Five intrepid divers left home at ridiculous a clock for the first dive of the year. Phil was keen (understatement) and arrived at Stoney Cove bang on nine a.m. with Steve. Paul, David and I arrived a little later but there was still room in the lake front car park! In fact, there was only Phil’s car there.
Phil had two missions, the first to work on his depth progression and the second to look for the big pike whilst circumnavigating the pit. Steve took him down to 25 metres on the first dive only to find out after the dive that Phil had already done a 25 metre dive. Mission failed.
Meanwhile, Paul, David and Myself had a mission of our own and that was to find the two new wrecks. We headed out to the Nautilus submarine in the clear 7 degree water from the steps and on down the cliff to the Wessex helicopter, then we swam to the Stanegarth via Nessie. Paul had heard that a bearing of 140 degrees from the stern of the Stanegarth would take us to the Defiant. By the time we had moved away from the stern to set a course, we could see the tug boat in the 15 metre viz. From the end of the wreck, we could see the trawler Belinda and beyond that a tracked tank that none of us knew was there. We headed back the way we came and followed the anchor chain from the Stanegarth to the cliff and up to the Viscount nose cone before heading back to our entry point.
We heard that there were pike under the shop, so Steve and Phil headed out to the shop to fulfil Phil’s second mission. They found a dozen or so pike but no monster! After 25 minutes Phil got bored and they turned back. A 59 minute dive but only half of one side covered. Mission failed.
Having had a stoney burger and chips while Steve and Phil were diving, it was our turn to look for the pike. We jumped in at the bus stop and gently swam out to just beyond the shop where we found the pike and spent some time watching them floating around without a care in the world while I took a couple of photo’s. Heading back, we found a few crayfish and went for another look at the sub and the room under the pub before finishing our dive.
A good start to the year, whilst Paul found that a dry suit and three under suits kept him toasty warm, David felt the cold a little. Steve found his 5mm gloves kept his hands warm but had difficulty in operating a camera. I was just happy to be diving and even though Phil failed his missions, he claimed it was his best dive yet, (wait until you dive some sea wrecks), and he picked up a new nick name. PIE.
Hoping for a great diving year.