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St Abbs overview



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Octopus at East Black Carrs, diving St Abbs, Scotland - courtesy of Tony Gilbert
Tritonia hombergii with eggs at East Black Carrs, diving St Abbs, Scotland - courtesy of Tony Gilbert
Sea urchin at East Black Carrs, diving St Abbs, Scotland - courtesy of Tony Gilbert

Scuba Diving in St Abbs, Scotland

Reader Reviews:

Dive Site: East Black Carrs

Location: St. Abbs, Scotland

Description: Shore dive

Depth: 12 - 30 metres (40 - 100 feet)

Visibility: 10 metres (30 feet)

Rating: ***

Surprisingly enough this site is east of Black Carrs and exhibits a similar topography to that of its more popular cousin. The big difference is this reef is offshore and doesn't break the surface, although the highest point I've found was around 12-14m. 30m can be found on this site, often cross currents sweep the area creating upwellings which can be dodged by hugging the natural channels of rock. Huge long rectangular rocks form deep trenches and they are jam packed with big bushy white deadman's fingers. If the sun is shining it's a wonderful place, but can be a little gloomy otherwise and certainly has a much deeper feel to it. Large boulders are in fields, and these stop abruptly at huge towering walls of rock, a mass of reef fingers with more gullies, creating many places to avoid the current.

If diving on air, no decompression limits can be reached quickly so Nitrox is preferred. As with all of the deeper sites, brittlestar beds are all over and this site is particularly favoured by wolfish - sometimes free swimming, sometimes two in a hole. Also seen here are ling which look like a small conger when in the hole, when free swimmimg you can it's a fish. The difference is a ling has a single chin barbel and the body is usually brownish. There have been reports of the odd conger here and on Black Carrs hiding in the deep recesses.

On the occasions I've dived this site it is possible to stay shallow if dropped in the right place (14-15m) but on other occasions current can drift you over deeper parts 'forcing' the diver to go deeper. A delayed SMB should be used as the site is offshore and surge, boat traffic and more usually dive boats can be encountered.

Tony Gilbert

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