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    Custom Title Allowed! Freef has a brilliant future Freef has a brilliant future Freef has a brilliant future Freef has a brilliant future Freef has a brilliant future Freef has a brilliant future Freef has a brilliant future Freef has a brilliant future Freef has a brilliant future Freef has a brilliant future Freef has a brilliant future Freef's Avatar
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    Freef in 2006.

    Here's the next lot, for last year.

  2. #2
    Custom Title Allowed! Freef has a brilliant future Freef has a brilliant future Freef has a brilliant future Freef has a brilliant future Freef has a brilliant future Freef has a brilliant future Freef has a brilliant future Freef has a brilliant future Freef has a brilliant future Freef has a brilliant future Freef has a brilliant future Freef's Avatar
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    21st January, "Have you found your keys yet?" [Dolphin dives 32-35]

    Serena [who I used to teach for at C-life] is up at Stoney with four trainee divers, Caroline and Keith. Barry [another C-Life instructor] and Jan [his wife] were along for a splash as well, and it’s the last two I had planned to dive with.

    Serena decided not to use Caroline in the end, so she joined our happy little band. The Dolphin was in use again as I wanted to clock up some more hours on it, Caroline was on her trusty twin 10’s Barry on his 12 and 3L pony and Jan on her single 12. I was running around a bit trying to sort out a set of regs for Jack, one of Serena’s trainees, myself and my kit, during which time I lost my car keys. I had a look around and half took off my drysuit to see if they were in my undersuit pockets, but they didn’t appear to be. Thinking ‘sod it I’ll find them after the dive’ I got myself sorted for the splash.

    A quick once over for the Dolphin and in we dropped from the bus stop for dive one. Jan was a little under weighted, but Barry and I had taken some clip weights in with us to make sure she would sink. Once Jan was under and we were all sorted we went down the road to 12m and then dropped over the side to 20m, where the blockhouse is found. Checking my pO2 meter I switched to 30% from 21% on my Vytec. I had estimated the loop O2 would be about 33%, and I knocked a couple of percent off for luck. With the stunning vis [15-20m] it was an easy swim to the coach, before turning to the Stanegarth, which Jan hadn’t seen in a while. We had a swim through the boat and then on to the helicopter and up the wall to 6m where we slowly surfaced at the step.

    During the surface interval I made a nuisance of myself by flirting with Isabella, a young lady on the course, and telling my currently favourite joke. I stripped the car out looking for my keys, and even went into the shop to see if they had been handed in, but no luck there either. I got out of my drysuit to find the damn things in my undersuit pocket, which I had checked previously. No, honestly, I had. Relaxing a little, but still my usual hyperactive self, I topped up the RB tank from a 15L I have.

    Jan was sitting out dive 2, so it was Barry, Caroline and I that went exploring around the BOP at 22m. As we entered the water and started to descend I noticed a leak from Barry’s Apeks DST4 first stage. It was only a small stream of bubbles, coming from the swivel joint, indicating an O ring had started to fail, so we carried on the dive. There were a large number of small perch around the BOP, so we stared at them for a bit before wandering along the pit edge to the cairn that marks the turn point for the coach. I mimed to Barry and Caroline to remember the landmark and we then headed for the coach, which you could see from the cairn. Caroline was once again practicing on her four cylinders, and as a consequence found it rather difficult to enter the coach, much to my amusement, which she heard as rebreathers are very good at transmitting the sound of laughter. The reason for her ramming the coach was that she had seen a bit of tat on the floor that she wanted to recover, so yours truly ended up putting a plastic shark in his pouch. Once she had extracted herself via the front window we headed to the Stanegarth again and pulled ourselves along the anchor chain to the bottom of the cliff, where I led us up to the West side of the APC. There are usually a number of fish here, and we weren’t disappointed this time as there were three pike in small, medium and large swimming among the roach. Passing the APC I unclipped the 7L stage bottom clip to make removal easier at the surface. We exited at the bus stop, with Caroline experiencing a bit of difficulty due to her leg problem [they’re a little short]. I struggled as well, and I will have to ask the staff if another step will be fitted to make exiting easier. Of course if it isn’t securely fitted no doubt some muppet will remove it for their trophy collection, and a fine addition it will make, alongside the bit of Wessex and a chip of paint from the picture inside the Stanegarth. I switched to the 7L stage in the last few minutes of the dive for a bit of a deco practice, shutting the Dolphin gas off and draining the loop.

    On the surface again I sampled one of Jan’s donuts, and Caroline bought me a hot chocolate. I had a quick fiddle with Jack’s regs as the occy was a bit active and then flirted some more before it was time to get back in.

    Jan was joining in this time so we dropped onto the Wessex, where Caroline and I played seesaw, although Barry and Jan ignored us and didn’t want to play. We headed around to the East, passing the Bedford van, and after 15 minutes I turned the dive and we had a slow ascent along the wall. We had a look around the Nautilus, where Jan spotted a large pike. It swam behind the sub and crept back at the bow, looking like it was stalking Jan.

    We got out at the slipway, Barry on his second attempt, and ponced some food from the trainees. Caroline and I were going in for a fourth splash, but Barry and Jan were off home so we had Ken join us. As we had already done three 20m dives I wanted to stay at 6m, but the others were keen on the Stanegarth again.

    Dropping in at the bus stop once more we descended quickly to the 7m spot just behind the cockpit, but further descent was slowed by Ken having ear problems. Instead of dropping off the wall to the blockhouse we went down the road where Ken managed to clear his ears and we then headed along the pit drop off to the coach and onto the tug. Visibility to the North of the wreck was considerably worse than to the South, showing how much silt had been stirred up during the course of the day. We entered the boat from the hole under the wheelhouse and exited at the rearmost hatch. I was clanking the stage a bit, so I will have to re assess my size when I fit the 10L to the Dolphin. Then it was back to the helicopter and a slow ascent up the wall to the bus stop and out. Ken was ‘seahorsing’ showing he was overweighted, probably by a couple of kilos. He also has one of those battery powered glowsticks, which conveniently sits under his BC inflator hose.

    After stripping the kit we hit the pub for food, where even the waitress joined in taking the mickey out of me. I’ll have my revenge one day…

    Dive data

    Dive 1

    21.3 m
    33 min
    vO2=0.79

    SI 1h 41 min

    Dive 2

    22.3 m
    38 min
    vO2=0.88

    SI 1h 20 min

    Dive 3

    20.4 m
    29 min
    vO2=0.92

    SI 1 h 6 min

    Dive 4

    21.3m
    33 min

  3. #3
    Custom Title Allowed! Freef has a brilliant future Freef has a brilliant future Freef has a brilliant future Freef has a brilliant future Freef has a brilliant future Freef has a brilliant future Freef has a brilliant future Freef has a brilliant future Freef has a brilliant future Freef has a brilliant future Freef has a brilliant future Freef's Avatar
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    4th Feb "I’m glad you thought that question through before you asked it" [Dolphin div

    As I’m not six, and it’s 0400 when I am up and about I must be off to Stoney at the weekend. Caroline insisted on Stoney over Guildy as she wanted the ‘extra couple of degrees’ warmth in the water. The temperature was six on Wednesday eve, as opposed to a reported five at Guildy. Barry and Harvey from 955 were heading up as well, and so were some of the other BSAC hooligans. Caroline was to try out a 12L twinset as she was having trouble shutting down the 10’s. During a conversation during the week she told me she had changed her underwear-I normally have to pay 50p a minute for a conversation like that. I refused to say ‘well it’s about time’, as she continued that she was now going to use a Fourth Element Arctic 2 piece set instead of her Weezle extreme.

    Wandering around the car park and chatting to people in the van next to me, up pops Ken, one of the 955 lot of the ‘missing shoes’ incident in Plymouth last April. He is the first of the club to arrive, straight from his postal job, still wearing his uniform. Caroline arrives just after 0800 and she can still park in the bottom car park. We kit up and discuss the plan for dive one, where Caroline it to have one last go at shutting down her 10’s. There is a bet between us that she will be able to shut them down before I get a girlfriend, both tasks seeming impossible two weeks ago when the wager was made. I had the new dumpy 3L pony on this dive to replace the tall 3L that I had been using as wing, suit and bailout up until now. I was also diving with the 7L stage I use for suit gas and deco/bailout. I tend to dive with this stage on the Dolphin most of the time now as it gives me lots of gas for the suit and diving with it on the left it is nicely balanced with the 3L on the right. Although convention for deco gas is ‘richest on the right’, having a single tank shows that it is the only deco gas, so it is less of an issue.

    Off to the pit we go, following the road down to the 20m BOP and box and then the rope to the deep box. As I was running 42% in the rebreather tank, my pO2 was 1.11 at 21.1m so I knew that I wouldn’t be off to the bottom of the pit. On top of the box at 31.2m I was reading 1.38 so there I stopped. We had a shine around of the torches, Caroline’s Greenforce seeming as bright as the bright bulb on my UK D4R, so it looks like I will be getting one of those come the dive show, if I can find someone willing to pick one up for me. We headed back up the road an off to the South, following the pit edge to the coach, which was easy to find in the 15m vis we were enjoying. At the coach I took Caroline’s camera, and set it to video mode so she could see how far away she was from the valves. It turns out that she could reach them in her new gear and achieved her shut down at last. We went back to the blockhouse and up to the 6m ledge for the stop before getting out at the step.

    Barry and Nicky had arrived when we surfaced, as had Colin who was limping about. He had been parked in the top car park and had managed to fall over when lifting his kit, doing something nasty to his ankle. He was hiding in Ken’s van as when medically trained Nicky heard he was injured she reached for her knife with a gleam in her eye. Nicky had a new wing to try out, the same colour blue as her drysuit. I complimented her on choosing one that matched her eyes and felt like the shopkeeper in the old ‘Yorkie’ advert. Barry was taking Ken and Nicky in for an easy dive so they could sort their kit, as Barry was on his new twinset and wing and needed a practice as well. Harvey was a no show as he was feeling a bit ropey after the Wed eve dive, so the ‘Colin and Harvey diving double act’ performance was cancelled. Caroline went to get the 10’s filled and I refilled the Dolphin cylinder from the 15L that I carry. I get charged £5 for a 40% mix in any size single cylinder, so I get the two fives filled and then decant form the 15, which probably saves me £20-30 every time. I fill the 5’s after each dive to maximise the number of fills I get.

    The second dive was to be a bit of navigation for Caroline. We surface swam to the coach using the transits and dropped onto it, then over to the Stanegarth and due South to the mini. I showed Caroline my compass to tell her to navigate, and indicated that we should go 90 degrees to the mini. Caroline looked at her console and gave me 180, which I thought she meant was her air pressure. Shaking my head I again indicated 90. Caroline indicates 180. Getting frustrated I swim close and show her my compass to make absolutely sure she gets it through her skull that I want her to NAVIGATE, not tell me her air pressure, and go SOUTH on a bearing of NINETY degr…oh ARSE! Giving her a meek OK I mime shooting myself and then indicate 180, and off we go. We get to the mini as I am wondering how to cover up my stupid navigation errors, but I don’t think that narcosis at 20m will wash.

    We carry on past the mini, with Caroline picking up the pace to the far wall. I pointed out the crayfish trails that are easily seen in the silt to Caroline, as they are on the Cessna ledge. We ascended near the galleon and head back around the ledge. I was getting an occasional gurgling from my exhale valve, which I put down to a build up of gob in the loop, until I got a mouthful of fresh, cold water. This is not good on a rebreather. I shut the mouthpiece and went onto the bailout then assessed what had happened. Was my mouth feeling slimy? No. Burning in the mouth and throat? No. Did I feel OK? Yes. I cautiously went back onto the loop, waiting for another mouthful of water. I couldn’t hear any other bubbling, and there was no more water in the mouthpiece. Staying on the loop, but with the bailout to hand we I headed back to the slipway. I was trying to think of the likely source of the problem. The mouthpiece was out during my swim on the surface to the coach, but why had the unit not flooded sooner? The positive and negative pressure tests were passed on site as well as last night. The overpressure valve didn’t operate more often than usual, so the loop couldn’t have that much water in it, and I wasn’t getting any caustic signs, only the occasional water in the mouth, which was fresh and cold. I switched back to OC and let the loop go above my head, rather than the usual storage place of under my chin. I left it there for a bit and then switched back, to see if the water had drained away. I stayed on the loop until we were getting out at the slipway.

    Barry, Nicky and Ken were back and I stripped the Dolphin to drain the counterlungs and check for damage. I tested the mouthpiece and hoses, checked the draining bungs on the lungs and the scrubber top. All seemed OK and the unit passed the negative pressure test, but seemed to have a slow leak on the positive pressure test. Don’t try the next bit at home-I decided to dive the unit anyway to see if the problem would reoccur. Ken had a flooded drysuit and Nicky had developed frostbite during their dive, so Barry was to join Caroline and I for the third dive. I said that I would abort and surface if I had a problem, and I told Barry that he should do his shutdown in the first couple of minutes of the dive so that I could check the Dolphin.

    We dropped down to 6m where Barry successfully reached all the knobs. I noticed that he had a small stream of bubbles from one of the knobs, which I mentioned to him later. I made sure that the Dolphin was breathing fine with no water ingress to the loop, before descending to 20m and following the cliff along to the bus. Later tests at home showed that if the mouthpiece valve was not opened all the way a good hard suck would draw water into the loop, so hopefully this is the mistake I made. I had wanted to do three dives today, as this would make my total up to 800. Serena and Caroline take the mickey somewhat and call me a quarry diver, but I don’t care and I live hundreds of miles from the coast, which makes last minute sea diving off limits. As we descended I found a large rock to place between Caroline’s tanks and the manifold, which stayed there for a while, letting Barry and myself laugh our socks off. After it fell off I hitched a lift on Caroline’s manifold before she decided that being in front of be was a bad place to be. We got to the helicopter where first Caroline and I, then Caroline and Barry played seesaws before I looked carefully under the helicopter’s fuselage and found something. Quickly grabbing it I beckoned Caroline over to have a look…at the large handful of silt, which I threw in her face. How I laughed. Caroline gave me an underwater telling off.

    Onwards to the van and then upwards to the far side of the pub we went, and ascended to six metres to do a swimming stop to the slipway. Not looking where I was going I nearly swam into a school of divers. As we were still on stop time as we neared the slip we carried on to the step, where I took my fins off as Barry climbed out and managed to drop one of them. I then suffered from a brief overdose of competency deficiency syndrome, with stupidity to follow. I decided to recover my fin but I had already turned the Dolphin cylinder off, and partially drained the loop. Dropping down 2 metres the pO2 alarm kicked off, but I ignored it while I got my fin back. I was feeling a bit ‘heady’ after I surfaced after 20 seconds or so and saw my pO2 was 0.13 bar. Stupid, stupid, stupid. I know better than that, and it shows how a little complacency can have the ability to ruin your whole day. If I was down any longer or deeper the consequences could have been bad. The stupid thing is that I could have used the OC bailout and been fine.

    After dekitting we went first to the shop, where I bought an adaptor to turn the first stage of the Dolphin from the unique fitting to a DIN one so I can use a 10L with it, and then to the pub where I had a large scoff, and I was asked the question ‘why do rebreather divers carry self inflating SMB’s?’ I explained to this otherwise intelligent [but non RB user, so I’ll let them off] that you can’t always inflate the blob by using the exhale through the mouth method of inflation. Caroline proudly brandished her stamp over my logbook and we had to leave the pages to dry for a while, then it was off home to decontaminate the kit and go out to the BSAC 955 party that evening. I will have to join the club at some point in the future I suppose. As a PS, I have checked the Dolphin loop again and all appears OK. Hopefully just one of those things.

    Dive Data

    Dive 1

    32m
    31 min
    vO2 0.64

    SI 1 h 30min

    Dive 2

    20.7m
    39 min
    vO2 0.70

    SI 1 h 24 min

    Dive 3

    21m
    28 min

  4. #4
    Custom Title Allowed! Freef has a brilliant future Freef has a brilliant future Freef has a brilliant future Freef has a brilliant future Freef has a brilliant future Freef has a brilliant future Freef has a brilliant future Freef has a brilliant future Freef has a brilliant future Freef has a brilliant future Freef has a brilliant future Freef's Avatar
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    18th Feb "See, a couple of rubber G-strings can solve anything" [Dolphin dives 39-41a

    Feeling [and most likely looking] like grim death, I’m off to Stoney to join the C-Life lot for a splash. The cold I had started to come down with was moving from my throat to my nose, so I was hoping that I would be able to dive before my ears blocked. The Friday evening I ate at the Mill with Serena and Caroline, and the food was a bit ropey. I was fine with it, as being an engineer, food has to fulfil two requirements: 1] is it the right temperature? 2] is there enough of it? Being ‘posh birds’ Serena and Caroline have other desires, like taste and the stuff in front of them being as described on the menu. Caroline suffered from some mickey taking as she had hit her nose on one of her tables earlier in the day, and Serena and I were suggesting that it had gone wonky. Then it was my turn to be told I would have to do a refresher course before I was allowed in the sea.

    The plan for the day was for me to play tour guide to four divers who had just done their drysuit course. Of the four only two turned up, as Serena had warned the other two that I was going to be diving with them. Terry and Karen were made of sterner stuff though and were quite happy for me to show them the sights at the site. Serena was running a couple of courses with Caroline as the DM. One of the divers on the advanced course remembered me from when I did his OW course a couple of years ago. I must have done something right as he was still speaking to me.

    I had modified my kit [again] for this dive. The previously difficult to reach D ring to the rear of the pocket has been moved to on top of the pocket. Rerouting the waist strap over the top of the trim weight allows this. The other mod is running the pressure gauge over the shoulder and attaching it near the power inflator. Although this means the gauge is quite close to the shoulder it is easy enough to read, and declutters me a bit.

    Wandering around the carpark I spoke to John [surname withheld for reasons that he is bigger than me] and a couple of his friends. I owned up to my cock up a couple of weeks before when I turned my gas off and went back in, which met with mild amusement. We had a chat about RB’s until I told them that I had a cold. Then they ran off. A bit later John collared me. He had forgotten his drysuit, despite asking if the chap he was diving with had remembered his when he picked him up. I took him up to the van to see if Serena could sort him out, but she didn’t have one that would fit, so he decided to pop home and pick one up before finding a muddy puddle to jump in.

    Dive one was to see how Terry and Karen were underwater and then I would decide where we were going. After giving them the ‘how to dive with a semi closed rebreather diver’ chat [if I turn blue and stop moving it’s probably a bad thing] I quickly ran through compass use as I may ask them to do a bit of navigation and in we plop. After the last time I dived the Dolphin went slightly wonky a couple of times I made sure that the mouthpiece was fully open. On our first descent we had to pop back up as Karen’s mask was flooding, and after a quick adjust we went down again. We waited a while as a stream of trainees made their way past us and headed to the cockpit where Karen had a bit of trouble clearing. Once sorted it was a gentle descent down the road to the 20m level where we made our way along the cliff edge to the blockhouse. I was going to ask Karen to nav to the coach, but both she and Terry were down to 150 bar, so I decided to leave the navigation for now. We got to the coach in good time and had a swim through it before looking at the little figure bolted to its roof. From there we went to the Stanegarth for a quick swim around and then back along the anchor chain.

    Karen gave me the ‘T’ for 100 bar at the end of the chain, where I was going to be finishing the dive anyway, and we made our way back up the road. Terry was fine on the ascent, but at 8m Karen had a moment and hadn’t been dumping gas as quickly as she should. I grabbed her and tried to stop her ascent, but she got inverted and we ended up on the surface, with her foot coming out of her drysuit boot. We got sorted out and dropped back down to Terry and completed the stop at 5m, my computer requiring an extra minute. Karen’s was sulking a bit more and needed two minutes longer before it would talk to her again.

    Serena’s lot were in the water when we came up and so we had a moment or two of peace and quiet. I amused myself by catching Karen out with the mattabooboo for the second time in two hours. The class came back with Paul looking deep frozen, because he was. I gave him a handwarmer and let him defrost a bit. I took Karen shopping for a pair of rubber G-strings from the shop. Don’t be too alarmed [or excited], Ann Summers haven’t opened a branch at Stoney, although they could if they wanted to depth rate some of their waterproof products. What we were after are the little jobbies variously known as fin retainers, boot retainers, or ‘Dave, can I borrow those rubber straps again’ if you are Rob. They are useful little things which look like a ‘Y’ shaped piece of rubber from the side, and you put your foot into the ‘Y’ so one strap goes over the top of the foot, one under the sole, and one behind the ankle. It keeps drysuit boots in place if they are a bit big for the diver.

    Dive two was to the helicopter. After getting in at the slipway I got my rubber shark out to show Karen and Terry, much to the amusement of no one except me. Following the ‘look for the broken pipe and drop over the edge’ method we made out way to the Wessex where I showed the others the roundel on the fuselage and the way that red light is absorbed at depth. Going back to the Stanegarth for a bit more of an explore we waited until a YBOD diver completed a drill on the deck before we went inside the engine room through the big hatch. I wanted to take Terry and Karen inside briefly and back out the same way, but the two YBOD divers and their OC buddy followed us in, making it a bit crowded. We made way for them and then got ourselves out through the roof hatch. I had a laugh at another Inspo diver who was trying to extricate himself from the rearmost hatch and was getting stuck. We went into the wheelhouse where I showed the steering mechanism to the others before we exited through the windows.

    I got Terry to do the first nav to the coach from the tug, and he was OK, but a little out. I then asked Karen to navigate 30 degrees to the blockhouse. I was wearing a pair of ‘lobster mitts’ for this dive, so I couldn’t just signal with three fingers to do 30 degrees, so as with Terry I wrote the bearing down as ‘30’ with the degree indicator of a small superscript circle. Karen mistook this for a bearing of 300 then locked her compass anyway so we did a 10m diameter circle back to the coach. I took over to lead us back to the road where we ascended again. Karen started to look a bit light at one stage but her buoyancy was better, with the only problem being throwing her left leg up behind her as she dumped air, which I mentioned to her when we were back on the surface.

    As Terry and Karen were up for a third dive, we waited for Serena and co to do their second one. There was a bit of excitement over on the Stanegarth and five divers popped up. As this was the number of divers that had gone in, and where they were going, I got out the binoculars to have a look. One of them was Serena, and the boat was on the way out. Luckily there was nothing serious, and the group on the surface was made up of Serena and one of the trainees and three from another group. Talking later, Serena told me how she came up with one of the trainees at the same time as one from another group suffered a freeflow.

    Dive three got underway as a short shallow bimble, where I would take a few pictures. As time was pressing on, and I needed to jump in for a fourth splash with a 10L strapped to the Dolphin we kept it to a 20 min dive. In at the bus stop again, we went around the tank to look for a pike or two in the weeds to the West side of the shallow bit. Luckily we did find one and we then slowly wandered along towards the slipway. On the way I showed how to attract the fish by stirring up the bottom, which Karen took to and seemed to want to stay there all day. Resisting the temptation to leave them to it, I moved us along to the step and exit. I left Terry and Karen to dekit and shot up to my car to break out the 10 litre and adaptor so I could rig the rebreather.

    The hoses are quite short for diving on a 10 with a standard valve, and it needs to be offset quite a way to make it fit. Out of the water it felt decidedly lopsided, but submerged it felt OK. As I had an air fill in the 10, I was diving OC so as to avoid killing myself, although I suppose I could have dived the RB as OC, but I wanted to exercise the regs as well. Caroline was kit fiddling and switched to her stage to find there was no gas in it. Probably because she had turned it off.

    After dekitting we hit the pub and Serena and I scoffed a hot choc cake slice while Terry provided the drinks. I had to endure more fun at my expense with my huge number of fresh water dives compared to the south coast dwelling rabble I have to put up with, and I made Serena the offer that I would go on the boat without my beloved Stugeron if she would dove Stoney in a shorty before the end of March. Caroline said that there was no comparison between the two, but if you suffer from sea sickness there is. Serena asked if Stugeron was OK to take when trimix diving, to which I replied she should ask the technical diving fraternity, which put both her and Caroline’s back up a treat, as they are both trimix qualified.

    Dive data:

    Dive 1

    20.4m
    35 min
    vO2=0.97

    SI 2h 1 min

    Dive 2

    21.0m
    33 min
    vO2=0.89

    SI 2h 2 min

    Dive 3

    8.5m
    20 min

    SI 16 min

    Dive 4

    6.4m
    7 min

  5. #5
    Custom Title Allowed! Freef has a brilliant future Freef has a brilliant future Freef has a brilliant future Freef has a brilliant future Freef has a brilliant future Freef has a brilliant future Freef has a brilliant future Freef has a brilliant future Freef has a brilliant future Freef has a brilliant future Freef has a brilliant future Freef's Avatar
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    18th March “Did you have to pay VAT on those?” [Dolphin dives 43-45]

    Driving up to Stoney in the middle of the night gives you time to think about the important questions in life-is there intelligent life out there? Do other people see me the way I see myself? Is it still OK to listen to Eminem when I’m pushing 36? Passing the glow of Daventry I’m getting to the lake early to meet Barry from the previous Wednesday so we can do his second planned deco dive. Deciding to change CD to one where a song with the line ‘See that gerbil? Grab that tube’ won’t be a prominent feature in any of the songs, I drive the last five miles to the car park and settle down for a kip. The dawn chorus is in full swing when the staff come around asking for the entry money, and I join Serena and Caroline in the C-Life version of Thunderbird Two. Caroline is showing off her Fourth Element Arctic kit when I ask if she was charged VAT on them, as children’s clothing is usually exempt. Caroline was truly speechless for a while before asking if someone had bought me a new joke book.

    The trusty Dolphin was out for a spin again, as I fancied a bit more deco practice on it. Serena was teaching with the aid of new instructor Iain, Terry and Karen were back for some more instruction and Ken and Tony were up for a play. Barry arrived shortly after and we kitted up for dive one, which was to be the same plan as the Wednesday deco dive, but without me getting hopelessly lost in the pit, and Barry diving with his sidemount placed on the right. With all of the Dolphin pre dive checks completed we went down to the bus stop to get in. Barry decided on the conventional giant stride while I sat down to kit up. As Barry was putting on his fin the strap decided now would be a good time to break, so it did. Barry went up to my car to get the spare strap out of the toolbox, with the aid of Caroline. I carry a complete strap and buckle assembly rather than just the strap as it is quicker to replace the whole thing, especially if your hands are cold. Barry was back in short order and we plopped in. Descending to 6m for a bubble check it was Barry’s turn to wallop the bottom. He then switched his stage on as we bubble checked and did the reg swap, which produced a lot of bubbles as the first stage had been knocked as we got in and the DIN clamp had come undone slightly. After a quick tighten of the valve we went down the road, with Barry in the lead.

    We had decided to follow the rope down from 22m to the deep box rather than use the road. Barry was leading off to the left a bit, but we corrected the route and swam past the BOP to where the rope starts. We descended into the gloom of the deepest part of the lake gently as I checked the pO2 readings of the loop to make sure I didn’t get hyperoxic. All was in order so we dropped off the hydrobox and began to swim South keeping the wall to our right. After 12 minutes we turned the dive and headed back the way we came, arriving at the box at 17 min. We then swam along the East side of the pit, and after crossing the road I realised where I had gone wrong on the previous dive. About 8m south of the road is a small patch of boulders, and I had mistaken this for the wall when we were heading past it I the dark, which then left me high and dry [or rather low and wet] when we passed it and the only thing to se was silt-and a lonesome barrel.

    Back at the box we hung around until the 25th minute had clocked up then began our ascent up the wall to the first deep stop at 20m where we gas switched to 50%, then up to 13m for a minute followed by 6m for 10 min. We followed the edge of the 6m ledge again and got out at the step.

    Serena was still doing her surface briefing for Terry and Karen who were doing an advanced skills workshop that Serena had devised. Barry and I dekitted and went to chat to Alan [also a 955-er] and his almost-but-not-quite father in law who were doing a quick plonk after they had come back from their respective warm water holidays. Ken and Tony emerged from the lake and wandered back up to the C-Life battlewagon shivering and swearing about the cold. Ken’s suit had leaked through the valve again and Tony was feeling generally deep frozen. Barry and I had a couple of hours to sit around before our next dive so we ate donuts, I had a go at repairing Kens suit, and ate a soss sarnie kindly bought by Barry.

    Dive two loomed so we kitted up again as Alan asked me to go reg shopping for his common law in law. I promised I would when we got back, so he took my car keys to hold me to it. I got a couple of pictures taken, one of my RB hose layout and one of Barry and me. In the one of us I’m the one with the Tin Tin style quiff. Barry is the one hiding a pair of dry gloves out of shot. I had decided to lend Barry my dry gloves as he had complained of really cold hands on dive one. I was going to try them out, but I was feeling generous, and also if they leaked [it has been about 5 years since they were last used] it wouldn’t be me with cold hands-although I didn’t let Barry into that part until we were out. Alan took the mickey out of Barry, calling him a big girls blouse for wearing dry gloves, although it was noted he only completed one dive during the day, and he should really remember about saying things that can turn around and bite you…

    Checking the tables let us have a 22 min bottom time at 21m, which would be enough time to engage in the usual wander around the 22m ledge. I got Barry to jump in first to check the gloves, then I joined him to head down the road to 12m before dropping onto the blockhouse. I tried and failed to get him with the face full of silt trick on the way to the coach, then we hit the Stanegarth for a wreck wriggle from bow to stern. At the stern exit I noticed Barry catch his left hand knob on the top of the hatch, so I got him to stop while I checked his air was still on. Will all those reading this please note I would NEVER turn your gas off under water as a joke. A face full of silt or a rock or two in the twinset is one thing, but they are silly pranks, not stupid ones.

    As we had a little time to burn I led us out to the mini and back to the helicopter via the stern of the Stanegarth. On the last few metres of the swim I saw another plank and we had a play of seesaw on the helicopter tail before we headed up to the 6m level for our stop and exit.

    Rescuing the car keys from Alan, I strip off the drysuit and go shopping. Anyone asking for my advice on regs will get the standard answer of Apeks, so I sorted out a set of ATX40, Egress and a gauge. The staff weren’t in to do an A clamp to DIN conversion, and they wouldn’t sell the kit so that I could do it. The alternative was to get a couple of inserts to put into the tank valves, so we did. After a bone crushing handshake from Alan’s nearly relative and a surreptitious request for a spin on my drygloves Alan and Barry made their way home, leaving me looking for a third dive, and finding a spare Tony and Ken to persuade into letting me tag along. Caroline had suffered a bit of a kit problem as her drysuit had been snagged by the bolt on her twinset, but it was only the outer layer, and can be patched.

    Tony and Ken were still out of the water, having a four hour surface interval, and not looking forwards to another dive. I chivvied them along, pimping out my drygloves to Tony this time. They only wanted a short dive, with some simulated deco stops and a go at a couple of twinset skills. I led a tour of the 22m ledge again, getting lost on the way to the coach after throwing a hand full of silt at Tony, but I managed to get the Stanegarth for another ferret front to back, then the Wessex and the wall for the stops at 12 and 9 metres. I was holding the stops without a problem, but Ken and Tony were gradually rising and then venting. After the third time this had happened I was getting confused as they had not been adding any air to their suits. Then I realised that they had both had a curry the night before…

    Their shutdown skills were OK, and they did a gas switch and back, then a simulated out of air ascent which was a bit on the slow side, but it’s better than being too quick to the surface. After dekittng donuts were eaten, mickey was taken and I headed home to disinfect the Dolphin.

    Dive Data:

    Dive 1

    35.1m
    42 min

    SI 2h 23 min

    Dive 2

    21.6m
    31 min

    SI 1 h 52 min

    Dive 3
    21.6m
    34 min

  6. #6
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    25th March “It might be quicker to walk back!” [Dolphin dives 46 & 47]

    It seems strange to be leaving for a dive site at 0700 after only diving Stoney so far this year, but after a quick boomerang to Daventry where I realised I had left the kitty litter at home I head up to Capernwray to meet up with Lee for some Dolphin diving. The roads are quite clear, so I can watch a rainbow form from a sliver of ‘Richard of York gave battle in vain’ to a full blown double kaleidoscope. As I’m on the M6 toll I’m paying three and a half quid for the privilege though. Two hours of ‘Today’, a couple of CD’s, three sets of roadworks and a pee stop later I arrive at Capernwray. I thought the site might be closed as I was stopped by a chap in a yellow jacket before the entrance. There had been a car accident between the main entrance and the top one which is fenced off, and as a car was on its roof the traffic was being diverted through the car park.

    Capernwray is a very civilised site, the best one in the UK for not being packed all the time [Stoney], years out of date with surly staff [Guildy], or a grim muddy puddle [Dosthill]. The disadvantage is that it is a 190 mile trip each way for me. The lake itself is about half way between Stoney and Guildy and bottoms out at about 20m. I texted Lee to tell him where I was parked and I started setting up the trusty Dolph and carrying out the checks. Lee arrived as I was finishing up and we went to the café for tea and tiffin. Suitably fed and watered Lee kitted up as quickly as a greased weasel as I tried to remember that a weightbelt is an important item.

    We had to pop back up to sort out Lee’s mask but then we were off for a wander around, puching the tame and friendly trout out of the way. A bubble check at 6m didn’t reveal any problems, so I followed Lee around the site. I was diving a 50% mix through the 60% jet, with Lee on 50% through the 50% jet. I was taking notes of pO2 vs depth so that Lee can start playing with his mix and jet combinations. We wandered around the West side of the site, over cars and bicycles and seeing a boat. The vis was easily 15m and the water was very blue, a pleasant change to the green that Stoney has become. We stopped and checked the pO2 readings half a dozen times during the dive so that I could work out Lee’s vO2, and it was during one of these stops that Lee found a snorkel. We slowly ascended towards the slip from the East, and it was my turn to find some treasure-someone’s necklace. It was undone, so I carefully held it and as we got out I took my glove off and dropped it inside so I wouldn’t lose it on the way to hand it in. As it was a way from shore and undone it may have been jetsam rather than flotsam.

    We dekitted and went into the café again for a hot drink and, in Lee’s case, a large bowl of soup. At Capernwray you are allowed to sit inside with wet dive kit on, other sites take note! I set up the MM2 for dive two so that I could take a few snaps of the site and Lee on his Dolph.

    For dive two Lee was on his 60% jet, still with 50% in the tank. He led me around by the nose again to the oil rig and helicopter, and the Podsnap, which until the Stanegarth was sunk was the only deliberately sunk large boat in an inland site, and it is still the joint holder of the title with the Stanegarth. The gnome garden was next, where Lee posed with the exhibits, and then we were off to see what else we could find. The next object was the Orca, which has ‘Amity Island’ as it’s home berth on its stern, which caused me some amusement as it is the location of the film ‘Jaws’. Lee led the way to the surface, where I admired the reflection of the rocks in the water/air boundary and wondered how far we were from the slip. A bloody long way it turns out, as we were on the opposite side of the lake! I looked at the shore as it was an easy exit and asked Lee if it would be quicker to walk, but we set off for a gentle backstroke to where we should have been.

    After we had dekitted, Lee went to get a fill while I changed the sofnolime in my scrubber, then we had another sit in the café before Lee went home and I went to the B&B. The pub recommended by the lady who runs the B&B was packed, and not knowing the area I popped up the morotway to a services to get something to eat. A bunch of planks wearing Aspatria FC tops were busy making Wayne Rooney look intelligent and cultured, and the services were also some sort of checkpoint for a car rally, so it was quite busy. Returning to the B&B I looked out of the window at the rain, which was turning heavy, and the llamas.

    Dive data

    Dive 1

    16.8m
    34 min
    4 deg C
    vO2 0.9

    SI 1h 57 min

    Dive 2

    18m
    40 min
    vO2 1.2

  7. #7
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    26th March “I don’t mind what you take a photo of, as long as it isn’t me flat on my



    Day two of the puddle jumping and I’ll be off to Wast Water once I have finished breakfast. The rain has cleared and the wind dropped a little. Perhaps the changing of the clocks confused the weather. An abusive phone call about mobile phones from Lee while I am making my way to Gosforth to meet him breaks up the journey, and we meet at 1200, not 1100 as planned. Looks like someone forgot about the clock change then?

    The drive from Gosport to Wast Water is entertaining in itself, with Lee’s car appearing to disappear into a tiger trap every so often as the road undulates. Wast Water is the most spectacular inland site I have dived, with the massive ridge opposite and waterfalls made of shale tumbling into the water. The snow on the peaks makes it look like it will be another cold day of diving. While checking out the Dolphin Lee’s mate David arrives, but he is just watching rather than diving in the cold. The wind from the West will make for an interesting experience, a possible drift dive in an inland site. Apparently the locals are a right bunch of miserable so-and-so’s who have had windsurfing banned on the lake, and wouldn’t let divers put a marker buoy in. It’s a local lake for local people.

    Checking the Dolphin and kitting up goes OK, but as I make my way to the water I fall over, with my ankle bending in a painful way. Getting hauled upright by David, I limp down to the water and have a rest, before deciding to dive anyway. Lee is diving on 40% this dive, through the 40% jet, we had planned to try the 50% jet on dive two.

    The water is very clear as we start our dive, but not for long as Lee’s fins seem to stir up the bottom as much as they do push him forwards. We follow a line to a drop off, and never has the word seemed so appropriate. The wall is almost shear down to god knows what depth, and at 27m it just carries on to well beyond 50m. Even Chepstow doesn’t drop as quickly as this. We follow this impressive wall along for a bit and turn back, ascending to look at the memorials on the underwater headland at 15m, where there is a noticeable current running. The pain as I fin is getting bad again after first easing off, so I take it easy on the exit and limp up to the car. Dive two is called off by Lee, and if he didn’t I would have done due to the increasing pain.

    Dekitting takes a while as I keep jarring my ankle, which feels sprained. Luckily I can use the clutch, so we drive to a nearby pub for a few tales of diving daring do. The trip home takes four hours longer than the trip up, and I stop at the local shop to buy some frozen peas and painkillers.

    Dive data:

    26.5m
    37 min
    5 deg C.

  8. #8
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    22nd May "I think that it would only be one if you were inside".



    [If I had managed to actually get in the water in Plymouth this report would have been titled "You have an ambidextrous face", after I was told I look like David McCallum, Jon from S Club 7, Nik Kershaw, and David Tennant. Perhaps I have been on YD and no one recognised me, because I bear an uncanny resemblance to none of the above. A discreet veil will be drawn over the non diving activates [as well as those engaging in them], such as looking for a late night porn film on the telly, watching Dr Who, commenting that a waiter 'looks like he is a very dirty bloke', watching Eurovision, and telling the staff at the Plymouth aquarium who suggested a £1 donation to 'make a fish happy' that 'they should be bloody ecstatic with the £9-50 I've just given you'].

    After the monsoon season that was my Plymouth trip, where I only managed a minute on the boat before realising that my ankle may be up to diving but not a boat ride, some of us from the trip stopped at Vobster on the way back. Whaaaam68 [Mike], Snorkel [Ruth], Drysuit Diver [Steve] and Kath2047 [err, Kath] all had headed home, but I wanted to have any form of dive, and Froglee [Lee] and not-on-YD [Geoff]. Another non YD-er, Ro, also came along to watch and offer encouragement in the form of giving us all a hard time.

    After breakfast at the B&B in Plymouth we headed off in the rain on a magical mystery tour around Dorset. Lee said that it the locals must still think the war is on as all the signposts had been turned around or removed. We eventually found the lake and parked up to sign in, dodging around a large crane that was lowering a pontoon into the lake. Vobster charge a £10 deposit for a tag, which you have to hand in at the end of your diving day, which ensures people actually do sign out. We kitted up and had a look at the map to decide where we wanted to go. The tunnel to the crushing works and then west to the boats seemed to be the plan, so we jumped in, voting Lee to be the group leader, as he could [a] be arsed and [b] hold his speed to less than that of a DPV. As we descended I had to hand off my computer as one of the others had left theirs in their kit bag. We quickly dropped down to 15m where we began our search for the tunnel. Lee and Geoff disappeared down a hole surrounded by railings, which I realised was a ways from the tunnel. It was then decided that I should lead the dive, so we headed up over the wall and down to 22m where we found a wheelhouse. Working our way back along to the East we came across the entrance to the tunnel, and I signalled Lee to go first.

    Lee's fins were working their magic and the as vis got murky Geoff and I kept in contact with the rope. Although it would be difficult to lose yourself in the tunnel, caution is better than a brown trousers incident. Emerging into the light once more we followed a path to the shore that was more obvious than during the descent, probably because we were actually on it rather than to one side. The entrance to the tunnel is on a heading of about 60 degrees from the 'slipway' entry point. Out stop was brightened up by me finding a clothes peg and putting it on my nose with my mask still in place.

    We clambered out; some with more grace than me falling on my back again, although this time it was into the water so no injury resulted. Geoff wandered off and found that there was a minisub offering free rides. I needed to be on my way, but I think Lee was tempted, although as he is built on a lot larger scale than most divers he would fill the interior quite well. Ro and I headed off, leaving Geoff and Lee looking at the sub.

    Dive Data.

    24.1m
    29 min

  9. #9
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    27th May "I need a clever bloke like you to tell me how it works" [Dolphin dives 49 &

    Still annoyed at having a stuffed ankle and declaring all boat diving off until it’s better, and deciding that I should test the adage that misery loves company, I drag Claire off to Guildy for the day, mainly to use the scrubber in the Dolphin that I packed for Plymouth.

    Claire had bought a Weezle Extreme in winter but had so far wimped out of diving it until the water warmed up a bit. Unlike us rufty-tufty divers she doesn’t like the cold stuff, so I have to grab other divers for the winter stuff. There was a boxer pup over the way which I played with for a bit until Claire started to get annoyed for me wasting time, as she wanted to get back to watch the rugby finals. Rigging up the RB I said hello to Bryan and Helen, who run a shop and school in Northampton, and Richard one of their AI’s who I know from years back. They had Paul, a new trainee Divemaster with them who I chatted to about the Dolphin for a while as we kitted up. Bryan wandered past with warnings about us rebreather types, so I did my Darth Vader and invited Paul to the dark side, although as he asked if it was really kitty litter in the scrubber I had a sense the force was weak in him. The ‘husband stitch’* in my RB tank band snapped as I tightened the strap, but the tank still seemed secure, although I have noticed a crack on the buckle courtesy of my acrobatics at Wast Water, so I will be replacing the band at some point soon if I can’t get a bit of plastic welding done. I stowed my gloves in my drysuit pocket for the dive in case it got cold, but as the water is in double figures I didn’t need them, and inland it is getting warm enough to forgo the hood down to 20m ish.

    Claire was getting a bit warm as she was wearing her usual ‘I have a crap undersuit’ gear under the Extreme, so we wandered down to the water for a splash. I was looking for the Skyvan that is found on the East side of the lake as I hadn’t dived it since my second trip to Guildy in 2002. I took the big jump from the pier, Claire walked in down the adjacent slope and we dropped down to one of the training platforms where I was a little concerned about the large amount of bubbling from the Dolphin, which turned out to be a lot of trapped air from the ‘kitchen sink’ belt pouch which had my yellow blob, spare mask and trauma shears in it. We swam past the bus and down and followed the 15m contour to the wreck of the plane. We swam through the fusilage, with Claire stopping for a look in the cockpit. When we left the plane I pointed to the ‘Shorts 36’ painted on the side of the fuselage, the make and model number of the plane. We swam a little further at 15m and I stopped to give Claire a little impromptu navigation exercise. I indicated my compass and then gave her the signal for 330 deg out and back swim. When signalling a bearing I use the ‘number of fingers and a T if appropriate method’, so 330 is three fingers, a ‘T’ and another three fingers. Due South is 1-T-8, North is 3-T-6 [zero being a pig to indicate!] and East just 9.

    In her excitement to get navigating Claire just took the 3T signal to be the direction and headed off looking down at the compass. I don’t like that method of navigation as it is too easy to lock the compass, so I got her to take the hose over her shoulder and use the side window. After a swim I asked her to go on the reciprocal heading and she headed back on 120 degrees to start with until I indicated 150 deg. I saw we were off course by the silt trail, but we made it back to the Skyvan. It turns out that Claire saw my 3-T signal but missed the extra 3 for the 30 degrees.

    We swam back at a steadily decreasing depth until we got to the bus which we swam through, although Claire was a bit more elegant than I was going up the stairs. We then hit 5m where we did out 3 min stop and I tried to pop the blob Inspo stylee, but all I got was a gob full of water, so I went open circuit to send the DSMB the whole 5m to the surface. We got out at the lake at the steps to the West end and went for a warmer of hot chocs. While waiting around I was groped from behind by a chap who was there with Dave ‘Red Dog Leader’ Simmons whom I have done several tech courses with. Dave was diving his Inspo [or Jannette’s Evo-all these yellow boxes look the same to me] with the new electronics, which he was asking me to decipher for him. Dave was wearing his trademark ‘high visibility red’ mask, which everyone else calls pink, and he had it on top of his head at one point, leading to my wrath.

    Claire still had 110 bar in her 12, and she wanted to pootle around the East side for dive two as she considers it more interesting than the West side. We dropped in as Dave was leaving the water, both of us from the high diving board this time, although Claire nearly bottled it and I had to threaten to push her in. Dropping quickly to 10m we hit the bus, and then the lorry where we turned East and worked out way up to the sunken trees at 8m-ish. There was a bit of fish life, but I couldn’t find any invertebrates to point out to Claire. We found the tree that reminds me of a ‘Graboid’ from the film ‘Tremors’, and I managed to signal Claire that is what I thought it was, but it appears that it is only my imagination that makes the connection. We clambered out after a gentle swim back and got sorted out in the rain, where I made another tentative arrangement with Richard to meet up for a dive sometime and to give Paul my number if he fancied a play on the Dolphin. I dropped the 12 that Claire had been using in for a normal fill, but it was refused as I had not bought a ‘clean air’ band. The tank is 18 months out of O2 clean status, but I was refused a normal fill, but there was no problem in getting my money back. Red Dog was still under water, so we went to get a bite to eat, but as the food service had a 20-30 minute wait so we left without eating. Not a bad days diving, but I would rather have got my 50th Dolphin dive in during the Plymouth trip, but weather and ankle put paid to that.

    Dive data

    Dive 1

    18.9m
    32 min
    vO2=0.75

    SI 1h 06 min

    Dive 2

    19.8m
    29 min
    vO2=0.77

    [* you really, really don’t want to know what I mean by this]

  10. #10
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    12th August "That was a bloody big fish" [Dolphin dives 51 & 52]

    Claire [El Presidente] had arranged to meet up with Tim from Leeds for a dive at Stoney, but she was persuaded to dive Guildy instead so she could have a lie in. Being first there in the tipping rain meant a sit down in the five star café at a wobbly table that was on it’s last legs [that was a joke; you may now laugh] until I decided to brave the rain and get the Dolph site checked and ready to go. As I was finishing off Claire arrived and came over to say hello before disappearing in the direction of the shop for a spending spree, which was a good idea as it was raining so hard my computer was registering 3m.

    After the Dolph had passed all its tests I joined Claire for a tea and to admire the new 2kg weight and lanyard she had bought. As they were both yellow I thought about teasing her by saying if it was like gold jewellery shopping, but thought better of it as a lump of lead between the eyeballs, or any other balls for that matter, would hurt. I did tell her that if she pulled the black bung out of the weight she could empty some lead out if it was too heavy. At just gone ten, and following a ‘where are you?’ call to Tim, he arrives with usual buddy Steve in tow. Having a chat over a cuppa reveals that Tim and Steve have done less than 50 dives, and Steve is a little air heavy, so I can think of a suitable dive plan. We kit up in the dry, and with Claire, Tim and Steve on open circuit, so I briefed them on diving with a rebreather diver.

    ‘If I go blue and stop moving get me to the surface. And if you have to ditch my kit, rescue that as well as it cost a fortune’.

    I jump in from the pier as the others wander down the adjacent slip and into the water. The vis was a little variable, in that it varied from 1-4m. We dropped to the 2m platform so I could see the others were OK, and I could get acclimatised to being back in the water again after a nine week break. From there we descended to the rear of the double decker and circumnavigated it before I pulled Jaws out from my waist pouch to frighten Tim and Steve. Back at the front we went in single file through the lower deck before picking up the line to the lorry. There was a noticeable thermocline at 15m, with the temperature above at 20 deg C, and below a few degrees lower. After a swim over, under, through and around the lorry I led back to the bus, and we then wandered back up the sloping bottom to 5m, where we did a swimming safety stop to the exit steps at the far West of the lake where we saw a small pike. I amused myself by getting Tim to try to pick up the cylinder that is used for lifting practice and instead seeing him pull himself into the floor. There was a lot of other life in the lake as well, with schools of perch fry at every turn. I pulled my knife out to see if flashing it would draw the fish neared, before remembering that it is made of titanium-arse. Blobbing up from 2m is not much fun, but the staff insist on it for rebreather divers.

    We were able to drop the kit off on the floor where we exited, and the chaps took out their tanks so we could swap them for dive two, with Claire keeping her 12L and me staying on the Dolph. After the tanks had been changed over, I showed Tim and Steve how the Dolph worked, and we all jumped in from the pier for the second dive.

    For dive two I was going to try to find the Skyvan at the East side of the lake, before coming back through the submerged trees. We dropped to 12m and headed East, this time with me at the front, then Tim with Steve, and Claire at the back to keep an eye on things. The vis was worse than on dive one, and there was a distinct crapocline* at the same depth as the thermocline. After ten-ish minutes had passed I gave up on the Skyvan and gently ascended to 6m for the swim back. The problem with this method of navigating is that the swim back is longer when you are at a dive site that is bowl shaped, and as we were aiming for a 30 min dive I had to factor this in to when I turned the dive. A gentle bimble through the trees let us see lots of small fry schools, and I saw a pike that was about eight inches long. I stopped to wave the others forwards, but another pair of divers swam past, scaring it off.

    We continued on, looking out for wildlife, to the exit points. As we approached the 4m training platform I spotted another pike, but this one was over four feet long, and broad with it. Tim and Claire also saw it, but Steve was in a world of his own and missed all the excitement. We surfaced in the training area and jumped out to dekit and go for a tea, Claire managing to scoff a slice of cake as well.

    DIVE DATA

    Dive 1

    16.8 m
    33 min
    vO2= 0.67

    SI: 1:14

    Dive 2

    14.9 m
    35 min
    vO2= 0.77

    [*crapocline: the depth at which the visibility suddenly changes, may be associated with a thermocline]

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