A WEEKEND IN THE LAKES

Just a quick note on what we got up to over the last weekend. It was great to get out and about back to an area we have not ventured into for a few years. We ended up with three members of the club on the weekend (KN, PH and JM), but the idea was still to “Re plan the dive and Dive the re plan” so did we do that?. Saturday morning meant meeting up after

Saturday morning meant meeting up after a fairly early starts for some and meeting up to move all the kit into one vehicle. Then a steady run up to the Lakes with the obligatory stop at the roadside Roach Coach for a fry up on a bun. The first day diving was to be at Hodge Close, a site that we don’t think we have dived for some four years. Hodge can be a bit of a hard slog moving kit back and too through the tunnel then up and down the ladder, not a site for the faint hearted but one that is not to be missed, all went well with two good 25m plus level 2 dives over the day, separated by a 2 hr surface interval with catering.

We met up with another group of divers from the Manchester area while at Hodge who hadn’t gone there to dive that weekend but were enjoying a few nights “wild camping”. This has given us ideas for the future, diving / wild camping weekend (diving with only fuel, gas and food expenses, maybe an odd beer) Summer diving into the evening, no rush to get away, with a night around the open camp fire planning the next trip. Saturday evening in our case was spent in the Coniston Youth Hostel, not a bad one this time, we had a good room and facilities including a drying room for the under suits and dry suits, although it was

Saturday evening in our case was spent in the Coniston Youth Hostel, not a bad one this time, we had a good room and facilities including a drying room for the under suits and dry suits, although it was rumoured that one or more members of the party may have an ever so slight snoring issue. During the evening following a recommendation we visited the local Indian with a “bring your own bottle policy” and no corkage (result) and three meals with all the bits for £45 and change (another result) Sunday morning and we knew we had to go through it all again, a different site but more diving to be done. The day plan was pulled together while our Italian chalet maid, sorry chef (Phil) from Manchester (but still for some reason coming out with Italian phrases) made use of as many cooking utensils as possible to pull together a great breakfast to start the day. Then the time came to set off for the lake. Coniston is a place that none of the group had dived before, but from

Sunday morning and we knew we had to go through it all again, a different site but more diving to be done. The day plan was pulled together while our Italian chalet maid, sorry chef (Phil) from Manchester (but still for some reason coming out with Italian phrases) made use of as many cooking utensils as possible to pull together a great breakfast to start the day. Then the time came to set off for the lake.

Coniston is a place that none of the group had dived before, but from research of the area and a few mixed reports it seemed to give us what we needed to complete the exercises for the day. When we arrived at Bailiff Wood on the East shore of Coniston we were pleasantly surprised to find a reasonably sized free car park right next to the lake, fantastic after moving kit around at Hodge close. So we appeared to have got the location right, as well as that there was a group of BSAC club divers from Barrow also diving there that day who gave us a good overview of the area. Two dives were carried out in Coniston which looked like it could be a useful site to conduct training for all grades in the future.

At the start of this I did say that we had a plan. Following on from the work that many of the instructors and the individual concerned have done, our plan was to go up to the lakes with a Sports Diver and return with a Dive Leader, able to assist the club by running dives.

Did we succeed? YES. Congratulations Jamie. He had a bit to put up with having to plan and complete two over 25m dives a day in an area he hasn’t dived, while his two instructors swanned around doing one dive a day each while telling him how easy it was.

So keep a look out, following this weekend I don’t think we will be leaving it another four years before we look to return to the Lake District. It was agreed that we had a couple of good days diving, meeting up with interesting people on both days giving us ideas for future trips.

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