Eyemouth in AUGUST
By GLYNIS JONES
It’s quite a drive up to Eyemouth, travelling across borders, coping with local customs etc . So we decided to make a real long weekend of it and travel on Thursday and then be able to get 3 days diving in. Hopefully.
We booked with Marine Quest. Jim (Owner) dealt with all the correspondence. He obviously was used to dealing with diving groups, – numbers changing, days changing, accommodation having to be altered accordingly. But he was very accommodating and helpful throughout.
The set up at Marine Quest – they are based right on the harbour side and convenient for parking / unloading. The rooms immaculately kept with a range of doubles, twins and 3’s. All en suite. Breakfast is served in the café downstairs and paid for separately. Enough choice and quantity to satisfy Ian and the rest of us. Fills on site. AND …. A fantastic drying room, hangers and racks PLUS … overnight an industrial heater blasts out so that the next morning not only is all gear dry but actually WARM!
“Covered in Deadmens Fingers and Anemones with lobsters and crabs lurking in the cracks”
Marine Quest have 2 boats Jim and son Ian skipper them. They shuttle out morning and afternoon with 2 dive trips. Homemade cake provided and half time!
We were on the afternoon run on Friday and Saturday and the morning on Sunday. On the Friday afternoon we were due to dive twice. However, for safety reasons we had to do with just one. Ian (skipper) had told us that E wind reduced the number of sites we could dive safely. And it was too risky to dive again that afternoon. Apparently in August the prevailing wind is normally SW – ‘but the weather has been strange’ – don’t we know it.
Diving – as many will know the diving in that area is mainly 15m ish scenic reefs and gullies. Covered in Deadmens Fingers and Anemones with lobsters and crabs lurking in the cracks. Scorpion fish, dog fish and various wrasse were sighted.
Visibility was 8-10m ish and negligible currents. Pete and Ian buddied up and I buddied with Ian Mk 2. Some of the divers on the boat spotted nudibranche, in fact there were world experts on board (see August edition Scuba). Not me though – but that’s not unusual!
We were lucky when a pod of dolphins came towards the boat on our way back to harbour. They did a bit of bow surfing and then swam away. Apparently there are about 100 dolphins in the area, they split into smaller pods most of the time but are occasionally seen all together. Must be quite a sight.
40 min + dives are the easily achieved and the sea temp at 14c was OK but it did feel a bit chilly cum Sunday. Ian C definitely felt the cold. His ancient dry suit that has stood him in good stead for years……… sprung a leak. The Zip. Repairs needed – now where will he find the money for that. Thankfully that happened on Sunday’s dive so he only missed out one day and Pete joined us for a pootle.
When not diving on the Friday and Saturday mornings we walked along the cliff tops – there was some interesting stuff along the way including a memorial to the Great Fishing Disaster of 1881 and French cannons
Eyemouth has a decent selection of eating places and watering holes – better than St Abbs. Some of the more difficult decisions were ‘Where to eat’, What to eat’ and ‘When to eat’. But it was entertaining to wander around the narrow streets of Eyemouth and listen to the conversations re: the above. And then having to sit down in a pub, have a glass of real ale and discuss the matter in detail.
Eyemouth – a long way to go and on this occasion because of adverse wind / waves we were restricted to only a couple of dive sites. Plenty to see in sheltered underwater conditions. An excellent starter for inexperienced divers in UK waters.
“a pod of dolphins came towards the boat on our way back to harbour”