On Saturday 4th Oct, Ann, Howard, Paul & MarkH headed up to South-East Scotland for a boat dive at Eyemouth. Here’s the trip report…
Saturday 4th Oct
Howard kindly drove me up to Eyemouth on the Saturday morning. We had an excellent journey and met up with Paul and Mark at about 11.00am; they had driven up the evening before.
Our trip was booked with ‘DiveStay’.
The ‘Stay’ part is in the Home Arms Guest House on the High Street in Eyemouth. Gary and Zoe provide very comfortable B&B accommodation with extra services such as getting wet undersuits dry overnight and providing bacon sandwiches to go for those who (like me) can’t face a big breakfast at silly o’clock. Gary also offered to lend Howard a drysuit for the Sunday diving as Howard had found the water too cold for his wetsuit on the Saturday.
The ‘Dive’ part was on a superb dive catamaran skippered very professionally by Billy. This boat is, in my opinion, second to none. Lots of space, big wide benches to sit and kit up on, a big, relatively warm cabin with coffee and tea on tap, a good sized head with electric flush and a double diver lift so no-one has to wait in the water. Such luxury!!
The boat came in from the morning trip at about 1.00pm so we quickly loaded our gear (under the watchful eye of a big seal in the water beside the boat) and set off for two afternoon dives. Although a bit wet and windy when we arrived, the weather cheered up and by the end of the afternoon (and for the following morning) was relatively calm and sunny. We were lucky.
Saturdays dives were at Wuddy Rocks just outside St Abbs and then Anemone Gullies near Petticowick. The viz was fantastic, at least 10m, the water was so clear. It’s not often in English waters you can still see the bottom 10-15m below while you are doing your 3 minute safety stop at 6m! The amount and diversity of wildlife too was absolutely stunning. Lots of different sorts of fish, ballen, corkwing and goldsinny wrasse, various flatfish, including lemon sole and topknots, big shoals of pollack and saithe, small ‘long spined scorpion fish’ various gobys and a butterfish. Lots of crustaceans, lobsters, spiney and long clawed squat lobsters, humpback prawns, velvet swimming and edible crabs. The usual common starfish, brittle stars, sunstars and common urchins abounded as, of course did the soft corals like dead mans fingers. However, for me, the most stunning content of the dives was the amount and variety of anemones…plumose, elegant, jewel, white striped and bead anemones everywhere!!
Saturday evening we had a very tasty meal at the Dolphin Pub. Apparently the restaurant part of the pub is under new management and they have already got a well-deserved, good reputation.
Sunday 5th Oct
Sunday morning two more dives. The first at West Hurker was particularly scenic, through a deep gully and then over a boulder field covered in colourful life. There was quite a current running so we were able to just drift and enjoy the scenery. As with all dives, when and wherever we finally popped up, Billy was there with the boat just a few feet from us.
The final dive at Fast Castle was again leisurely and interesting. I did some seasearching and managed to add a Norwegian topknot to the already long list of species we’d seen. Probably because the sea had been so much calmer overnight, the viz was even better on Sunday than on Saturday!
Trip Summary & Photos
Our thanks to Paul for organising the trip and to DiveStay for making it so enjoyable. I hope we can take the club back there next year and perhaps fill the boat then. They tell us they do 3 dive days on a Saturday where they provide the third cylinder and they take the boat much further afield, perhaps to Bass Rock and the other small islands around it.