If there’s one thing I’m learning this year is that the sea changes more than nature on land.
I mentioned in my last Under The Mediterranean Sea winter storms had changed the sea floor where I snorkel. The previous 2 years the floor didn’t change much. There hasn’t been any bad storms in the past 2 weeks however already the sea floor has changed. The sand in parts is being replaced by pebbles where it was once sandy. Those pebbles have increased a little. A few more old industrial bricks have been uncovered or maybe pushed around albeit smaller. Usually around Easter the sea retreats exposing more beach while about 50 meters up the beach, it eats the beach only to settle back a few weeks later. Some years the council dregs sand to widen the beaches but I haven’t see that this year and I haven’t cycled along the other beaches to know if they have this year (little research later, they did to widen boat access to Port Olympic) The retreat and eat of the beach is happening now the end of June so I’m curious for the next few weeks. Barcelona Council along with Port Olympic, Zoo Barcelona and the Barcelona Aquarium are involved in an artificial reef project to support the boost the existing dykes at Port Olympic from storms, however I don’t go to the those beaches as they’re too crowded.
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.
Late July new fish started appearing just off the city beaches!
The visibility was still cloudy and I was still figuring out camera settings, hence some photos are grainy. I think the saddled sea breams were getting used to me, often coming up to swim with me. I noticed that when the pompanos arrived, a lot of the baby fish used to swim close by so as not to be eaten by them. I think too it was around this time I started noticing clingfish but as I’m not good at diving down any photos aren’t worth posting.
I think these are mullets. So elusive and fast swimmers! While sea breams swim in clouds, these guys swim in lanes.