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I am looking at moving from the sunny climes of Surrey to Redditch (not far from Birmingham in case you didn't know) sometime next year, and in preparation, am looking at finding out about dive clubs (priorities and all that!). I'm currently an SAA club diver, just about to do my nitrox course and in the middle of my dry suit training (dived a semi for the past four years but after tryinf a dry bag once, can't understand why I never did it before!), and would like to know if there is any YD'ers from around the Birmingham area?
I'm used to diving in the sea, but appreciate that you're as far from the coast in Birmingham as you can get within the UK - I just don't want to spend the rest of my diving life doing Stoney (never done it and I'm sure it's great, but there's nothing like the sea to clear the sinuses and put hairs on your chest - assuming you want them there that is!)
Look forward to hearing from any 'locals', or any advice as to where I can look forward to diving.
Cheers
Martin
 

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Killed in the line of Duty. RIP.
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I just don't want to spend the rest of my diving life doing Stoney never done it and I'm sure it's great?
?
?

No its not
With a comment like that you've never been. Saturdays and Sundays, queues for bloody miles just to get in. Busy as #### with divers everywhere and almost zero vis (after 10 mins). Weekdays, recovering from the weekend
vis.
Better than nowt but look elsewhere
 

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You'll be fairly well placed for the new inland sites near Chepstow and Vobster. I'm just round the corner near kidderminster and Stoney is a pain in more ways than one, so I hope the two new 'uns are good.
Theres a good club in Worcester based on the Sea Style shop.
See you around.
 

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Gotta disagree there Andy lad.  Been to Stoney several times over the years and if you go on a Friday especially through winter, you can enjoy good viz, quiet car park, and the facilities without being swamped by dive schools and the like.  one of my happiest dives there was tootling round watching pike at 4m.  Ever seen a pike feed?  Ferocious!

Give the place a chance.  But not every weekend like some people seem to!
 

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I agree with Andy!  Went this Wednesday for my first trip to Stoney.  Previously having heard all the above negative points and swearing I would never do it.

Arrived 8.30am to an empty carpark, maybe 10 other cars there.  Kitted up and got in to about 5m+ vis, better than most sea dives I have had with the exception of abroad and Cornwall.

Pootled around at 6m for 45m getting used to exploring underwater delights in my drysuit.  Got out and the carpark was fuller, but only about 1/2-3/4 full.  Some soup and a roll, got a fill in 5mins and the guy helped my other half carry the second tank back to the car.  

Back in for a second dive, met and watched the GIANT pike - got scared.  Out by 2pm and on the road home by 2.30pm, 2 dives, 1h 30 CBT and muchly happy.

Use it for training, honing, polishing and keeping dive "fit" - not the be all and end all and it seems fine.  Get there midweek and the fabled queues aren't there.

Big up the Stoney massive (pike)!!!

 

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Move north!!! To Birmingham!!!!!

Dont do it its full of cup of soup eating wierdos.

Do yourself a favour, get on the M1 or M6 and dont stop till you pass the N/S divide!!
 

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Bloody ####!  By the time you have got to Birmingham you have well passed the N/S divide.  That is what the Thames is for, dontcha know?!
 

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The North-South divide is either Watford (custard above), (creme anglais) below.

or

Hadrians Wall
 

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Just not enough dive time.
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Oh you lot honestly, the N/S divide is Watford, but not the one in Herts its the #### Watford Gap (which is a bit further North - about 40miles). I have to say that I live in Herts (North of Watford) and I am no-way a rufty tufty ferret fancying pigeon wrestling Northern b'stard. Lou, glad you had a good time, even if the Pike scared you, what a big girls blouse, oh then again you are arent you. Sorry thought all divers were macho Bsac bearded types. I'm there tomorrow in the dry-bag, here we go toes up from 22m should be fun - who needs an Smb!
Have a good/safe weekend folks.
Matt
 

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Hey Matt and Lou,

if you're up for a mid-week get-together at Stoney sometime in Dec let me know.  I need to use some holiday before the end of the year and its either DIY or Diving.  No Contest!
 

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Not if you're a *real* southerner it ain't, Matt!  Trust me.  I though Oxford was "northern" even when I lived in Edinburgh.  It quite suprised me when I moved here that they had the audacity to consider themselves southerners!

Good luck tomorrow -are you really gonna do the 22m shelf?
 

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Just not enough dive time.
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I doubt it, I'll just pootle around but if it all goes well I dont see any reason not to plummett the depths of the Stanegarth, but that would be a second dive reverse profile so I might just give that a miss. Think I'll play it by ear and see what my more experienced buddy (not my son tomorrow)wants to do. Trouble is I'm not 100% sure of the weights situation, neither is my buddy as he's just added a pony to his config., but we'll check that out on dive one. I'll probably just concentrate on a gentle bimble and pike search.
Matt
 

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A pike hunt and you're not doing the Stanegarth??
On my last dive at Stoney in Sept/Oct we had the audacity (and it didn't really please the old fella on the gate!) to re-enter the water at 3-45pm for a quick surface sprint out to the Stanegarth's marker bouy, dropped onto the stern, shot through the bowels and into the wheelhouse.
My buddy, Paul, had never been to Stoney before and seemed to be enjoying himself untill he tapped me on the shoulder rather concernedly and was seen disappearing out through the fron 'window' at speed.
I turnd to look through to rear 'window' and came face to face with a 3.5 ft pike! I went to the other 'window', reached through and tickled its "tail feathers" and watched it launch itself into the gloom.
When we discussed it on the surface it turned out that as Paul looked back to see what I was doing he spotted another ,larger, pike hovering in the general area as the one I annoyed fired off to.
This may not be the regular hang out for the big pike at Stoney, but even if not, you'll get to play "underwater sailors" to offset the disappointment.
 

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Whenever i have managed to be the first diver onto the Stanegarth in a morning, the pike have always been in residence.  I think they shoot off for the day whilst the bloody humans explore it then!!
 
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