Back in the swing
After 7 weeks at sea, you can imagine how desperately I wanted to see my car.
Oh, and my partner!
But I’d have to wait a while longer to see him as he too has been away working.
I had been very much inspired while I was away by the south coast divers, taking their cameras on shore dives and coming back with amazing images of wonderful sea life around the UK coast.
I hadn’t dived since early March and lock down and work stopped play.
Finally at the end of July I was able to pack my Citreon Spacetourer, fill it with things I had bought from Amazon while I was away (neighbours thought Christmas was coming!) and built my single cylinder set-up which I hadn’t used in years.
I headed down to my favourite haunt Chesil Cove in Dorset and played it safe for my first overnight in my car, camping on my friend’s driveway!
My buddy was a regular at Chesil and I had never met him before, a lovely chap called Jon Bunker.
We kitted up at a social distance just after 10pm and headed into the darkness.
Darkness doesn’t bother me - after all, I’m a cave diver!
But there are bitey, stingy things in the sea and critters large and small tend to come ‘out’ at night!
We dropped under the waves into milky, awful visibility. Thankfully this cleared quickly as we headed deeper and we soon started unpacking the cameras.
Jon was quicker than me and spotted a dogfish which I completely failed to photograph, then a pipefish which went a bit better.
I soon started to get the hang of my Ikelite strobes and we started to see lots of cool stuff.
We came across a huge lobster who had caught a velvet swimming crab in his jaws.
He was extremely quick and very busy and didn’t care for us at all. Then the crab made a break for it and a fast chase began!
Jon was only a few metres away and I could see his torch in the murk when to my utter horror - mixed with excitement - a massive few swimming conger eel passed right by me.
I watched it for a while…not sure to go and try and take a picture or run away.
I ran away and told Jon what I’d just seen before informing him I had chuffed quite a lot of gas in my terror and needed to leave!
I surfaced and lay on my back, paddling back to shore and watched the sparkling stars overhead.
I made my nest in my van with my new Rab Ascent 900 sleeping bag and had a quick flick through my images, chuffed with my first attempt at macro photography. It’s not as easy as it looks!
All images Copyright Christine Grosart. All rights reserved.