I’m back in my summer world saying hi to the fish! All winter long I’ve been waiting for when the water was warm enough to go in. The way the water wraps around you as soon as you get in makes you forget about everything. Salt water on a hot humid day is sometimes the only thing that cools you down. Maybe that’s because Earth is 70% water and humans are too. We’re just drawn to water and if you can peek into life in the water a completely different world opens up.
A world where that has no idea about cryptocurrency, she said, he said this, shopping, roads, cars, tv shows. A world that just is, unchanged for millions of years taking away evolution. But it is changing.
I couldn’t find the rocks on the sea bed. I thought maybe that’s because the beach is wider than it used to be. Maybe I have to go further out. But I was looking in the right place. Looking above from the walk way I couldn’t see the darker shadows in the water where the rocks were. Looking back I hadn’t seen them for a few months but didn’t think anything about it. Every thing was covered in sand. So much sand the depth is shallower. I think the storms in January and March wiped everything out. When I cycled past I often wondered how the fish were doing in the storm waves. That world gone, the landscaped changed. When I realised I got upset. All winter long I’d been looking forward to snorkelling again. I don’t care it’s city beach. I just wanted to be in the water pooping my pants if a fish bigger than a mullet swam below. I felt like the one thing that had been keeping me going all winter gone in an instant.
There were 3 things I learnt about the Mediterranean Sea last year;
Firstly its name. If I had thought about it and used my Spanish, it would be obvious that it’s derived from Latin for sea between land. The 2nd is that not all of Southern Spain runs along the Mediterranean Sea. The 3rd last year in Andalusia on holiday, the water is f’ing freezing despite being perhaps the hottest part of Spain.
That’s because, from the Straits of Gibraltar, the Alboran Sea runs along the coast of Andalusia and it’s freezing as the water is coming in from the Atlantic Ocean. It’s not the warmer water Mediterranean Sea I’m used to in North Eastern Spain.
I think there’s a British Seagull on holiday in Barcelona at the moment.
Que? For about 2 weeks occasionally I’ve heard a different sounding seagull. I’m used to hearing and seeing yellow legged gulls who sound like they’re laughing at you. This gull sounds like the UK, or rather beaches in the UK. That’s the first thing I noticed when I visited my parents last year back in the UK, the beach didn’t sound right. The gulls had a different voice. Maybe I’m imagining it, made they got swept here with the storms in March, maybe they’re just exploring for a while.
I’ve also seen more of a type of plover, I think ringed plover (I swear not I’m a bird geek! I just like to know the names of birds like I do animals!) at a spot where I run too. There was 1 and now there’s 4. I’ve never seen them before here so was curious. Same way that I’m not a bird geek, I got a bird ID book as I kept seeing different coloured gulls from the balcony last year. Turns, out they’re teenage gulls 🤦♀️.
Anyway, back in July last year baby fish clouds were still around and I was getting more comfortable being in the water. The visibility wasn’t so good most day. I was getting a little frustrated that I could never focus the camera on what I was shooting and that most of the shoots were grainy. Nat, you’re in the water and the water’s moving! Photography works differently in the water to on land. I still didn’t want to use flash to disturb the fish or to attract larger scarier fish!
On good vis days I had fun watching tiny fish who only kept the the bottom not bothered by the drama higher up in the water column.
Few snorkel where I snorkel in the summer making it a secret world few know exist. I get scared sometimes, but it’s a completely different world to land. As summer started the sea got a little clearer. Somedays almost as clear as on land.
I mistakenly said in Under the Med Sea Early Mid July I didn’t go in the water much and posted the octopus I saw one day. The ‘missing’ photos I found on another library and it was late June I saw the freaky eyed octopus.
These guys were newcomers. At first I though their head was staggered in levels (I don’t know how else to describe it). After a little research it’s an optical illusion from the golden stripe between their eyes as I think they’re gilt head seabeams. They’re much larger than the salemas and striped and saddled sea breams I usually see. They seem to ignore everything around them and I never saw them high up in the sea column.
Spring’s been whispering hi this week, getting me excited for summer, when I can return to my under the sea snorkelling world.
For some reason I can’t remember I hardly went in the water late June last year. I think it was too cold. June’s like that here. So many people think Spain’s warm and sunny all year round. It’s not or at least when I live in Catalunya. I can still be in leggings in June in the evenings. Summer in this part of Spain’s short. July, August and most of September so I try to be outside as much as possible making the most of it. The few times I did go in, I saw the biggest octopus yet! Only one of 2 I saw last year. Its eyes were freaky almost like painted on. I swan through clouds of baby fish who got used to staying near the humans swimming so bigger fish didn’t eat them.
I was still trying out the best settings for my camera, Olympus TG-6. If I gave myself more time at the beach and in the water I’m sure I’d have figured them out. To be honest I ended up finding a setting that worked and stuck with it the whole summer. While it’s still shallow the water isn’t the brightest, it’s often choppy so there’s lots of sediment. Some days I couldn’t see in front of me. The next day it was clear and calm.
Salemas! The Mediterranean’s main herbivore fish. Apparently if you eat them they make you hallucinate!
All summer I didn’t get a great photo of these guys. They liked to avoid humans and are fast swimmers compared to me. I always saw them in the shadows where it’s deeper.