<%@LANGUAGE="JAVASCRIPT" CODEPAGE="65001"%> RDD Dive Report - St David's

Dive Report

Dives from St Davids Head, including Ramsey Island, to Martins Haven

From camels and chickens to trigger fish and urchins - a wet weekend in Pembrokeshire

A September Saturday morning at Stack Rocks, fondly known as Hump-free the Camel because of its shape. It was chilly and cloudy, with light showers, but nothing as mundane as weather was going to put us off this, a favourite dive.

It was a club outing with three RIBs and Mike and I were the second pair to dive off our bright yellow banana boat.

We rolled off the tubes and descended to about 26 metres. Visibility wasn't bad at about five metres and there was loads to see, including a long-legged spider crab, the crab world's answer to daddy long legs.

We drifted gently along on the current, admiring the wild life on and under the rocks and boulders and losing count of the urchins, wrasse, dead men's fingers, sponges, worms, scallops, jewel and plumose anemones.

All too soon it was time to end the dive and we made a nice slow ascent, reaching the surface on 50 bar each and looking forward to our next dive.

This was three hours later at Nabs Head, by which time the sea had perked up a bit, although it was still well within safe diving limits. This is a good site for a second dive and we descended onto boulders and gullies in 14 metres. Again, there was loads to see and this time we were treated to several good sized dog fish curled up on the sea bed, a few small lobsters and lots of spider crabs. This is a well known place for spotting John Dory and octopus, but after three quarters of an hour we gave up the search and headed for home.

Next morning we were up bright and early, looking forward to our first sighting of trigger fish in British waters. We were sceptical that tropical reef fish could survive the comparatively chilly waters of the Irish Sea but were told the fish travel here on the warm Gulf Stream currents to feast on spider crabs, vulnerable after shedding their shells and waiting for their new ones to grow.

We weren't disappointed. We reached the bottom at 12 metres, headed north along the reef and when we reached the rocks we had a 'discussion', based on hand and arm gestures, shrugs and rolled eyeballs about which way to go. Mike wanted go anticlockwise but I was adamant we should go clockwise. We went clockwise. Straight into a strong current. Wrong again! Nevertheless, we struggled on until we came to what can only be described as an underwater grotto. And it was teeming with life, full of big trigger fish, wrasse, pollock, dead men's fingers, emerald and amethyst anemones, crabs, lobsters and urchins.

It was breathtakingly beautiful and we could have stayed down there all day. Only one thing stopped us. We were down to 80 bar so we had to leave our tropical fish tank and make for the surface.

A perfect end to a marvellous diving weekend.

Jackie Williamson