Recently in Diving Category

Back in Bangor.

Well, I'm back, have moved into our 7-bedroom Victorian end-terraced house, begun to decorate, nearly finished setting up the club with the others and bought a t.v. I haven't really stopped!

 I got out the other day on my 4.8 Combat, I had a well deserved thrashing (face it, I was due one) but I didn't have the nerve to snap my ankle and have it pinned - I know if that had have happened I would never have heard the end of it (for having footstraps on my buggy, obviously). Haven't been out since and am beginning to get twitchy.

 Dive wise I haven't been in the water since Stoney, though to be honest the weather hasn't been fit for it here and the dive club haven't been very active.

I began to decorate my room the first weekend I was here - pale blue, white and "chocolate truffle" - but unfortunately some evil stomach bug (believed to have been caused by some dodgy ham) took my body on the Monday and I never got it finished. And now, I can't be bothered or the wind is too good.

The most exciting news I have is I bought a t.v. I did have an adapter for my laptop, but unfortunately it doesn't seem to want to receive terrestrial channels and only picks up about two decent digital channels and every shopping channel under the sun. So yesterday, when I saw a 14" t.v. advertised for sale on the discussion boards, I did buy it. I promptly spent the rest of the day watching rubbish.

 Soon it all starts to move quickly again - I'm busy every single week in November for some reason or another and my October weekends are quickly being booked - a good timetable (with lots of weeks off, for one reason or another) and an early finish for Christmas mean I'll be off for 5 weeks over the festive season and that's all pretty much booked up too! It's a busy life being a student...

Fashion Police.

It occurred to me earlier that I am sad. What, I hear you cry? Leah, Queen of Fashion and all things good looking?

 Well a few weeks ago, when Frances was wandering about in her pink drysuit and pink BCD with pink cylinder cover etc, I realised that most of my dive kit is black or blue. But so is my kite kit (bar my kites, obviously, apart from my 4.8 which is black and mmm, but the Cent has a blue soulfly on it I guess).

And so, my mission to spend money on equipment that is mostly blue or black begins. May my days of red and black helmet, black jacket, red rucksack, camoflage trousers, blue gaitors and purple striped wellingtons be gone! Long live the era of sexy oversized black drysuits, pond weed filled hair or a sand covered face. As long as I coordinate.

Sports Diver!

Well last weekend Frances and I returned to Stoney, me having my membership/ID In Emergency Type Thing Card and did a further 4 dives to help me complete my Sports Diver qualification.

The first two dives went no deeper than 22m, doing compass work and deploying the DSMB (Delayed Surface Marker Buoy) from a depth of 22m. On the second dive we delayed the SMB a bit too fast and the winch on the winder snapped in half, meaning reeling it back in was difficult.

For the third and fourth dives we were joined by a man from Frances BSAC dive club in Nottingham, so I could do my rescue work and Frances could watch easier.

The third dive was a dive I planned myself, going from the edge of the water on a bearing of 200 degrees until I found the 6m shelf edge, dropping down to 22m and onwards to the Wessex, a helicopter. My dive plan surfaced now, but we had loads of time and air left so carried on a wander looking at the perch and the freshwater sponges on the cliff edge, found somewhere to deploy the SMB and ascended, stopping to look at a crawfish "nest" under the pub.

The 4th dive descended near the emergency boat jetty and followed the track road down to 25m. This is the deepest I have been so far and I realised just how much darker it gets very quickly. It didn't help the viz down there was no more than 2m because of an algae bloom nearer the surface. We followed the edge up again to the 22m shelf and then over to the School Bus for a quick play about inside. Because I've never really been inside anything wreckwise yet it took a short while to realise how big (or small) some gaps are and how much room the equipment on my back takes up! We continued over towards the Stanegarth for a bit more exploration and then (eventually, after a long and air consuming detour causing me to end up breathing from Frances' pony regulator) finding out way back to the surface and doing our rescue ascent.

With most of my BSAC logs signed off now, all I need now is to go back and have Rob (DO in the Club) stamp and sign my book and I am officially a Sports Diver! Though I will need to buy some more equipment - luckily it shouldn't be too expensive!

Sports Diver

Yesterday I went to Stoney Cove with Frances to start doing my Sports Diver practicals.

 We got there for about half past 7 and kitted up, we were in the water by 9 and on the first dive.

Dive one went well, we did some basic skills and swam about a bit and saw lots of perch and rudd and then some freshwater sponges which were really pretty. No deeper than 17m.

Dive 2 we went to 21m and saw more fish, using a Surface Marker Buoy (SMB) so I get used to towing the buoy, reeling and unreeling etc. By now my ulcer was really rather sore but I was still enjoying the dive.

 In all it was rainy on the surface and about 13 degrees, underwater it was wet and about 17 degrees!

Soon I'll be doing more dives to qualify - hopefully I'll go back a Sports Diver and able to do more interesting dives than Vivian!

Diving humour

We found this at the dive meeting a few weeks ago. Most of us decided we're going to play it before every weekly meeting.


Just dive.

On Tuesday I took my Sports Diver exam along with Darren and Giles. After much deliberation over stupidly worded questions, some heated discussions and disputing of answers, we marked our papers.

 Just thought I'd let you all know I passed it so when I can dive again I will officially be a Sports Diver!



 Last Tuesday at the club we organised a boat outing for today because we all needed to get out and do something. I was allowed to be boat crew/assistant dive marshall for the day cos I can't dive. We said we might take divers out but chances were slim as the forecast was appauling and it was the Spring tides, so viz would be about as far as you could see if you put your hand in front of your bit closer....thats it, but that would be exaggerating on how much you could see. These are the Strait's we're talking about, and viz isn't often fantastic at the best of times.

On Thursday the wind was very windy and we decided not to take divers out, because it would be "like putting your head into a putting your head into a pan of very cold and quickly moving soup" and then on Saturday (yesterday) we decided we would afterall, 'cause the forecast was spot on.

We went out today, there wasn't a breath of wind and it was gloriously sunny, we threw Rach, Ian and Virginia in and then pulled them out again, as the viz was genuinely appauling. Then Jules and Daniel got in, just 'cause they thought they'd give it a shot, then we pulled them out and just settled for a quick play up through the swirlies. I had a great day being boat crew. I didn't get wet and cold in my snuggly drysuit in the sunshine.

I just thought you'd all like to see a picture.

So much to do!

Well this year I decided that instead of cramming all my revision into a day or so before the exams, I'd make more effort to sort and read through notes as I did stuff just to retain that bit more information.

 So far this semester I've had all sorts to write, go over and read up on, as well as having loads of coursework to do, in-term examinations and then all my dive stuff for the club (ringing people, emailing people and talking to other people).

 Things were so much easier when I was lazy!

And so the New Year begins…

Well, I'm back from my Tuesday night at the Dive club meeting - followed by some giggling (including a Sports Diver lecture somewhere).

 It's a bit frustrating learning to dive when you can't actually do it. I spent the whole meeting writing down about when the club is next diving, what activities are planned, and knowing I can't do any of them until at least March. Humph.