Fine golden sand, clear blue skies, 14C water, Mayflies and the warmest day of the year. Bermondsey 42 decided to try the latest hot venue south of London.
Divers Cove has the nicest setting of any of the inland sites. It is in leafy Surrey and surrounded by mature trees. Outside the shop, café and changing rooms there are a few tables and chairs to enjoy the dappled sunlight. All very lovely, especially on a sunny spring day.
We entered the water in waves, although of course it was flat. Victor and Brett first, just in case the fish "as big as dustbins" were unfriendly. Next Lee and Jill, with Jill trying out a dry suit in preparation for Ireland. Lastly, myself and Frank, looking for enough depth for Frank to do a midwater DSMB deployment and me hoping to get some back finning practice.
What did we see? Some strange fairground style cars which might have been golf carts, a couple of boats, at least one platform, lots of drowned trees and thousands of tadpoles. Oh and one carp pining for the fjords.
How deep? I got 8m, Frank 8.5m but with a very silty arm. They claim 9.
Viz? We had a bit. Obviously if you kick it up you can't see your buddy, and apparently the fish will kick it up when startled. Being shallow and sunny helps, as does the mostly light coloured bottom.
Lee, Jill and Frank went in for a second go. I had a coffee and loaded the car, Victor and Brett sped off into the distance.
No complaints of cold, hot drinks available, civilised changing. Did we really go diving?
Facilities sit within leafy surroundings and are new and well looked after. According to the site owner, compressor, decent kitting-up benches and an improved dive platform will be added in May/June. Well accessible from London. As for diving - easy and ideal for training, navigation, shake downs.
Aquatic life seems to flourish (owner will introduce additional carp and trout in the coming months). Underwater 'attractions' are somewhat limited and overall depth does not exceed 8m (without sticking computer deep in the mud). Overall, a pleasant site but I wonder if the drive to Buckland or Wraysbury may be better value for money.