I used to lead expeditions to discover new shipwrecks off the Yorkshire Coast. Our close-knit bunch of undersea explorers located and dived more than 200 virgin shipwrecks in the North Sea. It was thrilling to descend the anchor line and see an outline emerge from the murk, knowing you were the first human eyes to see this ship since the day it sank.
Our first glimpse of the shipwrecks was always a dark shadow highlighted with the bright colours of Plumose anemones – so numerous they covered every part of the wreckage. In wreck diving circles at the time Plumose anemones were referred to as cauliflowers. This welcome sight meant the anchor had found the wreck and it wasn’t a desert dive.
Plumose anemones hold a special place in my heart. They remind me of those pioneering wreck-diving moments, but also they are incredibly beautiful animals in their own right. I love filming their vibrant colours and movement in the current.
I’m working on a project to document the underwater wildlife at a small reef called “The Garden” just outside Portavadie in Loch Fyne. The first Plumose anemones I ever filmed were at The Garden, so this is a special place and project for me. Here’s a brief film of my work in progress – Plumose anemones shot during a single dive in September.
With thanks to Malcolm Goodchild of Loch Fyne Dive Charters.
Words by Andy