Just nicked this from D-net from a guy called Steve L. Looks like he's been to Vobster and here's his report - dated to day:
"Went down to Vobster earlier today to do a recce. It was too cold to dive (for me anyway). Seems like an excellent set up. It`s a tenner to get in even if you are not diving.
They do, however, give it back on the way out. I supposed it`s to make sure that everyone that goes in goes back out.
The whole set up seems fairly professional.
The quarry is about twice as big as Stoney Cove. As far as facilities go, it`s got a lot of potential. Things are a bit spartan at the moment, but to be fair, they`ve opened ahead of schedule. If you get there early enough, you can park within 20 mtrs of the water. Any later and you`ll have to use the car park which is about 100 mtrs up the slope. Access is from a concrete hard standing adjacent to the main building. This houses the air fill station, classroom and soon to be cafe. Warm drinks and hot dogs are on sale there.
Don`t know what the viz is, but it`s reputed to be OK.
You`ll need an Ordance Survey map/ Multi-map print out to find it though.
If you live in the south-west, then this is the inland site to go to."
I asked a guy called Sean Portsmouth (from D-net) if he wouldn't mind getting back to me with a dive report from his trip to Vobster yesterday. I've just received this in full report - thanks again to Sean:
" Hey Sean,
Assuming you guys did go to Vobster, can you please give us all a full 'S.P./heads-up' on diving conditions/viz/depth etc? What was it like? Service (fugg-wit 'happy-to-take-your-money-but-no-one-home-gig' or other)? Fills/Choice of Mixes? Facilities (food, swalley)? In-water-Features (planes, trains & automobiles)? Parking (enough of or sh!te)? Dunny (proximity and numerousness of)?
Hope it went well and the dive went safe,
" Hi Bren,
The first thing to remember is this site has opened early due to pressure from divers. First impressions are well organised.
3 members of staff met us at the entrance and there we filled the relevant paperwork in (much the same as Stoney, you can also pre-register, saves time filling forms in, again the same as Stoney). Costs £10 for the day's diving or £7.50 if you have per registered, also a £10 deposit per diver is required. Instructors free providing you pre book.
Every person entering the site is given a tag that you return when leaving the site and your £10 is refunded. In my humble view, this a good idea - at least they will know that all members of public are off site, and the solo diver is not still in the water when the place closes (because it does not matter what centres make one sign, you always get them).
The bottom car park was full with about 50 or so cars, with reserved spaces for disabled divers. We parked in the top car park walked down to the water to (a) get fills (b) talk a rough dive plan.
Fills tripled filtered air to 300 bar: 15L £3, 12L 2.50, and £1 for my pony, all brand new kit nice set-up; Nitrox up to 80% mix if so required, even at weekends.
Having spoke to one of the owners and got some advice on where things are, depths etc. we planned our dive and returned to the top car park to kit up (I would recommend a tarp, as the car park is that rusty stone stuff); once our kit was together we were asked when we would like the
trailer to transport our kit to the waters edge, nice touch as its about a 100m walk down hill.
Ran through the plan once more checked the onsite map and kit then into the water.
The vis was good, about 4m near the waters edge and about maybe 6m or so away from the shore. There is a blockhouse, lots of training platforms at 10M to 20M. There is a huge concrete tunnel about 50M in length that goes from 13m down to 22m; you can get 3 divers side by side in there - though not for the novice divers.
There is a Thermal Kline at 20m or so, then it starts to get dark. Air temp was, with wind chill, –3, so the radio said, water was 10C.
They are going to put a few double Decker buses in there, also a helicopter, and other stuff to find, we found a few cars.
There were lots of technical divers there playing in the 37m area, they all enjoyed the diving. The water's surface area is a lot larger than Stoney. I was also told that, unlike Stoney, there will not be 1000’s of divers on-site, the place can hold about 300 cars and an average 2 divers per car.
Due to the way they have planed the area, students and the more shallower training platforms are not near the deep area, so the more skilled divers won't have the problem of the bottom being kicked up.
Once we finished our dive our kit was transported back to the car park for us.
On-site there was tea, coffee, hotdogs, muffins, but as I said they have opened the gates early, so the shop and food bar is not quite ready yet, but we were able to have a hot drink and something to eat.
There is plenty of room at the waters edge, yesterday there was about 100 + divers there and it was only the second day they were open.
Vobster is not Stoney (yet), there is no pub, no new big buildings with pool etc, but we arrived at 10:00 and had no problems getting in.
I would recommend Vobster, its saved us an extra 2 hours drive and getting up at stupid o’clock to queue for a dive. We will be there again soon.
He he don't forget to leave your flat caps and Yorkshire terriers behind boys.
May even see a couple of you northern folk there in Jan, and don’t forget the passports you’ll need them to get back. (As he ducks) Were looking for maybe the second weekend. Would be great to put a few faces to names.