arrived to find that the rising wind had significantly increased the swell so headed back inshore to find a calmer site but without luck. As consolation, two of the divers bimbled at East Beach and found two very nice Seahorses (nice as in friendly, posed for photographs in an upright position and positioned themselves against backgrounds that made them visible ).
Two visits to the Far Mulberry with the SeaSearch Observer course that has been running in Selsey this weekend – both had good visibility (approx 7m) and found plenty of marine life to record on their large slates…………….here are the highlights; nice shoal of Pollack near the shot, plenty of Bib inside the structures (makes you wonder what happened for the Bib to move away from their usual area – did the Pollack muscle in?), a very large Conger in the middle, some very friendly TomPot Blennies (one diver thought they needed a diet since they looked over-fed) and nudibranchs. The first group saw a nice starfish on the shot block – for the second group, one diver saw a large Cuttlefish.
At last – much better weather, a nice F3 Variable with smooth / slight seas; not too hot either since clouds for part of the day. Far Mulberry was our first dive of the day and rather busy with Selsey BSAC, Stormforce and later Emma Jayne all on site. Good visibility 5/6m (no more plankton bloom – some estimates were more in the range 7-10m) and plenty of Pollack and Grey Mullet. Round to the Landing Craft for the second dive – this had the additional benefit of providing excellent views of the Red Arrows over Goodwood (although we could have done with a little less cloud) – again good visibility (nice to see the whole wreck) and plenty of Shark’s Teeth Fossils (some quite large, plus other fossils); a few small waves as we came back roound the Bill as the Spring tide ebbed strongly. Final dive was the Far Mulberry – good visibility, some very friendly Tompot Blennies and quieter with only just Stormforce and ourselves.
Finally, less wind this morning although there was a thick sea mist which persisted until well after lunch when the sun finally broke through. The Rescue course we ran adjacent to the Lifeboat had 4m visibility on the 3 after slack – made the first search rather more straightforward than I had originally intended. Lots of people and consequently SMBs of many colours all around the Lifeboat. (We used the new car park facility and can advise on how best to manoeuvre on entry).
For those who ventured further afield, 4m visibility on the Far Mulberry (although described as milky by some), 8m on the Shirala and 10m on the Mixon. At the end of the day, a steady SE breeze onto the beach whilst Bracklesham Bay was flat.
We’re pleased to announce a new Selsey RNLI fundraising opportunity – the compound next to the Inshore Boat House will provide spaces for ten vehicles with direct access to the beach; access will be provided in return for a donation to Selsey RNLI – we are suggesting a minimum of £2 per car and this will cover one slack water period. Spaces are pre-bookable one week in advance by contacting us – you will need to visit the Dive Centre to make your donation, provide a £5 returnable deposit and collect a key before you can use the space.
We hope this will make planning your Lifeboat dives easier whilst raising funds for Selsey RNLI.