Bude, 22 July 2020

We decided on a day trip to the north coast and picked Bude because it also has the Sea Pool allowing us to practise snorkeling in safety. The highlight of the day turned out to be a Common Spider Crab, apparently a rare find for Bude.

Weather

The forecast for the day was good, and proved to be accurate. If anything it felt hotter than predicted.

 Temperature (Celsius)Wind
08:00 - 12:0015°1 m/s from N
12:00 - 18:0019°3 m/s from SSW
18:00 - 23:5918°4 m/s from SW

Tides

Before we left, Dad checked the tides and told me that these would be over 7m. That didn’t mean very much until I saw how far the tide went out during the day. The people at the top of the beach could barely see the sea.

 TimeHeight
Low tide01:34
High tide07:337.5m
Low tide13:50
High tide19:517.7m

Snorkel practice

After getting confident with my full-face mask (it helped having a hair-cut) and using fins properly for the first time, we headed off in search of rock-pools.

Bude Rock-pool discoveries

We went beyond the sea wall and under the Pepper Pot to a reef with very clearly defined rock strata. These were very awkward for walking on and didn’t have as many holes as the south coast did. The rocks were covered in large mussels and …

Honeycomb worms

bude honeycomb worm
Honeycomb worm
Sabellaria alveolata

As soon as we got down to the reef, we saw these strange features on almost every rock. When we got home a quick search turned up this information to help identify them as Honeycomb worms.

Celtic Sea Slug

bude celtic sea slug
Celtic Sea Slug
Onchidella celtica

As we had just got out of a rock-pool, I saw these Celtic sea slugs clinging onto some honeycomb worms. At first I thought they were some type of anenome but when I touched it, it was soft and felt like a slug. Again, we did not identify these until we got home, although they are in my Seashore Collins Nature Guide.

Rock Goby

As we were walking back to our bags, Dad saw a rock goby in a rock-pool. This photo has been cropped as it was quite small in the original and it swam away when we tried to get closer.

Common Spider Crab

We found one dead spider crab and then two more empty shells so were fairly sure there should be live specimens around. It took a lot of fruitless searching before Dad managed to hook around in a hole under a large rock and pull out this spider carb. He thought there was another but lost that whilst making sure he caught this one.

bude spider crab
Common Spider Crab
Maja brachydactyla

Here is a close up we took (+10 close-up lens), edited at home.

bude spider crab close up

Generally, there was a lot less life on this north coast than we are used to seeing on the south coast. The harder rocks and the very large tides must make it difficult for some creatures to exists here, though some of those that do seem to thrive in large numbers.

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