Billy's Deep Plymouth Trip - July 2005
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It all started when Gordy called me up, and asked me to sort out a weekend of deep diving for the last weekend in July, because he and Rich fancied using the stage cylinders that they'd just bought. Sal and Tamsin weren't free that weekend, but I had a word with Dave and Danny and they had space to fit us in on that weekend. I therefore arranged to dive the Foyle (50m) on the Saturday, and the Medoc (55m) on the Sunday.
I e-mailed the plan to those interested, and Gordy called me to say that he didn't want to do anything below 50m, so I changed the plan to the Unicorn and the Foyle. Gordy referred to it as "overruling", but I think it was the start of a whinge!
Anyway, those of us who went were:
Emma joined us at the last minute. It meant an odd number, but at least there would be some totty on the boat.
Knowing how Scary hates camping, and also knowing that we were due to leave Bovvie at 8am, I had to think of an alternative to Brixton. I suggested staying at Bovvie on Friday night (we'd get there late anyway), and then getting a B & B in Plymouth for Saturday night. Scary and Dindin were up for it, but Gordy and Emma decided to camp. Scary booked us a room in The Firs, but it had changed ownership, so we didn't know what to expect.
Friday 29th July
Having been in the office on my own all week, I decided that I could justify leaving work an hour or two early, so I got down to Bath in good time. Scary and Dindin had been to Chepstow for the day, to check out their newly serviced kit. It all worked OK, so we loaded it into the car, and off we went. I wanted to avoid the traffic on the M4 and the accident on the M5, so we headed off via Glastonbury (via the TFC fish 'n' chip shop, of course). There wasn't much traffic, but it seemed that there wasn't much totty either (no entry for TottyRoads then). Scary and I changed driving at Columpton, so that was the start of him whinging all weekend about how pants the car is! Checking my e-mail on the way down, I saw that Becky wanted Dave and Danny's number to arrange a trip the weekend after. I called her, and said I'd find out tomorrow whether they could fit some totty (Becky, Zoe, and Leah) and Vowles in that weekend. On the way down, I mentioned by text message from Tanya (see Weekend in Dubai), and Dindin said that he'd received quite a few text messages by mistake. After a bit of grilling by Scary and me, he said that some had been a little raunchy......
Anyway, we made it to Bovvie in good time, and were met by Danny and Gabriel. We were put in room H, and, after Danny had found his keys, driven to the boozer near Manhattan. Danny told us that we were leaving at 8am in the morning, so I left a voicemail message for Gordy telling him this. He replied with a text message - "Cheers for the message, recieving you loud and clear. In case i am inexplicably grumpy tomorrow morning, i should tell you now that I am very excited?" (the bad spelling and grammar are his, not mine). Gordy? Grumpy? Surely not!
We went in to find that they no longer served Stella, and had stopped doing food. I said we'd only stay for one, but then Scary pointed out that we'd already eaten - gimmer!! Anyway, we had a few pints of Scenorita Beater, which made the scary singer seem almost tuneful (OK, I lied!). Scary almost got into a fight with some gimmer who got offended when Scary asked for his chair back - idiot! Anyway, we got a cab back to bovvie. "It's OK", Scary said as I got into the front seat, "the driver knows where he's going". Not a chance, he only just spoke English! Anyway, back at Room H, we found that Danny had left us copies of FHM and Loaded - top man.
Saturday 30th July
Dindin insisted on setting the alarm for 6:30. Scary and I weren't convinced, but I did have to thank him for it, when we found that the bands on my twin-set needed adjusting after the tanks had been O2 cleaned. I was shocked to find out that they'd stopped doing Full English breakfasts, so I had no eggs. I made sure that I had an extra cup of tea to make up for it!
Anyway, Dave dashed off to launch the boat, and drive back round to Bovvie. We finished getting our kit together. While finishing my tea, I heard Danny say to Dave "You did what! You left the bung out!". While Dave read his paper at Manhattan, waiting for the water to drain out of the boat, we had time for another cuppa. Although we had hoped to catch slack, there wasn't going to be much current flowing anyway, so a slight delay didn't matter. More tea vicar! Dave had asked Danny to take us out, because he (Dave) hadn't been to the wrecks recently.
I was quite apprehensive about this weekend. I'd done enough 45-50m dives in the UK before, but for some reason, this weekend seemed different. Maybe it was because we were actually doing accelerated decompression, instead of just using the stage cylinders as an extra safety margin. Maybe it was because we'd only just sobered up an hour or two before. Maybe it was because I'm a stupid old gimmer. Probably the latter. Still, being good sensible divers, we made sure that we'd drunk plenty of water the night before, and plenty of water in the morning.
After several "bung your kit on here" gags, we set off. On the way out to the dive site, I noticed that all the electrics on the boat lost power and turned off, when Blue Raider bounced off a wave. I mentioned it to Danny, who said "Oh, don't worry about that - we'll sort it out when we get there". We got to the dive site, and Danny proceeded to almost climb inside the "cockpit" while trying to fix the electrics. It took a while, but he got there in the end. With full use of echo-sounder again, in went the shot. He passed over the wreck a few times, to check that the shot was definitely on the wreck. It was all looking good.
Because there were 5 of us on the boat, Dindin, Scary, and I dived as a three, and went in first. As usual, Danny kitted me up, and in we went. Dindin must have been slightly underweighted, because he took ages to descend. I must have been at the bottom, when he was only half-way down (tut-tut). Anyway, at the bottom, we couldn't see the wreck. We swam around for about 15 minutes, but still didn't see it. We saw loads of sand, a crab with a massive scrotum, and a swimming scallop. This would have been a pants dive at 20m, but being narked at 50m, it seemed quite acceptable. Anyway, after a while, we gave up and surfaced. When Gordy and Emma surfaced, they had swum around for a bit, and managed to find the wreck. Unfortunately, they didn't have long on there, because it had taken them a while to find it. Still, at least they found it. We headed back to Bovvie, giving Danny jip about not getting the shot on the wreck as we went.
Back at Bovvie, we quickly got our kit sorted, and got changed out of our suits - we had tea to drink, and pasties to eat. I was pleased to see that there was some top totty serving behind the counter, so I had a feeling that we might be staying longer than normal! Danny and Dave had 4 people booked at 9 o'clock, and nobody booked at 12 o'clock, so I told them that I might have some totty for them.
Gordy and Emma wanted to visit Deep Blue (yuck) to look at some dive kit, so Scary, Dindin, and I nipped into Manhattan for a quick shower. We saw Gordy and Emma driving away from Deep Blue (they'd walked out in disgust at the service there), so we met them at QAB for a quick look round Sound Diving, and a well sized burger and chips at the bar. I can't remember much about the barmaids, but I'm sure that I was impressed.
We had to check into the B & B, so off we went, with Gordy and Emma following us. Scary wouldn't listen to my directions, and went off on his own little journey. I told him that he was heading to the wrong B & B, but he didn't believe me until we ended up outside it. Off we went to the right B & B, to see Gordy waiting for us outside. Even Scary couldn't manage to blame the detour on anybody apart from himself (although I'm sure he tried!).
After a quick look around the local dive shop, we had a quick kip in the B & B before heading into town (and mooning a hen party in a limo). As I was getting the beers in at the Wetherspoon's, I suddenly realised that we should have paid for another night at Bovvie, and a taxi into town. It would have cost about the same, and meant that we had another half-hour in bed. The boys agreed, so that was our plan sorted for next time.
The Wetherspoon's was full of scary people, so we finished our beer, and headed off in search of a better bar. Since Scary and I had done Plymouth a few times before, we let Dindin decide. The force was strong with Dindin, and he chose a bar with totty barmaids, and tubes with bubbles in. After a pint (and an argument between Scary and Dindin about whether the VR3's deep-stops increase or decrease the total dive time), Scary and I decided that we had to introduce the Navy Inn to Dindin. We got in there, bought the drinks, and Dindin didn't stop complaining that we'd gone from a nice bar to a dump!
Obviously those beers went down quickly, and we then went for a curry. Whenever we've been to the Kathmandu curry house, we've had excellent food and service. Unfortunately, although the food was up to its usual standard, the service was terrible. We had to wait about an hour and a half for our food, and didn't even get an apology. I told the manager that we'd be knocking 10% off the bill (he argued for a bit, but knew that I was in the right).
Back at the B & B, we searched the dining room for tea-bags, but couldn't find any. That'll teach us to drink all the tea before we go out on the beers. Getting ready for bed, Dindin and I weren't prepared to see Scary's arse as he got changed - the bugger had forgotten a spare pair of pants, so had gone commando. HELP!
Sunday 31st July
Another early start. The B & B didn't start doing breakfast until 8am, so we headed off to Bovvie to eat there. Dave promised not to forget to put the bung in today, so I realised that I didn't have as much tea drinking time today. Danny was coxing today as well, so I hoped that the electrics would work, and that we'd find a wreck today. Fortunately, Danny dropped the shot right in the middle of the wreck, so all five of us got on it. I can't remember too much about it (that nitrogen's good stuff), but it was quite big, had loads of congas, and lots of fishing net. It's a brilliant wreck, definitely worth diving again.
After a while, I was ready to go up, so caught up with Scary, and signalled to go up. He looked at me, blinded, as if some bugger was shining a torch in his face. I knew that I would never do such a thing (that's Gordy's domain), so I just signalled again. He still looked confused, so I signalled a 3rd time. Eventually Dindin leaned past me, and turned my torch off! Back on the boat, we all agreed that it was one of the best dives that we'd done in a while.
Back at Bovvie, on Gabriel was serving on her own, and she looked a bit busy. I helped out with teas, and then Dindin and I washed up. We can be well behaved and helpful when we need to! After sorting out the dosh, we went back home (via Sound Diving to get our stage cylinders filled - no way was I going to use Deep Blue if I could help it). I had begun to get worried that Deep Blue was the only place that does Trimix, but noticed that we could get Trimix at Sound Diving as well. Excellent - I can really say what I think about Richard at Deep Blue now.
I don't remember much about the journey back, but I'm sure that it involved me winning the stupid car spotting game, and Scary complaining how pants the car was all the way back to Bath. Scary and Dindin had invited a few people over for a BBQ on the roof to watch the Jamie Column concert. Jo (and her two mates) were there when we got back, so I stayed around for a cup of tea and a perve.
Despite lots of grilling by Gordy, Emma, Scary, and me, Dindin never said any more about those sexy text messages.
Monday 1st August
After work, I met Bird in Staines, and went for a Salsa class. Unsurprisingly, I was terrible, but it was an excuse to drink beer, and dance with loads of totty. All the prancing around helped get any last bit of nitrogen out of my body!
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Created on: 02 Aug 2005. Modified on: 02 Aug 2005.
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