Our try-dive went ahead as planned last Friday and very successful it was too. More of that later but first an account of the dive earlier in the day. With SP 312 away getting its new engines fitted, this was a rare solo outing for our old soldier, SP 125.
PJ tells the story:
With SP312 in dock to get its new four-stroke engines fitted, for Friday’s dive to the Dara Mike Anthony put together a one-tank dive on the small boat, SP125, with Derek, Andy, Peter and his cousin Nicholas. Nick, just retired, had last week completed his Padi Advanced course and this was his first dive in the Gulf. With the sea flat, and no significant current, Mike, Derek and Andy dropped in first, well armed with scissors for a successful session of much-needed net cutting, though sadly in minimal visibility. But only after Derek, having carried out his checks on the boat and gone over the side, had to ask Nick to pass him down his fins: Fine number 1. When Derek emerged from his labours his wetsuit and BCD were almost entirely covered in minute crawling sea life, a testament to the enthusiasm of his net cutting. It took considerable effort to return his new found friends to their watery home.
Peter and Nick took their turn with a plan to show Nick around the cathedral and the stern section. Even the viz in the cathedral was abysmal, which is unusual. Mike had spotted a long rope, entangled with our anchor and suggested that this be collected and brought up, so the remainder of their dive was spent un-entangling and coiling what is now a useful spare anchor line. The current had picked up a little so at the end of the dive, unable to move it away from the net-festooned hull, Peter lifted it to the top of the hull, laying it carefully on the net, hoping that a clean vertical lift would free it, which thankfully it did. Back at the Clubhouse, on emptying the boat, it was noted that there had been no oxygen cylinder on board, despite a certain diver having affirmed before the dive that it was. Fine number 2 could not be disputed!
The day’s divers and non-divers alike convened at the club between 1 and 2pm to get the try-dive sorted out. As the name suggests, this is an exercise aimed at gaining up some new members with people new to the sport encouraged to take a short trip under water in the company of an experienced diver in the sheltered surroundings of the Wanderers swimming pool. With this sort of thing you never really know until the day how successful it’s going to be. We’d arranged for some flyers to be posted around the local schools and around the Wanderers itself but would anyone show up?
In the event we had 12 people plus a couple who turned up late but will be coming again on Tuesday. This is close to an ideal number being enough to make it worthwhile but not so many as to tax our resources. The try-divers were: Jonathan, Richie, Barry, Heather, Kathy, Adriaan, Nicolas, Alex, Claire, Shada, Dave and Ryan. Thanks for your interest – we hope to see you again. The underwater guides were Janette, Geoff and me.
In the evening we’d arranged for a barbecue round the pool which was also well attended. Janette and Ken had leant us their projector so we were able to show some of the videos that Peter has produced over the last year or so, using a bed-sheet pressed into service as a screen. It worked so well it will almost certainly be done again at some point – maybe the next time we organise something outside.
Many thanks to SWSC for putting on the barbecue and to all those who turned up and supported it.
A warning from our Treasurer: As the purchase of our two new engines has severely depleted our funds, the levying of “voluntary donations” for the practice of unorthodox or non-standard diving technique (see above) is likely to be undertaken enthusiastically in the near future!
Ian Hussey and guest writers.