Plymouth, June 2006. Trip 2.
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At Easter, Chris booked this weekend's diving. Those of us on the trip were:
Last weekend, Dave had said that Rich and Chris had asked him to have a word with me about the diving. They wanted to dive reefs instead of wrecks, and had asked Dave to ask me whether I minded not diving wrecks. Although I prefer wrecks, I'm just happy being under the water.
As usual, when I'm going diving, I left work about an hour early. Just as I got back home, I saw my elderly neighbour outside her house. She'd had to call in Age Concern, because her washing machine had flooded the kitchen. I said that she could use my washing machine if she wanted to, but she rudely dismissed the idea as if I'd said something bad. A bit later, I heard the doorbell, so opened the door. My next-door neighbour was standing there, smoking. She asked whether I'd fixed her aerial yet. I'd forgotten all about it, but was desperate to get rid of her, because her smoke was coming in through the front door. I said I'd fix it when I got back on Sunday, and closed the door. All my dive kit was by the front door, so I had to breathe in her stale smoke, while I carried all the dive kit to the car. We'd hired a nice big 1.8 litre Vectra again, which had plenty of room inside.
The M4 was flowing quite well, but there were warning of delays on the M5. I got to Bath quite quickly, and loaded up Dindin's kit into the motor. We weren't sure whether we'd be doing deep, or shallow, diving, so I had:
Single 15-litre cylinder.
Single 12-litre cylinder.
5-litre pony cylinder
Twin 12-litre cylinders
11-litre stage cylinder.
7-litre stage cylinder.
1.5-litre argon cylinder.
Twin 12-litre cylinders.
7-litre stage cylinder.
Scary's 7-litre stage cylinder.
How we ever managed to get all 12 cylinders into the car, I'll never know.
Remembering what Dindin had said about service stations last weekend, I bought us some food for the journey when I went shopping for breakfast. We had pasties, scotch eggs, Coke, and Kitkats. Since I wasn't tired, we drove all the way from Bath to Brixton without stopping. I decided to turn off the A38 earlier than normal, and follow SatNav's route. This was a more scenic route, and didn't seem to take any longer. It made us turn left before the pub, and brought us out just by the campsite. I wasn't convinced by going round the back of the pub (the road was very narrow), but we got there in time. We couldn't see where the others had pitched their tents, so we just pitched Dindin's where we found a spot. There was a whiteboard outside one of the tents. It said “Gone to the pub”, but it also had EUSAC written on it, and a list of names of those on the trip. I had no idea what EUSAC stood for, but there were lots of girls' names on the board! We almost got attacked by a mad dog on the way to the pub. “Don't worry”, its owner said, “He's wagging his tail”. I'm normally good with dogs, but hadn't looked beyond this dog's teeth to see its tail.
Sam in the Corner wasn't working behind the bar, but the landlady, although not totty, was also very friendly. Gordy and Emma had already been there a while, and Gordy had already had 3 pints. That didn't stop him having 2½ more when Dindin and I arrived. I was very happy when the landlord's daughter started pulling pints - as I've said before, she is very well stacked. We spent quite a long time discussing Eric's replacement, but I don't think we ever came to a conclusion, although Gordy did start whinging that Eric was always in Slough when he wants to use it (despite that only happening once!). Emma continued moaning about not being invited on Dezzy's trips or DrySuitBird's trips, even thought I had invited her during the week, but she did explain that EU stood for Exeter University. Emily then got in on the act, and started giving me jip as well! Seeing my Sugar Daddy T-shirt, Emily mentioned a T-shirt that she'd seen during the week. It simply said “This T-shirt doesn't say anything interesting, but please carry on reading it, because I'm staring at your tits”. I'm going to have to buy that one!
Although we weren't leaving the harbour until 10:30, Dindin and I still wanted to get up early, because we wanted to get fills at QAB, so that we could use his helium analyser. My argon cylinder doubled as an excellent easy-to-carry air-bed inflater.
Dindin and I were the first up, so we got the kettle and frying pan going. I'd splashed out on breakfast, and got black pudding, as well as bacon, eggs, and rolls. The others woke up a bit later, but, instead of joining us where we were, set-up their own breakaway cooking section, and then accused us of being unsociable! They had chairs, and more boiling water, so we decided to join them. I'd noticed that one of the EUSAC girls had left her bra airing on the guy-ropes on the tent. There was also some nice totty playing with a Frisbee, but my dexterity didn't allow me to join in!
We were first in the queue at Sound Diving (we arrived at 08:15, and it opens at 08:30). Gordy looked at all the cylinders that I'd put outside the door, and, apparently, said something nice about my dive kit. Despite that, Gordy, Emma, and Dindin were still not convinced that it sold trimix. They really must think I'm a useless tosser - I'd seen signs that said trimix fills, but they didn't believe me!
I'd spoken to Steve about trimix fills the previous day, and he said that he was low on helium, but that he might get some more in. I had a word with him when he arrived, but he hadn't managed to get any, because he really needs at least 24-hours' notice. Unfortunately, he was also low on oxygen, so I only got about 190bar of Nitrox80. Still, at least we weren't paying money to Deep Blue. I told Gordy the deal with trimix, and Gordy then went and asked Steve exactly the same questions that I'd just asked him!
I asked about analysing our twin-sets after having them topped up with air, and he said that that wouldn't be a problem. Unfortunately, he only had an oxygen analyser, so we couldn't analyse the helium. Because I'd assumed that he had a helium analyser, I hadn't checked the pressure in my tank before getting him to fill it. Bugger! Still, we got to perve at Steve's sexy young assistant while we were there (give her a few years though!).
We went back via Deep Blue, and asked whether we could use its helium analyser. Richie wasn't there, but the bloke who'd served us the previous weekend (who thought I was Dindin's trimix instructor) was, and he was very friendly and helpful. When we saw us, he looked worried, because he assumed we needed trimix fills. When we told him that we only wanted to use the analyser, he looked happier.
There was still a space in EnglandBraGirl's spot when we got to Bovvie, so we parked there. I needed the two main tanks, my pony, and my argon cylinder filled, so we carried them over to leave with Dave. Obviously we had a quick cuppa while we were there, but there wasn't much tea-drinking time, because there were two ladies out on the boat, and I wanted to be ready to perve when they got back. Sal hadn't arrived by the time we left, but I knew she'd be there later on. Gordy was feeling quite hungover, so set his VR3 to a higher conservatism level than normal. Personally, I prefer the being hydrated, and not drinking too much option, but each to his own!
The totty getting off the boat looked quite tasty, and there was a fair bit of EUSAC totty around (although I couldn't see BOTG or EUFT). It didn't take us long to get out to the Edistone. I was looking forward to some more deep action, since Danny had mentioned something about anchors at 50m. Having a look at the echo-sounder, it looked very promising, I wasn't going to be missing diving wrecks at all. Everything seemed OK on the kit front, so Dindin and I jumped in, and down we went. Today it was my turn not to feel very happy during the dive. I wasn't anywhere near as spooked as Dindin was the previous weekend, but still wasn't 100% happy during the dive. The reef came up to about 10m, so there was plenty to see during our stops.
Back on dry land, we headed straight to the café, to get burgers and chips. I'd had a word with Danny during the week, and he had got a big lump of cheese, so that Dindin and I could have some cheesy chips action. He's a top man. Sal had started work by the time we got back, and Claire was also working as well. Two sexy women to chat to - I was happy! It would have been nicer if one of them were single, but never mind! I'll have a word with Dave and Danny about their recruiting policies! While we were waiting for the second dive, Sal (diving Sal, not TeaMakingTotty Sal) turned up. We hadn't seen him for ages, but, unfortunately, Tamsin wasn't with him.
Our second dive was going to be a treasure hunt dive, although Gordy was still feeling hungover, so he didn't dive. We were diving in the vicinity of where a boat had sunk several hundred years ago. Unfortunately, all 400 soldiers on board died. There was no wreckage left, but there was potential to find some bayonets. I wasn't convinced about finding any, so Dindin and I went off in search of B52 bombers instead. We didn't find any bombers, but Dindin did find a sheath from a sword. When we got back on the boat, we discovered that Rich and Chris had found a sword, and a bayonet. Chris had also found a sheath, but Rich told her to throw it away, because it was a bit of cable. When we showed them Dindin's sheath (ooh-err), Rich had to admit to being wrong. Wow! I don't think I've ever heard Rich admitting to being wrong, without putting some kind of condition on the statement.
Dindin and I needed Nitrox fills for the next day, but Deep Blue was only open for another 15 minutes (and we'd have to collect the cylinders the next day). Dindin went straight off to Deep Blue, leaving me to sort out the dive kit, and perve at EUT. As I was carrying a cylinder to be filled, I heard screaming. It soon stopped, and I then heard laughter, so just carried on walking. Mark had also heard the scream, but his hearing was obviously better than mine, since he could still hear it, so he went to investigate. It turned out that Danny's kid had been playing by the A-flag, and had hurt himself. Dindin arrived back, but we waited around until things were sorted. Mark was on the phone to Danny, he said “I'll take him to A&E, and ask Billy to stay behind and look after things”. Oh dear, I was being given responsibility! Fortunately, Dindin was there to look after me. We had to keep an eye on Danny's kid's mates, keep an eye on the two dogs, drink tea, and look after the Exeter University guys. Tea and EUT, I could cope with, but children and dogs, I wasn't so sure! One EUT had fantastic tits, so I obviously offered to help her!
Danny and Dave turned up, so we could head back to the campsite (via Manhatten for a shower, of course). The others were back at the campsite, having gone via Morrisons, and were ready to get the BBQs going. I wanted to have fish 'n' chips, but everybody else wanted a BBQ, so that's what we had. On our way back, Emma called, complaining that we weren't there. She had assumed that the BBQs were in the motor, and not in Dindin's tent. Oooops!
We had a nice evening back at the campsite. I changed my mind about BBQs - although I prefer draft lager to bottled lager, it did mean that we didn't have to sit in a smoky pub (although the lounge side isn't that smoky). The disadvantage was that there would be no barmaid totty to perve at. Still, we can't have everything. Rich had admitted to being wrong, Gordy had been nice to me, I had been nice to Gordy, and I had been almost on time for both dives. It had been quite a strange day! We had a fairly early night, since we had to be up at 6am, to get to Deep Blue by 07:15 to pick-up our cylinders.
This morning, Dindin and I started cooking over by the others' tents, so that we wouldn't be accused of being anti-social. I was slightly concerned, because I hadn't had my morning dump by the time we left the campsite. Anyway, we got to Deep Blue to find out that our tanks had been filled, but that mine was a bit rich. The guvna topped it up with air, but it was still a bit rich. This didn't really matter; it was close enough to what I wanted. When I started putting my kit together at Bovvie, I realised why it was a bit rich - it only had about 190 bar in the tank. Just as I finished putting my kit together, I felt my bowels start to move! I walked quickly to find Danny or Dave, to see whether they had a room open (I didn't think I'd make it to the proper toilets). I found Danny and said “Danny. Have you got a room open? I'm touching cloth here!”. Room J was open, and I heard Chris comment “Too much information, Billy”, as I rushed to room J.
I was on the boat only a few minutes after our scheduled 8 o'clock departure time, but Gordy still gave me jip for being late! At least he wasn't hung-over today. We were going for a bit of Hands Deep action today. When we got to Hands Deep, I turned on my tanks, and could hear air hissing out of somewhere. It turned out to be coming from my octopus hose, so we had to change it with the hose on my Nitrox80 tank. I still had Nitrox32 to decompress on, but it would mean longer decompression times than if I'd had both Nitrox32 and Nitrox80. Still, I had no intention of aborting the dive. Emma and Gordy went down the shot, and we went in soon after them. Danny dropped us in deeper water, so did a free descent down to about 40m, and got to 50m before Gordy and Emma did! It was a top dive, although I'm fairly sure we were narked off our tits! At its worst, my Sunnto wanted me to do 39 minutes of decompression. Fortunately, my VR3 had a better idea of 24 minutes. When we got shallower, I asked Dindin how many minutes of stops he had to do. He replied, saying 14. I told him that I had 24, and he didn't believe me. He thought I was reading the depth, or the time! I had to show him my computer before he believed me. We surfaced after my VR3 had cleared, and the Suunto went straight into error mode, thinking I'd missed 14 minutes of stops.
On the way back, I said that I would be doing the second dive on a single cylinder. Emily heard, so asked whether that meant I was up for a totty dive. Why not! At least it'll stop her moaning about me dumping her for a twin-set! We arrived back at Bovvie to be welcomed by an EUT with big boobs, wearing a 118118 T-shirt. While we were having lunch, I asked what we were doing next. Rich suggested that Chris and I have a word with Dave. I found Chris, and she said that I should just go and sort it out with Dave. I went to have a word with Dave, and had almost talked him into a wreck, when Chris realised her mistake, and turned up to sort out some reef action!
As we were leaving the harbour somebody pointed out some totty in the distance. It was BOTG, wearing only the bra! We ended up diving the same place as yesterday, but nobody found any swords, bayonets, or scabbards. Gordy and Emma were discussing going into deco on their second dive, yet another of their golden rules that they'd broken this weekend. They're definitely coming around to the Dickson way of diving. Emily found a washer, which she thought was a ring, and some bits of metal, which she thought were guns. She made me take them to the surface, and you should have heard the jip that I got for bringing that rubbish up! As I was only diving on air, I couldn't have that long on the bottom, but we still had a giggle.
I can't remember much about the journey back, but, when we got to Bath, the SatNav told us that there was 1 mile to the nearest petrol station, and the on-board computer said that there was 1.5 miles left until we ran out of fuel! We stopped off at Dindin's for a cuppa (and a perve at Sam, of course). Rodney and Emily turned up, and Rodney informed me that he'd seen twin totty on the M5 (an entry for Totty Roads, I think! They also asked for clarification of the rules of the Mini game:
Does it make a difference whether it's an old, or new mini? No.
Do we count minis in a garage, when it's not a mini garage? Yes (see Blog 20th May).
Do we shout anything for open topped cars? No.
That led to an extension to the rules:
Topless - yes (if the top is open)
Topless - no (if the top is closed).
That gave us another Holy Grail - a yellow VW Camper van with an open top roof - “Ponce. Passion Wagon. Yes. Topless. Yes”. 5 points for one car! Dindin also suggested that our next challenge would be to get the Suunto up to a total of 60 minutes TTS. That will have to wait until Dezzy's weekend.
Back in Langley, I drove back home via the Chinese, and unloaded my dive kit. Check out my blog to find out what excitement happened when I got back to Langley.
Thanks everybody for a great weekend. I owe Gordy £18 for last weekend's camping, and Rich £18 for this weekend's camping. Now is my chance to get my own back for all the times it's taken them weeks to pay money to me!
Technical note: I have used quite a few abbreviations (but no acronyms) in this trip report. If you're using Internet Explorer (IE), then you will not know what the abbreviations stand for, because IE doesn't support the <abbr> tab. Firefox, on the other hand, does support this tab.
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Created on: 28 Jun 2006. Modified on: 01 Jul 2006.
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