Underwater World comes to Newquay

Happy , busy anglers26th April 2011 The Crisp Boys are back in town Fishing from Atlantic Diver with catches of cod up to 81bs ,Wrasse, Whiting, Gurnard and at least 50 shimmering blue/green mackerel…fit for the B-B_Q…hmmm yummy! Whilst the fishing Frenzy took place out at sea …our new toy arrived in the guise of an underwater camera with top deck TV monitor!! Now all can share in the magic of the world which lies beneath the boat. Can’t wait to try it!Cool Medallion Man popped up to see all the fish activity back at the Newquay Harbour.Medallion Man

 

 

Staggering Stags!

CodPollack-caught-on-Atlantic-Diver-Stag's-FishingTtrip

The weather in Newquay has been rather challenging this week but it didn't put off a group of stags who stayed the course and caught a dozen Pollack , a dozen Cod , plus plenty of Mackerel for a fishtastic  Bar-B-Que later .Hope this is a good omen for a long and happy marriage. Thanks to Matt ( Howler) for putting the trip together.

Spectacular Fin Whale

Fin Whale surfacing near Atlantic Diver

Divers watching Bottlenose Dolphins from bow of "Atlantic Diver"Stunning visibility allowed us to view layers of Bottlenose Dolphins from the bow of "Atlantic Diver"

Bottlenose Dolphins race over to Atlantic Diver, porpoising out of the water to gain speedGannets fighting over an escaped PollackDiver jumps off Diver Recovery Lift from Atlantic Diver

All aboard for the dive trip of the century..as we left Padstow Harbour, “Atlantic Diver” cut through the glassy sea in the warmth of the newly found July Sunshine..awesome in itself you would think…Chris  let out full throttle and off we sped for a 30mile journey to the wreck site the REWA…2 Puffins flew past followed by numerous Gannets and hundreds upon hundreds of Manx Shearwaters…spectacular watching them take off from the waters surface, circle and reland again. Then over about half way through, a pod of about 80 Commom Dolphins  including calves were actively hunting, blowing bubbles from below and coralling in circles. Behind them was a pair trawler and having read recent research it would suggest that the dolphins have a familiarisation with the fishing vessel….or was it the other way around?

About 2 mile on and we spotted 1 loan Bottlenose Dolphin …unusual we thought, on its own …when…suddenly the tell tale bubbleblows surfaced and we realised there were more, at least 25 surface and porpoised out of the sea, some came to join us in our journey whist others reained actively hunting. Again calves were present and one adult had pocks marks all over its body. The water visibility was so clear that we could see ever y rake mark on their bodies’…..just breath taking. During this we passed 4 Potuguese Man-of-war jellyfish just below the surface, there may have been more but we passed rather rapidly.

Smiles all round and divers safely enjoying their dive, we waited still spotting for more Cetacean encounters. Two divers surface when….A MINKIE WHALE surfaced scooping up great mouth fulls of plankton….quick get the cameras….again it surface and again, circling Atlantic Diver and eventually came 100m to our port side…at this stage we realised that it was over twice the size of our 10m Blyth Catamaran and so with the surfacing pattern and the dorsal fin size and shape,we reidentified as a Fin Whale…..WOW absolutely AWESOME…best day ever. Divers continued to surface and some saw the whale…what a sightb that would be underwater during your decompression stops!!! Loving this job !! Thanks guys for booking our boat!!:0)

Fin Whale watching aboard Atlantic DiverCommon Dolphins porpoise towards the Atlantic Diver  Mother and calf Common DolphinCommon Dolphins in glassy seas off Padstow from on board Atlantic Diver

Shark Cage Diving in the perfect Sea

Shark Cage Divers

Juvenile Dolphins come up close to people watch the Shark cage

Rubby Dubby attracts Gannets and Storm Petrels

Wouldbe Shark Divers compete for top Fishing spot

Christine in Shark Cage

view of Atlantic Diver from Shark Cage

dolphins play in bow wave

common dolphins

Atlantic Diver returns homeFantastically calm conditions at sea yesterday enabled us to see hundreds of Common Dolphins and every sea bird around for miles ,as we powered out to deep ocean 20miles offshore. The shark cage  was an easy slide in as the mill pond conditions continued throughout the stunning August day. Pod after pod of common dolphin fed alongside diving gannets until the trip became a dolphin not sharking trip. Juvenile and dolphin calves played inquisitively close to the cage until ushered by the adults to rejoin the pod. We watched and listened to the dolphins tail slap as they rounded up the fish in an amazing display of team work fishing. The team work continued aboard Atlantic Diver as would be shark divers Karen and James vied for top fishing position ( sorry Karen ,James won). despite copious oily chum and a slick to die for no shark was brave enough to show its face around the mass of dolphins. The spectacular show continued after we shut up shop and headed home as pod after pod still feeding leapt and porpoised out of the sea, with a few occassionally breaking the ranks to dance and play in our bow wave. Not exactly the choice of marine wildlife today but one of the most enjoyable days I’ve ever had at sea…thanks to the dolphins and our passengers who made the day such fun.

Science Cruise

Annabelle crewed up  aboard The Spirit of Plymouth to join the Marine Biological Association Scientists who brought Marine Science to local children ,learning  whist enjoying the fun of a cruise. Plankton samples were taken and observed, marinelife includng: Gannets, Oyster Catchers, Cormorants, Shags and numerous Gulls were recorded by the young stundents in their new role as marinelife surveyors. Water salinity tests were taken using high tech equipment loaned by the MBA. The Crew gave us a steady jaunt around Plymouth Sound so we could deploy our equipment…lucky us ..it was a perfect day for a cruise. The young minds were stimulated through play and a great day was had by all. Many thanks to all of the staff at the MBA for organising a superb learning experience and the crew of Spirit of Plymouth for looking after us so well.  

Spirit of Plymouth hosts Science Cruise

Scientific Marine Crew gather at Plymouth Sound

Seal Survey

Newquay town from the sea - April 2011

20th April ..Sun , sea and seals. A bunch of seal enthusiasts took to the high seas aboard Atlantic Diver on a stunningly hot April’s day to record seals along the spectacular North Cornwall coastline.
Cool
Male, female and some gorgeous hauled out juvenile grey seals were dotted about.

Two Cornish Choughs also flew Jurassic Park style across the rugged cliff tops.. Hurray! Our Cornish birds be back.

Seal Pup Basil Fawlty ..Released

Basil looks out to sea

Basil the recued seal pup has now been nursed back to health by the dedicated Animal Care Team Staff at the Gweek National Seal Sanctuary.and has over tripled his weight.  Alongside the staff and other BDMLR Marine Mammal Medics…we watch  the exciting moment of the seal’s  release back into the wild to try their chances again to survive against the odds. Basil’s big moment is about to begin…..the seals dash down to the sea but Basil is unsure and hides under the National Seal Sanctuary Jeep.Unsure what to do Basil breaks away from the rest of the seals and hides under the Seal Sanctuary JeepWe can still see you Basil!Basil spots something interesting in the shallows.Basil has spotted another sealAnother released seal pup waits in the shallows and looks back at Basil….enticing him to join her.Another released seal pup looks back at BasilThe other seal is eventually enough to lure him out to seaLaughingBasil tries the water 

Who could blame the little seal pup with icicles hanging from the cliffs on the beach…but the draw of the beautiful shimmering blue water of North Cornwall’s Atlantic Ocean eventually attracts Basil to take the final plunge.icicles hang form cliffs at the beachBasil finally swims out to sea

Basil finally heads out to sea!…

Seal Pup Rescues

seal pup rescue with Chris, Kate and Annabelle

For more of what we do during the winter please read on…The above pic is of a seal Chris , Kate, Kate’s mum and I rescued earlier this winter season. He was named “Basil Fawlty “by the Animal Care Team Staff at Gweek National Seal Sanctuary who have done a superb job of caring for him. He was called this because of his enormous swollen head( faulty head)  he had from head injuries he received perhaps from rough seas and rocks or possible bite injury. Click here to see how he is progressing and hear more of his story…

Chris and I are both British Divers Marine Life Rescue Marine Mammal Medics and throughout the year but particuarly in the Winter season (which is Grey Seal Pupping time) we are on call as volunteers ,alongside a whole team of superb medics in the Cornwall area to attend Marine Mammal rescues. Here follows one day in our diary ….On a freezing cold day in January on a windy beach a lone seal pup hauls out at the high tide line and lies exhausted and dehydrated …too tired to make it back to the sea. He is now vulnerable to dog attack and major disturbance…Fortunately a member of the public call British Divers Marine Life Rescue and describe the state of the pup then wait for medics to arrive., keeping themselves and dogs back out of the way so they do not scare the pup. Philip and Lewis, 2 new recruits ,arrive first, amid a heavy shower of hail stones and assess the seal’s condition. Phillip takes the sharp end whist we take his temperature and assess his wounds. Dave Jarvis our senior medic indicates the seal needs treatment. We very carefully place the seal into a specially designed BDMLR seal bag being careful not to get bitten and carry him back across the beach.(NB..NEVER attempt to rescue a seal yourselves this could be very dangerous for both you and the seal…please follow the BDMLR advice:

please click for link…… http://www.bdmlr.org.uk/index.php?page=stranded-animals

to call BDMLR:  BDMLR hotline: 01825 765546 (office hours) or 07787 433412 (out of hours)

injured and dehydrated seal pup

new medic Phillip jumps the seal pup

Once safely removed from beach the seal pup is made more comfortable in a larger transportation box , so he doesn’t overheat. Lewis and Phillip British Divers Marine Life  Rescue Marine Mammal Medics check he is fit for travel . Then off to meet the vet….seal pup safely in animal box for transport to vet

Medic Darryl administers seal treatmentAfter a long arduous journey back from the vet …the little grey seal pup Phillip Phollop flops down into the sea, stops to rest for a minute, then disappears back into his own watery environment!Cool

Bye Bye little seal …good luck!!seal pup Phillip Phollop flops into the sea

new medics Phillip and Lewis joy at seal pup release

Sharks are Here

Tope ..the Soup Fin Shark caught during Newquqay Sea Safaris and Fishing Trip 9 miles off Newquay

To watch the Soup Fin Shark in its natural environment…see below

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=QJ_S-z5M5PA

The first Basking Shark was sighted about 8 miles off Newquay this week, spotted by Daniel ..a Commercial Potter ( with thanks) feeding open mouthed at the surface. Other sightings have also been coming in as 1 in falmouth, 2 off Porth Kerris, 1 off Landsend and 2 in Lundy..the warmer weather has helped the Zooplankton to rise ,so the harmless plankton feeding sharks are feeding at surface. Today a happy angler also caught a very large Tope , weighing in at 22lbs and 1.8m in length. The male shark circled around the boat and entangled the anglers' lines, reminiscent of a scene from "Jaws", before being brought onboard "Atlantic Diver" to be measured and recorded for the Shark Trust and Substance. It was then very carefully released…keeping these sharks in a horizontal position helps to protect the soft internal organs so that a successfull release is possible. These sharks are known as the "Soup Fin" shark and don't eat people but instead eat fish, crustacean,endinderms and worms. They are usually bottom feeders. Our fishing and sea safaris are running daily aboard our two top, large catamarans. Mackerel are coming in well today.

 

Shark Cage Diving UK at Its Best!!

Beautiful Blue Shark approaches Atlantic Diver

Unbelievably adrenaline rushing viewing during a shark cage dive with the  best cage diving company in the UK. Eleven shark divers set off from Newquay Harbour yesterday onbaord "Atlantic Diver" to do one of the" top 10 things to do in Newquay" or even the UK. Doubters of the thrill of UK cage diving should feast their eyes on this footage as we experienced 4 Blue sharks, all female ranging from sizes…2.5m, 3m 3.5m and  2m.

 British Shark "Bites" Chum Bag during UK Cage Dive onboard Atlantic Diver

Excited Shark Divers met at our "Newquay Marine Centre" overlooking the Harbour, to learn about the plight, biology and behaviour of the blue sharks which only feed in our British Sea when the water temperature is 12 degrees plus. 

We Sped 10 miles out to sea ,Aboard "Atlantic Diver" and set up the chum to attract the sharks to the cage.

After a two and a half hour wait…they appeared…thrashing around the chum …two female Blue Sharks . They gradually grew in confidence and made repeated drives passed the (by now adrenalined) Shark Divers!!!

Another Shark rolled up , then another ….shark Fest!!!

you tube video here

All in all we enjoyed watching their amazing hunting and reasoning skills as they swam around the cage, chum bags and boat. All on board were totally blown away by their beauty, grace and stealth. These iconic creatures are being taken in their millions for their fins and meat…a top predator rapidly declining. The Uk has catch limits for many of our sharks but this is not the case in Europe, as a Shark Trust Trustee I am in support of TACs for europe as is applies here in the uk, which our  fishermen adhere to. 

Tourists in Newquay would never be treated to such an amazing spetacular display of nature as the blue sharks forage far offshore away from bathers and they are only accessable by boat. Historically these sharks were in plentiful supply and indeed we did used to angle for them but  today we prefer to view them and encourage others to take care of our ocean and top predators by educating visiting wildlife tourists, as well as locals. 

To Book These Cage Dives…please call Skipper Chris or Annabelle Lowe on 

07860 927833

01637 850930