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Thursday, 28 July 2011

Seal Team

Well after dodging work for the day, we went off on a jolly down to Eyemouth for a change as we had the chance to jump in with seals at the Burnmouth colony. Sun was shining but we had a fair bit of surge jumping in at the 13metre mark. 

Lazing in the kelp
After our Farnes experiences from previous years, I figured the seals would be happy mucking around in the kelp in the shallows, about 3metres or so close to the shore.After a hard old swim throught the surge, we were rewarded for our efforts with a good dozen or so adult seals who ranged from the skittish to the devious to the down right brazen!  

Elaine frightens more marine life with her monsterous dome port

The Farnes seals are more abundant and for more playful across the board, but then they have divers jumping in with them all the time so are used to people like us. The colony at Burnmouth are quite fully acclimated towards divers, so patience is a requirement but well worth it in the end.

Some of them do like a good old game of hide and seek, a good scratch or just a nibble on your fins when your backs turned. Some of the gestures and mannerisms displayed are so human, you forget you're swimming with seals.

This one thought he could sneek up on me......gotcha!



It was a long haul out of the shallows back into the depths for the pick up, a cup of tea and a chocky biccies The vis wasn't the best ever today, but when you're playing with seals, you cant really complain. 

Larry lobster laughing loudly
 We scooted back to harbour to offload the other divers and then there was just the dynamic duo left on the boat to head up to Weasel Loch. No, it's not full of weasels and no, it's not a loch, so don't ask me why its called what its called, but as its just round the corner from the harbour is a short boat trip for a half decent dive with lots of boulders and shelves to go snooping around in, over and under. 

Elaine becomes centre of attention. As usual :-P

 With plenty of lobsters, edible crabs, sunstars, scorpion fish, hard corals flat fish and dead mens fingers to keep us entertained, we whiled away the minutes playing spot the critter.

Fish, flat, today
With a promise to Derek to hit surface after 60 minutes(ish) we polished of the safety stop (with Elaine deploying her SMB for the first time in years) and came up with a hell of a swell to greet us. Getting back on the lift was a challenge and a half and provided many minutes of entertainment, although not necessarily for the right reasons.....

Elaine with reel and SMB. Remember this picture. You'll not see it's like again for many a moon
Burnmouth seal colony is definately worth a visit, just make sure you speak to the skippers first to pick the best days to get the best weather and get precise instructions on where you should be going to get the most out of the site. 

It's not as big a colony as Farnes, but then it's practically on the doorstep for lots of us and only spitting distance from St Abbs and other stonking dive sites, so you really are spoilt for choice.