Dindin's Pre-Scapa Weekend
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Dindin had arranged a pre-scapa trip. Nick, Max, and Scary had pulled out of the trip at the last minute, so it was down to me to look after Dindin.

Friday 23rd July
I met Dave at his place in Basingstoke, and we drove down to Brixton to meet the others. Nothing particularly exciting happened on the way down. Emily and I had managed to blag our usual space in Mark Vowles's west wing, so didn't need to worry about taking a tent. Dave had been given the servants' quarters. The others had kindly arrived early, and had already launched the boats by the time we arrived.

Emily arrived as we were walking up to the Foxhound, and soon joined us there. The grub in the Foxhound was served, as usual, by Sam in the Corner. After chatting to the barman, I realised that we were becoming regulars at the pub - maybe we were going to Brixton too often.

Saturday 24th July
We didn't have to launch the boats this morning, so it was a bit of an easier start than normal. We bumped into Danny and Dave, who were heading out to the Persier as well (although Blue Raider would probably get there before us). The totty coastguard who took our details wanted to know everything about the boats, and where they were registered. All very complicated, but she was very efficient.

We got there in good time, and Danny had already put a shot down. "Do you mind if we use your shot?", I asked. "No.", he replied, "As long as you're quick.". Then he realised that quickly wasn't something that I did on boats, but he let us use it anyway.

Emily and I went in first, because Dindin and Vowles still needed to plan their dive (Dindin had only taken his laptop out on the boat). We saw the boilers, the Jacuzzi, and loads of sea cucumbers (although I was well behaved). As well as not harassing the sea-life, I didn't try to get deeper than Emily, although I managed it anyway.

Back on the boat, I realised that Danny had got his divers out of the water, and headed back to Mountbatten. According to Dindin, he had said that he'd leave his shot, as long as we gave it back to him later on.

We had lunch at the beach just beyond Hill Sea Point. There was loads of pokiness, but it's still a nice place to moor the boats and have a rest. Dindin got his laptop out again, and started planning his next dive. Oh how we laughed when the waves splashed over the boat and almost landed on his laptop.

Scary Ben joined Emily and me on the next dive, but his suit flooded (again), so he wimped out after about 10 minutes. Emily and I carried on guvening for a bit, and, like always, I was a true gentleman.

Once everybody was out of the water, we headed back to Mountbatten (Emily, Ben, and me in Bath Tub, and everybody else in Diversity). Ben was coxing, and we made good time back to the breakwater, keeping Diversity in sight all the time. Unfortunately, once we'd got to the breakwater, we realised that we could no longer see Diversity. We waited for about 10 minutes, until Ben said "Billy, at what point to we go back to look for them?". I replied, "About now, I reckon. Have we got enough fuel?". Ben assured me that we had enough fuel, so we went off to look for them. We got back to where we could see HillSea Point, and couldn't see Diversity. We hadn't seen them overtake us, so the only time they could have done so, was if they'd gone inside the Mewstone - and we hoped that they had more sense that that.

Unfortunately, we only had one working radio between the two boats, and Diversity had it. We flagged down a passing yacht, and asked if we could use the radio. The daughter was quite sexy, but I kept my mind on the job, and contacted the coastguard. After plenty of gimmering around, the coastguard managed to get through to Diversity, after Dave had turned on the radio when they didn't see us at Mountbatten. After thanking the people on the yacht, we went back to Mountbatten. It turned out that while Ben had taken a course to avoid all the small yachts that were gimmering around, Dindin had just gone straight through the middle (top man), and we hadn't seen each other. Dindin had been really worried, not about us, or the boat, but about his laptop that was on board.

Correction from SarahT: Excuse me young man!!!! U didnt mention in ur pre-scapa trip that dave and i went out in diversity again looking for u guys!!!!! still dont know how we managed to miss each other- oh well!! .

By the time we got back to Mount Batten, Danny had left for the day. We moored the boats, had showers, packed up the cars, and went back to the campsite. I called Danny to offer to drop the shot round at his place, but he said just to drop it off in the morning when Dave was launching.

Back at Brixton, we had a bite to eat, a few beers, and planned the next day's diving.

Sunday 25th July
We had decided to go for an easy day, and just head to the JEL. Unfortunately, we still had to get up slightly early, because we had to give the shot to Dave. I took it down to him, and he said "Billy, am I glad to see you. Danny called me last night, and said that I should bring the spare shot, because you had it, and you might go out on the beers, and not bring it in time. The thing is, I forgot the spare shot.". What a good job we do things right in the Bath University club! Emily and I had a good dive on the JEL (although my ears gave me a bit of jip). Emily pointed out what I thought was a fish with two tails (although it turned out to be two fish chasing each other!).

Back at Mountbatten, we washed everything down, packed everything up, and headed back to the campsite (via McDonald's to get some lardy food - except for Ben, who had a hot date). The journey back with Dave to Basingstoke was nice, despite getting stuck in traffic, we got to listen to the World Whistling Champion.


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