Farne Islands – Seals September 2022

Farne Islands Seal and Wrecks Diving Weekend

16-18th September 2021

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Members price – £330.00

Non-members price – £363.00

The Farne Islands are famous among scuba divers which is largely down to the population of around 4,500 Atlantic Grey Seals that call these rocky outcrops ‘home’. The seals are used to divers and love to interact with them, and are often referred to as the ‘puppies of the ocean’ due to their playful nature.

We have chartered a spacious boat with room for 20 divers to kit up at once, with ample space to store all the diving gear. The 20 mile passage to the Island takes about 1 hour, so sit back and watch out for the dolphins, porpoises and seals.

Diving in and around the Farne Islands is a real feast for the senses. Numerous wrecks litter the seabed, and inquisitive grey seals come and say hello. Whether you prefer a shallow dive or are prepared to delve that little bit deeper, there’s something to suit everyone out at the Farne Islands. The Farnes consist of almost 30 small islands and rock outcrops lying between 2 and 4 miles off the Northumberland coast. They are split into two main groups separated by a stretch of water known as Staple Sound.

The islands are comprised primarily of a rock called whinstone, which is very prone to vertical weathering and faulting. This has produced a strange topography of steps and sheer faces above water that gives just a hint of the delights below. Most of the diving takes place at the outer Farnes.

WRECK DIVING: The Farne Islands are one of the most dangerous shipping areas in the British Isles and have claimed many victims over the years. As a result, there are many wreck dives, which include the ‘Somali’, ‘Chris Christianson’, ‘Abyssinia’, ‘San Andreas’, Britannia’ and ‘Acklivety’. The best dive is reputed to be the 6810 ton Somali, a passenger-cargo steamer built in 1930 which was bound for Hong Kong via the Firth of Forth for convoy assembly, she was sunk in March 1941 after being bombed by a German Heinkel 111. The Somali sits upright in 30m of water near Beadnell. Much of the 450ft hull is intact and makes an impressive slack-water dive.

SCENIC DIVES: When diving the Farnes you need to become acquainted with the locals, the locals being a colony of 4-5 thousand grey seals out at the Farnes all year. An encounter with a mature bull seal is enough to get any heart racing. Weighing in at 300kg and clumsy on land, they demonstrate balletic movements under the water. The younger seals are even more inquisitive than the divers and often come in to take a closer look, even nibbling on fins! Other visual delights include a vast array of anemone, dead men’s fingers and many different crustaceans. There are also several relatively unusual species that favour this cooler water – you may come across lumpsucker, Norwegian topknot, yarrel’s blenny and the spectacular wolf fish. Another speciality is the huge, deep-water anemone, bolocera.

Accommodation

We have booked 2 nights (Friday and Saturday) at the award winning Bamburgh Castle Inn, named ‘Tourist Pub of the Year’ in 2015. The hotel overlooks the harbour in Seashouses which is where our boat is based. Newly refurbished and full of charm, this accommodation is a great place to relax after a great days diving. Breakfast is included and home cooked pub meals are available in the evening.

Safety

The weather around the Farne Islands can change quickly, so all divers should be a minimum of Open Water with a minimum of 8 dives. To dive the deeper wrecks below 18m you will need to be an Advanced Open Water Diver. You must carry your own SMB and computer and know how to use it. We would be happy to offer advice on SMB’s and we can provide a PADI specialty course on how to use it. The health & safety of our customers is of paramount importance to us. To this end, all crew are professional, fully trained and skilled. If you need help or advice, they will be only too happy to help and offer advice. We will also have a member of staff to assist you should you need advice.

Cost

Club Members: £330
Non-members: £363

Price includes transfers to/from Farne Islands by boat, 2 days boat diving, 2 nights at the Bamburgh Castle Inn in a shared room (Friday and Saturday) and a representative from Oyster Diving. Please note that the price does not include equipment hire including SMB’s, dry suits and computers – please visit our shop if you would like to purchase these items.

Optional Extras

Tank & weights £30 or Members £15
Full kit – BCD, regulators, wetsuit, wetsuit boots, fins, mask, weightbelt £100 or £50 for members
Dive computer hire: £20 or £10 for members
Dry suit hire £120 or £60 for members

SPACES ARE LIMITED SO BOOK YOUR SPACE TODAY!!!