As we made our way up in the sunshine towards the wonderful Northumberland coastline and over the Scottish border to the stunning little seaside village of St Abbs, my excitement was rising as I knew how rich in marine life this area was, mainly due to it being a mostly protected area. Having charted the boat for the first three days, our ROT for our first day was a slightly early 8:30am but with reports of cracking viz and the weather being so good this wasn’t a problem.
The beauty of St Abbs is you don’t have to go far for great diving and our first dive was on Black Carr which is just across the bay towards the towering cliffs. This was a dive around large boulders covered in deadman’s fingers, friendly wrasse following your every move, brittle stars waving in the current and a incredible amount of crustaceans which gos to show what a marine protected zone can achieve! Viz was pretty good too!! 66 minutes 20metre 13 degrees 10-12 m viz
After a cup of tea and another short ride up the coast line watching out for the top side wildlife we got to our second dive site of the day the SS Odense or Peanut wreck as it’s fondly known. Before the dive we had been told of a very large shark sighting a few days before right by the boilers of the wreck, but me and my buddy Glen unfortunately didn’t see any sign of this. As we returned to the boat though we were met with very excited cry’s of ‘there’s a basking shark’.
As we watch the shark circling as it fed it came within metres of our unsuspecting divers who were still on their way up. Basking sharks are a very rare sighting in this area so it was a fantastic experience to see it. Not only did the onlookers on board get to see the basking shark, they also saw a minke whale and the resting seals on the rocks. Goes to show you never know what might turn up? 61 minutes 17metres 14 degrees 10 metres viz
56 minutes 20 metres 14 degrees 15 metres viz
The evening meal was in Oblo in Eyemouth, a nice Italian on the harbour front.
For day three Peter suggested Ebb Carr which was his favourite last year. Again it’s a reef within a stones throw of the harbour but another site bursting with life. The area of reef consists of gullies and boulders which hide some wreckage and boilers, while further off the main reef the boulder field gives way to areas of gravel and low lying ledges housing loads of critters. We spotted the elusive angler fish, on the reef wall which is always a treat, but my favourite bit of this dive were the squadrons of shrimp hiding under the ledges out by the gravel areas. I just didn’t want to leave ! So good!
62 minutes 17 metres 14 degrees 15 metres viz
As we were heading to our next dive as if on cue the dolphins arrived and we followed them up the coast watching in delight as they went about their business.
63 minutes 20 metres 14 degrees 10 metres viz
Our evening meal was in the New Inn in coldingham. A charming little pub with excellent food.
Unfortunately for us even though the weather was excellent the wind had turned to the east which meant the final day was a no go. This meant a few could leave earlier to get on the road for home while the few who were left made the most of a free day enjoying what the area has to offer top side, which is also fantastic.
Overall another successful trip with great diving, laughs and fantastic memories. I for one will definitely be returning!