OV posted on Facebook a couple of weeks ago about the possibility of an evening dive at Selsey. It’s a fantastic shallow dive and we would actually be home from work and able to go.
Diving on a school night whatever next!
Slack water was due at 20.27 so we decided to get there early so we could have dinner at the pub. Traffic was kind so we pulled up next to the beach at 19.15 and noticed some other OV divers already emptying their cars of kit. It was a lovely evening so no need to rush.
We said hello and headed off to the pub. My fish fingers and chips in a basket arrived and I’m sure it was a whole box – 8 fish fingers!
6 fish fingers later we dragged ourselves away from the dessert board and headed back to the car to get ready.
Getting in was the usual struggle – walking through the surf with 14kg of weight, in fins can never be effortless.
Once floating in the water we inflated our SMB so there was a surface visual of where we were for safety and we descended.
The water was warm and the visibility good. What more could you ask for? After 5 mins of not seeing very much we surfaced to find we had been pushed away from the pier so we surface swam back again. This is the advantage of shallow dives!
The pier legs were encrusted in sponges, soft corals and different types of seaweeds.
A large spider crab was sitting at the base of the leg and scuttled off as we approached. There were discarded lobster pots and car tyres that had been covered in all sorts of life, snakelock anemones and varying sizes of whelk.
We slowly manoeuvred our way round the legs trying not to tangle the SMB on the support struts. I busily snapped away hoping to capture at least a couple of good pictures.
The sun was going down and the light underwater fading so we put our torches on. I now didn’t have enough hands to operate the camera and I haven’t yet ‘invested’ in strobes so switched it off.
We passed back over the remains of the old pier and saw a lobster hiding under some metal and 2 crabs who were being “romantic”. After a cracking 45 mins it was time to surface and negotiate the tricky exit point.
Shore diving to me is more difficult on exit than entry. After being rolled around on the surf like a beached whale a kind hand reached out to assist with my fins and steady me up the beach.
Our thoughts then turned to the final step in any good dive plan: off-gassing over a pint of something in the local pub!