My Deep Trip to Plymouth
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Once I'd loaded up the car, I called Dindin to let him know I was leaving, and set off to drive to the campsite in Brixton (obviously I mean the Brixton in Devon, not the Brixton in south-west London). There was talk on the radio of an accident between junctions 18 and 19 of the M4, but TomTom was still telling me to stick on the M4, so that's what I did. Just as I got to the 3-2-1 countdown signs at a junction, TomTom got updated traffic reports, so told me to turn off. I was in the middle lane, but managed to accelerate, and pull in front of the car that I was overtaking without annoying him/her. I then drove from the M4 to the A303, and drove along the A303 to the M5. I made good time, and arrived at the campsite when it was still light. I called Dindin, but he said that he was just at Exeter (about half-an-hour away), so I paid for our camping, called the red-head in London to say that I couldn't see her on Monday, called Scary to arrange meeting on Monday, and then went to sleep in the motor.
It didn't take me long to drop off, and I was woken by a knocking on the window. It was Dindin, so I got out of the car, and said, "OK, let's put the tent up". He pointed to the other side of his hire car, and he'd already put the tent up. Who's the daddy? Unfortunately, he'd forgotten to bring my razor and Thursday sock with him - if I don't pull totty this weekend, it'll be his fault because I won't have shaved! I suggested blowing up the airbed before going to the pub, but Dindin really didn't like that idea, so we went off to the pub instead. We ordered our drinks, and then sat down to decide what we wanted to eat. I wanted a steak, and Dindin wanted a pie, so I went up to the bar to order. While I was waiting to be served, the barmaid next to me was hiccupping, and I remember her saying, "If I don't stop hiccupping soon, it'll hurt my chest". Well, if she was worried about her chest, I'd be happy to examine it for her! The food was good, but we were both tempted by desserts, so we ordered some. The ice cream that I ordered made a top end to the meal (accompanied by a few beers, of course). I tried to show Dindin some of the PlentyOfFish totty that I'd been chatting to, but the Foxhound's wireless network didn't seem to be connected to the web.
Back at the campsite, we blew up the airbed, and called it a night. We were quieter than we were a few weeks ago, but I obviously didn't charge the batteries in the head torch that I'd bought when we went to Falmouth very well, since it seemed to be duller than the light from my mobile. I'd had a text message from Danny at 06:30 this morning, which said, "Just to confirm dive on ropes off 1030!!". I suggested setting the alarm for 07:00 to give us plenty of gimmering time.
For some reason Dindin set the alarm for 06:30, instead of 07:00. Still, at least that meant we'd have more tea-drinking time. I'd bought some breakfast stuff when I'd been in Tesco on Monday, and because I'd packed the tea bags, we had enough tea to last us two days. Thanks to Dindin for bringing gas, and for cooking breakfast. Dindin didn't like the idea of moving all of his dive kit into my hire car (I'd been upgraded to a Vectra 1.8 for no extra charge), so we both drove to Bovie.
First things first, we went to say "hello", and order tea. Dave was there, and told me that we could fill our stages ourselves. He briefly told me how things worked, and then asked, "Allan is with you, isn't he?". In other words, "You're not going to fill them yourself are you?"! Apart from supplying batteries for the pressure gauge, and keeping Dindin supplied with tea, I was pretty much surplus to requirements, but I did help various Leeds University totty kit up, and chatted to Claire. Unlike most people who fill nitrox, Dindin actually stuck with the 4 bar per minute (or was it 4 minutes per bar, I can't remember), so it took ages to fill both our cylinders [this definitely isn't meant as a criticism, it's simply stating the fact]. Fortunately, we'd left ourselves plenty of gimmering time, so were ready on time at 10:30. While Dindin was filling our stage cylinders, a woman walked past whom I was sure I recognised. I asked her whether we knew each other, and she said that she's Sophie Reynolds. She is Max's replacement as South-West Area Coach, and had been on our club boat several years ago. Somehow she managed to remember what wreck we'd dived - all I can remember is Cherryboy putting on green suntan cream, and me having to drive Sophie to check on her dog!
With our kit loaded onto the boat, we set off towards HMS Foyle. There were supposed to be 4 of us on the boat, but the two rebreather divers that had supposed to be diving with us had cancelled, so it was just Dindin and me. We were diving fairly close to slack water, so there wasn't much current running when we went in (thanks to Dave for kitting me up), and Dave dropped us off so that the shot was on my side (top man). We quickly went down, and, a few minutes later, we arrived at 48m. Dave had asked us to inflate the SMB that was tied onto the shot, and also said that if the shot had dragged that we should swim east to the wreck. The shot was pretty close to the wreck, and I filled the SMB with air. I then turned round to look at Dindin, and he was taking a compass bearing. Gimmeration! I just pointed to the wreck, and swam towards it. The first thing we saw on the wreck was an enormous lobster, followed by more congas than you can shake a donkey's dick at. As I was swimming around, Dindin kept on bumping into me. After a while, I got fed-up with this, so turned around to give him jip, and realised that it was my stage cylinder knocking into me, not Dindin! Although he denies it, we were both pretty narked. Dave had said that there were lots of scallops, so, after swimming around the wreck for a bit, we swam of in search of scallops. Between us, we found one scallop, which was hardly worth getting my goody bag out for!
Just as I decided that we should surface, Dindin signalled that we should surface, so we started our ascent. I had nitrox32 and nitrox80 to decompress on, and Dindin had nitrox80. Both my VR3s said we had a total time to surface of about 45 minutes (taking into account the accelerated decompression), but my Suunto (which doesn't know about gas switching) reckoned on a total time to surface of about 95 minutes. By the time we'd done the deep-stops recommended by the VR3s, the Suunto's total time to surface had gone above 99 minutes, and it can't display more than 99 minutes, so the total time to surface was just blank! As we were hanging around at about 5m, Dave sent a message down to us. It said, "I've eaten all the wine gums, the coffee's cold, and it's raining". Dindin went to write a reply, but found out that his pencil doesn't work! I gave the scallop to him, and he spent a minute or two trying to figure out how to attach it to the SMB before I gave him my goody-bad! We put Dave's note, Dindin slate and broken pencil, and the scallop in the bag, and sent it up to Dave!
Towards the end of our deco stop, we both started getting cold, so started swimming around in circles. Anyway, 84 minutes after we left the surface, we returned to the surface, and got back in the boat. It had finished raining, but Dave was right - the tea was cold, and there were no wine gums left.
Back on dry land, it was time to unload all our kit from the boat, and order food and tea. Sophie and her buddy were having food at the same time, and were keen to join us for something deep tomorrow. However, they had to get all the way back to Exeter, so weren't keen if it was going to be a late dive. We were going to be leaving at 10:30, but Sophie asked whether we would mind if we made it 09:30. This wasn't too early, and meant we could finish early. Anyway, after more tea, Dindin and I headed off to Mountbatten (after saying to Sophie that we'd be ready to go at 09:30, unless Dave called to tell us otherwise). Remembering the code from last time, we went for a shower. Perhaps leaning down right in front of Dindin in the shower, and saying, "May I grab some?" wasn't my finest moment, but his shower gel was in front of him by his feet! On our deco stop, I realised that having a yellow low-pressure hose for both my nitrox80 and my back-gas wasn't the most sensible idea, so we went into In Deep for a perve at Lauren (she wasn't there), and to buy a new low-pressure hose. Unfortunately, they didn't have any 2m low-pressure hoses, so we got back into the car, and drove to QAB to go to Sound Diving. His nitrox prices had gone up by 60% since last year, but at £8 each were still the best value around. Surprisingly, he didn't have any 2m hoses either, but, as Rodney pointed out a few weeks ago, the jail-bait totty was legal. While our cylinders were being filled, we went to have a pint at the bar. As usual there were totty barmaids, but there wasn't much other totty. Oh well, we could still watch all the boats (including some power-boat racing gimmers). It didn't take me long to finish my cola, but Dindin took his time with his beer. I was sure that there was a swing-bridge that we could use to get into the town centre, but couldn't figure out where it was.
We collected our cylinders, and then walked towards the jetty where the power-boat guvnas were. We got to the end of the jetty, but there was no bridge. I wasn't going to give up - we had to get into town to buy Dindin a pack of razors, and I wanted to go to the Totty Dive Shop. We eventually figured out that we had to go out of QAB to get to the bridge. This risked staying longer than the free two hours, but it seemed like a good idea. The bridge was right next to the Plymouth Aquarium, which has a nice café next to it, so we stopped for some tea. Dindin phone Sam to let her know that we'd survived, and Dave rang me to discuss times for tomorrow. It seemed that we might have to leave at 07:30 to catch slack tide, and I said that we'd be up for that if need be. He said he'd check things out, and call me back. We finished our tea, and then crossed the swing-bridge into the Barbican. The totty in the Totty Dive Shop wasn't as good as before, but I still wouldn't say "no"! They weren't sure whether they had a 2m hose, but said that they probably had a Halcyon one. I wasn't going to be buying that - it would be exactly the same as any other brand, but cost twice as much. Fortunately, they found a Beaver one, which was "only" £23. They then started trying to sell Dindin a knife, which was quite amusing. Sarah had called a few minutes ago, so I went outside to call her (she needed some apostrophe advice), leaving Dindin at the mercy of the hard sell. Amazingly he came out having bought nothing. As we walked towards the curry house that I wanted to try out, he said that while looking at the holder (it was only the holder he wanted), he'd looked how it was made, so he could make it himself!
Having had bad service from the Himalayan Spice last time, we wanted to try somewhere different. We'd also had bad service from The Ganges, but there's also another restaurant next door to the Ganges, so we decided to try that. It wasn't far from the Totty Dive Shop, so we walked along to get its phone number. It's called the Jaipur Palace, and has won quite a few awards over the years. The most recent was in 2005, so maybe it had gone downhill since then (which reminded me of the curry house that I went to with Becky in Brisbane), but we decided to eat there anywhere. We also found a store that looked like it would sell razors, so I could have a shave before we went out on the town. Maybe I would be pulling totty after all!
Back at QAB, we found out that the automatic system of charging people for more than 2 hours didn't work, and we were just allowed out without paying. We drove back to Bovie to find out what the plan for tomorrow is, and to drink more tea. We were sitting outside, when some nice ginger Leeds Uni totty sat down to join us. She was fairly well-stacked, and sat there with her dry suit round her waist, and her swimming costume showing off her ample cleavage. It was very difficult to look her in the eye, but she was very chatty and friendly, so I made the effort. Dave wanted to sort out dive times, so came outside and asked Dindin to go inside ("Allan, you're the responsible one", I think he said). Excellent, I was left chatting to the totty! I can't remember what we chatted about, but I do remember her saying that she wasn't very choosy! While we were chatting, Dave popped out, and asked what time I had to leave by, and I said anytime up for 4 would be OK, but earlier would be better. He said that they were thinking about 2PM, to which I almost said, "That sounds good, that'll give me time to shag the lesbian". Fortunately, I thought before I spoke.
Anyway, they agreed that we should leave at 11:30, and hope that the current wasn't running too much, so we could dive straight away. We could wait for slack, but we had to be back by 14:30 at the latest, so waiting for slack would reduce our dive time. We then drove back to the campsite to drink tea, and gimmer with kit. I had to fit my new hose, and move the clips on my nitrox80 cylinder, and Dindin had to move his clips. After I had a shave, we moved all the dive kit into my motor, and Dindin drove into Plymouth. The plan was to leave his motor in Plymouth, and then collect it in the morning. We parked near the hostel, and walked into town. We stopped for a sneaky pint at the pub near the hostel we'd drunk at before, and then continued walking into town. There was a pub at the end of the high-street that looked as if it served nice ales, so we went in there for another. It was a bit loud, but there was lots of totty, and the beer was pretty good. I called the curry house, and booked a table for half-an-hour's time, so when we finished our beers, we went straight for curry.
The good wasn't anywhere near as good as at the Himalayan Spice, but the service was much quicker. I remember Dindin grabbing the two beers when they were put in front of us, so I had to take a picture. Once I'd taken the picture, I heard the woman on the table next to us tutting and muttering to the bloke she was with. What is wrong with these people? First of all, what's wrong with taking a picture? Secondly, if you've got a problem with me taking a picture, just tell me instead of muttering quietly! The restaurant made a nice change, but I think we'll try the Mexican at the end of the high-street next time. After finishing the curry, we went off in search of another pub, but didn't find what I was looking for, and we ended up back at the waterfront. After looking into a few pubs, we saw a Blues Brothers band playing outside the Watering Hole, so had two pints there while being entertained by the band, and perving at the totty. Fortunately, the taxi rank wasn't too far away, so, once the band had finished, we got into a taxi.
Me: Brixton campsite please.
Him: Where's that?
Me: Just go along the A-whatever to Kingsbridge.
Him: I know where Brixton is, I just don't know where the campsite is.
Gimmeration, Brixton is a tiny place. All he had to do was drop us at the roundabout, and we could walk from there! Anyway, we got back OK, and went straight to sleep.
Dindin just didn't seem to want to get up this morning. Even the sound of a kettle boiling and bacon frying didn't get him up straight away. Anyway, once he was up, he took the tent down, and packed it away. He wouldn't let me help, so I just sat down in his chair, and drank tea. We packed everything into the car, picked up Dindin's car, and we then drove to Bovie with Dindin following me (sorry for forgetting about the no right turn). We had plenty of time to gimmer, and my kit was ready to be loaded onto the boat before Dindin's was - this is unheard of. Dave called me up at 09:30 to tell me that I should be ready for 10:30 (cheeky git!). Sophie and her mate had decided not to join us, so it was just Dindin and me again.
As we were drinking tea, the Leeds Uni totty sat down, looked at me, and said, "Oi. Where's my tea". I looked at her, and said, "You're very demanding aren't you?". She replied, "Yesterday you agreed that I wasn't very choosy". "Yes, but you're not single, so what's the point in being nice to you!". This didn't seem to go down too well, because she wasn't so chatty from then on! As she disappeared, a school minibus arrived. Gimmeration, the place was going to be overrun with pokiness. As it was, they seemed old enough and sensible enough not to need a clip round the ear, but we walked back to the cars, just to make sure that I didn't start whinging. Before getting kitted up, I went to use the toilet. As I walked in some of the girls that had just arrived were hanging around waiting for the ladies' toilet to be opened. This seemed fair enough, but I was quite surprised when a woman walked out of the gents' toilet! By the time I'd finished my dump, the girls had got fed-up with waiting for the ladies' toilet to be opened, and were getting changed in the gents' changing area. I really didn't expect to see three 18-year-old birds walking around in their underwear when I went to have a dump at Bovie!
We were just about to leave when I realised that I only had one glove. What a fool! We had to go via the Elk to collect the shot from Danny (obviously I couldn't resist a "is the prop caught in it" gag), before heading off to the Unicorn. When we got there, there was a fishing boat already there. Fortunately, it moved away, and let us dive. The current didn't seem to be running too much, so we got kitted up straight away. Well, almost straight away, I decided that I needed a jimmy before we went in, but once I'd got my todger over the side of the boat, I could hardly squeeze any out at all, so I just got back into my suit. Dindin was "chomping at the bit", but Dave wouldn't let him start kitting up until I was almost ready!
This time, the shot was almost on the wreck, and I got Dindin to put air in the SMB. If anything, this dive was even better than yesterday's dive. There were even more congas, and there was one that we could see the whole length of. Dindin only saw its head initially, and went to have a closer look. I was tempted to tickle its side, so that it would swim towards Dindin, but I decided better of it! Towards the end of the dive, I found a swim-through, but also saw sense and didn't try to swim through it. This being sensible is getting a bit worrying - I even saw lots of sea cucumbers, and, despite being narked at 51.8m, I didn't feel the need to make them cum. We had a shorter bottom time this dive, but still had a very long ascent. We finished out stops, but, because we'd had 5 pints last night, we had to do another 5 minutes of "Jesus stops". Dindin was busting for a jimmy, so gave me the SMB, and surfaced, ignoring the extra five minutes. What a gimmer! Anyway, 73 minutes after we'd left the surface, I arrived back, and swam to the boat. Dindin moved from the other side of the boat to my side of the boat. I initially assumed this was to help me get back into the boat, but I soon discovered that it was to wee over me. Granted it wasn't actually on me, but don't worry, I'll get him back for that! I was also busting for a jimmy, so had a quick one (ooh-err) before we headed back to Bovie. On the way back, we saw a buoy, which could have been the anchor that Dannie had lost a few weeks ago, but the rope was the wrong colour, and it looked too skanky to have only been in the sea a few weeks. I also mentioned internet dating to Dave, who had quite an impressive story about a mate of his to tell us, but I don't think it should be shared with the general public!
Back on dry land, I was really busting for a jimmy (why I couldn't pee properly on the boat, I have no idea), but, unfortunately, there were no women prancing around in their underwear this time! We ordered diver burgers, but there were no eggs left. Fortunately, I had two eggs in the car, so the nice lady cooked them for me. I paid our bill while Dindin washed his kit down, and I then headed off for the long drive back home. I stopped off at the McDonald's at Collumpton to see whether I could use the Cloud wi-fi network there, but it wouldn't let me access t'internet either.
Thanks everybody for a top weekend.
Update (2009-03-01): I've just found two text messages that Rodney sent to me on the Sunday.
First message (10:08): "Is it v today ? In weymouth which i think you guys are as well ? Tea ?"
I had to call him for a translation. He actually meant VE day. I asked Danny, who wasn't sure. As I said to Danny, it comes to something when a foreigner has to remind us that it's VE day!
Second message (18:30): "You guys survived ? :-) good dive here."
I didn't get around to replying to this message. I hope he didn't worry!
Second update (2009-03-01): VE Day is in May.
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Created on: 24 Jun 2008. Modified on: 01 Mar 2009.
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