Rhoscolyn 14-15th August 2021
Top Cat was prepped at the club and a new wheel bearing fitted to the trailer at home before Phil towed the boat to Anglesey on Friday evening.
Saturday: We met in Rhoscolyn car park at 8am to launch the boat. Our first dive was on the Beacons. The viz was about 3m and the water a comfortable 16C. There was plenty of life. Helen and Tim spotted Conger Eels and clusters of Cat Shark. There were large, camouflaged Spider Crab clinging to rocky ledges, Sea Hares, nudibranchs Velvet Swimming and Edible Crabs in abundance. Colour was provided by Deadmens Fingers, Large Boring and Elephant sponges and a variety of hydroids and bryzoa.
We returned to Rhoscolyn beach to change cylinders and brew up before heading out to dive a new site, Pinnacle B. The site was located and shotted. We then waited for the beginning of slack before the first buddy pair went in. Another fabulous new site. Rocky surfaces were covered in a wide variety of Elegant Anemones. Large Dahlia Anemones were found in the gullies. Helen and Tim spotted yet more Conger Eels. Cat Shark, Edible and Velvet Swimming Crabs in crevices—well worth the wait for the slack water window.
Our 3rd dive was a night dive on The Chasms. Phil and I had the better dive on a rocky seabed. Lobster, Reticulated Gobies, and Scorpion Fish were seen. Recovering Top Cat in the pitch black was a new experience for all involved as was refuelling the boat at midnight. (With hindsight night dives are probably better once the clocks go back plus Top Cat would need a more suitable lighting system)
Sunday: We met at 7.30am to load the boat and headed out to dive The Segontium. The predicted weather forecast was accurate and we arrived on site an hour and a half later, with the wind speed and wave height having decreased. The wreck was shotted, and we waited for the tide to slacken. The viz was 6/7m and the ambient light enabled us to see the structure of the wreck, the colour and the abundant marine life in full. Every surface was covered in Plumose Anemones. Bib, and large shoals of mackerel were all around us. The seabed was covered with empty seashells and large Pollock congregated under the bow. Tom Pot Blennies were out in the open, several huge lobster, (one of which was so old he was rust coloured). There were large Edible Crabs and Velvet Swimming Crabs on every ledge. Phil spotted an extremely large Conger Eel in a pipe. A thoroughly enjoyable dive.
Teamwork was the essence in a smooth recovery and dekitting of Top Cat. Thanks to buddies Ken and Jane, Helen and Tim for an excellent diving weekend.
Phil and Pat