Between the Christmas and New Years’ break, I ran a TDI Normoxic Trimix course, one which I had started back in 2021 but due to issues such as COVID and weather, was not completed until the break.
We spent a day in Capernwray refreshing skills and practicing new ones. Once the skills were nailed, we filled up our cylinders with enough gas to spend a couple of days out in the wilds of the Lake District.
I like using the Lake District for diving as it’s a picturesque place and has easy access to deep waters. The first day was spent at Coniston, parking in Bailiff Woods, it’s a simple scramble over the beach to the water. Since my last visit here in the summer of 2021, the water level is up by a few meters, as the shoreline was different from the previous visit. Coniston water is known for being deep and dark… today was no exception. Once we were below 10meters, no natural light came through the waters. Without a torch on, we would have seen nothing. A few features have been installed in the lake by local diving clubs, but they peter out after 25mtr. We followed the sandy slope to the lowest point, which was 46mtr. At this point, we had a little explore, before turning the dive and heading back up the slope to the shore. Without a compass, it would have been tough to come back out at the same place we entered. The lake bed is predominantly silt, so any poor finning technique resulted in clouds of silt dust around us.
Once back on the shore, we were met by our support team who helped us out of the water and brought steaming mugs of coffee to get some warmth back into our core. We weren’t cold underwater due to being correctly dressed and adequately protected. However, once we were out of the water, the wind was bitter and cut through our drysuits.
The following day we relocated to Wastwater – England’s deepest lake.
Again, a lovely location next to the roadside. The mist was thick so we couldn’t see up the length of the lake as per previous visits, but we could see the width of the lake to the scree slopes on the opposite side.
After kitting up, we headed into the water. Wastwater is a firm favorite for a lot of tech divers wanting to complete their TDI Normoxic Trimix, predominantly due to the marking lines that have been installed by local dive clubs, marking a safe route to the top of a huge rocky pinnacle, which then descends to 50mtr and beyond.
We followed the lines to the top of the pinnacle, which is also a memorial point where divers have placed plaques and memorials to divers who have died. A sobering moment as you pass over them and descend into the depths beyond.
The descent over the rocky pinnacle is pleasant enough until it reaches 50mtr. At this point, there is a gnome garden and washing machine. From here it is a compass bearing out into the dark, light swallowing gloom. At 58mtr, we turned the dive and headed back into the base of the pinnacle. We had gained sufficient decompression time so began our ascent.
During the ascent gas switches onto travel gas were made and then eventually, having reached the top of the pinnacle, we followed the lines back towards the shore. Gas switches took place and then we stayed at six meters to off-gas our decompression penalties. Once this was completed, a safety stop was carried out before we surfaced. Once back on the surface, we were met by our safety team and hot drinks were enjoyed as we celebrated our successful dive.
Overall an excellent few days finishing off our technical diver training.
If you are interested in doing any tech diver training please get in touch. I deliver all levels of open circuit tech diving from Intro to Tech, Advanced Nitrox, Decompression Procedures, Helitrox, Normoxic Trimix, up through to Hypoxic Trimix.
For more information please call me on 07534 387152 or check out my diving page.