Scary's Birthday Plymouth Trip
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Scary had organised a weekend in Plymouth that involved diving on the Saturday, drinking on the Saturday night, and then recovering on the Sunday. Those who went were:
Rob 'Tonto' Smith,
Molly (Saturday night only), and
me (aka Gimmer).
Friday the 24th (Scary's birthday)
As usual, Queenie picked me up from home on the way from Cambridge to Plymouth. There was the potential to get caught in loads of traffic on the M25 and M4 because of all the gimmers who were going to see Concorde land for the last time. As it was, there was no traffic on the motorways, but Queenie got caught in loads coming out of Cambridge. There were no screams of passion coming from next door, so we weren't interrupted while we were packing the car. It was a little late in the year, so I took my drysuit, leaving my trusty wetsuit at home. At least Bird could dry the washing while I was away.
Queenie wanted to go the A303 route instead of the M4/M5 route. I wasn't convinced, but we gave it a go anyway. We called Gordy to make sure that he was taking a cylinder for Queenie in the minibus and settled down for the drive down to Plymouth. Not much to report about the journey - except for me running some bird off the road near Windsor! The traffic wasn't brilliant on the A303, so I started whinging about not using the M4 and M5. I had to "eat my words" a bit later, when we found out that the minibus was stuck behind an accident on the M5. We made it to Plymouth in good time, but had no idea where the B&B was. Paul had given Queenie some directions, which Queenie had then passed on to Emma. Emma had managed to find the B&B and called us to give us more details - "Go straight on, straight on, straight on, and, when you think that you can't go any further, go on some more", she said. Mmmmmmmmm.
The B&B was in The Hoe. I was convinced that I knew how to get to The Hoe, because that was where we'd stayed at the DDRC weekend. Driving through Plymouth, I saw a sign to Barbican. I knew that The Hoe was near there, so I followed the signs. Unfortunately, I'd followed signs to the Barbican Car Park, and not The Barbican. After asking some old bloke for directions, we found our way to The Hoe.
We drove past the B&B that we'd stayed at, past the lighthouse, and past several curry houses. We still couldn't find The Firs B&B. We carried on until we thought that we'd gone too far, stopped and asked a cabby for directions, and found The Firs. Emma let us in (because the owners had gone to bed) and Queenie and I went off in search of a curry (Emma was feeling a little tired).
Down towards the sea and up towards the lighthouse. That's where we'd seen all the curry houses. We could only find two, so we must've just driven past the same curry houses several times. The first one was closing, but the 2nd one (a Chinese) was still open and served Stella.
The guys in the minibus were still on their way into Plymouth as we tucked into our grub. After we'd finished, Scary, MarkE, Tonto and Zoe (looking sexy, but not showing as much cleavage as normal) joined us to drink some beer. Queenie and I had been discussing Googlewhacks, so I had a quick look on the internet to see whether we could find any (we got close with "gimmer totty", but didn't quite get the magic one).
Scary reckoned he knew a quicker way back. I wasn't convinced, but let him lead the way, so that I could give him jip for getting us lost. Unfortunately, he was right - it was quicker. After Queenie and I stopped to look at the stars, we all got back to The Firs. Obviously I had to give Scary jip for something, so gave him jip for not bringing enough cylinders. Off we went to bed ready for a 07:00 start.
Saturday the 25th
Queenie and I were up at 07:00 (I had to go in search of a spare cylinder with Scary) and headed downstairs for breakfast. The guvna greated us and showed us into the dining room. Emma was right they are very friendly here. He kept us talking so that we didn't realise that we were being kept waiting. He was full of funny stories about his time in South Africa. More importantly, he made us forget that Scary (the lazy git) hadn't surfaced yet.
Anyway, we all ended up leaving at the same time and Gordy, Emma, Queenie and I followed the minibus to Manhattan (often called Mountbatten). We went to our usual launching place before realising that we needed to be further along the coast. The boat was moored fairly close to a free car park, so getting the kit onto the boat was fairly easy. We even had the use of a trolley that was only for paying customers.
With all the kit on board, and Scary having parked across 3 spaces in the car park, we left port. I had quite fancied doing The Maine, but the tides weren't with us for that, so we settled on the less tidal Persier. As we were leaving port, the guvna asked us whether we fancied a drink. Never being one for missing a cuppa, I said yes. "OK", he said, "in you come". I though that I was going to have to make tea for everybody, but the skipper had different ideas - "You've got the helm", he said, "I'll make the tea". I managed not to crash the boat and everyone got their drinks. Although large and comfortable, the boat was rather slow. This didn't matter - we were on holiday, who's in a rush? I had two totty dives with Zoe today, so settled down to have a quick chat about what we were going to do. I was going to lead the dive, play with sea urchins, and be a lecturous old pervert. She was going to use an SMB at the end of the dive. (I would have done, but she had to do it as part of her training guvens - honest).
The dive was excellent fun. I found a sea cucumber almost straight away and got it to gism fairly quickly. Unlike Sarah Turpin did before, Zoe managed not to swim through the gism. Much to my entertainment, when I gave a sea cucumber to Zoe, she did exactly what SarahT had done (turn it around and made it gism towards her - oh how I laughed).
We saw loads of fish and a big grey thing (back on the boat, Tonto reckoned that it was a dogfish, but I reckon that the big grey thing was a boat). Anyway, after such a short time, but loads of fun, it was time to surface. Zoe used the SMB perfectly (just like her figure) and we went up. I was a gentleman and allowed Zoe up the ladder first (nice arse, but I was missing Emily).
Ben had sorted Queenie and me out with lunch (top man - I think I might still owe him a pint for that), so we just lazed around a bit on the boat. The second dive was going to be a scenic dive (was it Hillsea Point? I can't remember!) and I got another totty dive. We saw loads of fish, juggled some sea urchins, and even got to stroke some dogfish (a first for both of us). Zoe tried to catch hold of one, but it swam off before she could get a grip (ooh-err). We spent ages with the dogfish - there must have been 3 or 4 of them at one point. Some nosey fish kept a watchful eye on us. Another top dive (and another perve at Zoe's arse as she climbed back into the boat).
Back on dry land, we unloaded the boat, sorted out money and got ready to go back to the B&B. A quick shower and we were ready to go out. Emma looked gorgeous (as always) and Zoe was showing a fair amount of cleavage (I'd give her one, but that's not saying much!), so I was happy (I am such a dirty old man). We walked down to the Guvna's Arms (where we'd started off on the DDRC weekend) and then headed towards the curry house. The rude waiter wasn't working, but the curry house still served Stella (I wasn't allowed to drink out of a Stella glass - Scary had to "because it's my birthday"). Molly joined us in the curry house, and after several more Stellas (and a naan and something tandoori), we headed off to find a nightclub.
We went to a place called "The Quay", it took a while to get going, but the DJ played some pretty tasty stuff later on in the evening ("Hey Baby", "Come on Eileen", and "You Sexy Thing" to name but three). Some idiots had a go at me for knocking into them on the dance floor (for gimmer's sake - it's a dance floor, what did they expect?).
Anyway, by about 3 o'clock, we were all back at the B&B, ready for a good night's kip. Gordy, as usual, was more tired that most. He fell asleep in front of the door to his and Emma's room. This wasn't too bad, because his head was holding the door open. This was OK until he moved to get more comfortable, and the door slammed closed. Ooooops - the keys were still inside. GIMMER! Unfortunately, Scary had to leave early because he was due to fly out to Africa on Sunday afternoon.
Sunday the 26th
Another brilliant breakfast was served up by our hosts (with Dindindin eating almost everything that anybody left), although we were feeling slightly rougher than we were the previous morning. Poor Queenie got greeted by the sight of me with my trousers round my ankles when he came into our room (poor lad, he'll never get over the shock). The minibus left fairly early (without any of the gimmers bothering to say "goodbye" to Queenie or me). After saying goodbye to Gordy, Emma and Molly (and having a quick walk along the sea front), Queenie and I set off back towards London.
Going along the A303 was going to take us past Stonehenge, so we thought we'd stop to have a look. "FIVE QUID to have a look at some stones", we said, "Sod that, we can look through the fence". So that's what we did.
Not much totty on the roads this weekend, but there were two top bits of totty on the M3. They were good enough to make up for the previous bad form.
All in all, we had an excellent weekend. The diving was excellent, and I can really recommend The Firs as an excellent place to stay in Plymouth.
31/10/03: Talking about totty, I've just spent the last 30 minutes on the phone to Emily while she and Zoe went to Sainsbury's to buy some wine (the guys had failed to find any for them). Should I share the offer of sharing a shower with Emily and Zoe with the whole world? Probably not!
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Created on: 26 Sep 2003. Modified on: 26 Sep 2003.
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