58m Tunnel at Dorothea
Simon, Adrian, John and Alistair joined Gary Fell, Susan and Stephan at Dorothea Quarry for the first dive of the year. Unlike the shallow, high energy last dive of 2016 in the River Leven this was a a deep technical dive as JBOD dives are designed to cater for all experience levels.
For those that have never been to Dotty the entry is a muddy track with puddles and is quite slippy. Fortunately Adrian and the van were up to the challenge following Simon's 4x4. There are two entry points; the jetty and the beach. The jetty is at the bottom of Heart Attack Hill and used to be a collapsing concrete plinth but has been improved recently by the addition of a scaffold pier and steps which are very welcome. Hopefully an escalator can be added to Heart Attack Hill soon? The beach is down a not too steep muddy track and has limited parking.
The parking area at the top of Heart Attack Hill was busy as was the jetty at the bottom which was further crowded by divers and two 4x4s. Our team set to carrying their gear to the bottom of the hill (which is hard on the legs) and then going back up to collect more (which is hard on the lungs and legs). Fortunately there is an opportunity for a breather and chatting with lots of friends at the bottom.
The deep team (Adrian, Gary, Simon, John and Alistair) planned to dive to the ladder, descend this to the 58m tunnel and place a geocache for Susan. They would then go through the tunnel and head up to the huts and deco gently around the pit and slopes back to the jetty. The dive went as planned.
Lessons to learn: take base layer trousers because legs and feet get very cold.
Many thanks to Adrian for driving and everyone turning up for the day.
There are plans to go again next week so if you're interested please let us know - you don't have to do crazy deep dives as there are several areas where you can remain around 20m or 35m if desired. You will need to bring everything you require as there are no facilities whatsoever and a car with reasonable clearance will help too (Susan got her Octavia estate in so normal cars will get there but leave the sports car at home).