Whitsand Bay, 24 June 2020

For this Spring Tide we headed back to Whitsand Bay; not our nearest beach but often the quickest to get to and with some of the best rock-pool discoveries.

Purpose: A family visit for crabbing and snorkelling practice

Route and location: Wriggle Cliff via Torpoint Ferry

Click on markers for details

Tide times

Low tide02:311.2
High tide08:455.1
Low tide14:491.3
High tide20:555.3

Source: My Tide Times app, for Whitsand Bay

Not a perfect tide by any means. We usually prefer a low of under 1.0m so that more of the reef is exposed.

Weather forecast

00 – 06Clear165E
06 – 12Sun174ENE
12 – 18Sun234E
18 – 00Sun234E

Source: YR app

Forecast accuracy: On the day it seemed a lot hotter. Certainly the car thermometer said it was 30C on the drive home. There were surprisingly big waves for the wind speed and direction.


We arrived about 2 hours before low water and started looking around the first reef directly in front of the access path. We soon moved over to the next reef around to the right (West).

Our first discovery was found under a rock. This Brown-clawed Furrowed crab is quite common at the beaches we visit.

brown clawed furrowed crab
Brown-clawed Furrowed Crab
Xantho pilipes

We moved to the next reef and Dad jumped into a gulley to explore the crevices. In one hole, Dad found two brown crabs, one male and one female. The female was just below 15cm and had just recently molted so we decided to put it back.

brown crab
Brown Crab
Cancer pagurus

In the same reef, we found a velvet-swimming-crab in a small crevice. It can be identified easily by its red eyes and hairy back legs.

velvet swimming crab
Necora puber

After snorkelling practice, we explored some rockpools and lifted some more rocks. We found many creatures but the most exciting one was this, which we think is an albino Furrowed crab.

albino furrowed crab
Albino furrowed crab
Xantho hydrophilus (aka Xantho incisus)

In a different rockpool, we found a Common blenny that was with a brown crab and some dog whelk eggs.

common blenny
Common blenny
Lipophrys pholis

Dad ventured into another reef and found a common starfish while he was looking for brown crabs.

common starfish
Common starfish
Asterias rubens

I found a Broad clawed porcelain crab under a small rock next to a rockpool. Dad caught it and I handled it to take pictures. It isn’t the biggest we’ve ever found.

broad clawed porcelain crab
Broad clawed porcelain crab
Porcellana platycheles

This batch of finds provided plenty of work. Not only did I have to learn to edit photos to make them look good enough for this page, we also submitted each species to my iRecords account.

1 thought on “Whitsand Bay, 24 June 2020

  1. Well done David. Now you know how to do text and photos you are ready to blog away. The admin stuff can come later.

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