<font color='#0000FF'>Ah that's a pity, I thought it was going to be this weekend, I won't be able to make it.
It's a nice site, about 10 metre max, BUT..... don't be in the water as the tide is coming in because a shallow basin to the north of the island fills up then empties into the south side of the island causing an outgoing current on an incoming tide, you get stuck inbetween the two and can't move, trust me, I know
And get yerself to the gym for a while too cos you'll need the training...
I dived St Mary's once and by the time I'd walked from the carpark onto the causeway and then walked the length of the causeway to the island and then climbed down off the causeway and clambered up and down and up and down ravines that should of been full of water to finally, finally get to the other side of the island and then when I finally reached the sea I was so effing tired and so effing hot I had to de-kit at the waters edge and climb out of the suit as my body core temperature had reached an all time high and I truly feared for my life.. well.. a slight exaggeration there but you know what I mean..
And that was with a single cylinder!!
Twin twelves.... yeah right!! you'll never see me at St Mary's again unless I have a sherpa or two... nice little dive but IMVHO not worth the incredible amount of effort to reach it....
Thanks Dave for that 'De Brett's' Official Guide to Diving the Northern Manor'
Ah, I now remember you telling me this particular horror story (involving you and your Mark, right?) when last we dived in St Abbs a few weeks ago! Sheer and unadulterated misery by the sounds.
Why don't we car ferry or drive over (depending on the state of the tides and if possible) to the island, then kit up and then dive instead of a 15 mile yomp in full twins rig and dry-bag? I tend to have a cardinal rule about not having complete cardio-vascular collapse BEFORE a dive!
I've never dived here, so I'm hoping locals and Geordies (Stevie W, Davey Willo.........duck-and-cover!) alike might offer some insight as to the script and what to expect??
You want to try Weasel loch or shore diving Petticowick
Now they really are an exertion.
Ok so it's a bit of a bijou-strollette across the causeway, but if you go to the right hand side (southerly) of the lighthouse and head for the concrete trig post (that's what it looks like to me) sticking out of the water it's not too far to walk. AFAIK it should be neap tides next week so would be a decent time to dive it, bear in mind what I posted about the incoming tides though or you'll be rock-climbing across the sea-bed to get back to shore
Sort of message for Steve W, I have planned to go up to St Mary's on the 2nd May and dive that in the 'am followed by Browns Bay in the afternoon. Any advice on either (other than the tides) and where can I find the tide details?
Last time I phoned Deep Blue and they told me the best time for St Marys, but never mentioned a problem at Browns Bay.
Is there any there?
<font color='#0000FF'>St Mary's has plenty of council car parking so no problem there, Could be packed with kids on trips and you can end up with a bit of an audience sometimes, you know how facinated people get with the kit.
Bear in mind that its a marine reserve (including the birding areas on shore) so you may encounter a warden or two asking questions, they can be a bit cranky at times but as long as you're not taking wildlife its no problem.
However, one of the LDS's (The Diving Centre) takes a sea-swimming club down there at times, they seem to fancy theirselves as some kind of "scuba-police" so don't be shy at telling them to bog-off if one of their "little hitlers" starts asking who you are where're you from etc.
Browns bay is IME not too much of a problem re tides, except that is is pretty shallow at low tides 3-5 metres sometimes, best to park at the pointy northern end of the bay where there are lots of steps, at low tide you'll see a big rock pool (about 6ft by 6ft), there's a convenient entry point into a little gulley just of to the right of this. Avoid the steps in the middle of the bay which are usually very messy, it's not nicknamed dog-s*** alley for no good reason
Two minor things, the locals who live on the sea-front can sometimes get a bit miffed by divers stripping off in front of their houses , and keep an eye out for the little scrotes from the Meadowell Estate who hang around the sea-front looking for things to nick and generally making trouble etc. I once took some of the guys for a splash at nearby Cullercoats bay, and had to to threaten some of these towrags who were going to throw a dustbin off the pier at the divers I was shore-covering for, so avoid this bay if Brown's is undivable!
I'm not doing much for The Joint Gateshead/Newcastle bid for City of Culture am I?
Just to mention that when we had designs on Brown's Bay last weekend (13th) there was nee viz so we ended up in Ellerton (shome mishtake shurely?). Worth checking with someone local especially with these Easterlies.