Farne Islands

28th April 2008

By Richard Booth

At last a break in the recent weather which offered the realistic chance of getting out and diving the Farnes. With a stiff South Westerly breeze, we new that the choice of good dive sites would be limited, but nevertheless five club members headed up to Seahouses and launched the club RIB Seawitch.

A quick recce confirmed that the South and East side of the Farnes were catching the brunt of a lumpy swell that whilst not undivable, made for very unpleasant kitting up conditions in a small boat, so we therefore headed around to the more sheltered side of the islands and opted for a dive site off the back of the North Warmses.

The underwater visibility looked promising on the surface but turned out to be a moderate 6 metres or so. The deadmans fingers were in full bloom feeding in the current; no sign however of much fish life or inquisitive seals.

For a second dive we opted to travel across the open water to Ross Sands to the site of the wreck of the SS Coryton. This particular site offered more sheltered from the waves whipped up by the stiff offshore breeze.

Again underwater visibility was a moderate 4-5 metres. The site had clearly experienced some disturbance as a result of recent winter storms, with new wreckage emerging from the sand. Sadly the accommodation block at the stern area of the wreck site has now collapsed onto the seabed. Last summer it was upright allowing Andy to squeeze in and ‘pose’ on one of the two toilets. Close to the fallen toilet block we also located a couple of live shells close to what appears to be the pedestal of the ships gun. However the actual barrel is still well buried under the seabed. Moving back down the propeller shaft we retuned back to the remains of the ships engine and the large boilers. Not a bad days diving.