Becky's Isle of Wight Trip
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Still needs to be proof-read. I'll wait for Cherryboy to read it.
On my way to pick up the hire car, I saw a woman smoking at a bus stop. I was amazed to see her stub the cigarette butt out on the top of the bin, and put it into the bin. Apart from Fiona, I have never seen any other smoker do this. I had to stop and congratulate her. She started touching my arm as we were chatting, so I carried on walking.
I'd decided to hire a slightly more expensive car (a whole £8 more for the whole weekend), so that Zoë and I could have plenty of space to drive down in. I was given a Vectra, which had an on-board computer, and satellite navigation. They both seemed easy enough to operate, but it took me ages to figure out how to turn the radio on! When I got back home, several e-mails had gone around the dive club, after Mark had found the RobDickson.com website. I'd seen it ages ago, but hadn't found it that interesting. However, when Emma pointed out his cheesy grin on the booking page, and Scary had downloaded some samples, it seemed like a giggle. Scary suggested making a spoof site, so I thought that BillyTheVoice.com seemed like a good idea.
Anyway, I loaded up the car with 6 cylinders (twin-12s, single 15, single 12, stage, and pony), and the rest of my dive kit, and had a quick cuppa while I sorted out directions. From what I could tell of the SatNav, I had to tell it the street names of where I wanted to go (it didn't have postcodes). I was picking up Zoë from Guildford train station, so I typed Guildford into Multimap, and then clicked on the link to the nearest train station. Unsurprisingly, the nearest road was Station Road, on the junction with London Road. I entered this into the SatNav, and off I went. It warned me about traffic on the M25, but said that it would only take another 12 minutes, so I didn't let it recalculate my route.
I got to Guildford easily, and got navigated around Guildford until the SatNav said "You have arrived". I knew that I was in the wrong place, and then saw a Network Rail sign that said "London Road Guilford". Gimmeration, I didn't know that there were two train stations. I had a quick look at SatNav again, and found that it had a list of POIs (Points of Interest), so I selected Guildford Station, and got there a few minutes before Zoë did. We went to her family's house, to pick-up her dive kit (no more cylinders, fortunately), and then set the SatNav to get us to the Royal Bournemouth Hospital, and set off. Zoë didn't agree with the SatNav, so we ignored it until it realised that we wanted to use the M3.
When she isn't driving, Zoë is excellent at the Mini game, often beating me at times. On the way down, she started messing with the SatNav settings, and then asked me, "what does 20.5°C mean?". Gimmeration! We made good time to the hospital, and arrived in time to see Becky still in her uniform. Way hay! Wendy (MHM) was there as well, as was Cleo, who I'd never met before. Cleo (BNNT) seemed really friendly and an excellent laugh. Dindin and Rodders arrived a bit after us, and, after a cuppa, obviously, we went to Becky's local for dinner. While we were there, we met two of Becky's Pharmacy mates (top totty, but the younger one looked much younger than her actual age of 24), Ian (Becky's DO), and Rachel (Ian's missus). Rachel had a massive pair of norks - I was impressed.
Unfortunately, Cleo didn't stay too long, because she was working nights, and Becky's two pharmacy mates left after a while - presumably they got a bit bored of us all talking about diving. The older one said she'd join us for curry on the Saturday, so I decided that I would try to talk about something other than diving. There was a hen party in the pub, but we were sat outside, so I didn't get much perving in. After a while, it got a bit cold, so I found a table inside. I was amused to see a bloke passing our table, staring down Zoë's top, and then almost knocking into a wall because he wasn't looking where he was going! I can also remember discussing the tattoo that I was going to have put on my bum (discussed on my blog). Ian suggested getting "No Entry" tattooed on my bum. This was something that I'd considered years ago, but had decided that it would just be too embarrassing if my sexuality changed.
Before going back to Becky's place, we detoured via the 24-hour Tesco. Becky had already bought bread, bacon, and eggs, but we had to buy sweets and doughnuts (and take a picture of bad apostrophe usage). As Becky was packing up the shopping, she picked up the sweets, and put them in the bag. Dindin almost growled, when he realised what was going on! She soon gave them to him. Thanks to Dindin for pumping the bed up when we got back to Becky's.
We had to be up at 05:30, in order to have breakfast, before being ready to leave the
keyquay at 07:30. I didn't like the idea of getting up before 6am, but it had to be done, if we were to have our anti-DCI eggs before diving. Dindin had typed the postcode into his SatNav, so Zoë and I followed him. Actually, we didn't follow him for the whole journey. I decided not to follow him, when he crossed the solid white lines, and drove on the wrong side of the road. Zoë also wouldn't let me follow him, when he took the wrong turn at a roundabout. Somehow he managed to get there before we did though. Becky had left before us, because she was picking Chris up on the way. I am sure that she wasn't impressed to find that he was still in bed.
We met a few more of Becky's diving mates (John, John, Steve, and Chris). They all seemed like a nice bunch. Although she wasn't diving, Rachel came out on the boat. It was going to take about an hour-and-a-half to get to the
SagasaSargasso, but it was a large comfortable boat, so that didn't really matter. Becky had asked me to look competent, so I started kitting up early, and, for the second time since I started diving in 1994, was the first one kitted up. Thanks to Rodders, and Rachel, for helping me kit up. Dindin hadn't been able to take Friday afternoon off, so we were diving on air (with stage cylinders). The Sagassa was a fairly small boat, but still intact. There was lots of stuff to bring back up (the Bournemouth boys seemed keen to bring up anything they could find, diving with crow-bars), and the propellers were still easy to find. Dindin was well behaved, and used the SMB. Having only had 3 pints the previous night, we only had to do 1 extra minute at 6m, and 4 extra minutes at 4.5m. Although 42m wasn't exactly taking it easy, it was an excellent post-bend dive, and an excellent 483rd dive (= 69 x 7).
We had a few hours to kill at Swanage, before we had to leave to dive the Kyarra. We dropped our cylinders off at the filling place, and went into town. It was a really sunny day, so all the riff-raff were out on the beach. We tried our best to stay in the shade. The home-made ice-cream made an excellent dessert after our fish 'n' chips, and I even found a shop where I could buy Bird a birthday present. We got back to the pier, to find out that the cylinders still hadn't been filled. We'd already paid for the main tanks (£12 for Nitrox32 in twin 12s), but I hadn't paid for the Nitrox50 in the stage. I don't know whether it was an apology for taking so long, or a mistake, but I never did pay for the stage cylinder to be filled. The cylinders were so hot, that it was painful to touch them. Fortunately, the Kyarra isn't that deep, so we would have plenty of air. It was a good guven, but my right ear started giving me jip after about 25 minutes. I told Dindin, and I got out the SMB. Feeling sorry for me, Dindin wound in the SMB. Not wanting to waste the gas in my stage cylinder, I didn't bother switching onto it on the way back up. We surfaced fairly close to the boat, but were feeling lazy, so didn't swim to it. The skipper taught us a lesson by picking everybody else up first, and leaving us until last.
On the way back, we went past a beach that seemed to have lots of people on it. Ian reliably informed me that it was a nudist beach. Unfortunately, it was too far away for me to have a proper perve - anyway, they were bound to be mingers! While I was sorting out my dive kit on the way back, the boys were chatting at the back of the boat. They starting talking about fisting, and using women as bowling balls. I kept well away from that conversation! Back on dry land, we had to unload our dive kit next to a van full of fish, which was leaking smelly liquid everywhere. It wasn't the nicest smell in the world!
Time for us all to shower before getting a taxi into Bournemouth for a curry. We were eating at the Eye of the Tiger, but were disappointed to find that the music wasn't playing. Dodgy Roger joined us for a curry. I hadn't realised that he was mates with Dindin. I hadn't seen Roger for many years (in fact, last time I saw him was in my pre-bend era). I couldn't be bothered to decide what to have, so Dindin agreed to just get the waiter to order for us. I can't remember exactly what we had, but it included the Tiger Special, and, of course, Matar Panneer. It wasn't as good as the Matar Panneer in The India, but it was pretty good.
We had a quick pint next door in the Litten Tree. I spent most of the time looking around the place, thinking how old I was! For a place that had bouncers checking ID, and an over 21 rule, there were a lot of people there who didn't even look old enough to drink. There were three people who I remember:
1) Some girl who lifted her skirt, and flashed her knickers every five minutes.
2) Another girl, who was dancing, snogged some bloke who walked passed, and then quickly put some lipstick back on.
3) The four girls sat on the table who seemed to be sat there, not talking to each other, and not smiling. As they stood up to leave, the only normal looking one of the 4 handed around some small white tablets.
Rodger had room for four people in his car, so Zoë, Rodney, and I got a taxi back, with Dindin going in Rodger's car, to keep Becky safe from Dodgy and Dodgier.
Back at Becky's we had time for a cuppa before going to sleep, because we didn't have to wake up until 06:30 - a veritable lie-in! As we were going to sleep, I remember asking why the SI unit of mass is kg, and not gramme. Dindin said that he wasn't sure why kg is more commonly used than gramme, but that gramme was the SI unit, and not kg. I wasn't convinced (I was sure that 1 litre of water weighs 1kg), but Dindin's more likely to know about these things than me! Dindin and Rodney were also not convinced by my comment that kcal meant metric calories, and not 1,000 calories.
I hadn't been able to find the postcode of where we were launching from, so we couldn't rely totally on SatNav. Still, at least Dindin stayed on the right side of the road this time. As we got to where we were launching from, I saw some top-drawer totty bending over, showing her knickers. I commented on her, and Zoë said that it was Alice (who was diving with us today). Way-hay. Things were looking up. I quite fancied Cloe, but she's got a boyfriend. Maybe Alice would be single! Unfortunately, I realised that she was smoking. Still, we can't have everything!
Today, we were diving from Ian's boat, and JohnW was skippering. We had to fill up with fuel first, but Ian had an Ipod and a speaker, so we could play music on the way out to the Skye and back. It was difficult to hear the music while we were travelling, but we arrived with about half-an-hour before slack, and there were already about a dozen boats there. Ian put on Blame it on the Boogie (released in the days that Michael Jackson was black, and allowed to share his bed with 5-year-olds), so we had a dance. After dancing, I was busting for a jimmy, so stood at the back of the boat, and peed, just as Top Gun was passing, with a boat-load of divers! The skipper tooted his horn, which put me off.
Yesterday, my VR3 read the same as Dindin's did, so I obviously hadn't set it to 30% conservatism. I corrected the mistake today. We were diving on single cylinders, without ponies or stage cylinders. I didn't think my body would cope with a full dive on air! With the VR3 on 30% conservatism, we didn't have that long underwater, but we made our most of the time there. Quite a few swim-throughs, but we stood no chance of keeping up with Becky, who was being towed around by a scooter that wouldn't turn off!
The second dive was going to be a drift dive. I wasn't interested in a drift dive, so really couldn't be bothered to get my cylinder filled. Alice wasn't doing the second dive either, so I got totty to perve at while we were waiting for the others to surface. The others had hassles getting fills again, but we found time to buy chips and ice cream, and see the holy grail of a yellow VW van, before we had to leave. We took shelter in the shade under the pier, and waited for Ian and John to return from their recky, and for the cylinders to be filled. I got a chance to find out a bit more about Alice. I don't normally go for slim totty, or smokers, but could always make an exception.....
While the others were diving, John let me choose the music on the Ipod, so I found Abba, and put some on. I was surprised to find Waterloo being sung in French. It was flat calm earlier on, but slightly choppier on the way back (although still flatter than British waters normally are). As we got close to the nudist beach, I turned round for a better look, but really needed binoculars. Things got quite busy as we got closer to the harbour, so I stood up for a look around. As I stood up, I noticed that there was a boat in front of us with sunbathing totty on the back. There was a fair chance that they were too young for me, so I checked out the other boats, as well. Ian put on a song that I hadn't heard in a while. I can't remember what it was called, but I've got a copy on CD, and I remember singing it with Scary while we were driving up the M5. Spray. Hitch a ride. Honk your horn. Ring a bell. Superman. UPDATE: It was Superman by Black Lace (click on the logo to the left for more Black Lace songs). If you try searching for Black Lace on Amazon, you get some interesting results!
When we were sorting out the dive kit, the police and army turned up. We had no idea what for, and Becky got a bit scared when she went to ask to find out, and came back with no information. We had time for a quick cuppa at Becky's before having to leave. I dropped Zoë off in Guildford, and got back home in time to get a Chinese take-away.
Thanks everybody for a brilliant weekend.
Note: I have used some abbreviations on this page. If you're using Firefox, then you'll be able to find out what the abbreviations mean. However, if you're using Internet Explorer 6, then you won't, because IE6 doesn't support the <abbr> HTML tag.
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Created on: 06 Jun 2006. Modified on: 10 Jun 2006.
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