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St Abbs overview



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Sunfish at Black Carrs, diving St Abbs, Scotland - courtesy of Tony Gilbert
Gulley at Black Carrs, diving St Abbs, Scotland - courtesy of Tony Gilbert
Diver at Black Carrs, diving St Abbs, Scotland - courtesy of Tony Gilbert
Berthella pleurobranch at Black Carrs, diving St Abbs, Scotland - courtesy of Tony Gilbert
Bull rout at Black Carrs, diving St Abbs, Scotland - courtesy of Tony Gilbert

Scuba Diving in St Abbs, Scotland

Reader Reviews:

Dive Site: Black Carrs

Location: St. Abbs Head, Scotland

Description: Boat dive

Depth: 8 - 30 metres (25 - 100 feet)

Visibility: 10 metres (30 feet)

Rating: ****

From St. Abbs Harbour to St. Abbs Head, Black Carrs is one of the most popular boat diving sites along this stretch of coastline. A group of low-lying rocks lie just 30m offshore in a rough semicircle create a fascinating inner and outer dive site of gullies, swim through trenches and scoop bowls. The outer area drops from 8-12m to 30m eventually but the best part is around 12-21m, where several ridges extend seawards and further inshore are dense conurbations of boulders. This is one place that wolfish are abundant as there are many suitable crannies for them to hide in.

The initial entry is usually made on one of the outer rocks, in particular there is one that has a very deep cut almost overhanging side to it where many divers follow along its outer edge. Sea scorpions, nudibranchs and pipefish prevail in the shallows, as do wrasse. The topography is such that it's likely the dive drops into one deeply cut gully, progressing down and to depth, before traversing and into a similar gully. The shallower horizontal areas are covered in sponges and deadman's, as are the vertical walls. Deeper, these are replaced by rolling fields of brittlestars. It is best to get to around 21-23m, where many arctic anemones and bolocera anemones are found. These are very large creatures some 20cm across and have very rich distinctive colours such as deep scarlet. The seabed here is composed of shell shingle - ideal country to spot sand mason worms.

The shallower areas are boulders where more wolfish may be seen and between octopus, large pollack or saithe. The profile gradually shallows once more and it is wonderful to just marvel at the rolling landscape in the superb visibility. As the inner parts are tidal, Actinothoe and Sagartia anemone colonies are encountered amongst the dense undergrowth. Many of the gullies lead through V shaped trenches into small enclaves - you really could do with an extra couple of weeks exploring this area!

Tony Gilbert

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