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March 8, 2015

Farnes

On the 8th March 2015, members of the BSAC 109 club went to Seahouses in Northumberland for two dives off the Farne Islands. Brian, Charlie, Keith, Richard, Tony had an early start driving up that morning. But I had been able to have a lie in as my family and I had spent the previous night in a local bed and breakfast. We boarded the boat, the St Cuthbert III about 8.30 and left the harbour at 9:00 am.

We arrived at the Pinnacles, our first dive site at about 9:50 am, where we got into the water about 10 minutes later. The dive boats steps to the lift were upside down wooden boxes that weren’t fixed down, these were extremely difficult to climb whilst wearing fins and with the weight of the equipment on our backs. The visibility was about 1-2 metres and the water temperature was 5°C. Some members of the club had difficulty submerging, so they required extra weight, these were supplied by the helpful boat crew.

At the bottom about 16 metres down, we only saw several small star fish, but nothing larger. Although on the rocks surrounding the first site there were large groups of seals, we didn’t see any whilst we were under the water. Also on the boat there was a group of three divers from Newcastle University and a group of three re-breather divers from Yorkshire. There was a delay in the pick up as the re-breather divers stayed down for longer than the rest of us, meaning that to pick everyone out of the water took almost an hour. One of the divers from Newcastle had a dry suit leak, leading to them becoming cold and close to Hyperthermia according to Richard.

The second dive took place at the St Andre wreck. Richard and Keith were too tired to go on the second dive so only myself, Tony, Charlie and Brian went on the second dive along with the re-breather divers and one of the girls from Newcastle University. On this dive we carried our fins onto the lift and then put them on. We got into the water at 12:15 pm. Tony and I buddied up with the diver from Newcastle University because the other people from her club weren’t able to go on the second dive, as one of them was too cold and the other had lost a fin on the previous dive. Whilst underwater we saw a cod under the ships boiler and two lobsters, one in a pot and one underneath a rock. The visibility on this dive was also 1-2 metres and the water temperature was 6°C. On the second dive it didn’t take as long to get everyone out of the water since less people had dived.

We arrived back at the harbour at 2:00 pm and packed away our dive gear. After packing everything away we headed to the Pinnacles fish and chip shop, where everyone enjoyed a meal and drinks. After eating lunch we all went our separate ways. We arrived home about 7.30 pm and finished off by cleaning and then putting my dive gear away.

Overall a great day out organised by BSAC 109.

Matthew Wallace