Organising a trip to an inland lake should be easy right.
Announced in October 2021 a trip to Vobster in January, I wasn’t expecting much interest but slowly I was getting more people interested and by Christmas I had 11 nutters sorry divers and 1 spectator. Usually organising a trip to an inland lake is easy tell people where and when to turn up and jump in the lake, but during a pandemic the lakes have changed the entry rules. Vobster being my initial preference now has membership rules, so I looked at NDAC which just before Christmas announced it was closing for January, Stoney Cove was mentioned as alternative as well as a few lesser-known lakes. Then though a contact of John Heagney now encamped in Bath, Jonathon Hudson a member of Bath SAC with John and the South West regional coach arranged for us to use the Bath SAC membership so we could all get in to Vobster without having to pay membership.
So, with a meet time of 7.50am at Vobster it was a very early start for people travelling from south west London, I had opted to stay with John a mere 25 minutes away so not sorry to miss the early start. Once everyone had arrived and parked up, we split in in to 2 pre-arranged groups 1 for twin set divers and 1 for single cylinder. With Vobster turning misty the kitting up process was not done with any urgency and after about an hour and half later the mist had cleared, and the 1st divers jumped in to the barmy 8 °C degree water. We were greeted by amazing vis of around 15m and everyone had a pleasant dive if not dry dive. Step forward Adam, Michal and Charles who’s drysuits didn’t seem to be that dry. After a stop for getting cylinders filled, hot food and drink from the snack wagon to warm up. Drysuits were repaired well Adam’s and undersuits hired to replace the wet ones. We had our 2nd dive of the day. Another nice dive with the vis very slightly less than the 1st but still amazing although still damp for Michal and Charles. Once diving was complete, we packed up and headed for home some of us via the Talbot Inn in Mells which I can highly recommend for a post pint after Vobster. My impression of Vobster had not changed out of all the inland lakes this is my favourite easy entry and exit to the water, great vis and friendly staff.
Jonathon Hudson for arranging entry and Nic Denby for doing the dive sheets, assisting divers and the photos.
Adam, Andrew, Brian, Charles, Charlie, Cameron, George, John, Liam, Michal and Mark
Credit Brian (Outing organiser)
A few members of the club have been interested in progressing our diving to longer bottom times, and the deco requirements that come with that. The opportunity to learn to use a richer gas mix to reduce the amount of deco time was something 3 Putney divers were keen to explore.We booked onto a weekend course with the BSAC wales region, to be held at NDAC, along with 4 others from various other BSAC clubs. After completing the online lectures we were ready to go!
The first day started with learning how to mark up the stages and checking out the various equipment configurations, followed by an in water skills lesson. Great to recap some skills as well as learning the gas switching procedure. Second dive of the day was lead by the instructors, taking in the highlights of NDAC and a gas switch on the ascent. Having learnt a huge amount we retreated to the gurka curry house for a well earned rest and some time to contemplate everything we had learnt.The second day was the time to put everything we had learnt into practice. Cam and I had a solid dive plan, neatly written up in our wet notes and we were ready to go. The dive went really smoothly and we had clearly learnt our lessons from yesterday, gas switching was much smoother and the deco stop much more controlled. Following the post dive debrief we were delighted to hear we had met the requirements and passed the course.
Overall ADP was an interesting course and would recommend to others looking to accelerate their deco. Really interesting to switch to a more technical mindset, where planning and preparation are even more important.
Many thanks to all of the instructors (5 instructors to 7 students!) and especially to Mark Lewis for leading the course.
Three members (including myself) enjoyed a day on the club RHIB in late August. The objective was to take Putney Diver upriver, enjoying a day on the Thames and getting in some boat handling practice and hours logged. The latter is useful for members who wish to aim for a BSAC Coxwain qualification; note that 5 hours PQE is required after the Boat Handling course.