Second wave on Saturday dived Tinker Shoal off Fort Bovisand. Lots to see and good vis.


Arriving at Mount Batten, Plymouth, Yasmin and I were met with a strong and gusty easterly breeze. It was also fairly cloudy at first, but later on there would be some proper sunny spells.

The first wave (am) dived Scylla (see Debbies''s report). They were:

Chris and Debbie
Dave and Paul H
Geoff M and Sarah
Clint boat handler

and the second wave (pm) dived Tinker Shoal:

Clint and Hilary
Geoff H and Peter C
Anne and Simon
Chris boat handler

After the first wave departed Yasmin, Alyssa, and I crossed from Mount Batten on the water taxi; we had bit of a look round the Barbican and the town centre, and I had a nice pasty for breakfast. 

Conditions ruled out the James Eagan Layne for the second wave, and also the Mew Stone. However, Anne and I had very agreeable dive (bottom time of 53 minutes) exploring the reefy ledges around eastern edge of Tinker Shoal.

We went down shotline into the murky green. I soon discovered my suit inflator hose had popped off - a signal to Anne and I paused to reconnect. Once on the bottom we found that the visibility was a good 5 metres and far better than we had been expecting. Anne had a few bubbles from her gauge - but nothing alarming - and off we went.

The wildlife was surprisingly varied. Anne had her camera and we both took some pictures. I''m still adapting my technique from learned snorkelling habits, and by trial and error figuring out how to get better results with my basic setup.

There were ballan wrasse, a pollack, all sorts of gobies, and unknown others. A mixture of sponges: yellow warty outcrops of boring sponge, smooth grey and purple masses of elephant’s ear, a few spongy balls of tethya aurantium, and various other encrusting porifera. Other stuff included: spiny starfish in abundance, dense patches of snakelock anemone, a spider crab, a few sea cucumbers (one particularly big and offensive-looking), clusters of peacock worm, and a coil of nudibranch eggs. I suspect there was very much more if I knew what I was looking at.

The reefs had a lot of kelp on top, but the shallow gullies and fringes of the reef where the slate was broken and creviced were very interesting with colourful ledges and lurking fish.

Tinker Shoal was traditionally a dumping ground for shipping in and out of Devonport, including the Royal Navy; and is also near the historic Fort Bovisand practice battery. Where we put in there was a sparse scattering of ceramics: broken crockery, pipe, and a floor tile.

It had been quite choppy going out (extra fuel consumption required a switch of tanks). But with the wind dropping slightly and heading back into sheltered water, the return trip was relatively smooth.

It was a really enjoyable dive (I also did my Assistant Dive Manager bit of Sport Diver - thank you Chris and Debbie for coaching me, and also to the Assistant Assistant Dive Manager!) and can't wait for the next one! Thanks guys.