This spontaneous trip was both my first expedition with OUUEG and first time diving in the ocean!
Early on the Saturday morning, six of us headed down to Plymouth to spend the weekend diving off the clubs RHIB, Seahorse, moored at Plymouth Yacht Haven Marina. In the late morning, after emptying the large amount of built-up rainwater in Seahorse, we headed off to dive around Penlee Point and the Rame Peninsula.
Seahorse at the start of the day, she’s had a lot to drink! Xianming at the helm
The visibility was not good on this day, but nonetheless I enjoyed my first dive in the ocean. Almost immediately after getting to the bottom, Kirill picked up a large spider crab and waved it in front of me! Despite the very poor visibility we could make out lots of kelp swaying in the current, many starfish and even ribbon worms. We also dived at breakwater fort on the way back and saw many coral fans on the way down. At the bottom there was rather a lot of litter, including lots of smashed crockery. It was also interesting to see Plymouth universities marine biology experiments that had been set up there.
After getting back and eating at the pub, we all slept very well in the lake house, our accommodation. On the Sunday we got up at 8 and drove for 5 minutes to the marina. We set off to Eddystone rocks, with Kirill telling us about the interesting history of the location on the way. It was a cold day, but the visibility made up for this! I had been expecting the same visibility as the day before but was shocked when I backward rolled off the boat and could see the rocks and kelp so clearly all around me.
As a biology student, I found it amazing seeing the organisms I’ve been learning about in lectures in their natural habitat. This included many starfish, sea anemones, sea cucumbers, sea urchins, spider crabs and cuckoo wrasse.
My favourite moment was when Kirill pointed just below us, and we saw the massive head of a conger eel poking out of the rocks! This was our only dive of the day as we were running low on fuel at that point, but we were all satisfied with the dive.
We had a great time, and I am looking forward to future expeditions with the club!
OUUEG in motion
Eddystone Lighthouse, former home to the famous lead-eating Henry Hall
The Plymouth Sound, what a nice day!
Rosie getting warm after a nice dive