Wrecks and Reefs, Farne Islands

4th – 5th May 2014

by Richard Booth 

With fine weather forecast the first site selected was the Northern Hares, a scenic dive on the North East side of the Farnes. After locating this submerged reef on the sounder the shotline was dropped and the first wave of divers entered the water. Swimming forwards the wall was soon located. Its relatively exposed location means that its surfaces have become well colonised with soft corals.

Moving further around the wall into more sheltered areas of the reef, Richard and Hubert found a beautiful specimen of an arctic anemone bolcera tuediae, not a species often found in this area of the UK.

For the second dive and slack water beckoning, the rib headed over to the Crumstone and Callers for a dive on the wreck of the Britannia.

Whilst mot of the group opted to explore the wreckage close to the Callers reef, Richard and Hubert headed down the slope and soon located the remains of the vessels bow.

Time however was limited so after a quick look around this area of wreckage, they ascended back up the slope to end the dive in the shallower area of wreckage.

On the way back up the slope Hubert quickly searched for some large millstones that he had found on a previous dive but without success. Had they subsequently been lifted?  We will have to return and search for them again this season.

 

The next day saw the club rib Sea Witch take its first outing of the season from Beadnel. On an ebb tide and with a south easterly swell running the group headed out to the relative shelter offered by the Knivestone reef from the prevailing conditions. With the tidal current starting to pick up, most of the team made it down the gully and out to the main area of wreckage which litters the nearby seabed. Here they explored around the two boilers and the nearby remains of a steam engine.

Moving back up into shallower waters, Tiago and Richard came across some more scattered wreckage as well as some beautiful scenic gullies and an old iron propeller.

For the final dive of the weekend the RIB headed over to the North Warmses. Here everyone enjoyed a nice scenic dive along the submarine cliffs and gullies that are to be found along this reef wall.

The aim of this dive was to try and find an old admiralty anchor that is known to rest in this area, but sadly without any success on this occasion. Had it been secretly raised? We will no doubt return and resume the search for the missing anchor at some point over the coming months!

A great dive to end a fantastic weekend’s diving.

Thanks to Dave Taylor and Simon Smith for organising the dives.