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Marine Fauna: The Atlantic Grey Seal is one of the rarest species of seal in the whole world, and it just so happens that the UK is home to 40% of the world’s population of them. A good chunk of that 40% can be found here at the Farne Islands where some 5000 seals are estimated to reside. Often referred to as ‘Sea Dogs’ on account of both their appearance and their behavior in the water these naturally inquisitive creatures are known to get up close and personal with divers. The juveniles are especially playful and will often be found nibbling on the end of a diver’s fin. Their underwater majesty is a pleasure to watch and we challenge you not to smile behind your regs as you watch your first seal effortlessly swoop in and then quickly out of view. An encounter with these creatures on their home turf is one not be missed. The Farne Islands are also one of those rare places that Divers can become bird watchers as the seabirds that reside here, such as the puffins and guilemots, can be observed diving beneath the waves to catch fish, which makes for a very dramatic safety stop indeed. In addition to the seals and the birds the best of UK marine life can be found at the Farne Islands with Octopus, Conger Eel, Wolfish, Pollack, Wrasse, Cod, Jellyfish, Nudibrachs etc etc etc all showing up at one dive site or another.
Ship Wrecks: As one might expect from islands which sit just beneath the waves at high tide, the Farne Islands have laid claim to dozens of ships over the years, which means that there are some pretty special wrecks for us divers to explore, amongst the best of them are;

The Chris Christenson - a Danish steamer that ran aground at Longstone End in 1915

The St. Andre - a French Steam Ship which struck Staple Island in 1908

The Abyssinia - a German steam ship which sank off Knivestone in 1921

The Britannia - which sank off Callers in 1915
Popular Dive Sites: There are dozens of special dive sites located within this island archipelago, here are some of the most popular;

Knivestone - is the furthest Farne Island from the coast and is visible only at low water. A shallow kelp fringed gully bisects the island and makes for a great dive and is also a great place to spot Grey Seals using the channel to travel. The wreck of the Abyssinia can also be found here.

Hopper Rock - located on the east side of Longstone Island Hopper Rock offers a quite spectacular wall dive with great visibility and almost guaranteed seal encounters.

The Pinnacles – Lying just to the east of Staple Island these dolerite pinnacles are special looking above the water line as they rise up sheer on all sides, but it is beneath the waves however that their majesty is truly revealed as their sheer faces drop away to 30m. It also here that you are most likely to spot the dive bombing sea birds of the Farne Islands.

Blue Caps – a scenic dive site offering varied topography from walls and overhangs to narrow gullies filled with life.

Dive Operators: Many operators offer trips and charters to these islands, here are some suggestions;

Soverign Diving

Farne Islands Diving

Farne Island Divers
Webcam:Click here
Tide:See below
Farne Islands Dive Guide: The Farne Islands, Northumberland, England are a group of rocky islands lying 2-3 miles off the coast of Northumberland in England, between the seaside towns of Seahouses and Bamburgh.

There are various estimates to the actual number of individual islets in this archipelago, with some only appearing briefly from beneath the waves at low tide and then disappearing again as the water level rises. A good estimate is somewhere around 20-30.

The islands are split into two groups; Inner Farnes and Outer Farnes, the two groups being separated by a 1 mile stretch of water known as Staple Sound.

Some of the islets are no more than towers of rock which rise up from the sea floor and straight out of the water sheer on all sides, these pinnacles offer incredible wall dives below the water and a home to a wide variety of rare seabirds above.

The Farne Islands offer some of the best UK diving with exciting topography and world class shipwrecks abound, it is however the Farne Island’s most famous inhabitants which are their main draw, as diving these islands in late summer all but guarantees an encounter with one or more of the 5000+ Grey Seals that call these islands their home.