Farnes Special – Diving the Crumstone and Whirl Rocks

14th July 2013

by Richard Booth

When the settled weather forecast materialized, plans to dive this site came to fruition but with slack water in the early afternoon the first dive was planned on the Crumstone.

With a strong ebb tide running, Dave and Hubert explored the northern side of the reef, coming across scattered pieces of rusting metal. Richard and Brian had a fast drift dive through one of the reef gully’s where they too came across the collapsed remains of a long lost iron vessel, but the strong current quickly propelled them past this wreckage.

Once everyone was recovered Seahawk moved across to the Outer Farnes; here two ribs from Blyth club joined us. The shotline was dropped and we waited patiently for slack water.



When the tidal current dropped we plunged into the open water. Underwater visibility was good, as we descended down to the kelp that marked the top of the reef, before descending down the submarine cliff to the seabed below. All of the exposed surfaces seemed to be covered in a rich layer of soft corals.


Once at the base of these cliffs, we established our bearings and explored a nearby gully, which contained the scattered remains of a wreck, including some upright ships mooring bollards.

Moving on we soon came across the main area of wreckage of the SS Jan Van Ryswyck.



Here we were also joined by the divers from Blyth club as we explored around the impressive remains of the upright steam engine and two large boilers.





With the flood tide picking up, we sought shelter in the reef gullies before eventually sending up a delayed smb and completing our safety stop gently drifting with the tide.



Another fantastic days diving, thanks to Dave Taylor for organising it .

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