15th June 2013
by Richard Booth
Launching the Club’s RIB Seawitch from Seahouses we headed out to the Farnes. Outside the harbour we encountered something of a lumpy sea, a forerunner of the strong breeze that was clearly heading our way.
Along with Dave Taylor’s RIB, Sea Hawk , we headed over to the Hopper rock on the Longstone in the hope of finding a dive site relatively free from tide and swell.
With a strong SW wind, the area around the Hopper rock offered some shelter from the conditions.
Soon we were joined by some of the big local charter RIBS who clearly had the same idea of putting their divers in on this site.
Dropping into the cool green water we were delighted to see that the underwater visibility had improved markedly from that experienced the previous weekend. When the sun broke free from the shadow of the clouds the visibility was at times probably 15 metres plus.
We dropped down the submarine cliff and made the most of the colourful marine reefs that unfolded before us. Moving on we explored the numerous gullies that are to be found at this site. In one we even found an old admiralty anchor now firmly concreted into the seabed.
Throughout this dive inquisitive seals constantly buzzed us. In another gully we stumbled across a couple of dozy seals that appeared to be taking a quiet nap.
By the time the second pair of divers were back on board the RIB the wind and sea had picked up even more, so it was with some relief that we headed around to the other side of the Farnes to seek some shelter and enjoy our lunch out of the swell and strong breeze.
For the second dive we opted for a dive at slack water to revisit a small cannon site close to Pipers Gut. This site also offers a very pretty scenic dive as well as the possibility of more seal encounters.
A few weeks earlier, Wessex archaeology had scanned this area with the aim of locating these cannon without success. Now we were determined to dive this site and return with photographic evidence of the existence of the cannon.
Whilst some of the party enjoyed the marine life, Richard and Kevin managed to locate the two cannon and other assorted wreckage and photograph them.
Others in the party were a little less successful in finding the cannon, but nevertheless still had an enjoyable dive exploring the colourful surroundings.
With all divers safely recovered, dive kit was safely secured before Seawitch headed around the north side of the Farnes and we made the most of the shelter offered by the Inner Farnes before heading out into rougher waters for the final leg back into Seahouses harbour.
It was four happy and contented divers who later ‘decompressed’ in the Ridley Arms, Stannington, over a pint whilst reflecting on yet another’s great days club diving.