Dive 74

Porthgwidden Beach, St Ives to 6.2 m/20 ft

I took the SMB and Graham Simpson provided cover by snorkelling above us. We walked backwards into the surf after performing a buddy check in front of a group of youngsters who were fascinated by our gear. Took a bearing on some rocks just off the beach and dropped down and swam towards them. It was hard work swimming against the current. Got to the rocks and swam round them in a complete circle. A spider crab made Zoe jump. I wasn't sure whether the tugging on the SMB line was the swell or Graham who was a faint silhouette on the surface above. Got hopelessly lost trying to navigate back across the beach to the rocks on the other side. Zoe saw a blenny which she tried to point out by imitating its movement with her hand. I thought she was giving the 'Something's Wrong' signal, but her hand was in fact vertical instead of horizontal.

Graham tried to direct us from the surface, but he hit a strong current and Zoe lost control of her buoyancy so we surfaced. After a long hard slog against the current we were washed up on the beach and I floundered around getting my fins off. A couple of waves hit me in the face with my regulator in which was quite an interesting sensation, but then a third wave blasted some sand a sea water straight through my regulator into my mouth. It didn't seem to do the regulator any harm. Lesson learned: don't face against breaking surf with a regulator in your mouth.

All our gear was absolutely covered with sand after this dive. I went into the public conveniences by the beach to change and rinse out my regulator. We left our gear out in the rain in the car park while Graham snorkelled out to get some mussels he'd spotted on the rock (of course Zoe and I had missed them - what's the point of diving?) The rain didn't clean any sand off our gear, but the mussels tasted delicious later that evening.

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