First Farnes Dive of 2009

25th April 2009

by Richard Booth

Light winds and a blue sky, heralded the first official club dive out along with a group form Newcastle University Sub Aqua Club on the Farnes in 2009.


The party assembled at Seahouses harbour to await the return of the booked charter boat. The original plan had been to go out and dive the site of the Chris Christenson but unfortunately the skipper was delayed by an earlier party of divers with the result that by the time the first group had unloaded and our group had boarded with kit, it was too late to make the site in time for slack water. With strong spring times we opted instead for a drift dive along the wall upon which the Chris Christenson had originally run aground and been wrecked

This area of the reef is noted for strong tidal currents and as a result the exposed areas of the reef are covered in colourful marine growth

Indeed this dive proved to be an exhilarating fast ride along the wall, with some respite being offered by various nooks and crannies in the reef which offered some shelter from the fierce tide. Along the way we encountered areas of bright orange anemones as well as an intriguing fish, a pogue, waiting in ambush amongst some deadman’s fingers.

  After 40 minutes, the agreed dive time, we headed for the surface and the scattered waters were soon littered by inflated bright orange SMB’s.

Once everyone was safely back on board the vessel headed further around the Longstone reef to find shelter from the swell and the ebbing tide.

William anchored the boat off the Northern Hares, and for the second dive it was a simple case of dropping off the back of the boat and swimming a short distance down to a large underwater pinnacle which again provided a very scenic dive with steep walls which were covered in a rich tapestry of luxuriant and colourful marine life

Some of the party also took the opportunity to complete various Dive Leader drills and skills, invigilated by a number of regional instructors along for the dive.

With the sun beginning to set, we headed back to Seahouses only to rather embarrassingly discover that there was not enough water in the harbour for the boat to enter! Billy managed to manoeuvre the vessel alongside the south entrance pier. Some of the party opted to climb up the rather ropey ladder and make the long walk along the wall and rough ground back to Seahouses. The remainder opted to swim into the harbour carrying their kit. An interesting end to the evenings diving.
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