Farnes Island dives – in the sun!

By Nic Faulks

Sunday 20th May 2018

Edmundsella pedata petty in pink

Only five for the hard boat dive, but finally William confirmed that the trip was on. Three clubs and some random individuals on the large comfy dive boat Glad Tidings VIIII or should that be IX? Anyway, even with 18 of us on the boat there is so much room, five of whom are from Tyneside 114.

First dive was North Wamseys, a nice wall round the side of the island, usually sheltered on an ebb tide. IN we jumped, Tiago and me, both clutching our cameras. Brrr, water temperature still only 8c, but loads to see, which always distracts you from the cold water. Lots of hermit crabs and a profusion of butter fish, all sizes, some almost embryonic. We did a full hour, saw no one else and surfaced almost where we went in, everyone else seemed to have drifted miles!

I am warm, honest!

Back on board tea and cake was had. Stephen, Mike and Maurice dived as a three, for some it was the first sea dive of the year, but everyone was happy and kit

working, if a little chilly.

The second dive was on the Knivestone, so with Tiago as my guide, I let him take me over the two sets of boilers. On arrival we could see the consequence of going the wrong way – the tide line around the rocks, created quite a wave, the Knivestone, holding back just enough water to create a calm eddy for divers. We jumped in just to the north of the rock, swill along the wall till we found a gully, this leads to wreckage and boilers. From here you then go slightly shallow up and over, then down the far side, where lovely walls covered with dead men’s fingers rise up from about 22 metres. It is quite beautiful here, but there is yet another wreck to be found.

Hydroids on the wreckage

After a bit of exploratory diving, Tiago found the second set of boilers and the engine block. All covered with hydroids, showing what a high energy site this area is. Lots of pink and red nudibranchs munching the hydroids. We swam past the engine block and obviously got a bit closer to the eddy or tide line as we suddenly felt the current pulling us away from the wreckage. But with a few quick flicks of our fins, we returned to the shelter of the boilers, then the gullies beyond.

We did our 3 minute safety stop with our heads in the kelp, looking for critters and pretty anemones amongst the kelp stipes. One of the rewards of diving with a fellow critter hunter and photographer. ?

Back on board, everyone happy, we returned to Seahouses. Then off to the chip shop for tea.

Grumpy butterfish!
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