FIRST DAY IN WINTER SEASON 2017 2018
After a very bad season because of the weather, the worst I remember since I am here in Ireland, the winter has come. And it arrived giving us a few good days so the visibility should be good.
In winter the days are short and the sun has a small angle all day around so the light can´t go in the water as in spring or summer days. So we must use the central hours of the day where the light is better.
The day was perfect. No wind, no clouds… the only problem was that the car was frozen and the road too. So I prefer waiting having a coffee and go a bit later. I put the wetsuit at home to avoid the cold wind.
Everything inside the car and one hour driving to the spot I chose. When I arrived as I thought the sea was perfect. No waves and good viz. The only problem would be the current as there were big tides.
When I was going to the water I found an unexpected danger. The shore was plenty of rotten kelp. Was something like mucus, not the algae, and made the rocks like ice. Very dangerous.
I went into the water and as expected it was cold. 10 – 12 degrees and I could feel it in the face, like ice. In the next 2 or 3 months it will be 3 or 4 degrees less at least.
I was interested to check the wetsuit in this situation as I was using it all summer and I wanted to test it in all situations to do a good review (you will have it uploaded soon) So today will be perfect as it is cold water and some reasonable depth.
First dive and first problem. When I put the speargun and the camera inside the car accidentally turned it on so it is almost no battery. I will try to save it as much as possible at least to have a couple shots.
It is been a long time without diving. Almost 3 months so the first dives I am using them to get used. And it is when a new problem appears. I am using a new mask which I thought it was going to be ok but it is leaking water as crazy. The mask start leaking at the first metre and when I am reaching 12m it is plenty of water so I must close my eyes. Like this is impossible so I try to go to shallow waters to at least take a couple spider crabs.
The kelp is almost gone everywhere. Only a few small ones survive. And it affects a lot to the fish and where it is. In summer they use the shelter of the kelp to be protected and rest. But now all this spots, caves, channels… are empty as there is no kelp to offer protection. Only a couple of big blocks at the bottom offer the right conditions for a small pollock. I go behind and, while the mask is getting filled of water, I can shot. It is not big but great size for the dinner. It was 1.5kg. Around this place I can find two nice spider crabs too. So the day is not lost.
Finally seems that I found a position where the mask is not leaking as much and can let me go a bit deeper. Not very comfortable but at least I can.
I start in 12-14m and I can see some movement. Medium size pollocks but not too bad. They are sheltered from the current. We have a low tide in 0.7m and high tide in 5.7m so it is not easy. A nice fish is on my range after an ambush and offer an easy shot. Right in the head and the second fish of the day.
I go a bit deeper so now I am moving around the 18-20m. At this point the current is strong and with the visibility you can´t see the bottom so I need to anchor the buoy and mark the spot to not lose it. If I don´t have the buoy to mark it the current would move me and I couldn´t go to the right spot again or I would lose too many time and effort. That is why is very important have the buoy with an anchor weight which we can release easy.
I am doing some dives and the fish is here. Many nice size moving around. And it is being great to test the wetsuit as I wanted. In this situation I used to wear a 8 or 9mm smoothskin jacket and with this 7mm I am feeling great.
I one of this dives I can see a 3kg Pollock so I let me drop over him and shot it in the head. Third fish and the battery is gone so time to go out.
I am really happy about the feeling after so many days without diving and with the wetsuit. But not happy about the mask, it is not for me.
Now start looking again the forecast to see if I can go soon again.
Here is a short video. Not as good as I would like it because of the battery but you can have a look about how it was. I hope you like it.