Trip Report

Elaine and Chris getting dived in… in COVID times


Saturday – Gildenburgh Water, Peterborough

Having booked 2x2hr afternoon slots at Gildy, (12.00-16.00), we travelled up Friday evening and booked a room local so as to be rested and have plenty time to kit up to make the most of the afternoons diving, (haha, that didn’t pan out as planned!).

11.00 booked in with Pauline and started kitting up in the car park, for in the water for 12.00, as currently due to social distancing, you’re not allowed to set up camp on the green as we used to.

Take 1
Amazing what you find out when doing yah Buddy Check, “Should we be wearing fins????” Is NOT what you should hear!

So, after taking the walk of shame back to the car to fetch both our fins. [Note to self, buddy check at the car, not just prior to giant stride in]

Take 2
No, still not getting in, Elaine snaps a fin strap, back to the car park for spare strap (God it’s damn hot walking in a drysuit)

Take 3
We’re in and vis is the worst we’ve EVER seen, and we’ve seen it bad – hey ho – we’re UK divers.

20 mins of bog snorkelling in the murk, we bump into the snooker table at 9m depth, some VERY close hand signals and we head (we hope), for the surface.

Def not the best dive we’ve had, but one to remember and to put a top on it Chris lost his brand new camera, (Pauline said if found they’ll let us know).

Cup of hot soup during surface break, and get re-kitted up only to be told, “Hope you’re only planning a short dive, as you need to be out of the water in 15 mins”.

[(Another) Note to self, make sure when you check the time using your computer you’ve set the correct time, damn this BST/GMT stuff.]

Was nice to see Pauline though 😀

Was going to have a meal in town near Gildy, but the nice Italian restaurant only doing take away pizza, and usual Indian has to be booked in advance.

So drove 90 mins to hotel in Tamworth and went into town for a VERY nice Ruby Murry meal at Jalali restaurant.

Sunday – Dosthill Quarry (AKA Dozzi), Tamworth

Nice place, small shop stock emergency (forgotten) items and air fills. This is the first National Inland Dive Site operating since 1958, previously owned by BSAC until they sold it to the current owner, Ian Forster, in 1988.

Again having booked 2x2hr slots to enjoy all afternoon. Only to find out on arrival, we’d only booked 1x2hr slot from 12.00,  but thankfully Dan said he was OK for us to extend for another 2hrs.

Kit up in the car park (FULLY this time), asked if possible and allowed to take one bag as site was not busy.

Site is back to front with 12m and 9m shelf at the back of the lake, which is where all the things are, there are 2x2m well-formed training pens, as well as 3m and 6m platforms as you get in.

1st dive – Vis a lot better than Gildy, 2-3m – hurray!
Both of us had difficulty getting buoyancy sorted, 2kg overweight (and that’s in addition to the Covid working from home diet) Up and down like ping pong balls, eventually sorted and hovered on a platform watching the Carp.
Pastries and juice in the car park for surface break.

2nd dive (getting the hang of this now)

Down to 10m swam clockwise along the wall slowly dropping down to cruise at 14m until we got to the “Conning Tower” (2m diameter dome), which you can swim under onto the plane fuselage, then on and up a bit onto the 9m shelf to a ParcelForce van, UXB Bomb and around the original quarry site concrete hut.
Had a 6m safety stop, and a slow surface swim looking down over the plants where all the small fish hide, and back to exit. Packed up and left car park, (last ones out as always) they do lock the gates.

Stopped for Nando’s in Tamworth before 2 1/2 hr drive home.
So what did “We learn this weekend? – Practice, Practice, Practice a Buddy Check at home, and double check ALL of yah kit!”

Chris and Elaine REALLY-COLLAGE