Hard hat diving

After our hard hat diving day in Mevagissey in April I have the utmost respect for those intrepid aquanauts who donned brass hat, lead boots and weights, totalling nearly 200lbs and went into the murky depths to salvage wrecks. It’s one of those experiences that is actually a lot harder than it looks. The gear is unbelievably heavy on land, and when you get in the water you are so buoyant your arms fly up above your head into a permanent Mexican wave making it a real effort to move even a single step.

It’s a really fun experience though. Particularly watching the smallest member of the group, at only 5ft tall, wearing the trilaminate suit designed for a burly 6ft plus macho diver. At the other extreme, Scotty, our ‘bulkiest’ diver had to be squeezed into the suit using Vaseline, and nearly cut out of it afterwards.

We did the day-long hard hat course with Sal Diving www.saldivingcompany.com, who have original equipment including a magnificent 1830’s brass helmet, hand pump and an extremely leaky old suit. Choose your air pump friends carefully when you step off the harbour wall into 8m of water – hopefully they’ll resist the temptation to nip off for a coffee.

Give it a go – it’s an experience you won’t forget.