Hinksey Lake is the nearest dive-able body of water to Oxford BSAC. Of course by diveable what we mean is deep enough to dive in. Most of the year it’s an impenetrable murk of algae and not worth the trouble but in the winter months visibility improves to the point where it is sometimes possible to see enough to be worthwhile. You get about 3m of water with about 1m of ‘silt’ on the bottom.
The locals in Oxford have helpfully dumped lots of ‘artefacts’ on the bottom. There’s a reef of broken sinks, dozens of bicycles, a couple of motorbikes, quite a lot of old newspapers and lots more. On the West side near the trees, we often find bits of crockery thrown out of trains in earlier eras, even one year a silver candlestick! Another good place to search for junk is underneath the bridge where the local criminals seem to dump their loot.
We traditionally dive in Hinskey lake on New Year’s day. It is usually pretty cold but we’re a hardy bunch and even the snorkelers have a go.