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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Scuba diving Pembrokeshire Part Two and the Ninja crab

Crabs, big crabs, little crabs, edible crabs, spider crabs, angry crabs, fighting crabs, dead crabs, hungry crabs, Linford Christie like crabs, sleepy crabs, shy crabs and the crab that went ninja on me.

For a moment I wondered whether I'd been miniaturized 'Fantastic Voyage'-style (I'm a fan of trashy 60s movies) and beamed into the pants of a popular hooker.

In reality this was what a tiny part of Pembrokeshire had to offer scuba divers.

Not the giant super-pod of dolphins we were expecting - although they were said to be visitors to the bay around Little Haven to feed on giant shoals of mackerel.
Nor the family of seals we were hoping to see after spotting a solitary cub eyeing us carefully on the surface. Once under the water there was plenty of life that came to greet us.

Not that we should have complained. The weather forecast the day before showed a giant slab of blue rain over Little Haven for Saturday.
Thankfully, the skies stayed bright and dry for the morning as predicted by our host (and karren Brady lookalike) Karen of the slightly re-jigged West Wales Diving so we had the chance to get wet.

Three buddy teams hit the water around the Stacks and all seemed to go off in different directions. I bet Captain Phil aboard the Big Bertha chuckled to himself when the SMBs shot up all over the place 40 minutes later.
Numerous times we stopped to take pics only to find an angry crab with pincers at the ready at some perceived slight that we had invaded their territory.

Second dive was Hen and Chicks (no I can't see the likeness in the rocks no matter how many times it was pointed out to me) and we managed to find a beautiful wall populated with all sorts of life, including dead mans fingers anemones, gobies, crabs. It was a beautiful spot.

And then there was the giant spider crab, perfect for a picture but as I got a little too close he went all ninja on me and quick as a flash the pincers were up and ready (just like the crab in Finding Nemo). But after assessing my ripped physique (or something) probably thought better of it.

Ninja crab - the Bruce Lee of the crustacean world

Sunday was a brighter day but unfortunately worse for diving. The delay in the storm arriving on Saturday meant it rained heavily until into early hours and sadly destroyed any viz and left us with two to three metre swells.
We tried to get on the Dokatian, actually we did get on it but the viz was so bad we only realised we were on it when we hit the deck.
At less then a metre viz, it was worst I had seen and no matter how much a hoped my torch just wouldn't cut through the murk. Finally, when we were all on top of each other we signalled up and ascended.

That said we had a great weekend and the drinking, diving and generally merriment meant the ten hour round trip driving to get there was well worth it.

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