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Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Shine a light

With two days of guiding lined up, it was a great way to get a decent send off. Weather and viz weren't so hot on the Sunday, but Monday was a real scorcher and as usual I got sunburnt for my troubles!

It was great to be back in the water with Pete and Diane and a pleasure for me to guide them around the stomping grounds again. Captain O'Callaghan ferried us out the Black Carr first as the surface conditions were not the most favourable.
My attempt to walk on water fails again....
I must say that Diane was on fire with her spotting and she found some great stuff on the Carr, The placce was craling with nudies, butterfish, lobsters, scorpionfish, the whole works despite the 4 metre viz working against us.
Pink prawn goes solo
We glided up, over and throught the swim throughs lapping the second pinnacle a couple of times before heading back to the shelter on the back of Big Black and finish off the saftey stop.
Wolfies always smile when they see us
We jumped on the Craigs for the second dive with the fog rolling in but despite the worsening conditions, it was the best dive on the Craigs I have ever had. After the first three outcrops, we picked up the wall heading North East at about 22 metres and it just kept going on and on and on. Every inch was covered in plumose and dahlia anemones as well as dead mens fingers and soft corals. Absolutely spectacular.
Juvenile scorpionfish on the Craigs wall
We couldnt have a better way to end the day, the dive was just mind blowing and I found a nice sea hare as well so that was the icing on the cake for me. The Craigs is a veritible photographers delight, and I wish I could have spent more time down there but as always air and deco time are the divers nemesis.
Sea hare, as opposed to my no hair!
Monday proved to be complete turnaround weather wise from Sunday with blistering sunshine and half decent viz. We opted to jump on Wuddy Rocks before heading through the swimthrough onto the backside of Big Black Carr.
Look into my eyes, you are feeling sleepy........
Pete and Diane were fortunate to find the octopus that hands around on Wuddy Rocks but I wasn't able to get a shot of it as I was just a little ways off focussed on getting some shots of a pair of mating nudibranchs, *bow-chick-a-bow-wow*. 

Wuddy swimthrough is spectacular and easily on par with Cathedral and unlike Cathedral, once you've been through it, you have plenty other places to fin to and see. It's not quite the one shot deal like Cathedral can be.
This was a big old beast of a lobster on Wuddy
Captain O promised us fish and chips for our surface interval and he was as good as his word as he drove us down to Eyemouth so we could stuff out faces in the sunshine!
"Fish and chips, single black pudding, two pickled eggs and a bottle of Vimto ahoy!!"
The seagulls fancied their chances a few times but they weren't getting hold of my haddock! We watched the seals frolick in the harbour for a while and fuelled up the boat before heading around the corner to a site raved about by some friends of ours caled the Pinnacles. And it was a bit of an anti-climax to be honest. Yes it was nice but it wasn't anything that the St Abbs sites couldn't do better. Some nice decorator crabs around on it though.
Decorator crab. Just don't ask it to do your skirting boards....
As we motored back into the harbour, the sun was starting to edge it's way towards the horizon, closing the chapter on my many years of St Abbs and UK diving in general, but what a glorious way to finish it all.
No, I have no idea why Dawn married him either..... :-P