Gasping For Water
Never in my life have i experienced a pandemic, didn’t know what it was, i knew in February should we be getting worried. The Chinese virus was taking its grip on the world. i have a 15 year old daughter who was getting worried and i was trying to reassure her we would be OK quietly worried. She is a very sensitive teenager and also one that worry’s
I remember just before lock-down we had done e scuba session at the pool, new divers had just started their open water lessons excited at the prospect of joining the scuba world. As usual we would pop down to the local for a shandy and i remember asking my dive buddies their thoughts on the virus and Tom saying ” think we should be a little worried” then wham Bam we went into lock down no going out , no visiting our family, no going to the Beach …. oh my goodness NO DIVING had the world ended ……. thats what it felt like. Seven weeks past we didn’t know how long it was going to go on for constantly wondering when things may change.
Keeping in contact with everyone was vital specially family, we kept in contact with the diving world wondering when we could get back in the water. We finally got a date sorted 25th june and we were going to Flamborough our dry run was coming to an end.
High tide was 20.30 so intended to be in for 20.00 hours. We agreed to all meet at North Landing car park Joanne was first their and then myself a bit after that stu arrived and around 18.30 Tom arrived with Deb his wife, Ron his friend and of course wonderful cheeky poppy his Bic-hon Frise Dog.
The weather was wonderful, blue skies, warm sunshine, calm seas perfect for diving. Whilst we were getting our gear down and sorted my daughter and her friend libby had already made friends with the ocean and were enjoying the sea ” I think she likes the salty water too”
Feeling excited we made our way down with our gear and started to kit up the beach was very busy.
The bay isn’t massive its a lovely little cove,underneath its mostly rocks and kelp with various spots of sandy bottoms, their are little caves when the tide is out you can go in but bear in mind if the tide comes in and you havent checked could end up in a whole lot of trouble.
W e started kitting up making sure we had everything we needed.
Making our way to the ocean Fins in hand, mask on in we went. I love the feeling when my head goes in the water and the salt water hits my face, the water was looking clear just bits of kelp floating in it here and there. We gave the signal and down we went.
. Finning along it wasn’t to long when we found some litter, there was a can but it was wedged in the rocks so couldn’t get to it which is always frustrating. I spotted a piece of paper folded it cant have been there long as it hadn’t fallen to pieces Going a bit further i found a piece of plastic and saw tom pick up a rubber glove it was only a few bits we found but each bit brought up is less in the ocean.
Tom then stopped and the crab he found had an audience of two legged strange creatures from up top us divers, he didn’t seem to mind us all watching him and you can see their eyes moving watching you so we left him to his business and carried on. The visibility was very good and you can see the marine snow in the water thats the micro organisms and actually bits of dead animals in the water column. The kelp swishes in front of you then you find yourself swimming through it. After checking our air we got the signal to turn and head back. My eyes were constantly scanning trying to stay low to see if i could see anything on the bottom then hidden next to a rock their was a fish called a plaice.
They hide in the rocks to get hidden in the hopes they dont get spotted. On wards we went then we saw a shadow appear it was a spiny dogfish shark these are actually classed as vulnerable so this pleased me greatly they tend to get caught up as by-catch mostly not really fished for and when they are caught and sent to fish markets dont get classed as sharks when they are actually a member of the shark family tend to get passed of as rock salmon, so people are unknowingly eating shark meat.
Me and stu spotted it we pointed at each other and gave the ok sign and that look to each other saying did you see that……ITS ALWAYS MAGIC.
It doesn’t sound alot but the North Sea has between 201 and 230 species of fish, estimations are that there are around 40 species of sharks in British waters including some of the fastest, rarest and largest and sadly all are classed as Threatened or near threatened according to the IUCN. We carried on a little more and we stopped again and was watching a flounder fish hiding between the rocks and the kelp probably hiding for the night.
You should only look and never touch respect them its their world. so we carried on keeping low and again Tom stopped and hiding under the rocks was a lobster minding his own business trying to kep out the way and we appear you look and dont touch not that i would like to shake hands with him. I knew we were coming to near the end of the dive because it was getting shallow i gently started to remove my fins and stand up and as i did and looked back at the bay were we had just spent the last 60 minutes the sky was turning a beautiful orange, the sun was just setting. One of the great things about diving when your underneath and look up to see the suns rays piercing through the water
It was nice coming out water looking back at this. As i got out i went over to see Joe and as we exited the water then as we looked on the beach we saw the traces of the humans that had been their as we went into the water, i honestly dont know why people think its ok to trash our beaches.
Back on the beach i think everyone thought we had got lost and were going to have to send a search party out as we had been under a good hour but it was a fantastic hour. We were all excited how well the dive had gone so there was lots of chatter and jokes as we wanted to share it with everyone who was on land, but i had this dark cloud hanging over me knowing the beach was shrouded in TRASH, THE HUMANS had left more than their footprints, they had left all of their rubbish everything you could think of i knew a clean had to be done before we left so i found a bag and of i went knowing that if i hadn’t it would have gone into our fish friends world…. you see the animals have no voice they rely on us to be the sensible ones we are supposed to be the intelligent ones yet we are failing in so many ways.Sadly i didnt have enough rubbish bags and their were still people on the beach and it was easy getting on for 10pm. It makes me so angry at the human ignorance and arrogance towards nature and the natural world, the problems are constantly on the news yet people still dont seem to want to take notice, out of sight out of mind is an attitude that needs to change and selfish bubbles people seem to walk around in really needs to be popped, unless things are taken more seriously these problems wil notl get better there needs to be more education, discipline and an understanding why we need everything in nature to work for us.
I GIVE SPECIAL THANKS TO.. TOM BUCKLEY WHO CONTINUES TO HELP WITH THE PUSH FOR CONSERVATION FOR OUR OCEANS,
I GIVE SPECIAL THANKS TO STU JACKETS WHO ALWAYS ASSISTS AND SUPPORTS ALL WE DO AND OFTEN SOMETIMES BEEN MY CHAUFFEUR
I WOULD TO THANK JOANNE SOUTHARD FOR JOINING US ON OUR DIVE
I WOULD LIKE TO THANK MY FAMILY WHO ALWAYS SUPPORT ME IN MY QUEST TO SAVE OUR OCEANS
AND TO MY GRANDSON TO WHOM I HOPE ONE DAY CAN SEE THE MAGIC I SEE AND STRIVE TO MAKE THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE AS I DO FOR HIM .. EZRA XX