January 2010

Despite the last month of freezing weather a few hardy souls ventured down the A1(M) to enjoy the delights of Ellerton Lake.

Assembling in the car park, we awaited the arrival of Mr Hunt. Where was he at the appointed time? A quick phone call established that his absence was due to a ‘navigation error’ rather than a change of mind about UK fresh water diving in winter.

Kitted up we ventured to the waters edge where we quickly established that there was little underwater visibility despite the sunshine above the surface.

Leaping in quickly left no option once one overcame the initial shock of freezing water on the exposed areas of the face, but to head down and out along the bottom lines.

Most of the dive consisted of closely following a pair of fins whilst trying to make every effort to avoid stirring up the silty bottom sediment. Using the bottom lines we came across the coble, the car, plus other assorted small sunken boats. No fish were encountered other than a lone pike under the stern of the coble.

Eventually the effects of the cold water became too uncomfortable and it was time to retrace ones way back along the maze of bottom lines back to the small entrance/exit pier. Fortunately the lake facilities include changing rooms which come fully equipped with hot air hand dryers, great for restoring some warmth quickly back into cold hands. Furthermore, joy of joys, the canteen van was set up and doing a brisk trade in hot bacon rolls, coffee and tea to the shivering assembly of divers. For some members of Tyneside 114, the first dive of 2010. Hopefully the season’s diving can only get better!can only get better!

Report by Richard Booth

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