At about 25m the ground starts to level off and soft corals thin out.
In some years many ling (an elongated member of the cod family) will move
inshore and this zone is a good place to spot them. This is also the best area
to find Wolf-fish - the fish that just about all divers visiting the Marine Reserve
wish to see. Mature fish are thick and powerful and with a huge head, permanently
projecting front teeth and an unusual blue colouration, they cannot be mistaken
for any other fish. In excess of a metre long, the Wolf-fish feeds on crabs and
sea urchins which it grinds up with masses of molar type teeth which line its
jaws. Despite its formidable appearance, it is quite shy and retiring and almost
invariably disappears down a hole as a diver approaches.
Brittle star numbers now increase dramatically and by the time you get to 28m
they can totally dominate the bottom. Piled several deep - some yellow, some
black but the majority grey with red bands - there are acres of these animals
which form a living, moving carpet making an eerie sight as countless millions
of waving arms writhe in the current. The only thing that interrupts them are
the occasional deep water anemone which can be up to 30 cms diameter and in a
range of the most amazing colours.
Diving within the Marine Reserve can be an exhilarating and rewarding experience. Not
surprisingly, divers come from all over the UK and increasingly from mainland
Europe to enjoy what must surely be some of the most spectacular yet least
known wildlife habitats in the country.