Weymouth, and Plymouth trips
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[Written on 07/10/06 on the train from Reading to Bath]
It all started several months ago, when Karen invited Scary and me on a deep diving trip. In the end, Karen didn't go, because she'd just had a kid (too much fun in the Red Sea!), and Scary didn't go because he hadn't dived in the UK since our trimix course. Fortunately, Scary got a Standindin.
The plan was to do some deep diving in Weymouth on Thursday and Friday, then head over to Plymouth, meet up with others from BUSAC on Friday night, dive with Danny and Dave on Saturday, and then get pissed in Plymouth on Saturday night.
The weather forecast didn't look good, but Weymouth was about the only part of the country that didn't have red lines around the coast. I left work at about 5 o'clock, but it took me about an hour to get to the motorway. No travel reports came on the radio, so I couldn't figure out why it took so long. I eventually realised that the lack of travel reports was because TP wasn't switched on! It turned out that the M4 was blocked westbound by a jack-knifed lorry. I was going eastbound, but there was still loads of traffic. The jack-knifed lorry was quite impressive - blocking all 3 lanes, and the hard shoulder. I eventually arrived in Bath at about 19:30.
Dindin was ready to go, and we loaded up the Volvo with my kit, his kit, and Sam's kit. With 13 cylinders, and 3 weight-belts, in the car, I was amazed that it actually managed to go. Still, the 2-litre engine coped very well. We headed off down the A37, determined to get to Weymouth by closing time. We saw signs saying that the A37 was closed between 7pm and 7am. We ignored them for a bit, but eventually turned around, and tried to find an alternative route. Controversially, I had packed a road map, and told Dindin that it was on the back seat. "Gimmeration", he said, "somebody seems to have put a clothes airier in the way!". When he eventually got hold of the map, he was not impressed to discover that it was c1992! He navigated around a bit, and took us back to the A37, just north of where it was shut! What a gimmer!
We eventually found our way. Alan Ahern (the bloke organising the trip) had booked beds at Skin Deep's Bunker, and asked for breakfast at 08:30. Dindin and I fancied an earlier breakfast, so Dindin called up, and asked whether we could have breakfast at 07:30 instead. The woman said that was OK, and that she'd tell her daughter. Way-hay - there was going to be totty serving us. We got to Weymouth at 22:45. We didn't bother finding the Bunker, and just went straight to the pub. We got one pint each, but the pub was closing a 11pm, so that was all we got. When we were about half-way through our pints, the landlord stopped people leaving, because somebody had had a mobile phone stolen. I asked him whether we could have more beer, since we were being locked in, but he said that it wasn't a good idea, since the peelers were on their way.
There was some drunk twat who started having a strop, saying that he was being held hostage. The landlord said that he wasn't, and moved out of his way. The twat then called 999 (or probably just pretended), and said that he was being held hostage. In fact he was definitely pretending, because he gave the impression that he got straight through to the police, when that's not actually what happens when one dials 999 or 112. Anyway, he left, and, soon afterwards, somebody found the phone hidden in the toilets. According to Dindin, DrunkTwatCallPoliceBoy was the only person who went to the toilets after the landlord blocked the door. [Just arriving into Chippenham. The driver apologised for the delay, which is due to technical problems at the rear. Fnarr. Fnarr.]. After we'd been let out of our lock-in, we went to find the Bunker. It was only a few minutes' walk away, and Alan had already given me the code to the door. It was a bit confusing, but we figured it out eventually. We didn't think about making ourselves a cuppa, and just went straight to sleep.
[Continued outside the George, having a sneaky Stella on the way from Bradford-on-Avon to Bath]
We woke up about 10 minutes before we were due to have breakfast, and went upstairs. The owner's daughter was there, and our breakfast was ready. I apologised for changing the time at the last minute, but she said that it was better for her, because if we'd had breakfast at 8 o'clock, she would have had to bring her 10-year-old son with her, who was "playing up". Good job. The last thing I needed over breakfast was some screaming pokey little kid.
[Unless I'm seeing things, two penny-farthings have just gone along the tow-path.]
We found the boat OK, but I'd listened to Dindin, and gone over the lift-bridge, towards where Tango was moored, and we saw Wey Chieften moored on the other side of the river. Top choice of location - within walking distance of the dive shop (still a bit far to carry twin-sets though). Two others turned up after a while, and one of them said he recognised me. I didn't recognise him, but we eventually figured out that we'd been in Scapa at the same time in 2003. The guys told us that the skipper had called up to cancel, but that he would still meet us to discuss things, since we were all either on our way, or in Weymouth.
Various other people turned up, and we hung around drinking tea, waiting for the skipper to turn up. When he arrived, he said that we could either cancel straight away (in which case he wouldn't charge us), or go out and have a look (in which case he wouldn't charge us). We went with the second option. Fortunately, he said that there wasn't any hurry. We loaded our kit onto the boat, and I then realised that there was no air in my argon cylinder. Gimmeration, I'd used it to blow up our air bed last weekend. I had to go to park the car, so drove via the dive shop. There was top totty serving, but she didn't like the idea of putting air into a cylinder that was marked "Not for breathing". She therefore went to get the guvna. He looked a bit worried when he saw me, because he wanted to leave early, and didn't want to have to do trimix fills.
I then went to park the car, and walked quickly back to the boat. The skipper had wanted to leave at 11:00, but it was now 11:15. I apologised for keeping people waiting, and was told that we weren't leaving until midday! The skipper's mate put the kettle on for a cuppa. The bloke from Scapa was putting his camera together, and I suddenly realised that he was BeardedFallingAsleepDecoBoy, but having had a shave. Chatting to him again, he mentioned doing a karaoke with "a bloke with a pointy nose". I remembered the karaoke, and said "That'll be Nick Clarke". He agreed, remembering that the bloke's name was Nick. I don't remember Nick having a pointy nose, I'll have to check next time I see him.
[To be continued - time to continue to Bath, to meet Scary - after taking in the scooter that some pokey little kid has left next to the table]
[24/10/06 - continued on a train from Lancaster]
About an hour after we left, the skipper decided that it was too choppy to dive, so turned around and headed back to shore. Top man for trying though. We took all the kit off the boat, and loaded up the cars again. The skipper said we definitely wouldn't be diving on Friday. All the others only had twin-sets with trimix in them, but I'd packed two single cylinders with air in them, so Dindin and I stayed in the area to try to get some kind of diving in. We went around to Aquasplash, and the bloke there told us that they'd finished for the day, and that they wouldn't be diving again until Sunday! We called Danny, but he was putting in a new compressor, so wouldn't be going out until we were booked on Saturday. He said he'd call me later, or on Friday, to confirm whether we were diving on Saturday. Without any chance of diving either today, or tomorrow, we had a quick cuppa at Aquasplash. Give me the pokey little kid any day - the new bloke only gave us half a cup each, and still charged us loads.
We went back to the Bunker, made a quick cuppa (a full cup this time), had showers, and checked out. While watching Countdown, I heard that Carol Vorderman was going to be walking the Great North Run, and wanted a fit bloke to carry her bags. I'm sure she'd be up for a bit of Dickson Love Train action! Trying to work out how we were going to salvage taking two days off work, and not managing to dive, we drove back to Bath. On the way back, I saw a sign that said, "Public Weighbridge". I quickly turned into the farm, and the farmer totty came to help us. It cost us four quid, but we found out that the total weight of the Volvo, our dive kit, Sam's dive kit, Dindin, and me was exactly 2 tonnes (2,000 kg). That didn't mean that much to me, but it sounded like a lot. We weren't having much luck with traffic this weekend, as the A46 seemed to be at a standstill. Dindin navigated us along a short-cut, which, at times, made Scary's Easter 2005 short-cut look like a motorway! Top marks to Dindin though, he got us back to Bath.
Unfortunately, the nearest place that we could park was on Bathwick Hill, so left the car there, and walked back to Flat1. We still weren't sure what we were going to do the next day, but called everyone who was going to be diving with us on Saturday, told them that Danny would let me know for sure tomorrow, and said that we'd either be diving in Plymouth, and getting pissed on Saturday night, or just getting pissed in Bath on Friday night. I called the hostel, and he said that we'd be charged the first night's stay as a cancellation fee whether we cancelled now, or cancelled tomorrow. I left the booking as it was. Dindin and I went for a curry, to help us decide what to do the next day.
Dindin had decided that he was up for DrySuitBird's next trip, and it looked like I needed a standindin, because Scary wasn't going to be dive fit in time. We therefore decided to go to Cardiff to get Dindin's cylinders tested, and our twin-sets filled with trimix. We also planned on getting a dive or two in at Chepstow, pick up Sam from Bristol Airport, and then drive down to Plymouth. It all seemed to make sense. Back at Flat1, we checked out the Volvo website, and discovered that the maximum gross weight allowed is 1,980kg. Oooops! Despite Scary's bed being covered in cat hair, I managed to get a good night's kip.
[To be continued on my journey back down south]
I woke up to find that Dindin had gone out to get some milk - top man. I also realised that Cat had called me at about 01:30, and left a message. I have to pay by the minute for peak-rate calls, so listening to her drunken whittering cost me loads of money! Still, I just thought about her lovely boobs, and it all seemed OK. We'd also decided to get some dive kit for Tania from the stores. I therefore walked to Bathwick Hill to collect the car. On my way there, I popped into Bathwick Stores to see if he had any scotch eggs, but he didn't. There was a clever Tesco monopoly sign in his window. Apparently, Tesco is trying to get planning permission to open a store in the old garage, but it having difficulty getting planning permission, I should hope so too, but then a Tesco would definitely have had some scotch egg action.
I drove back to Flat1, collected Rodders, and then drove up to campus. Danny called when we were driving up to campus, he spoke to Rodders for a while before realising that it wasn't me! Things were on for Saturday. We collected enough dive kit for Tania, and then I drove back to collect Dindin, and then drove to Cardiff. There wasn't too much traffic on the way, and we managed to get to BCD before Neil left for the day (and there was a picture of some totty on the wall). Neil filled our twin-sets with trimix, and then left the young lad in charge of servicing, O2 cleaning, and T-valve fitting. He said he'd do it all in two hours, so Dindin and I found a pub to have lunch in. There were some fantastic boobs on the table next to us. Rodders called up, because Emily had got him to check the weather forecast, and it didn't look good. I called Danny, and he said it's still OK.
[Continued on the Virgin Trains train from Lancaster to Euston. Some nice totty listening to her iPod, and some knobbers who refused to get out of reserved seats. Excuse all the spelling mistakes, but it's been a long day, so I will have a few lagers on the journey home.]
There wasn't enough time to go diving in Chepstow, especially since there was a hold up on the M##, which delayed our journey back into England (queue a comment from Cherryboy about having to pay to get INTO Wales). We eventually got back to Bath, took the twinsets out of the car, put the single cylinders back in, and then drove to Bristol Airport, to collect Sam. Dindin said he knew a short-cut. It all went OK, until we saw signs to Bristol Airport, and followed them. I'm sure the signs took us via Penzance! Sam's flight from Edinburgh was delayed, so we still had to wait around at the airport. That gave us enough time to get some sarnies in (including emergency egg rations, since we didn't have any eggs to cook in the morning). After a bit of confusion about where I would pick them up (all my fault), we headed off down to Plymouth.
[iPod totty is drinking out of a bottle. Looks like she gives good blow jobs!] While we were at Bristol Airport, I got a text message from Nic, which said, "We are on the Devon Expressway! toot toot!". I tried calling back (I don't do text messages), but she didn't answer. I also called the hostel, and said we were going to be late. He refused to give me the door code over the phone, even though I'd already paid, due to "health and safety reasons". If we weren't there by the time he left, we wouldn't be able to get in. I called Zoe, and she said she'd be arriving after us, and Ben had already spoken to Dindin, and said he'd be arriving at about half-ten. Looks like it was down to me to get us to Plymouth in time.
Fortunately, there wasn't much traffic, so we were able to make good time to Plymouth. I hadn't bothered to sort out a map, reckoning that I knew the way to the hostel. Zoe called up for directions while we were driving along, so I instructed Dindin how to find the postcode of the hostel using my PDA. When we got to Plymouth, it took me a while to figure out the best way to go, but we didn't get lost, or take a wrong turn, once. We ended up arriving at about the same time as Zoe did. The girls went to bed, and Dindin and I went for a quick pint. As we walked into the pub, we were followed by two sexy German girls, who started chatting to us at the bar. I must have been knackered, because I just wanted a beer, and a chat with someone I knew. I couldn't be bothered to chat to totty that I didn't know, so we ended up sitting on the opposite side of the pub from them!
Schwing called up Dindin, and asked for directions. I kept telling Dimdin to let me speak to him, but Dimdin wasn't having any of it. When Ben eventually arrived, he told me several landmarks that he'd mentioned to Dimdin, which Dimdin hadn't recognised. Gimmeration, I'd have got him to the pub much quicker if he'd spoken to me. Fortunately the pub was open until midnight, and had totty barmaids. I mentioned to Ben that I had to censor part of my previous trip report, because it mentioned that he fancies Nic. He said that there was no need. We had a good chat over a few beers, but the only thing I really remembered was the sign on the condom machine - "Out of order. Cling film available at bar".
We got back to the hostel, had a quick cuppa, and then went to bed. Not wanting to be woken up by three drunk men trying to make beds, Sam has made our beds before going to sleep herself. She's a top lass - pity about her taste in men!.
[iPod girl thinks she's in a tunnel. No dear, it's just dark outside].
The lack of eggs worried me this morning, but at least it meant we could wake up about five minutes before we wanted to leave. Obviously we hadn't accounted for the girls! Sam hadn't had much room in the Volvo on the way down from Bristol, so, if I remember rightly, Zoe stole our totty, and followed us, because she didn't know the way. We arrived after everyone else, but still in time for tea and toast. I was hoping for two totty dives, but Dindin had just changed his kit around, and wanted to dive with me, just in case he had any problems. Rich wasn't feeling well, so wasn't diving. He took it upon himself to organise who was going on what wave. This was fortunate, because, despite organising the trip, I really couldn't be bothered. Top man!
[24/10/06 20:23 Bugger me! I've been a long way north. I left Lancaster about an hour and a half ago, and am only just passing through Stafford.]
With his extra gimmering, Dindin wanted to go on the second wave. I preferred the first and third waves, so we could get to the pub early, but his logic was more sensible. Still, it gave us more tea drinking time. Despite feeling ill, Rich still wanted to go out on the boat, so asked whether he could borrow my Post Office coat.
After a bit of git gimmering, and plenty of tea drinking, our kit was ready to be loaded on the boat, and Blue Raider arrived. Rich jumped off, and complained that my coat wasn't waterproof. Some people are so fussy! We loaded our kit on the boat, and went over to some reef that was well sheltered from the sea. We weren't confident in getting a second dive, but one was better than none. Tania and Cat took ages getting ready, and then Tania realised that she didn't have enough weight. Back in the boat, get kitted up again, and then back in the water. Still, at least someone almost made me look competent! As Danny pointed out, this was definitely the B-team! I had a single 15-litre, and Dindin had a twin-set, and two stages. Guess who needed help kitting up? Yes, it was me! We had a good dive, but I'll be buggered if I can remember what we did. Anyway, Dindin's kit worked OK, so I would get a totty dive next dive.
Back at Bovie, totty had arrived to make us burgers. If only she would see the light, and realise that she wants a bit of Dickson Love Train action. Still, it's always nice to chat to her. While we were chatting, the conversation somehow got onto her needing a Sugar Daddy - I immediately heard Dindin in the background say, "DICKSON!". While we were drinking tea, Nic said that she didn't fancy a second dive, because she didn't want to carry her cylinder down to the boat, and back again. Schwing immediately offered to carry it for her! Good old boy! He'd already been for a swim in the harbour, wearing a suit that was really too tight for a man of his calibre, but the less said about that the better (and Dindin and I had to collect it from his house before we left Bath).
This dive I was going to have a totty dive, and what better totty than Cat? Well, a single Cat would be better! As we were about to kit up, I said to Nic, "Are you still with your boyfriend, or are you single?". She paused for a bit, and then said, "Why are you asking, Billy?". I immediately replied, "Oh, I was just trying to figure out whether Ben was wasting his time carrying your cylinder around!". Everything went quiet, and I'm sure Ben almost knocked me in the water. Anyway, Cat and I went scallop hunting, and found quite a few. Since we were going out for a curry in the evening, we handed over our finds to Danny.
Before we left, I had to settle my tab with Danny. As usual, people had put stuff on my tab. I always expect to split my tab with Dindin, but there was more tea on there that even he and I could drink between us. Also, Sam had gone off without paying for her fill, but someone had kindly said, "Don't worry, put it on Billy's tab, he'll pay for it!". Anyway, I settled my tab, and then realised that I hadn't paid for Dindin's dives. When we tried to put another 30 quid on my card, the machine went tits up, and I had to promise to pay later.
[Just been for a Jimmy, and some pokey little kid tried to jump the queue. It soon got told off, I can tell you! Also found out the train's 15 minutes late - could be time for a complaint if I'm not back in Slough by 23:00.]
We got back to the hostel in time for a quick shower. It had to be quick, because the gimmer still hadn't fixed them. I don't think we'll be staying there again! Being a good boy, I flossed before going out (knowing that I wouldn't floss after curry and loads of beer). We had a few pints, and some nachos in the Wetherspoon's, met up with everyone else who was staying at Mel and James's house, and then went for a curry at the Himalayan Spice. Apart from having to give the Stella back because it tasted pants, the service, and the food, was excellent. Becky wasn't on top form. but she did find some yellow post-its, and wrote something about being old to stick on my forehead (I've still got the post-it at home somewhere, so will find out what she wrote when I get back home).
Some of us were a bit knackered, so didn't go to Flares, the rest of us went clubbing it. The music was good (although Rodney won't agree), it served Stella, there was a fair bit of totty, and I almost bought some new pants. Some idiot kept on touching Cat's arse. She was getting fed up fending him off, so I went and stood between him and her. He seemed a bit upset, so I turned around, squared up to him, and said, "Walk away now!". With my beer shield on, I was invincible. Fortunately, he did just walk away. Out of those of us who went clubbing, only Zoe and I were staying at the hostel, so the others got away without having to hear me snoring.
Schwing, Dindin, and Sam were up for going horse riding, and Zoe was up for going to see wedding pictures at Mel and James's house. I was up for the wedding pictures option, but wasn't convinced that I was sober enough to drive. Schwing couldn't find anywhere to go horse riding, so we left Zoe to see the wedding pictures, and the rest of us went to Friday's pub for breakfast. Not as cheap as cooking ourselves, but far easier. We then walked over to the Plymouth Wheel. We got half way there, and walked past some top totty (and I mean TOP TOTTY) walking her dogs. Sam immediately went to make a fuss of the dogs, leaving me to chat to the totty. I love Sam - she's a top lass. The wheel didn't seem to be open, so we went for a walk around town instead.
There was an exhibition of pictures from around the world that we spent a while looking around (Earth from the Air), and we then went shopping. We went into Millets. Sam bought a pedometer that Dindin insisted on taking apart, and I started looking at one of those water bags with a tube to put in back packs. I looked for a while, and then said, "I think I'll stick with the Coke bottles that fit in the side pockets of my the bag that Bird gave me". Dindin looked apologetic, and said, "Sorry, Billy, I tidied up the car, and threw them away". Gimmeration, I'll have to get Gimmer to get me some more.
We went into Tesco to get some provisions for the journey back. I bought some mini scotch eggs, a Coke, and some Innocent Smoothy thing. I spent a while arguing with the checkout girl that not using a carrier bag at all was as good for the environment as re-using an old one, therefore I should get a green Clubcard point, but she didn't seem to understand. I slept most of the way back, but I liked the idea of a smoothy, so decided to start making my own at home.
Back at Flat1, there was time for some tea before unloading, and loading, dive kit. Then it was time for me to drive the Volvo home. Because I'd hired it for a week (a week costs the same as the five days that we needed), I didn't need to unload all my dive kit when I got home, but I did empty everything that didn't fit in the boot (being a Volvo, that wasn't much).
Thanks everybody for an excellent weekend.
[24/10/06 21:37 Just leaving Watford. I think I'll be asking for compensation.].
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Created on: 07 Oct 2006. Modified on: 25 Oct 2006.
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