Children at play

Aunty has just bought a new camera that is able to take photos underwater for our up-coming holiday to Trinidad. So while we were at Cwm Nash Beach at the weekend we had to have a play and see how it worked. Despite my many offers to hold and guard her clothes, Aunty steadfastly refused to go skinny dipping in the sea. Some people just don’t have the commitment to the cause at times.

The first test was in the small stream coming down the narrow valley just before flowing onto the beach. I was ready with the candid camera in case there was an accident and someone slipped. But £500 fee for the TV rights is still a distant dream.

An accident waiting to happen?
An accident waiting to happen?

The next couple of shots are the results of experiments by Aunty trying to get the two mediums of air and water in the same shot. Not bad for a small and relatively cheap camera. In case anyone is interested its a bright yellow Fujifilm XP camera.

No sharks in view
No sharks in view
Underwater alga
Underwater alga

After practising in the stream it was down to the beach. As a kid I used to spend hours messing about in the rock pools at home, often bringing things back home to study, which  unfortunately inevitably died. I grew up only 100m meters form the sea, and it was a fantastic play ground. Even now I can’t resist rock pools.

One of the problems with rock pools is the fairly severe and challenging environment it presents to the local inhabitants. Animals like anemones can’t leave with the tide and have to shut up shop twice a day, and generally only look like brown blobs. Where pools are deep enough for them to stay open and to continue feeding the surface reflections present a real challenge to photographing them. Aha, but not anymore! With Aunty armed and ready with the new toy we got some reasonable photos. This one shows the bright blue ‘beads’ that give the Beadlet anemone it’s name.

Beadlet Anemone
Beadlet Anemone

After this success nothing was safe, though in fact there wasn’t as much around as we hoped. No giant, vicious crabs or prawns. So we had to make do with the more sedate, though pretty red Coral weed (Corallina officinalis). I remember an experiment in biology class when we placed strands of this chap into vinegar and watched as the calcium in the seed weed dissolved away. This will be a real to problem to sea life in the future if the seas continue to become more acidic.

Coral wee - Corallina officinalis
Coral weed – Corallina officinalis

One of the prettiest gastropods in UK waters is the Flat Top Shell (Gibbula umbilicalis), though this chap is a little drab and beaten. It looks as if he’s holding on the this piece of seed weed with grim determination. Just like Aunty with her Southern Comfort and Ginger. As the seas temperature rise around the UK, this chap’s range is changing and it is becoming more prevalent in the seas around Scotland.

Flat Top Shell
Flat Top Shell

Common winkles are, well common. On the smooth limestone floors of the pools at Cwm Nash Beach they make trails in the thin layer of sand, looking a little like the random lines I make on the way home from the pub.

Winkle race tracks
Winkle race tracks

So the next outing for the camera may be when we get to the Caribbean, so hopefully we’ll have some more colourful photos then. Aunty can’t wait – neither can I. Getting proper excited!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s