St.Abbs Trip

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Well after packing up the car on Friday morning and getting everyone sorted out with transport off we went heading up to Scotland at about 9.00am. The traffic was quite light and we made good time and were quite surprised by the weather which was bright sunshine and hardly any wind at all. However we were gutted to see the state of the sea when we arrived at the harbour. All our plans of a steady shore dive in the early afternoon were wrecked when we saw the waves crashing over the sea wall. Some of the more optimistic members of our merry band stood gazing longingly out to sea and trying desperately to convince themselves and everyone else who they could get to listen that the sea state was settling down and if we gave it an hour we might get a dive in. Sadly it was not to be and an afternoon in the pub was already being mentioned. However the urge was resisted by all and we spent a couple of hours doing a reccy mission on the conditions up at Petticowick. The sea was just as bad here so it was then off to the digs to get our kit sorted out.

Saturday morning saw the sea much calmer however there was still a bit of a swell on and concern over the state of the visibility was being voiced. After kitting up and boarding the dive boat Pete the skipper took us to Black Carrs and we went in a couple of drops. Our two student divers came in with Donna and Me and although the viz was only around a metre they both coped very well with the conditions and completed the dive very well. During the surface interval spent eating a very fine meal of hot stew followed by the worlds biggest trifle some of the party decided to sit out the second dive due to the poor viz. The rest of us boarded the boat again and dived in slightly better viz with our students again coping very well with the conditions. We still saw all the usual St.Abbs wildlife such as crabs, lobsters, wrasse, urchins, sunstars, soft corals etc.

 On Sunday the wind direction changed and this  flattened   the sea out quite nicely. After boarding the boat we set off to dive the Skellies which are a group of gullies running out from the foot of the cliffs. Some of our party were sadly unable to enter the water as they were struggling to stay in control of  their breakfasts. Those who were able to get in found the gully walls were totally covered with soft corals and large anenomes. There was quite a strong drift running and this made the viz better than it had been on Saturday. I dived with Donna and used about 50 bar of air as I watched her wrestle the 'GIANT CRAB OF ST.ABBS!!!!!' Anyone who meets Donna MUST ask her to recount this epic struggle. After a 50 minute dive it was over all too soon and we had to wave goodbye to the sea life until next year and head back to the surface.

All in all it was a great trip despite the viz. Everyone got on and had a good laugh, good diving and a couple of good nights socialising. To see all the pictures just ask next time your in the dive centre.