Knivestone, Whirl Rocks and the Callers

8th August 2009

With big spring tides, light SW winds and virtually no swell, we headed out to the Farnes with high expectations of some good diving. The clear water at Seahouses slip added to this expectation.

Out at the Farnes and with a strong ebb tide running, we took shelter from the current on the north side of the Knivestone. Dropping into the water confirmed that there was little tide running in the lee provided by the reef. Further out, the tide could be seen running via a small standing wave at the edge of still water.

Underwater visibility was around 10 metres, so quite respectable for this time of the year, particularly given the spring tides.

Seals flashed by, before vanishing back into the green gloom swimming down a step gully we soon passed over wreckage from some of the numerous ships that have met their end on this exposed reef. Further on we came across two large boilers and the collapsed remains on a steam engine lying on its side. The knivestone provides an excellent dive which offers something for those who approach scenic seascapes as well as those who enjoy exploring ‘metal’ wreckage

With slack water approaching we made the short journey out to Whirl Rocks and dropped a shotline onto the edge of the wrecks and waited for the tide to slacken. Spring tides are not really the best time to dive this site because of the huge amount of water that moves across this site making the sea literally boil when the tide is in full flow. Andy and Fiona made it down the line and over the edge down onto the wreck of the SS Jan van Ryswck where they enjoyed an excellent dive.

For the final dive of the day, we headed back to the Crumstone and dropped a shot just off the Callers reef, hoping it would land close to the wreck of the SS Britannia.

This steam ship was wrecked on the 25 th September on passage from the Tyne to the Forth fortunately without any loss to her crew

Richard and Simon headed off, ending their dive by swimming along the wall that drops way from the Callers. This U/W cliff is covered in white and orange deadmens fingers making for a lovely scenic dive

This experience was enhanced by the two divers being accompanied by some inquisitive seals. Nicola and Mark struck lucky by finding the gully in which most of the wreckage from the Britannia is located. This gully turned out to the local playground for the resident seal population that frequents this area of the Farnes, providing an exciting end to the days diving .