St Abbs and Eyemouth

 

St Abbs and Eyemouth are very popular South Scotland east coast dive sites that benefit from protection within the St Abbs and Eyemouth Voluntary Marine Reserve.

 

Skipper

Peter Gibson, skipper of Selkie, records the visibility and dive conditions. Selkie can be chartered by divers, visitors to see the sea cliffs and birds, go fishing or for any other purpose. See further details on his website or click here for availability.
Contact details:
Skipper: Peter Gibson
Boat Name: Selkie
Address: The Rest, Murrayfield, St. Abbs, Berwickshire, TD14 5PP
Telephone: 018907 71681
Fax: 018907 71312
Mobile: 0770 268 7606
E-mail: PeterGibson@stabbs.com

Skipper

Paul O’Callaghan is a diver as well as being the skipper of Lazy G-Diver, which is available for dive charters to see the fantastic underwater scenery in Scotland's only Voluntary Marine Reserve. See further details on his website or click here for availability.
Contact details:
Skipper: Paul O’Callaghan
Boat Name: Lazy G-Diver
Address: Priory View, Eyemouth Road, Coldingham, Berwickshire, TD14 5NH.
Telephone: 018907 71525
Mobile: 07780 980 179
E-mail: paul@stabbsdiving.com

back to top

Boat dive sites

There are many fantastic scenic and wreck dive sites around St Abbs and Eyemouth, a few of which are briefly described here. The list will be added to as we develop this website further. Information described below for many of these sites comes from "Dive St Abbs & Eyemouth" by Lawson Wood. There are a number of dive charter boats based in St Abbs and in Eyemouth. Sites at St Abbs will typically have walls or boulders covered in anemones of all kinds, including some less common species like the horseman anemone, soft corals and other filter-feeding species that like fast moving water. The shallows tend to have dense kelp with diverse understory species. Many fish species are seen, particularly wrasse in the shallow and more sheltered areas, and congers and wolf fish can be seen if you keep a good eye out for them.

Wuddy Rocks are three huge sections of rock that jut out from the first headland north of St Abbs harbour. The dive includes narrow corridors with walls covered in Dead Men's Fingers.

Black Carrs are the next large group of rocks north of Wuddy Rocks. The site includes a confusing jumble of very large boulders with diverse marine life including anemones and Dead Men's Fingers, congers and often wolf fish.

Tye's Tunnel is another favourite site, with a shallow entrance opposite Cleaver Rock, a large stack below the lighthouse on St Abbs Head. The floor of the tunnel/cave is covered with bare bedrock and smooth stones, and the walls are covered with hydroids, squirts and sponges that prefer low light levels. Outside of the cave, the site has a number of very large boulders and you can ascend up a wall covered in anemones and other diverse life.

Skellies Hole is a sheltered bay surrounded by cliffs and rocks where the walls are covered with kelp, soft corals, sponges and anemones. A sandy channel leads to the Skells, an area with huge boulders covered in soft corals and gullies covered in anemones, heading out into deeper water to rock fingers and gravelly sand with brittlestars. There is often current in this area, be prepared to drift and use a dSMB to mark your position to the boat.

The Glanmire is a lovely wreck dive at about 30m depth just east of St Abbs lighthouse. The wreck is now very broken up but covered with diverse marine life and the surrounding seabed also has interesting anemones and other life. Currents can be particularly strong on this wreck which must be dived at slack water.

West Hurker is another beautiful scenic dive, where you can remain shallow against the rocky walls close to shore or head further offshore to large boulders and bedrock at about 20m. The rock walls and boulders are completely covered with Dead Men's Fingers, areas of Plumose anemones, Elegant anemones and diverse other anemones, and in the shallows there are also dense areas of mussels mixed with Plumose anemones and diverse species of other anemones, hydroids, sponges and bryozoans, attesting to the currents running past here at times. There is also a cave with a rocky floor at the entrance but soft mud at the rear. As with most scenic sites in the reserve, marine life is diverse, with lobsters, crabs, conger eels, wolf fish, and many others reported here.

back to top

Shore dive sites

Shore dives at St Abbs are from two main entrances at St Abbs Harbour. From the entrance at the far side of the harbour wall, Cathedral rock is probably the most famous site. This is a very scenic natural double arch of rock completely covered with Dead Men's Fingers, anemones and hydroids. Other enjoyable scenic sites include the Broad Craig which is the central rock directly opposite the entry site, Big Green Carr and Little Green Carr which are further out. There can be surge at these sites and at times the entry /exit becomes difficult.

The second entry site is off the shore below the divers car park where Seagull Rock is a popular dive. This is another shallow very scenic dive with clean sand at the base of a rock stack covered in kelp, anemones, soft corals and plenty of wrasse, as at most sites. In the past, divers complained of sewage from the storm outfall in the locality, but changes to the sewerage system about 3 years ago mean that the water here is now much cleaner.

The harbour master monitors conditions and closes the diving when surge makes conditions dangerous. Car parking at St Abbs can become crowded on popular weekends, but this year has been less of an issue than in the past. Parking in the divers car park is £5 per day, reached by driving through the harbour car park, or £10 per day in the harbour park (the price is set by the council, not the harbour trust, to encourage spaces for other visitors who only want to stay an hour or so).

Shore diving at Eyemouth includes Green Ends Gulley and Weasel Loch. Weasel Loch is a vertical cleft cut into the cliffs, where the walls are lined with kelp and the bottom is sandy. Access is via steep wooden steps from Eyemouth caravan park. Green Ends Gulley has easy, sheltered access and includes a number of gullies between rock fingers extending from the shoreline. Both sites have a diverse range of marine life and make interesting night dives.

back to top

Visibility and dive conditions