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Day 1 (Friday the 12th) - 660 miles from Twatt
Once upon a time and 37 travel plans later, 9 of us left Bath, 2 of us left Cambridge and 1 of us left Birmingham. It was far too early in the morning, but we had to get to Thurso by closing time. Four people were sharing the driving of the minibus and the 3 of us shared the driving of the car. The minibus driving was all OK, except when Emma was driving and had to fight off Gordy groping her left boob when he woke up. The journey in the car was fairly uneventful, but I had to moon another driver that gave Queenie jip. Unfortunately, I forgot that my trousers weren't done up when we got out of the car and they fell round my ankles when I got out at the petrol station.
We had some beer in some of the pubs in Thurso, had a bite to eat in one of the hotels, perved at some nice totty, and went to a few more pubs. In one of the pubs, the Salvation Army came in collecting money - I've never seen Gordy move so fast - he went to hide in the toilets until Scary had stopped handing the tin around. "May I have a badge", I asked. "No", the Sally Army bird said, and walked off. "No chance of a blow job then" - fortunately, she didn't hear.
The pub was a bit toss (the only gay pub in town), so we went back to the one that we had started in, to drink more beer and make use of TottyCam. Scary and MarkE went clubbing, but the rest of us were feeling old, so we went to bed. So was Mark, but Scary made him do it anyway.
Day 2 (Saturday the 13th) - 10 miles from Twatt
After a nice breakfast (we saw some divers from Imperial College in the Safeway car-park - one bearded guvna and some totty) and some gimmering around town (Captain, Doctor, Professor, Porno American Steve Sir! took Scary for a romantic walk on the beach), we were ready to leave. After hurling abuse at some old gimmer, I followed the minibus towards Scrabster. Emily reckoned we were going the wrong way, but Tom was driving and I had faith in him. Unfortunately, Scary was directing, while Tom was listening. We had managed to travel 650 miles without a single wrong turn and then managed to go completely the wrong way only 1/2 a mile from the ferry.
Gordy, Queenie and I played with Gordy's Hooters cards. It was very difficult for me to hand away cards with some gorgeous totty on. There was even a card with a bird on called Crystal that looked a lot like the Crystal that served Steve and me when we went to Hooters. A bit taller, but still gorgeous. The journey was all going OK, until a herd of pokey little kids arrived and started making noise. We went upstairs to the other bar and started trying to name all the 50 states in the USA. I tried looking it up on the internet, and Emily, Nick and Max tried doing it the other way (ooh-err). They got to about 45 states before my old man hands could get the list of 50. Well done to Rich and Scary, who finished off the final two.
We arrived, and drove the 50m from the big ferry guvna to the slightly smaller dive guvna. Dougie (the skipper) gave us a quick tour around the boat before leaving us to it. After almost being run over by the crate, we unloaded it, and then unloaded the minibus. Some gimmering around (I even used silicon grease on my camera casing), before Scary, MarkE and I went off for a walk. Mark played with some ginger pussy, before we headed back towards the pub. I used up my daily free Trotty Point by commenting, when looking at an automatic darts counter, "It's broken - it only counts downwards". While we were wondering around, the girls went to Safeway to buy us dinner. They had to make use of a rusty old trolley (one that made my dive kit look new and a Sally Army guvna comment on its bad state of repair).
A very nice spag boll (thanks to the girls for going shopping and cooking the dinner and to Tom for dishing up). We then had a little issue with losing all 240V power on the boat (Mark and I spent ages trying to find out where the problem was, before Nick just walked up to the cabinet that Mark and I thought was locked and turned the circuit breaker back on). We then settled down to watch Last Night of the Guvnas (after I'd sorted Gordy's Hooters cards into order of tottyness).
Day 3 (Sunday the 14th)- Still 10 miles from Twatt Rich's Poem
One slight problem with today's diving - although the girls had bought some oil and some eggs yesterday, we didn't have any bread. I was going to have to dive without an egg sandwich. Diving on Dougie's boat is brilliant. Bruce made us all tea and toast as we were leaving the harbour and we slowly kitted up on the way over to the dive site. We were well looked after.
Our first dive was going to be The Dresden (time down 09:31, dive time 45 minutes and maximum depth 35.1m). I was quite nervous. How cold was the water going to be? Had we done enough warm up dives? What about the lack of an egg sandwich? I was also taking my camera's underwater housing to check it for leaks. Anyway, once we were in the water, everything seemed fine. We swam straight to the shot and straight down. I was diving with Emily, and we had a brilliant dive. The wreck was enormous - even my old man eyes could see it.
Back on the boat, all we had to do was leave the cylinders (with stab jackets still attached) near the compressor and Bruce filled the tanks up for us. Getting changed quickly out of our dry suits, we were impressed to find that a full English breakfast was waiting for us. Maybe having a fried egg immediately after a dive is acceptable. The underwater housing didn't leak, so I guvened the O-ring and put the camera inside.
The next dive that we did was The Tabarka (time down 12:31, dive time 35 minutes and maximum depth 15.9m). It was a wreck penetration dive (ooh-err missus) and quite popular with other dive skippers as well. I tried taking some pictures of Emily and of the wreck, but the battery was getting low and the flash ruined some of the shots. Better luck tomorrow.
Once we were moored, we cooked grub and had a couple of pints in the nearest pub. Before the pub, Scary had taken Emily on a little tour of the island to where we could get Orange reception. He'd finished his call fairly quickly, and had to wait ages for Emily to finish talking to her new man ("No, you hang up first"). As with all evenings, we left the pub fairly early because we were all too tired.
Day 4 (Monday the 15th) Nick's Rap
Today was a bit less stressful. We had some bread left over from yesterday's toast, so I could make myself an egg sarnie before the first dive. Rich and I awoke first (as we seemed to every morning), with Rich being greeted with the sound of my arse. Anyway, our first dive was The Brummer (time down 09:15, dive time 41 minutes and maximum depth 33.8m). It was another brilliant dive, and I got to dive it with a Brummy. Max had been brilliant before the trip, and laminated lots of little cards showing us what to see on the wreck. The wreck itself was enormous - when we got to the top of the wreck, it seemed so big that I thought we'd landed on the seabed. Even with the map, I was never quite sure exactly what we were looking at. I am such a useless gimmer.
Back on the boat, Bruce had dispensed with a full English, and had cooked us an excellent stew. We really were being well looked after on the boat. Between dives, we had plenty of gimmering time - I generally did a Gordy and had a quick kip between dives. Gordy on the other hand spent the whole time trying to persuade Emma to give him a blowjob in the cabin. Thinking that everybody else was upstairs, he succeeded once, only to find that Bruce was sorting stuff out in the fridge right next to their cabin.
The second dive of the day was the Gobernador Bories (time down 13:04, dive time 38 minutes and maximum depth 18m). I had a fully charged battery and had turned the flash off, so my pictures came out much better. Another excellent dive - the only problem that I had was when I lifted my arms to take a picture, the air came out of my dry-suit dump and I started sinking. I'll have to make sure that I don't take pictures on deco-stops until I can do it one-handed (ooh-err missus).
Before we ate, we went off to visit the Stone Circle that Billy Connelly danced around naked in one of his shows. I was up for a laugh, but was under strict instructions to keep my trousers on. We tried to find Twatt on the way back, but it only seemed to consist of two farms. A bit of a let down really.
After dinner, we started a mass game of Trivial Pursuit (boys versus girls). It all got quite heated at times, especially when the answer on the cards about scores in darts was wrong. We then went for a couple of pints in the second nearest pub - it was much nicer and busier than the pub we'd been to before (TottyCam was put to good use in photographing some bird's knickers).
Day 5 (Tuesday the 16th) Rich's Report
The day started as all days did. Rich was awoken by the sound of my arse. I made tea for everybody and an egg sarnie for me, and we sat around on the deck waiting for Bruce to arrive with the bread for toast. Today's first dive was going to be the Kronprinz Wilhelm, or Prince Billy for short (time down 09:11, dive time 50 minutes and maximum depth 34.8m). It was another brilliant wreck. According to my logbook, "it was a wreck the size of Cat's tits, although a little less even in places". Somehow, I managed to be first in the water (it'll never happen again). Unfortunately, I wasn't first to the shot because my fin had come off (thanks to Emily for putting in back on when we got to the bottom). We poked around in the wreck loads and saw Tom and Queenie putting up an SMB just as we were about to surface. Excellent, Emily didn't have to use an SMB. Tom's computer went into "spanner mode", so we ended up doing enough "Jesus stops" to last the week.
The second dive was The Tarbaka again (time down 13:35, dive time 37 minutes and maximum depth 16.2m). We all had to get in quickly for the second dive, so we went in one after the other, parachute style. My gimmering fin came off again (the strap had come completely out of the clip, but Emma saved me). We saw a Scorpion fish (at least that's what Emma reckoned it was, and she should know), loads of other divers, the boilers, and the triple expansion engine. Used Tom's SMB again and got some quite good pictures.
After the diving, some of the guys went to visit some old town. The weather was a bit pants, so Scary, Mark and I didn't join them. Despite the weather, it did sound like a worthwhile visit though.
Day 6 (Wednesday the 17th)
Despite the egg sandwich, I was quite nervous about today's first dive. It was going to be Emily's deepest dive ever, and my deepest this year. Anyway, the Margrin (time down 09:16, dive time 40 minutes and maximum depth 43.6m) was another brilliant wreck. I had fin problems again (the strap came out of the buckle before I even got into the water), so I borrowed one of Nick's spare fins - cheers mate. The sight of half a dozen divers' torches in front of us was a strange sight. We actually saw a gun on this dive and bumped into Tom and Queenie on our epic deco' stop.
Between dives, we went for a look around the Scapa museum (Miles had recommended visiting it, and it didn't disappoint). I was amazed to find out that the German guvna who ordered the scuttling of the German fleet in Scapa is responsible for sinking more ships than any other person in history. It's an excellent and informative museum.
The second dive was the Karlsryhe (time down 13:23, dive time 36 minutes and maximum depth 27.1m). It was an excellent dive. Emily and I had such a laugh. We followed Gordy through a swim-through (Emma didn't fancy it because she was worried about her camera). There were plenty of bits on the wreck to swim into, around and through. I didn't really figure out what was what on the wreck, but we did have a brilliant giggle.
After diving, we went to visit a local distillery. The tour was nice (top totty showed us around) and we learnt all about single malts. Most of the taste of the whiskey comes from the type of peat that is burnt when smoking the grain. If I'd known that, I would've taken along some of my pants to add to the flavour. After the visit, we ended up eating in the pub in the evening (excellent haggis and excellent service from the totty). Tom won about 5 quid on the slap Tarrent machine (with quite a bit of help, or hindrance, from the rest of us). A band was setting up to play later, but we were all too tired to stay. There was a fairly vocal game of chess between Emma and Tom when we returned to the boat. Maybe Emma's earache meant that she couldn't hear properly, so didn't know that she was shouting.
Day 7 (Thursday the 18th)
The weather was a bit colder and a lot less sunny than previous days, but we still had an excellent day. It had to be an excellent day - our first dive was going to be the 69th of the year for Emily and me. We dived The Koln (time down 09:08, dive time 42 minutes and maximum depth 35.1m). It was a brilliant dive - my fins stayed on and everything. We followed Mark and Scary through a swim through. It was OK, except Scary kicked up all the silt. We saw loads of guns and gun turrets. We also saw a plaque for a bird who'd died while diving The Koln and also a For Sale sign. Not only did Scary kick up all the silt, but he and Mark shared our SMB as well.
Between the two dives, much to Emma's disgust, some of the boys decided to try to catch some fish. They did quite well, but we didn't end up eating them because we ate in the pub later.
My second dive of the day wasn't going to be a totty dive, I got to dive with the Silt Kicker himself. We dived the UB116 (time down 13:01, dive time 33 minutes and maximum depth 30.5m). I gimmered around quite a bit. My fin came off as we jumped in, and I thought that I'd lost my camera when we were descending. Scary saved the day - top man. I found what I thought was a swim through, but it turned out to be more of a scrape through. Scary could hear me giggling as I pulled and scraped my way through. We found Mark and Tom (who had somehow managed to find Queenie as well), so we all surfaced together. We saw a duck dive down for fish while we were on our deco' stop.
That evening, we moored on a different island (Bruce got free beer if he took us to the pub on that island). As we were moored up, some of the more adventurous of us jumped into the water without dry-suits (Emma wearing her Hooters shorts). I was going nowhere near the water, but I did get some good pictures showing how cold people were.
The food and service in the pub was excellent. We'd been drinking for quite a long time, but didn't drink too much because we still had another day's diving to do the next day.
Day 8 (Friday the 19th)
This was going to be our last day's diving. The first dive we did (I can't remember its name, but we were in the water at 07:58, and dived for 46 minutes to a maximum depth of 42.7m). It was a brilliant wreck; it was on its side with loads of swim throughs. We managed to borrow Tom's SMB again and got our own back for earlier on in the week by having much longer deco' times than Queenie and him.
I can't remember the name of the second dive either, which I did with Queenie, but it was two wrecks for the price of one. We were in the water at 12:27, and dived for 44 minutes to a maximum depth of 16.8m. We did some quite good swim throughs, but the silt ended up being kicked up quite a bit. I actually managed to take some pictures of some fish that came out OK. We also found a phallic bit of wreck and the anchor chain (although I don't think that we actually found the anchor).
Back on dry land, we headed to the pub for a couple of pints. Queenie and I cooked curry for everybody and Scary tried to be helpful to convince everybody that he was doing something, but he just got in the way mostly. He did well in undercooking some fish starters.
After dinner, we headed back to the pub. We were all feeling quite knackered, but soon perked up when the Karaoke arrived. Emily and I did the first song ("Summer Loving") and got free drinks. It was an excellent night, the karaoke started at about 10 o'clock, so everybody was already quite merry. It all worked quite well, whenever a popular song was played, the singer ended up being joined on stage by half the pub. We got chatting to the Imperial College guys, who we'd seen at Safeway earlier on in the week. One of them started whittering on about falling asleep on deco' stops during the week (bearded, sleeping deco' boy).
Back at the boat, Max greeted us with shouts of "Scary, Billy - look after Mark". He'd managed to climb down the ladder into the boat, climb down the stars to get to where the cabins were, and climb into the top bunk. At which point, he chundered all over Scary's bed and passed out in the recovery position. A good night was had by all.
Max did e-mail me the names of the two dives that we did today, but I deleted the e-mail before writing them down in my logbook. According to Emily, the first dive was the James Barrie.
Day 9 (Saturday the 20th)
With us all feeling a bit rough (Mark especially), we packed everything up into the crate and got on the ferry. We then had the long journey back to the south of England. As most journeys home do, this felt much longer than the journey up. On the way back, we giggled at "Dunrobin Castle", a town called "Invergordon" and a bridge called "Bonar Bridge". Each "lay-by" in Scotland is numbered, so Emily stopped at Lay-By 69 so that I could take a picture. Somebody had stolen the sign - oh how I laughed. We'd offered to drop American Steve's luggage off at his mate's house in Coventry. His mate wasn't going to be in, but his 18-year-old daughter was. So, after dropping Emily off in Brum, we headed off to perve at some 18-year-old totty. We were disappointed - by 10 o'clock at night, she hadn't even had the decency to get changed into her night clothes before we arrived. Anyway, we all managed to get back safely on the Saturday, and all spent most of Sunday recovering.
Thanks to everybody who made this trip what it was. Same time, same place next year?
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Created on: 20 Sep 2003. Modified on: 20 Sep 2003.
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