This last week the weather hasn’t been good enough to dive in the sea, however the last two days its been relatively flat. So myself and Scott made our way west to get some diving in. A 5am early start meant I had to scrape the ice off the windscreen and let the car warm up for five minutes first. The temperature this morning was recorded as -1 centigrade. I knew in advance that the visibility wouldn’t be very good but that didn’t deter us!
Anywhere in St Brides Bay West Wales is fantastic for diving and getting in the water to dive is my primary concern. As such when we arrived and I could see that it was flat calm I was really pleased. Looking into the water in the shallows it was murky which told me that out in the bay itself would be very dark.
After wading in, I swam across the surface to a potting buoy just near the mouth of the haven, using this as my surface reference point I descended the pot line. Once I was under the surface the visibility dropped rapidly from one meter to a maximum of half a meter at depth with my torch on. Without the torch it was pitch black and I could only make out my hand as a difference in the blackness when it was right in front of my mask.
At the bottom of the pot line were some large boulders, so I mounted my strobe to them and anchored a distance line to the boulder, as I didn’t wish to get too disorientated out here, and ideally would like to use the pot line for my ascent. As a point to note, I didn’t use the pot line for my strobe or distance line anchor in case the potter came along whilst I was on my dive and pulled them – if that happened I would be kind of stuffed – hence I didn’t.
Then utilizing my distance line as my return route, I headed out for the dive. I know people say whats the point in diving when you cant see anything, however, hovering just fifty centimeters of the seabed as I swam along, with my torch on I could see an abundance of life which in normal visibility I wouldn’t be able to see. Its a great way to build and develop confidence in your abilities for when diving in poor conditions, and its also a perfect way to practice things like distance lining, navigation and multi-tasking. The multi-tasking for me was distance lining, holding a torch, navigating and trying to spot critters.
It was a good time diving in the sea, a lot more interesting and challenging than being in an inland dive site for this type of training dives. We got back just after lunch as the weather closed in and there endeth another week of sea diving based on the current forecasts.