Dive 14

Sussex Coast to 11.5 m

First dive with an SMB and longest dive to date. We found the bottom at about 10m and the vis and light were pretty good. There was plenty of sea life with crabs all over the place and creatures lurking in nooks and crannies. Gary didn't seem to take much notice of the current which meant I kept having to pay the line out. I got my buoyancy just right and spent most of the dive hovering over the sea bed without kicking anything with my fins. Gary found a lobster hiding in a hole but couldn't tease it out. We came across an odd-looking fish about six centimetres long. It waddled out of its hole and at first I thought it was some kind of reptile. It was obviously not happy about us invading its territory and glared at us threateningly. Gary pissed it off by pointing at it, and it actually went and bit his thickly-gloved finger which was a highly amusing sight. If a creature about twenty times bigger than me came along I would hide in my house, and not come out and try and pick a fight with it!

We came across Richard and Cathy and I took care not to get our SMB lines tangled up. This was my longest dive yet. My computer said we could have stayed down much longer, but going by the tables we had to be at 6m after 40 minutes. We did a practice minute's stop but I surfaced from 6m much too quickly. My computer kept on flashing 'slow' even after we had returned to the boat. Lesson learned: it is all too easy to ascend the last six metres too quickly; you're supposed to take one minute, which works out at a tenth of a metre a second when looking at your computer. Also diving with an SMB is a piece of cake, but it's less hassle being the buddy without the SMB. Afterwards in the boat I twisted my fin to try and get it off and got a twinge of pain in my knee. Fortunately I did not injure it. Lesson learned: pull your fins straight off and don't try and twist them.

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