Sunday 14 November 2010

Swamp Thing (Dive at Lake Ellerton)

Today I dove for the first time in Lake Ellerton, fondly (yeah right) known as "The Swamp" to those who frequently dive there.

Its name is not entirely unapt. There are a few interesting things to see down there: some concrete pipes to swim through (fun for testing buoyancy control), a few sunken boats with Barbie dolls tied to them, several platforms, ropes to guide you from place to place, the fabled Pike of Ellerton (I caught a glimpse of a silver flash buggering off into the distance today, which may have been it), and apparently a sunken caravan, which I did not find. But it is also silty, filled with waterweed, and has bugger-all life that I managed to see apart from some water fleas.

It was good to be back under the water. I like to dive new sites, and I felt the need to get in one more dive in the UK before we start to reach the end of the season. This was dive no. 59 for me - yay! I have to say though, that whilst it was interesting, it will never be my favourite dive site. It was truly perishingly cold. My computer recorded a temperature of 5 degrees C, always interesting when you are wearing a semidry suit with a suggested temperature range of 10-20 degrees. I had a rash vest on underneath, but even so... drysuit, here I come.

This was my longest dive in waters this cold, and if my buddy hadn't realised that he was following the wrong line at the moment when he did, he was about to receive a very emphatic "I am cold, let's turn round" signal, followed by me heading towards the jetty with all the speed I can muster whilst wearing ~30kg of dive gear.

One thing I will say in Ellerton's favour. The showers are very, very warm.

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