Phill and Barbie at Newhaven
Newhaven is situated at the mouth of the river Ouse in East Sussex, the entrance to Newhaven's harbour lies between two piers, protected from the prevailing wind by a substantial long stone breakwater to the west. At the begriming of the breakwater, there is an extensive pebble beach, on the seaward side and on the inner side there is a sandy beach. At the end of the breakwater there is an imposing white round lighthouse made of cast iron.
We all met up in the car park by the edge of the large breakwater at around 9:00 am. There were a total of 27 divers and a number of family members which made this day dive the largest one yet. After going through the paper work I gave the dive briefing (which I must say was rather imposing considering the amount of people) and we assed the dive site. The sea was calm and there was not too much wind and sun was shining, perfect for a UK dive.
After walking all the gear down to the waters edge everyone needed to take 5 minutes to gather themselves as the beach its self is pebbly and not exactly flat. The pebbles are large and seam to go up and down like waves. We decided that it would be best for divers to enter the water in groups of no more than 4 as to not get in each others way or stir up the sand too much.
High tide was at 12:00 so we entered the water around 11:00 to ensure that we did not get caught in the strong current after high tide. Entry into the water needed to be backwards due to the small waves and steepness of the shore and also away from the breakwater due to kids jumping from it into the sea. I was in a group of 4 ; Steve, Paul and Richard. We entered the water, took a bearing towards the breakwater and descended to the pebbly bottom. The visibility was around 2 meters but got slightly worse the further we went, this could have been due to the sand being kicked up by others diving
We kept the breakwater to our left and followed it towards the fallen rocks, we saw quite a lot of life along the way, there were loads of whiting, a cuttle fish, lobster, plaice and starfish. There are a number of large boulders along the edge of the breakwater and if you take your time and look around them and under them there are all sorts to be seen.
After about 35 minutes we turned and followed the breakwater back to the shore which was a pleasant swim as the tide was coming in which allowed us to drift in. Exit from the water is a little difficult due to the steepness of the shore and pebbles but not too bad.
After everyone was out, Phill lit the BBQ and we all sat on the beach enjoying the sunshine and each others company. Phill and Mick had pulled up some mussels which were also cooked on the beach. All in all a great day I am sure everyone will agree.