Trimix and Text Message Weekend
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(16/10/05: written in Slough Wetherspoons while waiting for Bird)
Eventually, Scary had got around to organising a Trimix course for us. We had considered doing in at Plymouth, or even in the Red Sea. Bored with waiting for Scary to sort out the Red Sea option, I suggested that doing the course at Chepstow would be a better, because we could concentrate solely on the Trimix. We were joined by Dindin, Gordy, and Emma, which made a good group.
Friday 31st September
While sitting on the loo, I e-mailed Fat Mike, to see whether he would be up for a curry over the weekend (not too much beer, if we were going to be doing a Trimix course). After work, I picked up my hire car. While sorting out the paperwork, the bloke a National Car Rental said "I shouldn't really be serving you, because you insulted me the last time I served you". Concerned, I asked him what I'd said. "You complained that I wasn't totty". Not little me, he must have been thinking about somebody else!
I arrived in Bath at about 8pm. Gordy, Emma, Scary, and Dindin had been in Cardiff on a free Kit Maintenance course. I had been interested, but didn't really have enough time to take off work for it. Anyway, after loads of gimmering finding places to park cars, we were parked up, and we headed off to Jamuna. Fat Mike had sent me a text message, but it was too late to call him for tonight.
Dindin and I were up for a sneaky pint, but Scary wanted to head back to sort out some dive kit. Still, there was Stella in the fridge, and we did persuade Scary to join Sam and her totty mates in Lambretta's. Back at Flat9, I turned on my phone to set an alarm, and found that I had two text messages. One, from Emily, said "Hi billy, bit drunk! Chatting to this guy who thinks english women have big boobs-what do you think is he right?x". The other, from Cherryboy said "Good news: first time a girl asked me my number for her ginger mate. bad news: the girl smoked and i am leaving the area soon. so i said no. life is ironic.". Not liking text messages, and not being able to think about a funny reply, I ignored them for the time being. [Any grammar or spelling mistakes in the text messages are not my fault!].
Saturday 1st October
Dindin kindly woke us up with tea, and he and I managed to squeeze in another one while Scary walked up Bathwick Hill, to get his motor. Off we went to Vobster. We were supposed to be doing th course at Chepstow, but things had gone tits up, and we were doing it at Vobster instead. The plus side, was that we'd do Tuesday's dive out of Plymouth on a 65m wreck.
I'd never been to Vobster before, and really wasn't looking forward to the experience. We arrived before it opened, so had to wait ages before we got let in. When we got to the front of the queue, we were greeted by Forest "Who ate all the pies" Gump, and his .Ginga assistant. It took ages to explain what we were doing there, and we were told that only one space in the bottom car park had been reserved. Ignoring the instructions to park in the top car park, Scary parked in the bottom car park. Top man!
We then made a beeline for the burger van. The bloke serving seemed nice enough, but the make-up and nail-polish did seem a bit much! Still, bacon and egg sarnies all round. Vobster didn't do Trimix, but fortunately, Neil turned up with some helium cylinders in the back of his motor. After the obligatory signing of forms, we started the course. Scary, Dindin, and Gordy had been doing far too much reading, so had plenty of questions. I, on the other hand, had one question:
"Neil", I said, "This Trimix malarkey". I could hear the boys sniggering. "Could you go back a few steps and explain the basics". Neil went back to basics, and then carried on. It was a very interesting morning, with Neil able to answer any question that we threw at him. We had a quick break for lunch (Double Cheeseburgers - ideal for a pre-dive snack). After waiting for what seemed like ever to get our stages filled, we got in the water. The basic plan was to get down to 30m, do our drills, and then do simulated deco-stops on the way up. It got black at about 20m, so Scary and I hit the platform hard at about 30m.
We couldn't see a bloody thing. The only way that we knew that the other was there, was by hearing the other giggling. We'd been told to stay on the bottom for 20 minutes, so that's what I intended to do. Not able to see each other, we both isolated regs using the manifolds. After about 10 minutes, I head Scary mutter "Let's go up". "OK", I replied, and up we went, to find everybody else on the trapezium at about 12m. They'd had the sense to ascend straight away. We stayed at 12m for another 10 minutes, just to claim enough bottom time, and also to practice drills mid-water.
Back on dry land, we climbed out of our suits, amazed at how bad the bottom of Vobster smelled. Dindin had a fair percentage of his diving at Vobster, but even he wasn't quite prepared for the ming. I was just putting stuff in Scary's motor, when he walked out of the shower in his pants, and asked me to get his clothes! Still, at least he hadn't gone into the ladies' toilets by "mistake".
Queenie had arranged a bit of buffet food action at some restaurant in the new cinema complex. Not knowing exactly what the plans were, I left calling Fat Mike until Sunday. We met everybody there, and ate and drank until about 10:30. Caro kept us entertained with her musical talents, and it was nice to catch up with Uncle Tom. Oh, and there was plenty of cleavage to perve at.
During the meal, I got a text message from Becky asking where TottyCam was. She and Zoe were at a ball at (according to Scary) the Natural History museum. I had promised them TottyCam, but had forgotten. Fortunately, Becky had a camera on her phone, so offered me a picture of her and Zoe lying across Monty. Not knowing who or what Monty is, I agreed. A few minutes later, a picture arrived. Upon closer inspection, it seemed that Monty was a tank - the ball was at the Imperial War Museum - gimmer! With all the text message fun, I had seriously gone over my 3 text message rule.
Scary and I met up with Mark and Colleen for a bit of Lambretta's action. After the first round, Scary was taking some persuading to have a second drink. Colleen suggested having a half, which shocked him into having a pint!
Sunday 2nd October
As before, Dindin woke us up with a cuppa. At Vobster, we had a queue for ages, and deal with Gump and Ginga again. When we got into the bottom car park, a bloke who Dindin had been ice diving with was looking after the car park. He tried to get us to park in a particular place, but Scary showed him who was boss!
Time for bacon baps again, before Neil turned up on his motorbike. The boys were very jealous. The plan for the day was to learn loads more about Trimix in the morning, and dive again in the afternoon. As before, we learnt loads in the morning. When it came to lunch, instead of ordering double cheeseburgers, we ordered DecoBaps (rolls the size of Cat's tits). Paul joined us, but we all regretted it when we saw the size of them.
Neil had a look at our kit set-ups, and made quite a few suggestions. We then had a bit more classroom action before diving. I was the last in the water - mostly because I had lots of kit gimmering to attach two stages, but partly because Dindin and I had a sneaky cuppa! This time, we were going to use the 20m platform, which would hopefully have better viz. Fortunately, it did, and everybody practised their drills. That DecoBap must have affected me, because I had loads of problems with the drills. Maybe it was the misfortune of actually being able to see! Hanging around on the shot, we had to take our masks off, and swap them with someone else. Definitely not the best moment that I've had when diving, but we all managed it OK.
Back in Bath, Fat Mike's phone didn't ring. I do hate people who don't have voicemail, so I had to e-mail him. With no call from Fat Mike, Scary, Dindin, Sam, and I went for a bit of Lebanese action. The food was pretty good, and the blond totty who kept re-arranging her norks kept me entertained! Knowing we had a fairly long day tomorrow (including driving down to Plymouth), we went to bed fairly early.
Monday 3rd October
Unsurprisingly, we were first in the queue this morning. Fortunately, there was somebody there who would make us breakfast. Not the same bloke as before, so there was no talk about rat burgers. As we were paying our ten quid deposits, the bloke behind the counter asked whether we would like to pay for an annual membership. Not a chance. Hopefully, I would never have to dive in Vobster ever again.
Still, there was still a lot to learn, and we had to do one final dive in that horrible quarry. We watched a few videos. We had the DIR kit configuration video that Scary and I had watched on our twin-set course, and another one about DCI. All scary stuff. We managed to go for normal burgers today, and gave the deco baps a wide berth.
We also had to plan the next day's 65m dive. When looking at air consumption, we realised that there was the potential to not have enough gas. Gimmeration - twin 12s, and that might not be enough gas for a 65m dive. How does that work - I've done a 50m dive on a single 15-litre before. Still, we went over all our plans and were pretty happy we'd be able to do it.
Neil changed our buddies over today, I was diving with Dindin, and Scary was diving with Paul. He didn't dare split Gordy and Emma up. The plan was quite simple - remove and refit stage cylinders, and isolate our manifolds. We then had to do several minutes of simulated stops, before staying at 3m, for long enough to do whatever task Neil gave us to do. After yesterday's mask swapping, I wasn't looking forward to whatever task he had in store for us.
On the bottom, I managed to remove cylinders, and isolate my manifold, with very few problems. A marked improvement on yesterday's behaviour. I blame the DecoBap. We did all the stops, but when we got to 3m, there was no sign of Neil or Paul. I suggested that we wait for 2 minutes, and then surface. We did this, and surfaced to see Neil and Paul getting out of their suits. The gimmers!
Anyway, that was the end of that day (except for a big argument about whether to have 50% or 80% in the stage cylinders). We then had to travel down to Plymouth, ready for the next day's dive. As we were travelling down, I quickly checked by e-mails. It seems there was no such thing as quickly, since Mark Vowles had sent a multi-page word document to the whole club. I actually took time to read it - it was quite scary, it seemed he had a sexual attraction towards Diversity.
We were staying at Manhattan. Gordy didn't want to drink, so kindly gave us a lift to the pub that Scary almost got into a fight over a chair in July. The food was good, and the waitress was definitely totty. Back at Manhattan for a final pint, and to finalise our plans. Apart from diving deep on Trimix, I was worried that we might be diving with Deep Blue.
Back at our room, Dindin took his shoes off. What a smell, Scary threw Dindin's shoes out of the door, as Dindin washed his feet in the sink. Worried about the lack of breakfast the next day, I drifted off to sleep.
Our breakfast had to consist of whatever we could get out of the machine. Tea and MarsBars it was. No egg sandwich or DecoBap. Neil turned up with all our cylinders, having driven down from Cardiff that morning. We got everything sorted, and loaded kit onto the boat. Paul had a trimix analyser, so we set about checking our mixes. It turned out that a fisherman had put a net over the wreck that we were going to dive, so we headed off to the Medoc. We'd dived this a few weeks before, but, this time, we'd be using Trimix, and would actually remember it. Paul used DecoWeenie to re-plan the dive, and Dindin checked it out on his VR3 (he loves playing that man).
Anyway, we all got kitted up (I even managed to kit up on my own), and down we went. It was bloody good dive. We swam all around the wreck, and weren't narked at all. We must have had a narcotic depth of about 30m, since we were diving 55m, and had planned for 65m. We saw loads of the wreck, before getting back to the shot, and ascending. Although we all had VR3s, except for Emma (Neil had lent Gordy one), we had planned the dive as if we didn't have computers, so I intended to stick to our plan. Scary, on the other hand, just went with what his VR3 said. Gordy had to stick to the plan, because he bent his VR3. Anyway, it had been a top dive.
Neil and Paul sorted out the lazy shot, once we'd all unclipped our tags from the shot. About 55 minutes after leaving the bottom, we surfaced. My VR3 had cleared about 20 minutes before that, my Prodogy cleared as we surfaced, but my Suunto still wanted me to do another 13 minutes of stops. It soon went into spanner mode. Back on the boat, we had a bit of hot chocolate action, while we were heading back to shore.
After a bite to eat in the Manhattan bar (Dindin, as he had done the previous night, ordered a meal for two, just for himself - he is such a lard boy). We had a giggle, perved at totty, and, probably, gave Gordy jip for being a ginga.
I can't remember much about our journey back to Bath. We did stop at Collumpton for petrol, but I don't remember there being much totty there. Maybe there's only totty there at weekends. I think TottyRoads needs to be informed!
After a quick cuppa (Scary had disappeared to go canoeing), I headed off back home. I needed my bed.
Thanks guys for a brilliant few days. Thanks Neil for signing our qualifications. Thanks Paul for putting up with this bunch of gimmers.
18/02/06: I've just been tidying up, and have found the pages that Emily tore out of a magazine, and gave to me:
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Created on: 16 Oct 2005. Modified on: 18 Feb 2006.
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