St Abbs Marine Reserve - 24th -27th May 2024 Whit Bank Holiday

Everyone travelled to St Abbs and arrived at different times on Friday 24th May. Our caravans at Scoutcroft Leisure Park in Coldingham were clean, warm and spacious.

Saturday 25th of May

We met skipper Paul at the harbour at 7am to crane our kit onto Pathfinder.

Dive 1: Anemone Gully

A pretty, colourful dive site with rocky fingers of reef in a coarse sand and gravel seabed. The viz was 6/7 m and slightly milky. Water temperature 10C. depth 14-19m.

The reef was covered in orange and white Deadmens Fingers, Plumose Anemones, large patches of Oaten Pipe, White Striped and Daisy Anemones. Lobster, Squat Lobster, Edible and Velvet Swimming crabs and a variety of hermit crabs occupied the cracks and crevices. Ballan Wrasse and Gold Sinny were seen as were nudibranchs and Cowrie Shells.

Dive 2: Leager Buss

Six large kelp topped boulders standing 5-7m off a white sandy seabed at 16m. Marine life: patches of Deadmens Fingers. Edible and Velvet Swimming Crabs, Lobster, Flounder. Ballan Wrasse.

Best find: Bob Tail Squid by Julian.

Evening meal out at the New Inn in Coldingham.

Sunday 26th of May

The skipper chose not to take the boat out due to the wind. Several of us went to Edinburgh to visit The Royal Yacht –an interesting journey as Tim and Simon had to navigate around the Edinburgh Marathon road closures. Others went to Lindisfarne.

Monday 27th of May

Another early start.

Dive 1: Black Carr

A wall dive with the seabed at 16m. It extends eastward into a boulder slope and gullies with a maximum depth of 30m. Orange and White Deadmens Fingers covered the walls. Shoals of juvenile Pollack swam around the kelp line. The boulders were home to Lobster, Long Clawed and Squat Lobster, Edible and Velvet Swimming Crabs, Sunstars, Sandstars, Ballan Wrasse, Leopard Spotted Gobies, and Gold Sinny. As we dived deeper the rocky floor was covered in Brittlestars giving the array of very large Dahlia Anemones a wide berth.

Dive 2: Ebbs Carr

Phil and I dropped into a mass of moon jellyfish and a fast-moving shoal of juvenile Pollack. We had a 50-minute drift dive across rocky gullies covered in orange and white Deadmens Fingers. We spotted Lobster, Long Clawed Squat Lobster, Edible and Velvet Swimming Crabs. Mauve Stingers and comb jellies drifted on the tide as we made our ascent and a Razorbill decided to investigate our bubbles just as we surfaced.

A massive thank you to Mark and Anna who took on the responsibility of dive managers when Phil and I thought I would be unable to dive, and to Tim for supporting the Ocean Divers.

Thanks to Mark & Anna, Simon & Clare, Tim, Julian, Mike, Nathan, Jo and Janet for supporting the trip.

Pat & Phil

Thanks to Mike & Jo for providing the photos.