As some of you are aware I am off to Canada in July, and will be diving whilst there. Due to the short timescale (between now and my holiday) and very limited free weekend time - Smudge, Ian and I all headed down to Stoney Cover to do a few adventure dives for my AOW.... What a day it has been!!!!
For those that haven't been the site is very pretty and there are very good facilities... Pub, snack bar, showers, changing rooms/loo's, and a large shop. Registration and entry fees were a bit pricey at £40. £25 for a 2 year registration, and £15 for a days entry to the site. By registering at Stoney, all future dives there will be at a reduced cost of £10 per day... so the price work out ok, if you dive there frequently!
Having heard all the horror stories and read my text book chapter, it would be fair to say that I was very worried about the Deep Dive. As we decended to around 12 m the visability became very poor and I was having lots of problems with my buoyancy. Unfortunatly I became a bit anxious (which affected my breathing and state of mind). Due to these factors, I felt the safest thing to do was assend. We all stayed on the surface for a around 5 minutes, and then re-decended. As we decended I continued to have problems with my buoyancy.... which was really frustrating as I thought I had really improved my buoyancy over the past month or so!
At around 27m we had a brief stop whilst I composed myself and concentrated on my breathing rate. The vis was much better at this depth. I'm not too good at guessing distances under the water, but I would say it was around 5-6 metres. And now for the romantic bit
... I think Smudge could see that I wasn't feeling too confident, so he took my hand and swam me towards the Hydro-box. As soon as I could see the Hydro-box - I was off!!!! I forgot about all my concerns... the goal was in sight! I cannot explain the feeling of relief! I had made it!!!!
When we got to the box, we swam down the side and recorded the depth of 36.1 metres!!!!! I didn't get narked off, which I was very pleased about! Smudge had warned me about the temperature drop in the deep water, which dropped to 8 degrees.
-Although I can honestly say I didn't notice the colder water... I think my adrenaline was keeping me really warm! lol.
The assent was much better for me than the decent. I managed to settle down my breathing and I almost sorted out my buoyancy by around 25m.
Although during the safety stop, I became too light and almost hit the surface. I had no air in my BCD, and 10 kg of weight??? But again Smudge saved the day, and gave me a helping hand back into the world of the wet! (I'm not sure but could there have been some trapped air in my semi-dry suit that could have affected my buoyancy??? When I took my suit off, there was loads of water in it????)
Safety stop completed... the dive was over. After the dive I must admit I felt gutted! Gutted that my buoyancy was crap, and gutted that I let my nerves get the better of me! I felt completely drained! But on the positive side... I didn't give in... I did it!
After the first dive, I was determined that I was going to get my buoyancy right this time.
We swam across the lake to the orange buoy, where the wreck lies. We all decended down the shot line, to a depth of around 19m. I quickly sorted my buoyancy out... happy days!!! And we started checking out the wreck.
I really enjoyed going into the wreck, through all the little door ways and corridors! Loved it!!!!
After we'd explored the wreck, we same back towards the shore and found the helicopter, the man-made artificial wreck and the space under the pub. We saw lots of fish and a even a dead cray-fish! No sharks tho!!!
The assent and safety stop went fine - no problems this time! I was buzzing when we got out of the water! Max depth for this dive was 20.2m. This was a really great dive. I really enjoyed looking at all the wrecks and I was even more pleased with my buoyancy (after all the probelsm on the last dive)!
I hope I can get to Stoney again soon, and have a postive dive down to the hydro-box!
As Smudge says its all experience!
Overall a good days diving!
I would like to say a huge THANK YOU to both Ian and Smudge!!!
Thank you for your patience, support, experience and up-most a good days diving!