Dive Rutland Club trip to the Farnes has now finished and we are all (nearly all) home and processing pictures and remembering another great club trip.
Why go to the Farne Islands, Northumberland... Well the Seals of course.
The seals are one of the largest mammals in the UK but they are so majestic in the water and many of them are inquisitive of these strange creatures that swim around blowing bubbles with hoses coming out of their mouths. The trick to getting them to come closer to you is to treat them like big dogs; find somewhere quiet and let them come to you. If you start swimming after a seal it will just swim off and easily out pace you, you need to let them build confidence and trust in you before they'll start to play. Very similar to dogs the seals love to wrestle a little and have their heads stroked, but they also like to mouth your hands and fins. They don't bite hard but it can be a bit unnerving to some people to have their fingers around all of their teeth. As long as you're not overbearing or too rough with them they will hang around with you and follow you around to play. Another thing you need to remember is that the seals need to breathe every now and again so they will swim off after playing for a few minutes and then come back to find you.
None of the dives on this trip were deep, the maximum I got was 15metres. The visibility was really good to, so you could easily see the Seals coming towards you. The best seal dives I did were the two on the Hopper which is an amazing dive site of sheer cliff faces covered in soft coral, sponges, crabs and lobsters. Along the cliff face there is a huge fissure that cuts almost 300M into the island with lots of cracks and boulders for seals to snooze in and lobsters and crabs to hide in. Visually it is stunning with almost perfect vertical cliffs covered in wildlife and a huge valley in-between.
In fact all of the dives were visually stunning.. move slowly and look... its amazing what you can find. The weather held out until we came back in from the last days diving...
Thanks to everyone on this trip... it was great diving with lots of laughs and plenty of banter, so roll on our next club trip.
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