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Scuba Diving in St Abbs, Scotland
Dive Site: Northern Float Carr Reef
Location: St. Abbs Head, Scotland
Description: Boat dive
Depth: 20 metres (65 feet)
Visibility: 10 metres (30 feet)
Floatcarr Reef extends out from Skellies/Skelly Hole of St. Abbs Head, very much like tongues of rock. The northern part of this reef provides a different dive to further into the reef. Having dived this several times now it never ceases to provide an exhilarating dive whether it is cruising over the ridges or the plethora of marine life. The tongue contains flat areas and ridges, and this latter area is no exception.
A boulder field of deadman's fingers gives way to horizontal undulating rocks covered in a huge brittlestar bed which flattens further out. Paths of bright white sand break this up where on careful inspection odd colonies of tubularia may be found, their delicate tendrils extending into the water column. Filter feeding marine life is particularly prolific at the reef edge as material is more readily available, and some of the edible crabs grow quite large. Velvet swimming crabs are all over. At 20m deep a wondrous sight occurs, large and extremely colourful bolocera anemones, either in pairs or solitary specimens, towers of colour and form in a sea of brittlestars. Deep scarlet, rich lemon and with some of them velvet crabs hideg under their tentacles, perhaps a symbiotic relationship.
Crossing the hinterland on a north westerly course about 50m away is a colossal ridge. Its vertical wall is 8m in height containing many overhangs, deep holes cracks and fissures, and at its base it's deeply undercut. Within it huge numbers of timid red/blue squat lobster and even fish hide, looking closer in the small holes, shrimps, tiny hairy crabs and tiny squat lobster. Nitrox is ideal for this dive, however if diving on air it's likely this profile cannot be maintained and shallower depths are sought. Heading up the ridge, rocks criss-cross with large ridges and rocks tangled together. A dark area ahead belongs to the mainland wall and in front of it a tall pinnacle about 6m in diameter rising from 18m to about 10m. At the rear (mainland) side it's completely covered in a sagartia anemone garden. Look into the water column as juvenile fish shoals tend to favour this area.
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