Crumstone and Hopper seal dives

Crumstone and Hopper seal dives.

Report and images by Richard Booth

First site of the day was on the Crumstone wall. This site offers a fantastic scenic dive, with the wall starting at around 10 metres and dropping down in places to 30 metres. On the Ebb tide it catches the full force of current resulting in the wall being covered in soft corals and sponges. Its exposed location however means that it’s a site that can only really be safely dived when sea conditions are calm and the tides are favorable.

Gordon looking at wall

On this occasion we all dropped in quite close to the most southerly point of the Crumstone and gently worked our way along the sloping bottom until we eventually encountered the start of the wall. Our efforts were well rewarded with a stunning dive and superb visibility. Indeed it was possible to look up from the seabed at 29 metres and easily see the top of the wall towering above us.

Gordon and wall

We ascended gently back up the wall enjoying the view and marine life that we encountered. In the distance the odd seal flashed in an out of our eyesight.

Diver and wall

Once on the shallow plateau amongst the kelp we were suddenly joined by a playful seal pup, which decided that we made excellent playmates.

Seal pup and Gordon

For the remainder of the dive the seal pup would not leave us alone, mouthing the dome port of the camera housing,

Head and teeth

as well as pulling at our fins and apparently enjoying being ‘tickled’ by them.

Tickled seal

This experience made for an unexpected but fantastic end to an already outstanding dive.

Gordon with seal

For the second dive we headed over to the Hopper on the Longstone reef. Here we descended down the wall face before venturing into the impressive gullies that cut back into the reef.

Diver in gully

Once again we enjoyed further close encounters with seals, but this time they were all full grown adult seals rather than the smaller pups.

Seal looking up

So once again we were fortunate enough to enjoy yet another amazing seal dive, but this time on the Longstone reef.

Seal rubbing fin