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The weather and location provided a perfect weekend for diving off Swanage.

Getting ready!

Saturday morning involved a high-speed drift over the Peverel Ledges (50 36.4N 001 56.0W) or there abouts! Exhilarating to say the least. To quote some divers: ‘Lots of ‘red-stuff’ (red algae) whizzing by! The lee of the ledges provided quiet water where numerous fish swam up and down and appeared from the nooks and crannies. These less disturbed south facing surfaces abounded with sponges, bryozoans, algae etc. Photography was challenging as everything went past quickly!

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In the afternoon, one of two shallow dives within the bay over the almost parallel reefs made of rocks from the Lower Purbeck & Portland that run almost straight off-shore at 50° 37.044’ N; 1° 56.049’W (Google Earth shows these quite clearly). Rich and diverse and with the water clarity, dominated by algae of shapes and sizes, particularly the reds. On returning from this dive the air still in the cylinders was used-up on a tour beneath Swanage Pier and surrounding seabed.

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Sunday morning saw a corker of a day again and a quick trip out to the wreck of the Betsy Anna, at 50°36.979 N; 001°49.964 W, only briefly interrupted by a ‘test’ of the emergency engine cut-off. Quite a few other divers were about but once submerged only two were spotted.

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In the afternoon, the second of two shallow dives, a gentle drift, within the bay over rocky reefs at 50° 37.0448’ N; 1° 57.0455’ W. Rich and diverse and with the water clarity, dominated by algae of shapes and sizes, particularly the reds. A quantity of abandoned fishing net was found festooned with life.

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Published: January 29, 2014