Up Uk Diving ยป Seasearch East in June

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Despite our optimism the vis stayed away until June again, arriving for us around the middle of the month with reports elsewhere of conditions being diveable further offshore a week or two earlier. This was time enough for us to visit our favourite shore dives and try a new one before we started running Seasearch Observer courses in July. It was a momentus month as we got our first returns from Suffolk (ever!) which in the event came from Dunwich, a sunken village. We also went offshore onboard Drakkar, the first of 8 boat trips booked for Seasearch surveys this year. All that was exciting enough but the best news was finding that you can in fact easily dive the Sheringham gullies from the town's beaches. These aren't the most exciting galleries ever but it's only fair to put them up so you can see how the vis changes over the dive season.

Dunwich SeasearchDunwich Seasearch
Our first Seasearch Observer course of the year was held at Learn Scuba in Lowestoft. After the theory day we had the rare chance to dive on the remains of St Peter's off Dunwich - the sunken village. The visibility is very rarely good here but we were just able to catch enough for a worthwhile dive. As you can see from the pictures it was quite murky, after an enticing week of 5m+ we got a weekend of 1m dropping to nothing if you found yourself with a trainee Divemaster resting on top of you :-)
Sheringham 1Sheringham 1
The  Sheringham chalk gullies are well known but we had only dived them as a drift by boat from Weybourne. Adrian from Learn Scuba in Lowestoft was one of the people who told us that you could simply dive them from the beach at Sheringham itself, and he was right! The gullies run past the town just beyond the ends of the groynes, when the water is clear you can see them. On this occasion the water wasn't very clear and we were corralled by a net after we went in just below the Cliff Road car park. Still it proved you can make a Seasearch survey in suspect vis (about 0.5m) and whetted our appetites for more! We met up with Wiliiam and walked down to the Lifeboat station to look for other entry points and it looks as though below the Esplanade in front of the Lifeguard station is one of the best.
Vera in JuneVera in June
We had an excellent investigative dive on the Vera, conditions were adequate but improving, lots had changed since last year. We found that the sands had moved to cover the rear of the wreck, almost up to the prop shaft at the stern. The ironwork was covered in Oaten Pipe hydroids (Tubularia indivisa) but not rich in slugs... maybe they will be along soon?
Lowestoft The AltoLowestoft - The Alto
This was our first trip out on Drakkar, Adrian King's amazing hardboat based in Lowestoft. We had a great day and good vis... but our technique let us down and we missed the wreck on the first dive... so we went back to do it again. Sailing out of the yacht club meant civilised facilities for once and the Learn Scuba shop was nearby for fills. On the dive we found the wreck covered in hydroids and Dendronotus frondosus slugs but the most exciting thing I saw was a couple of Sea Snails (Liparis liparis) which despite the name are fish. Very small lazy fish which I had never seen before, one on the back of a crab and the other just resting in the crud... I've no idea why I even noticed him. After this trip we can certainly recommend Adrian and his boat as a really good skipper and vessel for a day out :-)
Sheringham 2Sheringham 2
Less than two weeks after our first murky dive we had the chance to walk in from Sheringham beach again, this time from the Esplanade - one groyne West of the Lifeguard station. The visibility was much better and we covered 150-200m from the shore, reaching an area where deeper gullies began after a low undulating plain of chalk. The wildlife was low lying but varied, plenty of crabs, lots of algae and encrusting stuff. We didn't see any slugs, the highlight was a very nice Greater pipefish.

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