By Nic Faulks (1st September 2019)
After a bit of WhatsApp-ing, it was finally decided that the six of us would take the Sunday afternoon slot on Oceanic with Derek as skipper. An early start would have meant a very really early start for the retirees, and we could have that! So a 1.30pm ropes off it was. Flat calm sea with a high layer of cloud.
The first dive was in the Burnmouth caves. Which are really interesting and comprise 3 – 4 caves which lead out in to the sea, via a series of reef walls. Inside the largest cave, we (me and Nick) just enjoyed the twilight and the ambiance. Lobsters everywhere, and quite a few crabs scuttling around. As the other divers entered the cave I thought the scene would make a nice picture, but alas, the camera wouldn’t turn on! Boo.
Everyone explored the caves and reefs in the area, finding loads of life, both fish shoals, and smaller squishy critters. At one point we just hovered surrounded by fish on all sides, quite magical. Most of us then ended up drifting slightly south, however Brian and Steve somehow managed to drift in the opposite direction to the current…. maybe they found a big eddy.
Everyone enjoyed the first dive, an experience which was further enhanced by a nice hot cup of tea and a bit of cake 🙂
The second dive was more exploratory. We dived a lump of rock just about 500 metres north of Burnmouth caves, here there is a nice pinnacle that you can dive around at about 6-14 metres, or you can just enjoy the gullies. If you do make it all the way around the rock, you can find the wreck of the President, a 1945 tonne steamship built in 1907 which ran aground here. All hands were rescued, and the wreckage lies over quite a large area.
We were all dropped in on the south side of the rock. Richard and I then made our way round the rock to find the boilers of the President, of which there are three standing proud. There is much wreckage, covered in marine life. We also found a lobster the size of a small pony! I kid not, it was huge.
Everyone seemed to have quite a nice dive, in and out of the gullies. The visibility ranged between 2 and 5 metres, depending on who you were behind…. but generally it was good and there was a lot to see.
Back on board, everyone was happy. We motored back in to harbour, seeing a few dolphins on the way and the resident seal back inside the sea wall. When we got back we realised how springy the tides were, not often you have to walk down hill to bet back on to the harbour road!