A return to Dunstanburgh

Following a successful recce a few weeks ago it was time to blast down to Dunstanburgh again in Duo-diver, which is incidentally running a bit rough in tick-over.....

As always some nuts and bolts!

The vis wasn't as good as you would think, maybe 5m but with some long rollers coming in from the North East combined with horrendous amounts of rain that wasn't a surprise. There was quite a bit of bloom in the water again with some of the individual creatures quite, comparatively large, this plus it's a silty site and I was collecting meant that I was kicking up some serious crap!

The rollers really were big and whilst not 'awkward' they certainly shifted you about in 13m of water which was where I had dropped the anchor, my thought was that I would drop on a little further out and closer to shore so as to miss the huge tidal rip that 'roars' over the end of the cliffs where they enter the sea. Fortunately today there were only a couple of guys fishing and both of them were feathering for mackerel so I felt quite safe rolling into the water and dropping down the anchor line.

The topography here is basically huge boulders of various stone types, sandstone and doleritic limestone and whilst the limestone is hard and isn't affected very much by the action of tide and wave I must say that the sandstone does get carved into the most fantastic shapes as I hope you can see in the attached album, oh and yes it can be a bit of a pain picking up scrap and carting around a camera but once I have got an album of photographs then I will be concentrating on cleaning up the area!

Dunstanburgh - North Side (03/08/19)

On reaching the bottom there were quite a few small cod that took one look at me and disappeared into the jumble of boulders' likewise some blue fiends had a quick 'look-see' before dating into their homes, then on surveying the site I was a tad surprised to see that slightly further 'out' the gaps between the boulders had been filled with a coarse sand, now I would expect the area to be boulder on bedrock and as you approach the cliffs this is what you see so maybe this sand has just been 'dumped' in the recent storms. So I moved in towards the cliffs to continue my hunt and within ten meters I was onto boulders and bed-rock, ideal!

As the area hasn't been heavily dived for scrap in the past it is littered with weights and also unfortunately lost line and during todays dive I had to cut some black braid that had tangled on my reg, no danger just a pain but a reminder to always have cutting tools! This was a short dip, only twenty odd minutes, however within that time I picked up loads of weights, I guess about four per minute with many coming along with a ball of lost monofilament and more weights in the ball or attached, it's all bagged for clean up and binning at a suitable site!

Towards the end of the dive while working along a piece of solid bedrock, a step of sandstone that goes from 12m to about 11m of depth it got dark and my initial thoughts were that even though it had been blue skies the sun had dropped behind a cloud. Looking up after bagging another load of lead it was apparent this wasn't the case and there was a colossal shoal of coalfish that was mooching around me in a combination of interest and looking for food that was thrown up when I was pulling out these balls of lead weight and line. Normally I would say that a fishes interest would be mild but I think that they were particularly fascinated by my lift bag which was deployed by this stage, the red colour and strip of radar reflective 'shiney silver' colour I guess was acting as some sort of giant lure, I tried for some photos but it was a touch clarty so not sure how they will come out!

With an anchored boat it is always interesting how far away you will be when you reach the surface and today I was pleased to surface only ten meters or so away from the boat and pretty much where I thought that I would be, this meant that pushing the lift bag and weights over to the boat was 'easy' and on liberating the lift bag it was a bounce dive to lift the anchor and associated chain before getting out and heading over to the Farne Islands in great conditionsfor boating and diving.

With conditions this good guys and gals really get out there and make sure that you......... 

Dive safe


Weight this dive - 14.7 kg

Weight this year - 327.8 kg

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