Portland May 2004 - Trip I
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Friday the 21st
After work, I picked up a hire car from National Car Guvna, and headed over to Slough Scuba. My new 12-litre and 7-litre cylinders from GoDive had been delivered by Parcelfarce earlier on in the week, and I needed some Nitrox, loads of clips, new regulators, all my existing regulators and cylinders DIN-fitted, and some tanks O2 cleaned. It was an expensive evening.
Saturday the 22nd
After a quick visit to the council tip, I loaded all my dive kit into the car, and headed off down the M4 to Chepstow. I was worried that there'd be lots of traffic because of the FA Cup Final, but it was all OK. I was kept entertained by Jonathon Ross on BBC Radio 2. I did have to agree with him about the lack of punctuation in text messages.
I made good time to Chepstow and spent an hour or two talking to Neil about all the different options for my new twin-set, wing, and backplate. I'd pretty much decided what I was going to buy when I'd finished, but wanted a day or two to think about it. I headed back across the Severn Bridge to Bristol to annoy Gordon and Emma in Mike's. After getting lost in Bristol, I eventually got there to find Gordon on the floor looking for his contact lense. Emma looked as sexy as ever.
When they'd closed up (and I'd had a quick cuppa at my mates' house), Gordon and I headed down to Portland to check out all my new kit on Chesil Cove. We got lost twice before we eventually found our way out of Bristol (I was driving, not navigating). Neither of us could really be bothered with a shore dive, but we both knew it made sense to test out the kit. I was going to go in on my own, but Gordon decided it'd be a giggle.
So, there we were. Gordon with a 12-litre cylinder, and me with a 15-litre, a pony, and a stage cylinder (but no torch). We walked past about half-a-dozen other divers and went into the sea. The other divers, who I assume were waiting for a night-dive, must've thought that I looked like a right plonker. We did about a half-hour dive, saw some cuttlefish making love, and then headed back to the shore. The divers who had been waiting for it to get dark had followed us into the water, even though it wasn't really dark!
The Portland chippy was closed, so we stopped off at Alf's Chippy. Alf wasn't there, but there was a bit of jail-bait totty to perve at. We got to the campsite at about 10:15, so I managed to persuade Gordon that beer was our priority and the tent could wait. We had a few pints before being kicked out, and were impressed to find a Slap Tarrant machine there. We got back to put the tent up, only to find that Emma hadn't packed the tent pegs. Gordon spent about half-an-hour attacking a tree to make tent pegs.
Sunday the 23rd
The Red Barn wasn't doing breakfast until the next weekend, so we ended up having breakfast at the Blue Fish Cafe (very nice too). We met up with Emma and Rich at Portland, had a look at all the teckie diving kit in the dive shops, and then got onto Maverick. We were diving the Salsette, which is supposed to be the best dive in Britain. Even better than Scapa - I doubt it!
Anyway, Rich and I dived it with no problems. Can't remember much about it, maybe it's that nitrogen clouding our minds. I do remember there being loads of fishing line. Anyway, we had a giggle, but didn't find any sea cucumbers. I switched onto Nitrox50 at 15m, and we practised stops at 15m, 12m, 9m, 6m, and 3m.
On the surface, we found that the ladder had been broken, with no sign of the lift, and we had to hand all our kit into the boat and hall ourselves into the boat. Having dived from the club boats many times, this wasn't too difficult for us, but some of the teckie divers had problems (especially one diver who was a little on the large side).
On the way back, the "little on the large side" diver chatted to us for ages about teckie diving and his mate who'd been to places where "more men have landed on the moon" than dived there.
As we came into moor, the skipper went to slam the boat into reverse and stalled the engine. The boat carried on and crashed into the harbour wall. Fortunately, nobody was hurt, and the boat wasn't damaged. However, without the ladder, it wasn't going out again, so our drift dive was cancelled. Not too bad, I wanted to get home, and I got to perve at the receptionist totty (fantastic cleavage) while she sorted out my refund.
Dinner at the Portland chippy before we headed on back home.
Another top weekend.
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Created on: 23 May 2004. Modified on: 12 Sep 2004.
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