Following the cancellation of the Season Opener at the Farnes in April due to bad weather, we all had high hopes and expectations for the trip to Eyemouth and the Home Arms. However, the weather gods had a different idea and decided to blow us a different weekend.
On Thursday the skipper gave us the option to cancel the trip based on the conditions being “marginal”. After the usual ring around with the dive team we ended up with a hardy group of seven, plus Andy Alexander who was coming up with family anyway, deciding to go ahead with the weekend come hell or high water (remember that phrase for later!)
Friday afternoon came along with the traditional drop into the Oak at Causey Park for something to eat and a first beer. Some of us bumped into Andy and his family there to say hello and, as (bad) luck would have it, we never saw them again for the whole weekend.
Having all arrived at the Home Arms car park we were a little concerned to observe the sea attempting to come over the sea wall to meet us. A conversation took place with the skipper about possibilities for the next day with the only options being later afternoon diving somewhere sheltered. With that decided there was only one option open to us next – the pub. A quick walk around to Oblo’s for a couple of beers turned into us having several (Amanda’s idea not mine) and being chucked out when they locked up in the small hours. Good job we were diving later in the day tomorrow!!
Saturday morning brought a fantastic blue sky which would have been great apart from the wind blowing a northerly force 6 and the sea now getting to the hell or high water state. Another conversation with the skipper about possibilities led to “rain stopped play” scenario so we had to dream up a plan b. “Let’s go to Edinburgh on the train so we can just have a couple of beers” was the communal decision. So off we went on the Berwick bus where Andy Lamb had an encounter with an elderly person who left a definite stale pee aroma on his jacket for the rest of the weekend.
We just missed the Edinburgh train which let us with an hours walk around Berwick and photo opportunities for Liz and the first trip to the pub of the day. It was only 11am so Guinness was a favourite in the round just to help with the stomach layering. 45 minutes on the train later we arrived in Edinburgh to a nice late spring warm day.
Objective No. 1 was the castle so we walked up the Golden Mile to find it was a £16 entry fee. Objective No. 2 quickly became a pub with a beer garden in the Grassmarket area. At the first pub I won the weekend competition for the most expensive round at £35 – out of interest, Tim lost this competition with a paltry £16 in Berwick. I also won the pipers bag holding competition but that’s a story for another time. Street food and several more bars in sunny Edinburgh then followed (hope you’re getting the theme here!?) before we had to head back to Berwick via Sainsbury’s on the station platform for Cava/Prosecco/Beer supplies for the journey back. This was followed by Berwick (more beer and Andy Lamb running for a non-existent bus), missing the Flying Scotsman by a few seconds and back to Eyemouth (more beer) for a Chinese takeaway (more wine) and a complete lack of interest in Eurovision.
Sunday started with the now regular blue sky effect and high winds. It’s worth noting that after the reasonable intake of various types of alcohol over a 12 hour period, everyone made it to breakfast in good spirits and ready to go diving.
Unfortunately another conversation with the skipper led to a complete loss of diving for the weekend which was more than a little disappointing for everyone. At this point plan b part 2 came into operation with a decision to go beach walking at Bamburgh. Steve and Phil decided to call it a day at that point and headed straight back down the A1 and the remaining five did the short hop to Seahouses.
After an hour or so walk up the beach and more photo opportunities for Liz, we arrived in Bamburgh and went to (yes, you guessed it) the pub but a much, much more conservative intake than Saturday.
A quick bus ride back to Seahouses gave a last opportunity for a walk around plus fish and chips (some of them in my hair – thanks Liz) before heading off home.
All in all everyone agreed this was probably one of the best non-diving diving weekends we have had in a long time.