Annual Mince Pie Dive, Christmas 2017

This year’s festive dips took place on December 21st. There were actually only 4 of us there officially for the Mince Pie Dives—Sarah, Alastair, Miles and me (Sally)—but our ranks were swelled by some members doing practical work for their Dive Leader Course, namely Paul N and Simon C under the jurisdiction of David. Moral support was provided by Hilary and Peter’s T and N.

Mince pie divers

The hardy mince pie divers

The weather up top wasn’t unkind but the visibility below left a lot to be desired and the water temperature, at 7 degrees, was “seasonal”. On descent we thought our minds were playing tricks on us—we could clearly hear Christmas Carols. We hadn’t heard them before we jumped in! The music was audible practically the whole time we were diving but as is the nature of sound underwater it was difficult to determine from which direction it was originating.

Sarah and I did a grand tour taking in the helicopter, Defiant, Belinda, APC and ejector seat. Ascending the cliff on the East side, we returned alongside the reed beds where I was hoping we’d see some pike, but they must have been hiding in the murk. Returning through the arches under the pub, where Nessy was residing for the winter, it became obvious where the Christmas music was coming from—between the arches and the slipway there was a Christmas tree complete with baubles and lights, similar to last year, but this year with the added bonus of music from underwater speakers!

Festive fodder and Christmas comestibles were shared out prior to our second dives. Sarah and I this time took in the bus and the Stanegarth. As planned our dive culminated in a 3 minute deco stop at 9m and also at 6m on the shot line of the Stanegarth, which Sarah needed to do for her Sports Diver qualification and during which she demonstrated excellent buoyancy away from the line.

Diving done, we all warmed up in Nemo’s with some reviving liquid.

Thanks to all who took part.

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