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Brief dive report...

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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narked

New Member
Jul 10, 2002
145
4
0
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Well, yesterday I went out for my first open water dive in just over a year. College has kept me busy for ages preventing me doing any diving, and with me moving to the Welsh coast soon, I wanted to get back into diving.

So, me, my dad, one of my uncles and one of the diver leaders from my club loaded our gear into the cars, and headed off to a place called Eccleston Delph in Lancashire, in the north west area of England. Located about 45 minutes drive away from Manchester, and near Blackpool, Eccleston Delph is now a flooded quarry. Years ago it was worked by a few men to get stone to use for the construction of Blackpool promenade. But as they reached about 30m, they hit a natural spring, and the quarry started to fill with water faster than the old pumps could get rid of it, so it was left to fill. Over a number of years, it flooded, and became a local beauty spot, until someone bought the land with plans to turn it into an inland diving centre. With planning permission obtained, he set to work. Instead of going the usual route of simply throwing a few vehicles in to add interest, the new owner actually drained the place first. The now dry quarry was then landscaped properly to get the best use out of it. Originally they had wanted to dig deeper in part of it to make the quarry diveable to 30m, but this was rejected by the local council. Once the landscaping had been carried out, the quarry was flooded once again, and THEN various vehicles were sunk. Currently, there is a Ford Transit van, an ex-army Saracen armoured car and a large motor boat, plus various platforms for use for training.

The first dive was planned to be a quick tour of the 3 vehicles. We got in at the slipway, and made our way to the Transit van marker bouy on the surface. Here we dropped down the line to the van, and had a quick look around it. Following the rope (yes, they put in a rope guide round all the vehicles, quite handy as with all this metal around, compasses are almost useless) we made our way to the Saracen armoured car, which looked extremely impressive, even in the murky water (visibility was easily less than a metre). Sat here at 12m, with very little light reaching it, there are all sorts of dark spots, and features of it suddenly appear right infront of you. I got quite a shock when suddenly there were 3 grenade launchers right infront of my face! Moving on to the motor boat, which again suddenly appeared right infront of us. we aimed for the deepest point of the quarry, a mere 22m. At 20m, swimming around the boat at deck level, the bottom was not visible, there was just black shadow below. After a swim round the boat, we followed the line round to the platform, and then surfaced, making our way back to the slip to exit. Total dive time was only 20 minutes or so, but I absolutely loved it, made me remember why I loved diving so much. The water was a quite comfortable 17 degrees celsius.

Second dive was pretty much the same, though staying shallower, with a maximum depth of 15m, we swam over the boat instead of round it. Entry this time was off the "high entry" platform, scaring 20 or so fish half to death in the process.

All my gear held up well, although my drysuit seems to be leaking on the right wrist seal. My right arm was soaked, but my left side was bone dry. Still, not much of a problem when the water is 17 degrees. Sadly it's all downhill temperature wise from now on. Next time I'm back in the area for a dive it's more likely to be 4 degrees.

Matt
 
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