Delphy Pool Inland Diving Site:
Delphy Pool Dive Centre is passionate about creating an extraordinary diving experience that pushes boundaries and unlocks the hidden depths of adventure.
They welcome both freedivers and scuba divers to their site. Delphy Pool was once a magnificent granite quarry but now has depths reaching up to 37 meters.
They have dedicated entry steps designed for scuba divers.
This new inland dive site is an exciting development for the Southwest and a great alternative when weather doesn’t allow for diving to happen.
BSAC Instructor and Plymouth Sound Diving Member, Andy Wigglesworth recently visited and has provided a thorough review of the site.
As I’m sure most people know, an inland dive site called Delphy Pool opened up to scuba divers in August. Although freshwater or ‘pit diving’ is not everyone’s cup of tea, I thought I’d feedback on my experience as it might be of interest to some members of the club particularly for those fancying a dive when blown out, diving with minimal faff, training in a controlled environment, testing kit or simply desalinating dive kit without getting the garden hose out.
Delphy Pool is an ex-granite quarry situated northeast of Bodmin that has been used for some time by freedivers and swimmers.
REGISTRATION & BOOKING PROCESS
Costs for membership are £45 per annum, paid via PayPal subscription and once completed a login for the web application is created where you can book available sessions in the calendar – https://www.delphypool.co.uk/register/scuba-membership/
It is worth highlighting that during registration you need to upload proof of certification, and after registering and paying there is a short delay while they verify your certs. I did this while they were open on a Wednesday, by uploading screenshots of the MyBSAC app to further test if they were happy with that as proof, and it took them roughly a day before they were approved and I could book a slot. Instructor quals weren’t added so just showed my plastic QCards on the day, so if you have plastic cards you might want to reach for them.
The cost per session is £17 for diving members. Members can bring a non-member buddy for the day providing they are a certified diver for £24 payable on the day.
For Instructors and Dive Schools bringing non-members/uncertified divers, the cost is £20 per student and one instructor attends for free per session. I queried about minimum numbers for this and there is none, so a 1-1 instructor/student ratio would still cost a total of £20 in entry fees.
Location of Delphy Pool:
Long story short, you’re jumping off the A30 at Temple Tor and have 5 miles of moor roads that occasionally nip through little hamlets. However, SatNav (Waze) was dead on and they’ve put lots of signs up when you get close. The last half a mile is an access road with plenty of Cornish twists and turns – https://www.delphypool.co.uk/location/
PARKING & LOGGING IN
The car park is gravel and looks a bit like a building site, as it’s shared with a company that fabricates wooden cabins. But it’s large and there are nearby areas to drop the kit near the kit bench area before you park up
It’s a small site so Nikki the owner will probably say hi before confirming your details and explaining the site.
FACILITIES & FOOD
They’ve got a little ‘tuck shop’ where you can get hot drinks, cold cans, crisps, flapjacks etc. but no hot food or anything substantial. So bring sarnies for between dives.
There are two small showers in little cabins for rinsing off/warming up, and a single portaloo. There are some cabins for getting changed too.
No gas facilities and although they have a little shop it’s free diving stuff so bring your spares and enough gas for the day.
Accessibility-wise, it’s a gravel car park as mentioned which has half a dozen steps up to the main area/kit benches and a dozen steps down to the water.
The kitting-up area is a raised wooden platform about 4x4m, very close to the steps.
There is no AED, but they have O2, a first-aid kit and someone trained in first-aid present at all times. There is a small row boat for emergencies, but it’s not a large site so surface towing or a rope throw would be the fastest recovery methods in an emergency – https://www.delphypool.co.uk/facilities/
THE WATER & THE SITE
There’s no map yet, and no random military scrap has been chucked in either. There’s a free diving platform above the deepest point (38m I’m told) and a bunch of small buoys and DSMBs marking 10m areas.
Entry into the water is via a dozen metal steps that lead to a yellow metal grated platform about 5m long.
Striding off this you’re pretty much instantly into 10m of water.
Being a granite quarry the water is fairly clear (5m I’d estimate), but quickly gets cold past about 7m. We went to 18m and it dropped rapidly from 15c to 9c. There’s limited natural light as it’s in a bit of a basin, plus the water has a nice UK green tint, so good torches are advised. The two underwater shots are from a cheap point-and-click camera with no colour correction, so looks far greener than it is.
There were a few ‘flat rock areas’ a short fin from entry in around 6-9m. It’s worth mentioning there’s a fair amount of dead leaves and trees around the perimeter, which should improve with more diver traffic… or a sub-aquatic gardener.”
My personal view is it’s a decent local alternative to Vobster if all you need/want is to get into a body of predictable water and be able to see your buddy/student, but the lack of facilities both above and below the water needs to be considered. The lack of a hard bottom immediately under the diving area and the occasional underwater tree to avoid would mean I’d only personally be comfortable taking Sports Diver trainees and above in there.
It was only my buddy and I along with 3 other divers present. I’d imagine anything more than 12 divers would start to get snug due to available space on benches, entry/exit, in water etc.