19th July 2020 Farne Islands.

When you get asked at work to swap a shift and you find yourself with a Sunday off, what do you do? Dive, dive dive is my motto for this year, so that is just what we did. Only 3 on the trip for the Aquanauts this time. Out on a lovely sunny day again on the hunt for seal this time, we hope.

Off we go.

Guess who?

On Glad Tiding VIII again with Skipper Mikey who took us to the Outer Farnes on a series of rocks known as the Knivestones, we were dropped off on the east of the island to swim through quite a narrow gully that was carpeted with growth of cup corals, dead men fingers and blanketed with kelp, home to lots of tiny nudibranch. We swum through the gully to the west of the island to suddenly come across some broken wreckage leading to some larger pieces, winding and engine gear of the SS Abyssinia, a steam ship that was on it’s way back to Germany, from Chile at the end of the First World War. It was wrecked on the 3rd September 1921. Now lying well scattered over the site between 10 to 18metres. Some of the hull structures are now covered in growth and looks quite picturesque.

Nudibranch (tiny sea slug)

Flowers on the wreck.

More wreckage covered in growth.

As we neared the boilers, at the bottom of the slope, the current suddenly picked up and we ended up having quite a drift for about five minutes. When the current stopped we were at another scenic area  cushioned in swathes of dead men fingers, sea urchins, top shells and some giant barnacles.

Garden scene.

The viz was stunning at a good 10 metres in places though still at a tepid 12 degree. We headed to the safety stop watching a lot of small Lions Mane jelly fish pulsating past us.

Back on board we swapped cylinders and settled down to some chat with another dive group while enjoying the trip around the Islands, bird and seal watching.

Ask Mark about this lighthouse!

Mikey took us to the Big Harcar rocks for our second dive, the lagoon looked very tranquil and the seal were heard calling, almost teasing us to be in the water with them.

Big Harcar.

As we dropped in, the sea looked a little milky but we could see a couple of seal swimming in and around the kelp beds and the boulder field. One young pup took a fancy to my fins and was seen nibbling and patting them. Each time I turned around the pup swum off, only to return again once my back was turned, rather like hide and seek.

Ta dah.

We continued to explore the kelp and boulders and spotted, Nudibranch, purple Bloody Henry star fish, lots of juvenile pollack and codling and the usual dead men fingers.

Smiles all round at the end of the diving day and better news yet, not out at the steps, as it was high tide we alighted at the slipway, yeah!!!!!!!!!!!

Smiley faces.

Not the steps.

Past GT VII and “the blue pig”

Yeah, easy access/ egress.

Home time.

Bye for now, Janine.



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