It’s been a few years since I last dived from Eyemouth and so I was quick to sign up when Neil offered to arrange a weekend diving in the St Abbs and Eyemouth Voluntary Marine Reserve.
Journey & accommodation
It took us 3h 15 minutes to drive to Berwick on Tweed, where we rented a very nice apartment for the weekend. With England playing Scotland in the Euros, the pubs were busy and so we settled for a chippy tea in our plush apartment on Friday night and decent pub grub at the Castle Hotel on Saturday night.
There were only 4 of us (Neil, Eleanor, Catherine and Maria) and so Marine Quest had another group on the boat from Leeds University Sub Aqua Club (Eleanor’s other club!)
The first dive was at the northern tip of the marine reserve, at Thrummie Carr (no, I didn’t just make that name up, it’s a real place!) Visibility was good and we were treated to walls and gulleys covered in life (dead mans fingers, anemonies, urchins, starfish and a surprising number of lobsters lurking in holes) though not so many fish (maybe a bit early in the season?) All in all a good dive, until the safety stop when it became a brilliant dive as we were dive bombed by guillemots and the odd razorbill who probably mistook our bubbles for fish. Wow! That’s only the 2nd time in nearly 40 years of diving that I’ve seen so many birds underwater (the first was in the Isle of Man).
After a short surface interval, we dived the Odense, aka the peanut wreck. We thought we’d gone the wrong way, but then came across the huge boiler towards the end of the dive.
Neil was excited by the prospect of some rust when we were told that the first dive on Sunday would be the wreck of the Glanmire. Sadly the wreck is well broken up and with a depth of just over 30m, it was a short dive. I chose to dive the nearby rocks of Black Carr with Yasmin from the Leeds uni group, and wasn’t disappointed. The underwater topography and life was similar to Saturday’s dives, plus a few more fish.
The final dive was through the gulleys at Black Carrs, and I had just turned round to check with Neil & Catherine when Catherine started pointing to my fins, or rather to the seal that was nibbling on them! To top off an excellent weekend, the guillemots paid us a return visit on our safety stop, though not as many of them as the previous day.
The weather was kind to us, though there was some swell and the Easterly wind direction limited the choice of dive sites. The wolf fish that St Abbs is famous for have got better at hiding since my last visit, but we were treated to the unusual site of sea salps, which are tunicates that float together in a colony that resembles a semi-transparent rope, about a metre long.
Thanks to Neil for organising, and to Neil, Eleanor and Catherine for making it an excellent weekend.
I’ve posted some photos on the club Facebook page, and will post video when I’ve edited the footage.
Reports on our previous club dive trips and some of our day diving activities
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