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It all started on the morning at 6am when I woke up to pick up the Prof from Gatwick. Some gimmers decided to have an accident on the M25 in the roadworks, just to delay my journey - and there was no totty! Fortunately I didn't get delayed too much, and got to the arrivals pick-up about 5 minutes before Steve. I waved at him, but he didn't see me. He didn't even recognise me until I got right next to him - he'd never seen me without glasses and in a suit.
It was nice to catch up with the Prof (and perve at the commuting totty) on the way back home. I dropped him off at my place, and then got the bus into work.
By the time I'd finished work, picked up the hire car, and packed it, it was about 7pm. We headed off the Brum, to go out for a curry with Emily and her mate (she'd been promising to set me up with her for ages). We made pretty good time (with the Prof acting as my secretary by taking all my calls!).
When we got to Emily's house (I beat Steve into Worcestershire), we found out that she hadn't spoken to her mate, but that her father would be joining us for a curry instead. It was a very nice meal, but we headed to bed early because we had a long drive the next day.
After a 6 o'clock rise, and tea and toast, we left at about 6:30 (calling Scary on the way to make sure that Mr Vowles's timed pick-ups hadn't allowed the minibus to leave before us. It hadn't, but Scary still reckoned that they'd beat us to the pub. "Oh no, you won't!".
We had Emily's music and navigation to get us up to Scapa. I drove the first stretch into Scotland (Emily didn't want to marry me at Gretna Green because we only had one witness). The Prof handled driving on the right side of the road OK, but handed over to Emily at Inverness (after I'd won 50p on our bet about whether lay-by 69 was on dual-carriage-way or not - 3/8/04: she hasn't paid me yet). Emily's directions were excellent - "Join the A9 and then continue along the A9 for 242.3 miles".
She loved driving around the windy roads, and we made it to Thurso in enough time to check in to the hostel, have showers, and get half-way through a pint before the minibus got there (oh yes we did).
We found a nice Chinese to eat at, and then went to the pub that we'd eaten at the previous year. It was full of scary local slappers, some of whom were dressed up as police women. Back for a quick one at the pub by the hostel before "hitting the sack".
We had plenty of time to gimmer around before the ferry left, so that's what we did. Most people went to Safeway, but Steve and I went for a wander around town (followed by Cherryboy). We bought a few guvening things, and corrected the punctuation on a sign.
Just before leaving for Safeway, Max agreed to meet us back at the hostel before driving to Scrabster. We waited a while, and then called her to find out where she was "At the ferry terminal, I thought that's where you would be". We headed off to the ferry terminal.
We found out that, despite having booked two crates, none had been reserved for us. Fortunately, the guvna found a spare one, which just about fitted all our kit. Max was convinced that it would be difficult to fit because of all the twin-sets.
A couple of pints later, the ferry arrived in Stromness. We unloaded all the kit onto the quayside, but the quay was quite a long way above the boat. We got all the kit down into the boat, including all the rebreathers and twin-sets.
We headed off to the pub for dinner because nobody could be bothered to cook. We got split between three tables, but Sarah decided that she didn't fancy the pub, so Dindin, Dave, and Mark were dragged off to eat on the boat (she seemed to have all three very well trained).
We had no bread for eggs, so I couldn't be bothered to get up before the engines started.
We did two excellent dives, the SMS Koln and the Karlsruhe. Scary and I swam almost the whole length of the Koln - who's the daddy? We swam a fair bit of the length of the Karlsruhe as well.
Emily and Dave cooked us all Spag Bol and Cherryboy and Ben washed up (with Ben washing the Spaghetti pan in the sea where the toilets dumped into). Dindin was invited to join the Daddy Club, but he shunned us. Cherryboy kept us entertained with stories about 404 and blue screens.
Knowing that we'd have eggs after our first dive, I reckoned on not cooking eggs for the rest of the week. We had two more brilliant dives today. First one was the Bayern (well, the turrets of it anyway). We tried a few swim-throughs, but didn't actually get through any of them. We bumped into a few other divers, before following Nick and Max to another turret.
The second dive was the Dresden. It was another top Daddy Dive. We soon found an entrance to the inside, and then swam the length of it. I didn't want to go into deco', but Scary found a final little swim through that I couldn't resist.
Sarah and Dindin were in charge of the evening's food, so we had these weird Fajita [Emily's spelling] things - I'd never had them before, but they were very nice. Unfortunately, there wasn't really enough to go around, so some of us ended up at the chippy later on. We managed to keep Cherrybot [Billy's mis-spelling] quiet for a bit, so no more stories about 404 Bluetooth.
We had three dives on offer today. The first one (the KronPrinz Willhelm) was described in my previous Scapa logbook as "a wreck the size of Cat's tits", so Scary and I were looking forward to another top Daddy Dive. In the end, we didn't really enjoy it, so cut the dive short. We tried one swim-through, but couldn't get very far. Nick and Max joined us, and appeared to tell us off. I swam off, to let Scary sort things out. Back on the surface, it turned out that they were pointing out the guns that we were swimming past!
After an excellent stew (cheers Bruce), we were ready for a dive on the Tabarka. As usual, it didn't disappoint. Just loads of swimming around, and taking pictures (mine were better than Scary's).
We then headed off for a three-hour journey to the Tommelina, but it was well worth the trip. It was in a gully, so we had to swim quite a while to get to it. It was pretty intact, and fairly small, so we could see a lot of it at once. Scary and I swam along the side closest to the rocks, after Dave and Sarah had sensibly decided not to. Cherryboy showed a swim-through to me, in which I almost got stuck. Another top guven.
Tonight's food was at a local hotel, which was supposedly well renowned for fish. It wasn't the best grub ever, but it did the job. Scary and I had decided not to do the wall dive on Wednesday, so we hit the beer a bit. Cherryboy told us all about his uncle's 8-year plan - what a load of toss. Sarah and her harem left early, leaving the rest of us to have a bottle of Dark Island with Dougie (quite a few stories of previous trips, including the couple caught shagging by CCTV).
Just before he went to bed, Cherryboy said "I don't know what the attraction with Cat is - does she have beer flavoured nipples?". Scary and I then spent the next hour-and-a-half working out which women and which breasts could be used - we won't mention the pork scratchings!
While the others were diving, Scary, Cherryboy, and Ben caught some big fish, while I just gimmered around. The others seemed to have quite a good dive, but nothing special.
The second dive was quite tidal, so we only had about 30 minutes on the wreck. It was a good dive, but not exactly a daddy dive. I almost got through the rudder, and there were a couple of other swim throughs to get through. Scary's SMB got caught in the shot, so he had to ditch it. We used his CO2 cylinder SMB, which inflated it enough to twat me with on the surface. Ben jumped in to rescue our SMB, but pulled up the wrong one, and almost dragged Nick to the surface.
Scary, Emily, Cherryboy, and I went for a recky around Kirkwall, and found a closed hotel bar and a pub that was open. Emily lost 3 quid on the fruit machine (no slapping Tarrant). Scary and I went to the gents at the same time, and played "pass the soap ball along the urinals", much to the amusement of everybody in the entire pub (we hadn't realised that there was no door to the toilets) - we left fairly soon after that!
Comment of the day:
Dindin (about Sarah): "Death girlfriend!".
Emily: "She can't be death girlfriend, because Scary hasn't touched her - YET". [According to Dindin, everything that Scary touches becomes a death #########].
Max was cooking chilli, but Scary and I fancied checking out Kirkwall (sorry Max), so we went for a curry instead. Cherryboy came along as well, to keep us entertained with stories of his bestiality, while Scary and I tried to take pictures of the totty barmaid. I liked the breast-shaped taps in the Gents, but Scary and Cherry weren't convinced. One of the waiters was a scary guvna, and the other one tried to convinced us that the Taj Mahal is in southern India.
We got to dive a two million pound insurance job. Called the Elegance, it sank (or was sunk) in April/May. It was a top dive, especially when CherryBoy and Ben swam off along the wrong bit of rope, and ended up at the bottom - tossers. Unfortunately, that meant that somebody else had to make the tea. Emily was on the case fairly quickly. Scary and I were first to surface, and looked down to see hundreds of fins.
[Finishing off trip report; 12th September with Emily's help]
The second dive of the day, involved waiting around by a small buoy (not boy!!) and then diving a 12m wreck. It was an old wooden wreck, some of which has been salvaged to fit-out a pub that we'd walked past the previous night. Scary and I had a bit of a giggle - we would have called it a day after 30 minutes, but spent the last 15 minutes stuck in a swim through. Emily and Prof had about a 60 minute dive, and Dave and Sarah surfaced without an SMB, and nearly got run over by Sunrise (better aim next time Dougie!).
Back at Kirkwall, Ben headed off for a long run, but had to cut it short after he felt a bit tingly (stupid gimmer). Some of us (everybody except cross-country Ben and the harem) went to have a pint in the wooden pub, and then a few more in the hotel (with the harem). Scary and I went back to cook curry for everybody, with a few added ingredients.
After the curry, we headed back into town, and went to the bar attached to the hotel. It wasn't a bad bar, but a bit smoky for my liking, but it did have a Slap Tarrant machine. Emily bet Robin 50p that he couldn't not swear for an hour (not a bad investment, because he was silent for the first 10 minutes!). Quote for the evening: "That won't be in the dictionary because it's a noun" said Cherryboy after losing his bet (12/09/04 - he still hasn't paid Emily, although she has paid me for the lay-by bet).
Cherryboy tried to keep us entertained with his story about a broken generator and working in Hammersmith.
We were shocked to hear the boat's engines start at 06:40, but we headed up stairs for a bit of tea and toast action. Dindin's brand-new undersuit had been rained on because he left it airing on the deck, so he decided not to dive. That meant that I had my own personal suit bitch and Mark Vowles had to find a new buddy. He asked Emily, but she said that she couldn't cope diving with a rebreather diver AND a twin-set diver, so he joined Cherryboy and Cross-Country Boy.
Scary and I must have been fairly narked, because we started having a sword-fight at 40m with two 4-foot long nails. The Prof swam past with his own personal 15-litre bail-out cylinder (nimbly carried by his beautiful assistant - "say yes, Paul").
We finished off the week with a bit of reef action. Scary and I started throwing his stage cylinder around, and were soon joined by Dave and Sarah. Dave came up behind Scary, and put his hands over Scary's eyes, so Scary couldn't catch his cylinder when I threw it to him. Ho-ho-ho. Later on, Scary tried to drop two sea-urchins on Dave and Sarah, but I gave the game away by laughing too loudly. Back on the boat, Cherryboy started complaining about Cross-Country Boy going to about 1.6 PPO2.
After waiting for Dave and Sarah to finish wrestling, we headed off to the pub for a last night meal. The food and company were nice, but we didn't get any Karaoke action (except for singing Happy Birthday to the Prof). I mistakingly started off speaking like Yoda, which carried on far too late into the evening. We had a few more beers in another bar, having to put up with about an hour's worth of Guns and Roses music, before my selection was inflicted on everybody. More attempts to take pictures with TottyCam, but they didn't work very well.
Up early, but not too early because we'd packed the crates the previous night. The journey back the the mainland went without incident (except Nick getting escorted back off the ferry for trying to stow on board).
The Prof, Emily, and I stopped off at the Falkirk Wheel on our way back down south. The gimmer in charge whittered on more than Terry Wogan and me put together. We got his life story (and his wife's), all in about 10 minutes - we even knew what he was having for dinner (Mushroom Stroganoff).
We dropped Emily off at the usual service station, and headed back to Slough. We got back at about midnight, in time for a quick beer before hitting the sack.
A bit of an easy day today:
Put some washing on.
Droped the hire car off.
Hung the washing out, put some more washing on.
Dinner in the Harvester with some Stella.
Hung the washing out, put some more washing on.
Few Stellas in the Toby.
Hung the washing out, no washing line left.
Beers and Thai meal in another pub.
I went to work, and left Steve in charge of sorting out the evening's entertainment. I met Steve, Gordy, Scary, Darren, and Ruth at Paddington, and we went off to drink Long Island Ice Teas and eat curry.
I went to work, and left Steve, Gordy, and Scary to their own devices. Scary and Gordy left my kitchen window open, while Steve's bus broke down on the M4. Fortunately, he still got to Gatwick in time.
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Created on: 12 Sep 2004. Modified on: 12 Sep 2004.
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