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aka Rich.
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A day of firsts....first sea dive of the year, first dive ever at the Farnes, and first dive from a Rib. Fortunately the Sea was calm, the weather was great, and the skipper has been diving the area for years. We launched from the beach at Beadnell on the Rib from North East Divers (I think they were called).

First dive we dropped in around Blue Caps during Slack tide. The area is nice and sheltered anyway so it was a good first sea dive of the year. We explored the wall, gullies and large boulders. We managed to spot a couple of large ballan wrasse hiding between the rocks, plenty of sea urchins, dead mans fingers all around. Visability was 3-5m due to limited current. One group from our boat spotted some seals in the water...but we didn't see anything that big, perhaps on the next dive.

Between dives we got involved in aiding a diver from another boat who'd been picked up by the currents and pushed near the rocks. We managed to pick him up after a bit of skillful manevouring by the skipper. Although a little shaken up by the experience and having lost a weight pouch the chap seemend fine once onboard. Lucky for him that our skipper heard him shout or he could have been there a bit longer. Lesson learnt for me, get a whistle and fasten it to BCD before next sea dive.

Second dive was a little disappointing as we'd tried to catch a drift dive and we didn't drift. We dropped in near Big Harcarrs and had tried to drift back towards the coast. Seems we weren't the only ones who couldn't pick up the current as the tide had only just turned. Instead we had a search along the reef but we didn't really spot much. Still no seals, I'll be back again in early May so fingers crossed......
 

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Hi Richard,
If you haven't already seen them, you might be interested in these pics taken by one of the Swedes, Henrik Jonsson, on the combined Swedish/YD Farnes trip last September. Most of them were taken at Blue Caps or Big Harcars. Click the pics to enlarge. Sorry you didn't get to see the seals.
http://www.grodmanssyndikatet.se/images/farnes03/index.html
 

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Just not enough dive time.
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Richard
sounds like you enjoyed it, even though no seals  
, bad luck.
I was on the trip John mentions, so much did I enjoy it that I am going back in mid-May so I'd love to hear how you get on in early May re the seals etc.

Whats the water temp at the moment?

Rgds
Matt
 

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aka Rich.
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Thanks John, some great pictures there. Looks like you had good fun with the seals.

Matt, I had an average temp of 7C for the dive. Wished I'd brought some wolly gloves to put on while on the Rib. As we stayed out all day I had problems warming my hands between dives.

Really enjoyed it though, can't wait to get back up there in May and spot those seals. I'll give you an update on my return.
 

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Enjoyed the read Richard,
Can be a bit hit and miss with the seals sometime, perhaps a bit early so far this year,better luck next time.
 

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<font color='#0000FF'>Thanks for this thread. we're off to the Farnes in August so its good to get more info.

Everyone I know who's dived the Farnes goes back so its got to be good. Bet you can't wait for May
 

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<font color='#0000FF'>we wer there all weekend also
on our own rib sea-z
first day did somali  40 min bottom time  only dive of day
sunday whirl rocks   swell ay 30 mtrs and viz was crap so did one dive and binned rest of day  went to pub
day 3 back to somalia
another good dive on her and managed to notch some more deco up
have to say viz was pretty shit all weekend but was better on somali than the islands
 

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<font color='#000080'>I would like the chance to get to know the farnes a lot better, since i can see the Longstone lighthouse shining in the sky from my kitchen.  Unfortunatly my club were reluctant to dive any other sites other than just outside Brada bay and Crawfords Gut.....
I have dived up there when the first buddy pair in came up ranting about seals, and we didnt see a single one!  Thats the way it goes.
 

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aka Rich.
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I was lucky enough to get a place on another last minute boat trip to the Farnes. This time with Billy Sheilds on one of their hard boats out of Seahouses. Weather and sea were fantastic on Saturday, we sailed at 10:30 and the harbour was bustling due to the sunny weather.

We dived Little Hopper first, max depth 22m. We dropped straight in next to a large wrasse and then on closer inspection found it had two friends close by under a large rock. They were all fairly inquisitive and we spent a few minutes watching each other before moving on. We saw a couple of lobsters hiding in their holes and managed to coheres one out a little so we could get a good look. It was a really good size but wasn't impressed at having visitors. We found a squat lobster sat on a ledge under a larger ledge. I spotted a few Pollack darting past here and there as we went along. You could get a real feel for the geography because you could see 10m easy. Just at the end of the dive we found a good sized octopus but unfortunately it was dead, it looked like a seal had mistaken it for something more tasty.

Second Dive was the Pinnacles again around 20m max depth. Again really excellent dive, say a few wrasse, more hiding lobsters. Saw a couple of really nice jellyfish which shimmered with colour under torchlight. There were also a few of those really big Starfish that have about eight legs and start really dark coloured in the middle and get lighter on the way out. If somebody could tell me what these are called it would be much appreciated.

Water temp average was 8c, viz was easy 10m. We could see the DSMB on the surface from 15m during our ascent. Both dives were about 45mins and to be honest my hands were chuffing freezing after about 30mins or so with 5mm gloves. But the diving was great so I put up with it.

Anyway, I've got my "proper" trip up to the Farnes this Friday-Sunday so really looking forward to it now. Still waiting to spot those elusive seals.

It's well worth phoning around the skippers to see who's booked for the coming weekends. My club have managed to get a boat the last three weekends running by phoning mid-week to see what's available.
 

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[b said:
Quote[/b] (John Gulliver @ April 15 2004,11:14)]Hi Richard,
If you haven't already seen them, you might be interested in these pics taken by one of the Swedes, Henrik Jonsson, on the combined Swedish/YD Farnes trip last September. Most of them were taken at Blue Caps or Big Harcars. Click the pics to enlarge. Sorry you didn't get to see the seals.
http://www.grodmanssyndikatet.se/images/farnes03/index.html
<font color='#008080'>Great photos John!

I did the Farnes last year, saw the seals but they didn't want to play so only got to see them swim in the distance, will have to go again next year.
 
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