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Gordy's Penzance Trip - March 2005

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I really wasn't convinced about diving in Penzance in March, but Gordy had made contact with a diving centre there, and we were up for it. Those of us on the trip were:

Friday 11th March
When I picked up the mini people carrier from National Car Rental, I wasn't quite convinced that we'd get 4 divers, 4 twin-sets, and 2 stage cylinders in it. Still, Gordy and Emma could always take their car if they had to. I got to Flat9, and we loaded Dindin's kit into the motor. Driving round to Gordy and Emma's place, we really weren't convinced that we'd all get in. Anyway, half-an-hour later, with the boot full to the roof, and the middle of the back seat also full to the roof, we set off.

Only about 10 minutes after setting off, Gordy almost went head on into another car - he only braked when I shouted. Wanting to make sure that we had pasties for tomorrow, we stopped off at a service station on the M5. Crunch, we heard, as Gordy reversed into a large vacuum cleaner. "It's only the kerb", he said. Keep telling yourself that, mate.

We arrived in Penzance in good time, but with almost no petrol. Emma kept telling Gordy to fill up, but he kept ignoring her. Fortunately, we didn't actually run out. Emma didn't fancy the pub, so Gordy, Dindin, and I left her at the hostel, and headed down to The Swan. Half way there, I asked Gordy whether he had locked the car. He wasn't convinced, so headed back to check. Dindin and I carried on to the pub.

There are two things that I remember about the conversation in the pub. Firstly, I told Gordy that the dates for payment that I had told people for the Red Sea were actually 2 weeks before the money was really due, so he had another 2 weeks to pay. Hopefully, he would have the sense not to tell Rich (the worst payer in the world).

A bit later, Gordy, being his ever tactful self, commented that Sam looked the same as SarahT. I couldn't see the likeness myself, but it didn't stop Gordy asking how similar they are in bed. Dindin went a bit quiet.

Unfortunately, Chris had injured herself while climbing, so wasn't up for diving. Nick and Max arrived while we were in the pub, and MarkE was staying at Nathan's gaff.

Saturday 12th March
The bunk room in the hostel did the job, and there was a kitchen, so we had time for tea and eggs. We headed off to the dive centre, and met up with MarkE. They seemed like a friendly bunch of guvnas, but the pre-dive brief and qualification check seemed quite over the top (I got told off for not logging my dives, just for not writing up the last one, and we were told in great detail how to get into a rib). Before arriving, we had to sign a form. This form said that we wouldn't do any decompression diving. I refused to sign that part, but Gordy was happy to (his comment to the dive centre was something like "why anybody would want to do a deco dive this early in the season is beyond me").

Anyway, after the brief (which included good briefs about the two dives that we were going to do), we headed off to Penzance Harbour to meet the boat. We all loaded our kit onboard, and headed off. It was a nice fast rib, but there was no totty on board (except for Max and Emma, of course). I was looking forward to the first dive (the Alice Marie), because there was a bit of nature trail action. I was diving with MarkE and Dindin. After a minute or two, I couldn't find the nature trail, a few minutes after that, I realised that the nature trail was on the second dive (Lah Lah). Anyway, we chased, and rounded up, a dogfish. Unfortunately, my VR3 was set to a very conservative mode, so we had to cut the dive short.

Between dives, we were talking about Cat and her two mates. The skipper mentioned that a bird called Cat would be joining us on Sunday. I asked whether she had big norks, and was told that she does. Way hay! Anyway, we dived the nature trail for the second dive, but Mark got a bit cold before we got back to the shot. I therefore got my SMB out for its annual outing.

As we were loading everything back into the car, Emma called Gordy "Tosspot Taylor". He didn't look very happy - "Don't say that in public", he said, "It might catch on". Back at the hostel, we met up with Chris and Rich (who had come all the way from Bath to join us for a curry!).

It was a good curry, the few things that I remember are:

We headed off to The Swan for a few beers, where I remember Gordy stating that making back-up copies of CDs is legal. He's obviously gone to the Rich Bloomfield School of Convincing Ignorance. Gordy was wrong, but as long as he said it with authority, he must be right!

Sunday
We turned up at the Dive Centre, and I was all excited about having some new totty to perve at.. We got all our cylinders into the motor, and headed off to Penzance Harbour. As we were heading out to sea, I made sure that I was sat next to the totty! Kat was a great laugh, she worked at the dive centre, but had a couple of days off. Very attractive woman (sexy smile), who seemed to have a thing about Swarfega. Strange bird! I soon realised that she was married, but that her husband was out of town......

Our first dive of the day was The Hellops. I knew that it was going to be an excellent dive, having dived it with Hayhurst over the Jubilee weekend. Dindin was my nominated SMB user for this dive (no totty dive for me, Kat already had a buddy with her). The VR3s made us do deep-stops, and I took quite a long time switching the VR3 over to Nitrox50. I think I need to play with it a bit more. While on the boat, Max asked what "jism" is. It all went a bit quiet, until Nick said "Man milk". Also, referring to Scapa 2003, Gordy coined the phrase "Brucie Bonus".

Our next dive (my 400th) was Smeg Rock (Emma had this strange idea that it was called Seghi Rock, but I know better). I had the only compass, so Gordy, Emma, Dindin, and I dived as a four. The skipper told me to take a bearing towards the rock, and I did. The four of us went in, as did Kat and her buddy. The skipper the watched our bubbles slowly moving away from the rock. Back on the boat, the skipper said "I told you to take a bearing towards the rock". I replied, "I know. You just didn't tell me to remember it". I am such a stupid old gimmer.

Chatting to Kat on the way back, she said that she was up for joining us for a Chinese, so I gave her my mobile number. We headed back to the hostel to freshen up (and drink tea, of course). With no phone call from Kat, we headed into town. We tried a few new pubs, but I seem to remember that the Chinese was closed, so we ended up having curry again. Dindin and Gordy discussed how they were going to make a rebreather, and then moved onto making an umbilical torch. I just drank beer, ate curry, and perved at Emma (who looked gorgeous, as always)..

As the diving conversation proceeded, I realised that I could actually contribute something to the conversation. I mentioned that the DIN fitting was actually an old British Gas standard fitting, and not a German metric fitting at all. Dindin and Gordy didn't believe me, but, in an e-mail to the club in November, Dindin was to announce this as a fact. I tried searching the 'net to prove myself right, but couldn't find any reference to it at all.

Monday 14th March
It was a really windy morning, but we were still up for diving. The usual trip to the dive centre to pick-up our dive cylinders, and then drive a fully laden car to Penzance harbour. Cat met us there in one of the dive centre's vans. She was on her own, so I obviously offered to look after her. She apologised for not calling me, but she had gone to her parents' place for a shower before joining us, and found that they weren't in. She drove back to her place (miles away), and then just fell asleep! No hot date for me then!

We were going to dive the Marlborough (again Emma insisted on calling it the Mullberry, but I knew better). It's a large steel tank, about 70m long, and 17m high (top at 35m, bottom at about 50m). We were all up for going about half way down, although how Gordy expected to manage it without going into deco, I wasn't sure.

Dindin, Kat, and I went in, and started swimming down the shot. After about 5 minutes of swimming against the current, I realised that I wasn't getting anywhere. Kat had disappeared by this point, so I signalled to Dindin that I wanted to ascend. I was disappointed to miss out on the dive, and also to lose the totty, but that amount of finning at depth was asking for a bend.

With everybody safely on board the boat, Kat didn't seem too well, so I gave her my stage cylinder, and got her to breathe from that. Emma slapped me when I quietly commented that I should put a meter on it. Kat didn't have a bend, she was just knackered, but it's better safe than sorry.

Back in the harbour, we decided to give the next dive a miss. I was getting quite cold and windy, so we called it a day. I can remember that Kat and I got changed in the van, and Gordy came to see what all the giggling was about! We all went for a quick cuppa before heading back to the dive centre to wash kit down, pay our bills, and say our goodbyes. We went back via Undersea Adventures to find out why nobody was answering our e-mails about the Red Sea, and was assured that we'd hear something by the end of the week.

All in all, it was an excellent weekend. Thanks everybody for making it an excellent start to the year

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Created on: 18 Nov 2005. Modified on: 18 Nov 2005.
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