Up for two hours then down into a basin where dust-devils whirled.
The huts in an oasis we passed through were half-buried under drifts of sand. Over the next couple of hours the desert was undulating with small mountain ranges, some grey-black, and some red, green, yellow and cream-coloured. Gritty sand; even the sky was gritty.
China map kista Photo Gallery
This is shallow, ‘hilly’ ground covered in thick kelp although there are some massive rocks and boulders up to 8 metres high just to the south of Crumstone. There are plenty of gullies with loads of sea urchins, and a few decent edible crabs and velvet crabs can be found, but generally it is rather boring. Beneath the kelp bed it is fairly sheltered, especially at low water, but the current builds up considerably on the flood tide once the Callers are covered; it then runs in three directions, which can be very confusing when looking at your compass. Again, this is ‘hilly’ undulating type of ground covered by the dense kelp forest with wide deep gullies and a few decent crevices to poke around in for those elusive lobsters. One bonus (and they are a firm favourite of mine) are the large numbers of buckies or buck whelks to be found, usually on the bottom of the rock-strewn channels and gullies. There is plenty of shelter staying close to the bottom in the gullies, but the current runs fast in a NW direction on the flood and then it turns south after about 100 metres and goes down over into deep water (25 metres plus). Divers are well advised to moor the boat well away from the most northerly Callers rock, especially during periods when there is an easterly ground swell. On the top half of the tide, divers should take note of their position in conjunction with the boat and observe which way the tide is running before they surface; it often pays to try and make your way back to the anchor line too. Rather flat rock with some wide deep gullies and a scattering of short kelp on top of the rocks. Again, there is a good picking of whelks to be had, if you look hard and close enough.
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