This was our third successive year to Eyemouth. The diving was excellent before and we were hoping that it would be repeated. Steve organised the trip with DiveStay. We traveled up in pairs on Sunday 19th: Martin with Garry, Rob with Hugh and Jamie with Steve. We were put into DiveStay’s newly done-up rooms in The Ship for our B&B instead of The Home Arms but which was very comfortable, on the quayside and very convenient for our walk to ‘Wavedancer II’, our dive boat for five days. We all arrived about 7pm and went for the obligatory fish and chips and a couple of pints afterwards.
We drove round to Wavedancer and off loaded our kit onto the boat. We all had three cylinders or enough gas for three dives. Our buddy pairs were Hugh and Steve diving on single cylinders but with a pony, Jamie and Garry on twin sets, and Martin and Rob also on twin sets. There was a mixture of 12L and 7L cylinders and pressures from 232 to 300 bar and manifolded or independent… no two having the same. One of the team had posh kit and said the others looked like gypsies (no names) [only after sustained abuse about said kit – Ed] but we suffered the insult. We dived mainly in the St Abbs Voluntary Marine Reserve so for us it was a no take zone… except for pictures.
Our first dive was at Black Carr, about 20m and we dived for between 50 to 60 mins; viz was about 7m. There were lobsters, gobies and ballan wrasse, sunstars, deadmen’s fingers and plumose anemones. Lovely…the reserve had lived up to expectations.
The second dive was at Anemone Gully and you guessed correctly if you thought there were anemones and gullies. Actually lots of gullies with steep sides and all covered in white and orange deadmen’s fingers and some jewel anenomes. Big lobsters, some in lobster pots and some fish, mainly bib. Depth about 20m, for a dive time about an hour; viz 7m.
After some lunch, our third dive was at Burnham Caves. This is always full of surprises and one pair saw their first ever angler fish and then another. This site seems to be a rearing ground for lots of small lobsters. There were sunstars and a few black and white blennies.
After diving we returned to our rooms at The Ship for a shower and eventually going to the Contented Sole for our evening meal.
Today we only did two dives. The first was on the wreck of the Glanmire. The shotline was on the two boilers and the engine room was nearby. Some went forward and some to the rear but the single large prop was good to see. Hugh and Steve lost each other here but carried on solo, eventually finding each other again towards the forward end. I won’t dwell to much about the history of the wreck but if you want to read more, then check out the Divernet report. The depth was about 31m and dive time ranged between 33 and 50 mins; viz 8 to 9m. Some big lion’s mane jellyfish near the shot line and ballan wrasse on the wreck.
Our second dive was at Wuddy Rocks. A lovely overhanging rock that forms a tunnel. The sides are amassed with jewel anemones. Emerging from this there are lots of coral gardens formed by rocky mounds covered in Deadmen’s fingers. We saw our first octopus here in a hole. There was another angler fish and the dive ended at a high horseshoe-shaped dead end encrusted with soft corals. The depths was about 20m for 50 mins to an hour.
Later that night we did eat at the Contented Sole; the steak pies were the favourite.
Another three dive day. The first dive was on the River Garry wreck which was some way north of Eyemouth. It was well broken but interesting enough. Typical dives were 26m for 45 mins to an hour; viz 7 to 8m. If you want to read up more on this wreck, check the Divernet report.
Our second dive was at Fast Castle. Here there were lots of deep sided gullies all covered in deadmen’s fingers. There was a slight drift that pushed us ever deeper so you had to ‘hop’ over the gully tops to maintain a constant depth. Lots of one clawed lobsters – they must be fighters! Also some flatfish. Depths about 20m and dive times 50 mins to an hour; viz 6m.
Our third dive was at Weazel Loch. The wreck of The President is here but there are only two upended boilers remaining and a few flat plates. The winter storms smashed this up a long time ago. Some small flat fish and a small scorpion fish spotted; depth about 17m and dive times around an hour; viz 6m. [This was Hugh’s thousandth dive – Ed.]
That evening we ate at the Contented Sole again but not everyone had steak pie! The beer was good.
It started off as a two dive day but some managed to sway it to three. The first dive was at West Hurker. A scenic dive with rocky reefs. Much the same as on other dives with lobsters and crabs…but not as many. Strange that everyone felt cold on this dive although the sea temperature was the same all week at 13°C. Dive times about an hour; viz 6 to 7m.
The second dive was at Outer Black Carr. We landed in kelp which almost everyone hates (except for the lovers of nudibranches). So it was quickly-go-deeper to get out of it. Lots of very narrow gullies, some covered in bristle stars. Some big rock reefs. The skipper promised us lots of wolffish here but no one saw one. There were some fish shoals, probably mackerel. I also saw a ling. Depths 22m; dive times 50mins to an hour.
Now I was cold and called off the third dive. Also Martin had developed an ear infection and also called off. However Garry-Jamie and Rob-Steve elected to go out again on a third dive at Weazel Lock.
Tonight we all had pizza at Oblo, taking advantage of the two-for-one offer if we joined the Quiz night…which we did…but left after round one.
This was a two dive day as we were going home after lunch. The first dive was at Ebb Carr. This was close to Cathedral Rock at St Abbs. Martin stood down today so Hugh and Steve inherited Rob. We landed in kelp but Steve was like a rocket in overdrive to get out of it…nearly lost him several times [better luck next time, Steve – Ed]. So much for buddy diving. The dive itself was not so good but with depths round 14m and with a full 232 bar fill, I managed a 66 min dive, no problem.
The second dive was at Chevron Rock towards Weazel Loch. This was a very rocky site…big rocks. We saw another octopus, several angler fish, some butterfish and gobies. It was the last dive and outside the no-take zone. Hugh managed to catch a big crab to take home but let a big lobster and another two crabs go because they were soft shelled.
After diving was finished we de-kitted from the boat and got everything into cars and vans. Then back to the Home Arms to settle our accommodation bills and for the nitrox. Then the traditional fish and chip lunch before the six hour drive home.
Everyone thought it was superb diving…and we’ll be back next year.