This will be a short and sweet post, as I am off to pack my dive gear again for tomorrow. This has been the longest surface interval I have had since I started diving back in 2005. We were fortunate enough to be able to do a night dive the evening before lockdown began, but little did we know how long it would be before we would be back in the sea again.
All I can say is thank goodness for all the divers I know, you have kept me going with photogrammetry workshops, webinars, some amazing guest speakers and let’s not forget the #underbathwater photographer of the year 2020 competition from Fourth Element.
The dive community has stayed strong and supported each other and I hope now, as we all slowly make our return to diving and teaching as (when it’s right to do so), we all continue to support each other and help our dive centres, shops, manufacturers, charter boats and inland sites as they slowly start to reopen over the coming months, I am sure they are going to be pleased to see us.
I can safely say Rich was very happy we were able to get back in the water for the first time at Chesil cove on Thursday early evening, no more nagging from me to give him jobs to do around the house:)
The beach was lovely, blue skies and calm water, perfect entry and exit conditions. Only a few couples, families and fishermen, enjoying their outdoor time, so no issues with social distancing, we even managed to bag a parking space really close in brandy row. It was easy to fully kit up and do our checks at the van, I decided to travel light and do my first couple of dives with no large camera rig, to make life easier and to take in the whole experience, and opted for the Gopro instead (see the video below). The walk down the beach is always a careful one to make sure those pesky pebbles don’t catch you out (it was steep though, so we knew it would be the usual slog up the beach afterwards, but its always worth it).
We descended to 5m, gave ourselves a quick stretch out for adjustment, and did our s-drills and bubble checks, all good and off we went. It was a lovely 14 degrees, 3-4m Viz with a bit of bloom still in the water, but just so nice to be in. There was enough life about to make a very pleasant little bimble, dogfish, cuttlefish, huge spider crabs, large group of ballan wrasse, loads of teeny nudi’s everywhere even floating around mid water. After a lovely 59 minute dive we came up with the sun starting go down. After de-kitting we decided to stay on the beach a while to watch the sunset, perfect way to end the day.
We enjoyed it so much we returned again on Friday at around the same time, still very quiet, a few familiar faces had the same idea which was really nice to see and the beach a little busier, but still not many people around. The Viz had improved a bit from the previous night 4-6m in places, and bit more life about. Lobsters, large edible crabs, spider crabs, few cuttlefish, lots of wrasse, pollack, squid eggs, as we returned to the shallows for our safety stop we came across a very unhealthy looking anglerfish sadly:( Another very nice dive 68 minute dive though, just loved being back in there. We came up to such a beautiful light with the sun starting to go down again. Stopped a few times on the way back up the beach to take in the stunning view, we are just so lucky to have this on our doorstep.
The drought is over and my gills are no longer dried out, looking forward to my next dive and hopefully no long surface intervals in the future.
Happy and safe diving everyone!
Lisa Frew, May 2020