Sometimes things get a little quiet in Cornwall, we are or should I say ‘I am’ always looking for something interesting to dive. It rarely gets cold enough in Cornwall to even consider scuba diving under ice but over the last few days we had some very frosty mornings and very cold winds. On Wednesday I asked whether a local quarry had ice on it, it had up to 25mm on it.
I fancied having a dive under Ice to see if I could get some interesting photos, I can’t afford to travel to where ice is prevalent so this was my chance. I have dived in this quarry before, it is interesting as far as quarries go and quite shallow at round 8m in the deepest part. It gets a lot of algae during the warmer months which dies off in the winter, so I was hopeful of decent visibility.
Ice was still there
Saturday came and I received a message saying there was still Ice on the surface. I packed my kit and headed down there. Looking at the ice it was about 25mm thick around the edges and 10-13mm in the middle, the far side had melted where the sun had caught it. I decided not to use any ropes as the ice could be broken through easily at any time. My main reg was environmentally sealed so that should be fine and I kept my manifold closed just in case.
I kitted up and entered where I was told it was 2m deep, it wasn’t 2m, more like 1m. I struggled to break the ice so I could at least dump the air from my wing. Once under the ice the visibility was really bad, I could see roughly 0.5m, the algae had started to die with the frost but was suspended in the water still. It was brown, murky and dark below 1m. Any chance of any interesting photos was very unlikely underwater.
I swam around for a bit and tried taking photos of the bubbles under the ice. I then broke through to tell the surface support what it was like underneath. They asked if I was coming back, I just said I was just going to play with some split shots and maybe some video clips of the bubbles underneath. Some of my bubbles had collected in places and were actually breaking the ice. After 21 minutes in the water that was between 3 and 4 degrees I decided to get out.
It was interesting, it was fun, it was just a pity the visibility was so bad.