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Well tonights trip was to the Shambles.

Troy "Matthews with two Ts" was skippering Top Gun out of Portland.

The day had been bright and sunny but the evening was starting to become slightly overcast.

After a short but slightly choppy ride out to the site we donned our gear and hopped in.

My ears refused to equalise properly and so I spent the first few minutes up and down like a yoyo (down 4m up 1m).

I reached the bottom and sent up the blob. Then in preparation I clipped my goodie bag onto the bottom of the reel.

The vis was around 2-3m at best so I unclipped the Salvo. Strange, I'm sure I switched that on at 8m. Switch on. Nothing......bugger....I haven't charged it! OK...on with the Photon. Surprisingly I didn't actually need it.

The minutes slowly ticked by as I glided across a sandy bed strewn with dead mussels (all broken). I suspect the trawlers may have been in.

After 10 minutes I spotted in the gloom ahead a crab. I halted on the edge of visibility and slowly unclipped the bag. Gently finning closer I prepped myself......then finning forward I was ready to pounce.........on a spider crab :( it would have made a feast had it been a brown crab but as a spider crab it was barely legal takings so I left it.

The eyes started playing tricks on me and everywhere I looked was a turbot shape on the sand but as I drew closer it just revealed more sand, shingle and mussels.

I passed over what must have once been an inflatable tender.......still no Brill or Turbot.

After 28 minutes I decided enough was enough. I started a slow ascent and practiced my shutdowns and clipping off various bits of kit. Five minutes later I was at 12m.
I then slowed the ascent a little further down to 3m a minute just to practice positioning for dumping.

The Halcyon sometimes hides air where I cant get to it and I find myself having to go head up to try and shift it. The suit was dumping perfectly either automatically as the pressure built up or with a little roll of the shoulders if I deemed it was time to dump a bit more.

At about 37 minutes I hit 6m and a 3 minute stop. I let go of the reel and watched it yoyo with the wave action as I tried to focus on something else for a visual reference. The plankton served quite well but I find that I sometimes concentrate too hard on it and lose my focus on the rest of the stuff I should be concentrating on. I tried one quick shutdown whilst there which wasn't perfect (my left hand cramped) but I managed it.

My lowest point was 5.7m and highest point was 5.0 on the stop. Not perfect but it's getting there and involved only a couple of fin kicks to keep the reel in range and view. So I was pleased with that, especially with the shutdown at the same time.

I broke the surface at 42 minutes (well inside my logged maximum time of 60 minutes).

Back on the boat, out of 10 divers only one managed to come up with some supper and a good size turbut he was. So I settled down for a nice cup of soup and a swift run back into Portland.

It was a good dive in spite of the fact that there was no F in Turbot!!! :D
 
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