Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Diving in Plymouth

Great weekend diving off the Plymouth coast with my Cabot diver friends. Dived the wrecks of the torpedoed WWII liberty ship James Egan Layne and the Scilla (*deliberately sunk as an artificial reef in 2004 - www.divescylla.com ). The life on the Scilla is quite astonishing considering that it has only been underwater for 8 years. Corals, many plumose anemonies, young rose corals and sponges and mats of young barnacles. (*underwater camera failed to record any film due to a memory card fault) Spent the Sunday exploring the reefs and gulleys around Hillsea Point and the Mew Stone, all familiar dives but good visibilty and a lot of wildlife. Shoals of bib, large pollack, bass and mullet on the wrecks and dogfish, spider crabs, blennies, squat lobsters and many wrasse on the reefs, Ballan and Cuckoo. I briefly pursued a large cuttlefish in the kelp which didn't want to hang around and flared its primary tentacles each time I approached, colours flushing up and down, always quite astonishing to watch. Toby and Chris saw a large Bull Huss on the Mew Stone, where I saw one a couple of years ago, a large species of dogfish more like a nurse shark than a dogfish. One of the great things about diving is that it affords you time to crawl around on the seabed looking closely at life, often as small as tiny shrimps and nudibranchs, in a way that you so rarely make time to stop and focus on the small things under your feet when on the surface.

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