Under The Mediterranean Sea. June 2022 Part 2. JellyFish ID and Sightings App

If there’s one thing I’m learning this year is that the sea changes more than nature on land.

Saddled sea bream

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. 

Striped sea breams and mullets
Continue reading “Under The Mediterranean Sea. June 2022 Part 2. JellyFish ID and Sightings App”

February 2022. The Long Short Month. The Second Half

The second half of February I used my mobile camera more than my camera. I’m not sure why. Maybe my camera was buried in my bag, maybe I didn’t want to seem like tourist. 

Sunrise seagull commute

Maybe I didn’t think the shot was worth my camera. I do that a lot only to later regret why I didn’t take it with my camera. My phone is just easier. Sometimes I can’t be bothered to get out my camera. Behind every photo however is a story. Be it basic as a reminder to go somewhere, a reference for later out shopping, evidence, the light, the scenery you wanted to capture forever. Even though most of the second half of February’s photos are from my mobile which in my eyes I can tell straight away they’re not as good, they have tales to tell. 

I have a thing for birds as they make me laugh and are free to do, come and go as they please
Sunbathing in the winter sun. Western Lowland Gorilla Barcelona Zoo
Seagull snacks

There are parts of Barcelona even now and then I re explore only to be reminded why I don’t go there very often. Maremàgnum Centro Comercial is one of them. A mall in Port Vell, that’s always had a weird vibe to it. Sadly this time when I went about 1/3 of the shops had closed down. I have always though liked walking around wharf side. One of my favourite views of Barcelona is the row of buildings along Passeig de Colom looking from the port.

Some of the buildings along Passeig de Colom. The one with the 2 towers is the most fanciest post office in all the lands! Correos Via Laietana. The inside has frescos and a huge glass dome roof!

Every year the boating lake in Parc de la Ciutadella gets drained for maintenance. Last year someone released goldfish in the lake. You could see them flashing orange feeding the ducks. The seagulls as the boating lake drained, were going crazy fighting mid air for fish. I think more goldfish died out of shock being dropped multiple times than being eaten. Some the gulls, black headed gulls I think were amazing divers. They jumped a little in the air to dive head first into the water only for the larger gulls to steal the fish.

Continue reading “February 2022. The Long Short Month. The Second Half”

Under The Mediterranean Sea: Late July 2021

I think there’s a British Seagull on holiday in Barcelona at the moment. 

Striped sea bream

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.

Striped sea bream
Striped sea bream and the mystery fish. You can see their tentacles fangs in the group of 4 fish. Read on the help me id them! 

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.

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Recycle Less: Little Ways and Tips To Help Save Water On Energy Bills and Help The Environment

Sometimes you don’t realise how much you take something for granted until it’s gone. Like when the water pump in my building fails and left without water for an afternoon. 

‘Agua no potable’. Non drinking water

That means no flushing the toilet, no washing hands, no drinking water, no cups of tea, no washing up, not even boiling a pan of water to cook vegetables. Just a feeling of feeling dirty, how much you rely on water out a tap on demand and to be honestly helpless. Now for those just in case afternoons which have only happened 3 times in the last few years, I have a 6 litre water bottle just in case stored away. I should probably learn how to filter water too as a survivalist. Those moments of not having any water make you think about how you’d survive without water or electricity if you didn’t have clean water skills or knowing how to build fires to cook and be warm or even a generator. I wouldn’t survive long!

However I’m always trying to save on water. More so for the environment. The water bill followed. That’s risen so much in the last few months as energy costs have soared in Europe. I don’t even want to talk about the electricity bill. I’m using the same amount of electricity yet it’s approx €63 more a month. Now I for sure unplug the toaster and kettle when not in use.

The past few years I’ve been using the following tips that have now become second nature. They do save, yet it doesn’t help the hot water takes so long to come through!:

When shampooing and conditioning my hair I turn off the shower. This saves quite a lot of water. Yes, might be chilly in the winter but honestly you get used to it.

When cleansing my face in the shower I again turn off the shower while applying cleanser. 

Shaving my legs, again you guessed it I turn off the shower! 

Turn off the tap/faucet while brushing teeth. 

Turn off the tap while washing hands. It doesn’t need to be on the whole hand washing sequence. I know however with older turn/compression taps as opposed to lever taps this is tricker to impossible.

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UNDER THE MEDITERRANEAN SEA: EARLY-MID JULY

Spring’s been whispering hi this week, getting me excited for summer, when I can return to my under the sea snorkelling world.

Saddled sea breams

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!

Baby fish cloud
More baby fish
Mullet patrol

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.

Freaky eyes
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