Diary

Ullswater and our yesterdays

I have a bit of a soft spot for Ullswater, plenty of depth should you want it, a wreck and no you're not getting the numbers to PS Enterprise and best of all it's free, free as in no payments required and free as in no idiot billy-bigballs with arbitrary 'rules, so my kind of venue!

I have had this planned in for a while, ever since my little lad had his first open water 'try-dive' with the chaps at Puffin over the 'tatty-picking' week holiday, sure he has been in the pool a few times but the difference between tiles and real, live creepy crawlies is immense when you are only eight years old.

Now, I will be honest and say that Howtown wasn't my first choice venue, I had hoped to get in closer to Pooly Bridge where there are a few sunken yachts where the deck is only two or three meters from the surface but unfortunately the car part was closed so I had to head along the lake.

The site at Howtown is nice and safe, you get in and out at the free, natural slipway, parking alongside in the winter, although in the summer you will stand no chance of parking here! With the area being a slipway you obviously have a nice steady slope down to about four feet of depth where there is a short drop to maybe ten feet, another shallow slope then it is away to a depth that I wouldn't take a trainee.

Being an organised family we were short on all sorts of bits of kit so it was more of a surface swim and look rather than deep dive, but thats the way, make breathing on a regulator second nature before you go beyond any depth where they can't stand up. In that depth of water I will be honest and say you have to swim slow and steady to see anything really interesting, but among the weeds were odd sticklebacks and also some juvenile perch, which were waiting to ambush said sticklebacks.

So having had a good swim around I took him out and left him to get his wet-suit off whilst I had a blast to see if there was anything about and nope, not a thing, which is a bit disappointing but since I hadn't covered the 'bottle bank' area I guess that I would have been looking for a combination of 'tourist trash' combined with bits lost by the outwards bound centre and again I already have a couple of spare stand up paddle boarding paddles which sank when dropped into the water!

We have seen quite a bit of rain recently and I was more than happy that the visibility must have been in the four to five meter range and it was just 'dark' rather than 'peaty' and dark, I know its an odd turn of phrase but regulars will know what I mean!

My big regret was that I hadn't brought along my camera, not for wildlife shots, rather shots of leaves on the bottom and surface with some suspended mid-water, it would be a bit 'arty-farty' but with the nice light conditions would have made a very nice composition.

So there you go, short and brief, just like the dive!

If you are planning on getting wet it is looking more and more likely that you will need to hit the inland venues, but rather than the usual culprits consider a dip in the English Lakeland, there are some surprising dives and for the rust merchants plenty of documented sites where you can see bits of planes and the like, and whilst you aren't getting the numbers of the old paddle steamer if you look at mooring sites, you'll see the permanent buoys', then you will probably find a yacht or two that sank at the moorings when Storm Desmond' hit all of those years ago............however whatever your plans, if you are planning on getting wet then please.......

Dive safe

RichW

Weight this dive - 0.0 kg

Weight this year - 622.6 kg (yup I haven't been writing up all of our antics)

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