The Skellies and Black Carrs St Abbs dive

30th June 2013

by Richard Booth

In the end four club members made it up to St Abbs harbour with the aim of diving from Peter Gibson charter boat, the MV Selkie.

Whilst this particular craft may be starting to show her age a little and lacks a fancy diver lift at her stern, you do get the benefit of Peter’s extensive knowledge of the sea and local dive sites along this area of coastline.

Once kit was safely loaded the Selkie headed out of the harbour for the first dive on the scenic site known locally as the ‘Skellies’. The tide was about to turn so Peter dropped the group in directly over the Skellie gully’s that make up this site. Dropping quickly down through the tidal current we sought shelter in these scenic gullies. Underwater visibility however had still not fully recovered from the big swell that had swept in on the previous Thursday, but was still a respectable 5 metres or so. The plumose anemones and the deadmen’s fingers were out in force and in full bloom feeding on the passing current.




Tiago and Richard had an interesting encounter with a floundering novice from another charter boat, who managed to pummel both of them into the seabed with his over -enthusiastic fin technique as he passed overhead.  A sticker of a well known Tyneside Scuba Centre prominently displayed on the back of the cylinder was not a good advertisement for the dive centre concerned! Picking themselves up they moved swiftly on, ending the dive close to the cliff edge.




Back at St Abbs it was time to bask in the sunshine whilst enjoying a cup of coffee and a bacon and egg roll.

After lunch we again boarded the Selkie and headed out of the harbour for the Black Carrs. With neapish tides the Ebb current was quite manageable as we descended down the reef system. Richard and Tiago headed down to the site of the old admiralty anchor before moving across the reef and exploring that numerous gulleys that make up this site.

Moving on and further exploring the reef system they suddenly came across a fantastic swim through which is absolutely covered in marine life. Although quite narrow, this swim through was just wide enough for both divers to squeeze through in single file.

It was the first time either of them had come across this particular feature. To the West of the Black Carrs the current disappeared but the surroundings became more barren and lacked the life of the more exposed areas we had earlier past through. After 50 minutes it was time to head for the surface.

Another good day’s club diving thanks to Andy Moss for organising the day and Pete Gibson for skippering his boat and providing us with such excellent dive sites.


Scroll to Top