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St Abbs

st-abbs

St Abbs Harbour – East
Max. depth: 16 m
Minimum grade: Novice
Currents: Negligible near rocks

 

Due to its position on the Scottish coast, St Abbs is often accessible when other sites have been affected by the weather. The most popular shore-dives are at the east side of the harbour, which is reached by walking around the stone jetties, the first-timer here just needs to follow the crowd and queue up at the entry point. The best entry is off the rocks where the three sections of wall meet, at high water it’s a doddle but as the tide falls it can be very tricky with kelp posing particular problems at low water. The area around the entry point is gravel bottomed gullies which we regularly use for training are easily followed depending on which route you’re undertaking.

The dives here generally consist of circumnavigating rocky outcrops, Broad Craig, Big and Little Green Carrs and the renowned Cathedral Rock. They can be dived separately or two or more can be combined giving a more substantial experience.

Once at the entry point, the big rock facing you is Broad Craig, this is an easy dive with no currents so long as you stay close to the rock, maximum depth about 10 metres. If circumnavigating this rock anti-clockwise, one of the first features is a very narrow gully near the entry point which has lots of kelp at the top, so it’s quite an eerie start to the dive for novices.

Cathedral Rock is to the south-east, so named by divers because of the arched tunnel through it (actually there are two tunnels, a much smaller one lies above the main arch). A group of semi-tame wrasse live around Cathedral and they’re unafraid of divers, often taking food from an outstretched hand. Quite often a current flows through the arch on the flood tide, but it isn’t serious, in fact it helps to keep the vis’ reasonable after the previous visitors have stirred it up.

On all the sites here, you’ll see dead-men’s-fingers and anemones adorning the quite impressive walls. Even if the vis is poor, there are so many smaller forms of life on the rocks, in crevices and on the weeds that you’ll not be disappointed, nudibranchs in particular are numerous and very colourful.

 

Site Location Approx. dist from shop Parking / Entry Fee Facilities
St Abbs St Abbs Harbour

TD14 5PW

86m / 1hr 45m £1 per hour cash or card Food, toilets
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