Having heard a lot of people taking about Stoney Cove being the in-land diving place to visit, I thought as I was in Birmingham for DIVE 2013 I should pay a visit to Stoney Cove which is just nearby. Not knowing a huge amount about Stoney Cove I wasn’t really sure what to expect. Talking to a few people at DIVE 2013 I asked around for advice on the best parts to dive and what the general layout of Stoney Cove was. I was then told the bad news, Stoney Cove is always busy at the weekend and to be there at 7am!! That meant Saturday night’s pub plan had to be just a few pints!
Staying at a guest house just a few minutes from Stoney Cove we got a full cooked breakfast at 7am and made our way to the dive center just after 7.15am, luckily we got straight in and managed to get parked at the first car park along side the quarry. If the car park is full you’ll have to wait till people leave or you get the option of being in car park 2 which is a little bit of a walk with your equipment to the entry points. After taking a quick look around and picking up the tanks it was time to kit up. I was diving with my new Forth Element 7mm Proteus Semi-dry and my friend with his Typhoon Divemaster dry suit. It was the first time I’d dived with this semi-dry so I was eager to try it out and to see if all the raving reviews I’d read about it all added up.
After buddy checks we were ready to enter the water, as it was quite a sunny day I was ready to get in as putting a brand new 7mm semi-dry suit on is a bit of a challenge! We’d decided to swim out to the Stanegarth marker buoy and then descend rather than navigating our way out to the wreck. The visibility was reasonably good so we circled the wreck and then took a compass baring towards the exit point. On the way back we came across a few other bits of wreckage, an old land rover, a submarine and a swim through under the pub bench. There was quite a lot of marine life about including little crayfish, perch and carp.
During the surface interval we grabbed some food and hot drinks from the little cafe near the entry points. Everything that was on offer was very reasonably priced. We dropped off our tanks at the filling station which had a quick turn around time, kitted up again then planned the second dive. This time we went looking for the aircraft cockpit, so made an entry at the bus stop. We descended down some old train tracks to around 25 meters, missing the cockpit on the way down we came across it on the way back up, along with a couple of big pikes. The temperature at 25 meters dropped to 10 degrees but I didn’t feel the cold at all so the Fourth Element Proteus was really living up to the reviews. A full map of Stoney Cove can be found here.
I’d highly recommend doing some dives at Stoney Cove as there is so many interesting things to see. The conditions are great for divers of all qualifications due to it being an inland quarry. Stoney Cove also offer a full range of diving courses along with a massive range of kit hire. I also used the ScubaStrapp for the first time which is a new diving product which should be launching anytime soon. It has a use for every element of diving, I’ve also found many other uses for the Scuba Strapp out of the water.