On Sunday 16th November, a crack team of hardened British divers took Bert, the Mid Herts Divers gnome to his new home at the National Diving and Activity Centre, Chepstow.
Although the weather and diving conditions seemed set to suspend operations, following a sustaining lunch of chips and curry, the hardy team led by Pete "Pistol" Hodkins successfully deployed Bert to his new watery home.
During the operation, two of the hardened divers carried out a reconsissance mission to an unexplored and classified area of the site whilst the other two provided sniper cover from the 27m shelf. Mission failure however, was narrowly averted when one of the snipers lost composure and was compelled to ride a discarded motorcycle.
The National Diving and Activity Centre is the UK's deepest inland dive site with a maximum depth of 75 metres. It has numerous attractions including aeroplanes, helicopters, cars, lots of swim-throughs, training platforms and a gnome garden.
Onsite is a dive shop, a food wagon (with a surprising variety of hot food) and a high-capacity filling station. The site also provides trolleys, raised kitting-up areas, mask-washing buckets and transport to and from the quarry’s floating pontoons.
A great day was had by all and a return weekend trip is pencilled in for the 28th/29th march 2009.
Thanks must go to Pete for driving and Tony for the loan of the vehicle.