The best laid plans of mice and men

Have once again been undone, again by the weather but more my wussy outlook than the visibility!

I had planned to dive at one of the Ullswater sites for a couple of months, I can almost always get some interesting bits and pieces, be that recently lost hobby equipment in the form of paddle boarding paddles, bits and pieces from the yachts sunk at their moorings during Storm Desmond or simply old pots and bottles.

I dive maybe five spots and each has its own interest, with the Pooley Bridge boat pier being one of my favourites due to 'tourist trash' and of course the bicycles that are peddled of the end each year.....and lost.....cos they sink.

Now I am not going to lecture about drive push bikes off structures, the gods know over the years I have peddled from various harbours but have never lost my bike and some harbours have even added railings to stop the likes of me, whilst others have removed their ladders to make sure anyone jumping in has a chew on getting out, though this is a double edge sword and anyone falling in also has a tough time of it........

So it was off to Ullswater with an overnight stay at Pooley Bridge, just my wife and I, some poor gullible was taking To-bye-arse for a sleep-over, in the words of Hercules Grytpype-Thynne......you silly twisted boy you!

We got to Ullswater and my preferred dive site was going to be at the pier, well the lake looked at its winter level so I wanted a nice steady boy massively deep dive and the pier offers that. The problem is that it was cold, bloody cold, -8degC and the lake was steaming like buggery! Oh well at least that means the water is warmer than the air, so a slight positive there.


So, what to do? Well get booked in, have a coffee and then look again, which is what I did, and while it looks nice and christmassy it didn't fill me with the desire to go diving.

Possibly because my dry-suit has just undergone some home-made repairs and I didn't fancy finding a leak at 6m and fancied even less getting out and whipping off wet undergarments in very, very cold conditions.


Having decided that I wouldn't bother jumping in 'today', but tomorrow, oh tomorrow would be different. Well it was, insofar as it was 'only' -5degC, positively balmy. As you can imagine that combined with falling snow had me packing up and off, oh how the mighty have fallen.

How far have the mighty fallen? Well I was looking at old photographs and in 2005 there are some images of me in Vobster, in deep with ice and snow on the ground no hood or gloves, I mean yeah you get an ice-cream head for a minute but it's ok.....

I started wearing hoods as I spent more time bashing through kelp looking for lobsters to sell, not really for any reason other than safety as kelp stalks are very good places for lost fishing line to tangle and you also never know when an urchin will drop on your nut!

Gloves were a bit longer, probably only started wearing them when doing a few dives a day over extended periods with some of the dives being scallop bashes, at the end of day five or six without gloves you see that the skin on your finger-tips is wearing away and those niggly little cuts simply won't heal, the solution gloves so you don't get niggly cuts so no worries about healing time and no wearing away of the skin.

I am hoping to get in afore Christmas, maybe at Gare or Beadnell, or even 'gasp' Oban if the drive up looks doable and I can do a short blast from Beadnell up as it would only be a 400 mile round trip from there, so a tank of fuel, which equates to about 45 scallops which I can generally scrag in a couple of dives.

If not then I will be reduced to checking out the reservoirs closer to home to see what sort of goodies I can find, knives, yup, shop tills, yup, oh yes some people think that once something is hoyed in a lake its gone, not with me about!

I hope that you can get in now and then to keep mobile and make sure that the neoprene doesn't shrink, which it does if it has been left dry for too long, and wherever you dive please be cogniscent of conditions up top and make sure that you.......

Dive safe


Weight this dive - What dive!?!

Recommended suppliers

Latest Photographs