Gordy's Penzance Trip
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In what looks set to become an annual event, Gordy organised a weekend in Penzance with Gulfstream.
Nick and Max cancelled at the last minute, so there were 9 of us on the trip:
Gordy & Emma
Rich & Chris
Rodney's just sent an e-mail to the club. I haven't read it yet, but the first sentence just appeared in the bottom right-hand corner of my screen - "you should be able to squat down and raise your arms above your head quite comfortably". The mind boggles! Having not diving since Sharm, I needed to change my regs around, so that they worked with a twin-set. I couldn't find my adjustable spanner. I then remember that Scary had put it in his bag for "safe keeping" while we were in Sharm. What a dodgy old guvna!
Deciding that I didn't want to arrive in Penzance after the pubs had closed, I booked the hire car from midday onwards. I arrived at National Car Rental at about 12:30, to find out that the car hadn't been cleaned yet. Realising that it would soon get dirty again, I asked for a £10 discount, and took the car as it was. After last year's effort (getting 4 divers into a mini-people carrier), I decided to get a large estate for the three of us (Dindin, Mark Elley, and me).
Driving back home, listening to Radio2, I heard all about "John" - the CoatMan - who has spent the last 10 years stealing coats from pubs. He didn't sell them, steal the wallets, or anything. He is now trying to return the coats to their owners, because he can't afford the rent on the lock-up garages in which he is storing all the fully catalogued coats. I've had lost two coats in the last 10 years, maybe I'll be getting them back!
Mark had taken the day off work, and Dindin hadn't started work yet, so we could leave as soon as I got to Bath. Sam was at Flat9 when I arrived, so I got to perve before we went to pick Mark up. She looked at the hire car, and commented that it was the same as Gordy and Emma's and Rich and Chris's. I wasn't convinced, since I knew that their cars were dark blue, and the hire car was silver.
As we drove to Mark's house, I spotted a yellow VW Beetle - "Ponce, yellow", I shouted. That took me up to 8 points - it would have been higher, if I hadn't lost half my points by shouting "Mini" when I saw a Nissan Micra. Oh what fun I had on the M4 while driving on my own.
Mark took over the driving, and drove us down to Penzance. Dindin and Mark were convinced that we would be in the pub by nine, but I wasn't so sure. We were likely to be the first ones to arrive, so we had to buy breakfast, and check into the hostel, before we could start walking to the Dolphin. We listen to my hits of the '70s CD on the way down, with Dindin being DJ. Unfortunately, he didn't do a very good job, since he didn't turn onto Pirate FM until we'd got into the centre of Penzance.
After listening to my directions, Mark got lost trying to get into Morrison's, so we went to Tesco instead. We had to shop quickly, to stand any chance of getting to the pub by nine, so that's what we did. "Have you got a Tesco Clubcard", the lady asked me. "Yes", I replied, "But it's in Slough". After scanning all our shopping, she said "Do you collect Tesco Vouchers for Schools vouchers, or would you like me to post them to Slough?". Anyway, we left Tesco at 20:29, with Dindin and Mark still convinced we'd get to the pub by nine.
It wasn't too far to the hostel, and we rang on the door. The same bloke as last year let us in, and checked us in. He asked for £5 deposit per key, but we only had about £20 between the three of us, and we needed that for beer. Realising that our need was greater than his, he decided to trust us with the keys. I paid the bill at 20:41, but he still had to show us the rooms before we could go to the pub. "You're lucky", he said, as he showed us the dorm room, "This is normally ladies only". "Ladies!", I said, sniffing the air loudly!
At about 20:50, we left to go to the Dolphin. We had to walk past three pubs to get to the Dolphin, but I was determined we'd get to the Dolphin by nine, so started walking quickly. Mark joined in my pace, but Dindin has much longer legs, so just walked at a normal pace, and kept up with us. Mark complained as we were walking past the "Stanley F######## B######## Hotel". Despite all our detours, we managed to get inside the Dolphin before my mobile displayed 21:01.
The food was good, and they had the usual good selection of bitters. No Stella, but Carlsberg Export did the job well enough. Rich and Chris turned up at about 21:30, followed fairly soon after by Gordy and Emma (leaving a row of three Ford Modeos parked outside the hostel). Rich told us a new excuse for not paying me money - all my e-mails asking for money get put in his Spam folder with all the Nigerian e-mails. OK, Rich, I believe you.
I called Rodney to find out where he and Queenie were. I heard Queenie in the background say "Make sure that he finds a pub that's open after 11, because I'm gasping". Fortunately, I understood him, because Rodney couldn't understand Queenie's accent very well (he said to Caro that he never understands New Zealanders very well!). Equally fortunately, the pub next door was open until midnight.
Just after eleven, we headed next door, and Queenie and Rodney arrived soon after (with Queenie almost getting caught by the Peelers for talking on his mobile). Rich saw a picture above the bar, which he reckoned looked like Gordy. I wasn't convinced, but took a picture anyway, since it would be a good excuse to give Gordy jip. Tried explaining Blue Jacking to Rich. I tried Blue Jacking him, and we weren't very convinced that it's a fun thing to do.
A few more beers later, we headed back to the hostel. Mark then handed me the car key, and told me that I was in charge of driving tomorrow, since it could be my license on the line for being over the limit, and not his!
[Continued on the train from Southampton to Reading, coming back from Becky's]
We had to be at the dive centre by 08:30. Despite wanting tea, egg, and gimmering time, I wouldn't let anybody set an alarm before 07:00.
I was first into the kitchen, so made a beeline for the kettle, and then went in search of a teapot. Dindin wasn't long after me, and he made a start on breakfast. I owe him an apology - despite doing a sterling job with breakfast, I still gave him jip while he was cooking. I gave Gordy one free whinge, when he turned the picture of a dog around to show some nice page 3 totty.
As I walked out of the kitchen, three nicely showered bits of totty walked in. I considered going back into the kitchen for a perve, but was busting for a dump. Worryingly, I had my annual solid dump, which gave me a headache, and made me walk like John Wayne for about an hour. How Gordy does this daily, I'll never know!
After waiting for Rodders to gimmer around with his contact lenses, we were ready to go. The beer seemed to have warn off, so I didn't have a problem with driving. I didn't really know where we were going, but got there on auto-pilot. Mark was there to great us, but there was no sign of Swarfega girl.
As usual, there was the extended brief and dive qualification check. Looking at my last dive (in the Red Sea), Mark asked what I meant by an "almost legal dive". I told him that it meant that I had surfaced with almost 50 bar, compared with the 10 bar that I had normally surfaced with. [Just had my ticket checked by a very sexy totty ticket inspector]. Gordy told me off for being too honest.
By then, I was gagging for a cup of tea, so just shouted "TEA" in the hope that some would appear. It didn't work, but Queenie tried a similar logic, and shouted "Women" - at which point a nice blonde walked into the dive centre. I immediately volunteered to be here buddy for the day. [Totty ticket inspector smiled at me - I reckon she wants some Dickson Love Train action].
We had a few problems with Rodney, because he had chosen this weekend to leave his qualification book and logbook at home. Bearing in mind how keen they are to check qualifications, we had some persuading to do. I suggested showing our logbooks, with Rodney as a buddy. Unfortunately, I had him written down as Dave, so that didn't help.
After loads of gimmering, we were ready to meet Phizel at Penzance Harbour. As I was reversing out, Gordy was being a twat, and tried to get out before us. It was easier just to let him be a twat, than carry on reversing. Unfortunately, while I was waiting for Gordy to go, posty had parked on the other side of the road, and, despite Mark and Dindin shouting "STOP", I almost reversed into the van. Gimmeration! Thanks to the boys for stopping me in time, and also thanks to them for helping me turn around at the harbour.
Phizel was there waiting for us, but there was no real hurry, because the boat was still in the mud, so we had to wait until more people had flushed the toilets, before there was enough water for it to float (at least I assume that's where all the water came from).
It was a bit choppy further round the coastline, so we didn't venture too far. I suggested that Gordy & Emma, and Dindin & I, split up, so that we could dive with Mark, Queenie, and Rodders. There wasn't any need to do so, but I thought it would keep the guvnas happy. It also meant that I could get a totty dive, but Emma managed to jump in there first. Gimmeration.
I therefore got to dive with Dave. He wasn't too sure how much weight he needed, so chucked in a few extra pouches to be on the safe side. We were diving the Landing Craft, but were told that there were some nice reefy things to dive, if we missed the wreck. Rodney and I didn't see the wreck, and I was buggered if we could see any reef action either. After about half-an-hour, Rodney had got fed-up with continuously pushing himself off the bottom, so wrote "too much weight" on his slate. Unfortunately, his writing is worse that a doctor's, so I had to tell him to re-write it. Feeling sorry for him, I used the SMB. That'll be the first and the last time for that malarkey this year.
We had about an hour at the harbour between dives, so went off in search of tea, chips, and cheese. Fortunately, we didn't use the chippy that I'd been stroppy at last Easter, so we got served politely. Unfortunately, Chris's neck seal had perished on the previous dive, so she didn't join us on the second dive.
I can't remember what we dived on the second dive, but Phizel had told us that two BSAC divers had found two B52 bombers just off the wreck, about 30 years ago. Dindin and I rejoined forces, and went off bomber guvening. Using my new-found finning skills that Scary had taught me in the Red Sea, I was on a mission. Unfortunately, Dindin didn't share my enthusiasm, and I kept having to wait for him to catch up. All we found was a battery case, which we couldn't open, and couldn't be bothered to lift. Back on the boat, Rodney mentioned the French totty from the kitchen - "it's OK Rodney, I speak the lingo".
[Just tried BlueJacking, and there's a bird called Sarah somewhere on the carriage. I can't be bothered to BlueJack - it seems a bit pants].
We wanted to get all our cylinders filled before leaving the dive centre, so that we had less gimmering to do the next day. Phizel almost refused to hand over my stage cylinder, asking why I had Rob Dickson's tri-mix card.
Back at the hostel, we had time for tea, showers, shaves etc. I was not impressed to see that the shower hose didn't reach lower than waist height - how was I going to get rid of my tagnuts with that? I was also not impressed to find that there was no plug in the washbasin. Fortunately, I never stay away from home without one. [Must remember to pay Queenie his winnings on our Planet Earth bet].
I'd arranged to meet the totty in the Dolphin at half-eight, but that gave us time for a quick pint in the Bath Inn. Rich started quizzing me about having climbed Ben Nevis. He said that, although he didn't doubt that I'd achieved a lot, there was nowhere that ice-axes are necessary. I said we arrived at a plateaux that wasn't far from the top of the ski-slope. He realised that it wasn't actually Ben Nevis, and agreed that crampons and ice-axes were needed. Gordon was very jealous when he realised what I'd actually done. [Just changed at Reading, nice cleavage while I was waiting to get off, but pokiness on the train now. Dave (Discovery Divers) just called. They've just cooked 20 burgers and thought of me!]. In the pub, Rich was talking about doing the TDI Advanced Nitrox course, but we all knew that he would just read the book, and get Chris to get his fills for him.
We met the totty in the Dolphin, and had a quick pint before we went for curry. As usual, the curry house didn't disappoint. I suggested to Dindin that we just ask the waiter to surprise us, and he agreed. Insisting that he included Matter Panneer, we left the choice of food up to him. Unfortunately, I can't remember what he chose for us, but it was an excellent selection. Rich also ranted a bit about Emma calling a particular fish by the wrong name, but I can't remember what fish it was (or wasn't), but Emma wasn't impressed being wrong about a fish name.
At the end of the meal, Dindin started collecting the money, and we were about a tenner short. Forgetting that Dindin hadn't started his job yet, I blamed Rodders for being the only student amongst us. It was tipping down with rain when we walked back, and some tosser drove through a puddle and soaked poor Queenie.
[Was going to continue writing the trip report in the Moon and Spoon, while waiting for Julian. Instead, I went shopping for the weekend's essentials - Stella, bacon, eggs, and bagels.]
[Continued while having lunch at MacDonald's® - I needed some lard! There seems to be a Monopoly promotion on at the moment, and I've got King's Cross and Pentonville Road if anybody wants them.]
We woke up in reasonable time, since we hadn't drunk that much the night before, and I was pleasantly surprised to find Rodney's French totty in the kitchen. For French totty, they seemed to have an excellent grasp of German! I couldn't be bothered to practise my German, so just put the kettle on. The others joined me, and much tea was drunk! I wasn't very impressed to find out that somebody had turned the picture back to a dog, but the "Warning. Kiwis. 150km" sign gave me an excuse to give Rodders even more jip.
One of the German girls commented, in German, about the amount of tea that we were drinking. Her mate told her to be quiet. She then replied, saying that we wouldn't be able to understand her! She did look a bit embarrassed when I said "bye" in German, when they walked out of the kitchen.
The weather wasn't looking very promising as we headed to the pier. I thought we were launching from somewhere different, but I believed Dindin when he said we weren't. Gimmeration, there was nobody else at the pier when we arrived, so I had to turn around yet again. I might even be able to manage it on my own soon (ooh-err).
Mark had decided not to dive, but was still up for coming out on the boat. For some reason that morning, I took forever to get kitted up, even with Mark to help me. Out on the boat, it was getting choppy, with waves powerful enough to knock Emma into the boat. When we got out there, Mark said that if we didn't want to dive, then he wouldn't charge us. Realising that Dindin would be nicking the totty if I didn't dive, I was tempted to go in, but couldn't face it in the end. Rich and Chris stayed on the boat as well, so we had a giggle as the others got kitted up.
As we were waiting, I thought I'd try shouting "tea", to see whether any arrived. "Billy", Mark said, "You're a genius", as he leant down and pulled out a flask - “I'd forgotten about that!”. I was amazed that it worked. Everybody got back in the boat safely, and the journey back was much quicker. Back at the harbour, we didn't even discuss whether we were doing a second dive - we just put our kit back in the cars. Emma found a fish book, and tried to prove Rich wrong about whatever fish they'd been arguing about last night, but he just said that he'd been told this by two marine biologists (Dave and Mcaella), so there was no point in arguing with him. Top man - he's never wrong!
The usual greasy spoon was closed, but there was a nicer, posher, café a bit closer. It looked a bit good for us, but we went in anyway. Gimmeration - top totty barmaid. I did take a picture of her, but it was as part of a movie on my phone, and I don't know how to convert a Nokia movie file into an MPEG file, and then get a JPEG file from an MPEG file. I'm sure all I need to do is use Google, but I can't be bothered!
I can't remember much about the journey back, because I slept most of the way, while Mark drove. However, I do remember getting stuck in traffic behind Queenie, and pulling his windscreen wipers forward while we were waiting. Dindin and I also mooned them as we overtook them later on, leaving steamy bum prints on the windows.
I had a different selection of music to listen to on the way back along the M4 - Ultimate Cheese Selection. Top quality music! Having a big estate car, I called Bird, and offered to take more of her stuff over to her new gaff. Unfortunately, she was too tired, so I've still got loads of her stuff at my gaff.
Thanks everyone for a top weekend, even though Swarfega Girl wasn't around.
By the way, did anybody pick-up my RNLI hat, or did I leave it at the hostel?
Emma; 12 March 2006 18:28
while trying to avoid doing my work this evening I decided to settle the debate about the seven dwarfs... They were:
Bashful (we'd never have got that one!)
I told gordon that he was the first 4 ..... maybe billy could be bashful, and dindin said he sneezed yesterday so he could be sneezy.... As I was writting this I wondered how this subject ever came up over breakfast in the first place!
Dindin; 14 March 2006 09:19
I don't remember Dave McFoo making any tea this weekend. I think we should make him dive in his current 'dry'-suit until he learns to do it properly!
However, his tea-demanding skills are definitely up to scratch. He is also very good at demanding bacon.
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Created on: 09 Mar 2006. Modified on: 29 Mar 2006.
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