Dezzy's Weymouth Trip - July 2006
[Written up in August, so my memory is a bit vague]
I'd picked up the hire car on Thursday, because a week's hire costs the same as 5 days' hire. This meant that I could load the car up on Thursday night, and then leave straight from work. Unfortunately, we had been "upgraded" from an estate car to a saloon car. It was a big saloon car, but it still didn't have as big a boot as the estate does. This meant that I couldn't fit all my dive kit in the boot, so I couldn't pack it all on Thursday night, so I had to finish off packing on Friday morning. It's silly really, when we're away diving, we always leave our kit in cars (we have no choice), but at home, where I don't think anybody has had their car broken into, I only leave kit in the boot.
Anyway, because I wasn't going to be in the office on Monday, or Tuesday, I had to make sure that things were finished before I left for the day. Knowing I was going diving, my boss had assumed I'd be leaving early, so had made arrangements to leave early himself. I don't think he knew what to do, when he realised I didn't have time to leave early, but he soon decided to knock off early!
I went to Weymouth via Bath, to collect Dindin. I can't remember much about my journey to Bath, but I do remember an interesting article on Radio2 about Essex council wanting to reduce CO2 emmissions by turning off the street lights at night. I didn't know where their new gaff was, but knew what road it was on. I drove halfway along the road, stopped on a double-yellow line (since I was going to be loading), and called Dindin. A copper soon came along, and started flashing his lights at me. I got out to explain why I was stopped, and he just sped off with his lights flashing, and siren sounding. I'd managed to stop outside their new gaff, but didn't notice all the proper parking places on the other side of the road. Dindin pointed out the obvious, so I parked, and we loaded up the motor (with Rodney's help). Sam wasn't there to perve at, but there was some other totty around.
We were going to be staying on the boat itself. I'd spoken to the skipper, and he said to call him when we were about 5 minutes away. Because we didn't actually know where the boat was (never let Dindin decide which way to go), we didn't actually call him until we'd found the boat. I was pleased to see that the boat was moored a few steps away from two pubs. The skipper arrived, gave us a key to the boat, and gave us directions to the curry house, the greasy spoon, and the toilets. We could see where the pubs were, so that was us sorted.
We had a couple of beers in the Ship Inn, during which time I got Dindin to sign some old dives. There were totty barmaids, and also some totty navy birds, who seemed to be practising semaphore. There weren't that sexy, but they did make me think about Cat in her uniform, and that made me smile lots. There was karaoke on at the pub, so we left after the first two pints, and went to check out the Weymouth Tandoori. The service and food were good, and we obviously had to laugh at the cherry on top of one of the dishes. We had a quick pint in a chain bar on the high street, and another one back at the Ship Inn (although I think Dindin saw sense, and went onto soft drinks). I wouldn't normally drink this much when diving the next day, but we weren't going to leave the harbour until after midday, so it didn't seem like a bad idea. We got the kettle going before calling it a night. There wasn't much space in the shared cabin, but it did the job. It was going to be a bit cosy when everybody else joined us.
Although we had plenty of time before we had to be ready, we had quite a lot of gimmering to fit in. I wanted to check that my new dry-suit hose reached OK from the argon cylinder to the new inflate valve, and that involved putting all my kit together, and putting my suit on. Dindin needed to get fills, and we needed to park the car. Somewhere in-between all that, we had to have breakfast.
Dindin wanted to get the fills sorted first, just in case it got busy. I gave the car keys to him, because he'd drunk less than me the night before, and off we went. We weren't sure exactly where the dive shop was, but drove along the road that looked promising. It was getting narrower, so Dindin stopped, and asked me to walk further along, to see whether I could see a dive shop. I couldn't see one, so walked back to the car. I then realised that Dindin had stopped right outside the dive shop! Gimmeration!
The dive shop was open, and they got started on the cylinders straight away. The guys there were friendly, and some totty arrived while we were there, to serve teas and ice-creams. She stood next to me, and said, "You should see my bedroom". It sounded like a good idea to me, but we got her to make tea, instead.
Back at the boat, we checked my dive kit, and it all fitted together without any problems. I had tried it in my living room before, but I wanted to double-check it was OK. We spent ages driving around the streets looking for free parking, but couldn't find any. We ended up parking in the car park for the Law Courts, which anyone can use at weekends. While Dindin went shopping in Asda for some water, I had to use the facilities, because that cuppa had started my bowels moving!
So, that was all sorted. All we had to do was get back to the boat, leave the keys with someone if anyone had turned up, and then find somewhere to have breakfast. Breakfast wasn't too difficult to find, but it seemed to be run by school kids. Making sure that we would be hydrated, we drank plenty of water and OJ.
Back on the boat, people had started to turn up. We were all ready to go, except for one person, who was stuck in Weymouth traffic. He arrived, unloaded his kit, parked his car, and got on the boat with minutes to spare! We had an hour or two before we got to the UB772 (51m), so that gave us time to drink more water, and plan the dive.
I wasn't paying for a trimix fill, so we did the dive on air. Dindin was a top man in helping me kit up, and we were first ones ready. Phil (the skipper) kept hosing us down, to keep us cool. He's definitely a brilliant skipper. The current was running a bit as we went down the shot, and was still running a bit at the bottom. With all this finning, the nitrogen was beginning to have an effect on us. I think I simply need to quote my logbook:
We were absolutely narked. Out of our trees. Completely off our tits. Well and truly mullered. I'll be buggered if I can remember what we saw, but I offered to use the SMB!
That was the only dive of the day, but we agreed that trimix would be a good idea for Monday's dive. Phil had made tea, and we had hot cross buns as well.
Dezzy had booked a table in the Weymouth Tandoori, but we had to sort out fills first. I went to collect the car, drove back, then loaded as many cylinders into it as we could, and then drove round to the dive shop. We dropped them off, and were told that they'd be ready at about 10 o'clock. Gimmeration, either Dindin or I would have to stay sober. After reversing a long way back from the dive shop, I parked the car in a closer car park, but then realised that I had no change. I saw a taxi office, so thought I'd try there. There was some top totty behind the counter. She didn't have any change, but she had tits even bigger than Cat's, and was wearing a Hooters T-shirt. As I was walking out of the office, I realised that I couldn't let it go without a comment, so went back in, and said, "By the way, nice T-shirt". "Do you think so", she said, cupping her breasts in her hands, and squeezing them together. Wow, I had died and gone to heaven. She then proceeded to tell me that she was 20, and single, while still cupping her tits.
Anyway, I had curry to eat. I got some change from the pub next door, sorted the ticket out, and went back to the boat. After getting showered, Dindin and I went into the other pub, and I asked Dindin what he wanted. He asked for a pint of bitter, so I realised that it would be me staying sober! We finished the drinks fairly quickly, and went to the curry house. We both ended up at opposite ends of the table from each other, which gave us a good opportunity to chat to the guys that we were staying on the boat with. RebreatherBoy told me that it was obvious that I would have got a bend, because helium is a cold gas, and I was using it for suit inflation. I wasn't convinced, since I thought it was counter-diffusion that was the reason for using argon, and that counter-diffusion wasn't a problem with the low percentages of helium that we were using. Still, he seemed very confident that he was right, and Dezzy (despite not being qualified to use trimix) agreed. Looks like I need to do some more reading. If I remember correctly, there was also a discussion about how long cheques were valid for (the Motley Fool answered our question). Dindin had been sitting with a couple of DIR boys, so there seemed a risk of him going back to his DIR ways.
It was strange having a curry with no lager, but I still had to collect the cylinders. As we left the curry house, I said that I'd collect the car, and meet everybody at the dive shop. It wasn't until then that Dindin realised that one of us should stay sober! We loaded up the cylinder, I reversed along the road yet again, we dumped the cylinders off at the boat, I parked the car, and then walked back to the boat. It was only then that I could have a beer, so into The Ship we went (Dindin sensibly going onto soft drinks).
I wasn't convinced that the place that we ate at yesterday would be open (school kids wouldn't start work at 7am), but I went to check anyway. It was closed, but there was a taxi office opposite (not the same one as yesterday!), so I went in there for directions. We were told that the ferry terminal would be open, so off we went. It was absolutely full of lard; I could hardly see any bread in the fried bread! After a quick dump in the nice toilets, I was ready to go.
Unfortunately, I didn't put my contact lenses in before we left the harbour, so I had to put them in with the boat going up and down. It wasn't as bad as I expected - I just held my finger in front of my eye, and waited until the boat rocked one towards the other.
Dindin was a top man on the kitting up front again, making sure that I was kitted up before he started gimmering with his kit. Unfortunately, this meant that I had to start way before everyone else, and sit around kitted up, but at least I got help! We were diving the Iolanthe (42m). About half-way down the shot, Dindin stopped for what seemed like forever, but probaby wasn't very long at all, and then carried on down. We swam around the wreck for a while, but Dindin really wasn't happy, so we swam back to the shot, and started to surface. When we got to about 25m, we drifted off the shot, and I put up an SMB. Gimmeration, I'm going to have to stop this SMB marlarkey! I forced some Jesus stops on Dindin, but he really wanted to get back to the surface. Just as he'd finished de-kitting, he leant over the side for one hell of a chunder. He blamed it on the fried breakfast, but I knew better - it was that dodgy blackcurrant and soda from the previous night!
Dindin wasn't up for a second dive, so I got the pleasure of Dezzy's company for my 500th dive. We did a drift-dive at Lulworth Banks (22m). I probably hadn't dived with Dezzy for about 10 years, so it was like old times! I can't remember seeing much, but Dezzy had at least ten different types of species to report on his sea life survey. Maybe I should try opening my eyes a bit more! Still, if Dezzy's going to do a little dance on the deco stop again, maybe I should close them. Back on the boat, Dindin seemed to have woken up, so I had to confess to him that I'd managed to kit up almost unaided, and also do my neck seal on my own. This made him happy.
When we got back to land, we went for a walk along the beach, for a perve and some fish 'n' chips. Unfortunately, we had just missed the beach volleyball. As we were walking along the beach, the two DIR boys were walking towards us. We joined them for a bit, and they kept me entertained by ranting even more than Rich. While the others were resting on the boat, I went to sort out breakfast. Dindin had said that he wouldn't go to that cafe again, so I went to get some scotch eggs and pasties instead.
It still wasn't time to collect the cylinders (even more reversing for me), so we just rested on the boat. The street was full of people who'd been drinking all day. After a while, a bloke jumped in, and tried swimming across. He couldn't get out on the other side, so swam back again. He was knackered by this point, but he managed to climb onto our boat, and back onto shore. About ten minutes later, another bloke jumped in, and tried exactly the same thing! As I pointed out, some people really shouldn't drink on an empty brain.
In the evening, we went to the Weymouth Bistro. The menu looked good, but I got confused by the lack of curry. One of the waitresses looked very familar, but I couldn't figure out where I knew her from. Once we started eating, I forgot to ask! The food was good, and I remember Dezzy mentioning a trip to swim with sharks in Norway. Not sure whether I'd fancy it, or not! We went for a quick pint in the Ship, and the barmaid was very friendly. We like that!
We didn't have to go very far for breakfast. We had food, water, teabags, milk, and a kettle on board. Job done! My only worry was making sure that I had my morning dump before we left the harbour. There were no worries on that score, as soon as I finished my cuppa, things were beginning to move! I remembered to put my contact lenses in before leaving the harbour as well.
Our first dive was the Salsette (45m). We were far less narked than on Saturday, because we were using nitrox. It was a bloody good wreck, but we went a bit deeper than we planned, so we couldn't also go longer. Stupid plan! Dindin tried to get me to use the SMB, but I wasn't having any of it. It was about time he used it!
Our next dive was a drift around the James Fennel and the Gurtrude (15m). I saw loads of big rocks, a boiler, a prop-shaft, several other dives, a big crab, and Dindin. For some reason I used the SMB again
There was untold gimmering getting our tri-mix fills. We were first in the shop, but the shop filled the other boat loads' of cylinders before starting on the tri-mix. Gimmeration! Still, with all the gimmering time, I had time to go shopping for our breakfast again. Being in a good mood, I also bought Cokes for everyone on the boat, and some sweets. The air divers went ahead and went to the Mexican, and we (Dindin, the two DIR boys, and me) joined them after a while.
The food was nice, but the restaurant was really hot and sweaty. We got through dozens of jugs of water, but, sensibly, not too much Senorita Beater. The DIR boys were enthusing about spools. Personally, I always carry a spool, just in case, but still prefer to use a reel when using an SMB. While paying the bill, the bird in charge seemed quite friendly, and was showing great cleavage. As usual, I couldn't figure out whether she was coming on to me, or just being friendly. I was still trying to figure out whether HootersTaxiGirl had been coming on to me, or not.
Phil joined us for a pint in the Ship. There was some serious BlokeInPub discussions about energy usage, reducing carbon emissions, and the general state of the planet. I knew that there was some ignorance, and hypocrisy, being spoken, but I just kept my mouth shut, and drank my organic beer. It made for an interesting end to the evening. I remember Phil suggesting they turn street lights off at night (he'd obviously been listening to the same Radio2 programme that I'd listened to on Friday - see BBC News - Plug pulled on all-night lighting).
It was quite a long trek out to the Avalanche (51m). This gave us plenty of time to plan the dive, to sleep, and to perve at The Star. During the journey, I also took the VR3 on a practice dive. I couldn't figure out exactly what the displays on the right-hand side mean, so asked Dindin. He couldn't figure it out either, but reckoned that my suggestion was wrong. I quite fancied a hand kitting up, so started early. Unfortunately, slack was a long time coming, and I ended up sitting down, kitted up, for at least three-quarters of an hour!
Still, it was worth it. With tri-guven, we had clear heads, and were both happy throughout the dive. We found loads of champagne bottles, some broken crockery, and a crab the size of Cat's tits. During the ascent, I figured out what the different displays on the right of the VR3 mean.
The last dive of the trip was a scallop dive. I'd never planned to do another dive after a 50-odd metre dive, and Dindin agreed with me. We just packed our kit away, and drank tea.
I don't remember much about the journey home, but Scary was at home, as was an architect bird I'd never met before, and Sam turned up after a while. Top perving!
Created on: 19 Jul 2006. Modified on: 04 Aug 2006.
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