April Fools at Gildenburgh
This was the eight consecutive year at Gildenburgh, but for some it was their first and by coincidence it was April 1st so when I tell you the water temperature was 6-9 degrees Celsius, you can decide who the fools were!!!
However on the bright side it was quiet, we had very little rain and the visibility was excellent compared to Wraysbury!!! Andy Ethell won our admiration and demonstrated the true meaning of dedication, he travelled all the way from Austria on the Saturday and back to Austria on the Sunday. He was also the resident photographer many thanks Andy!
Many students successfully completed drills, 20 in total this year thanks to the dedicated team of trainers. Not all were completed without a few hitches, Kevan Tulip and Myself thought that the main objective of SO3 (Simulated deco and distance line practice) was to see how tangled the line of a reel could become, and tested Mark East to the limit. The resident ducks looked very interested in the end result for their future homes.
Being our first time at Gildenburgh we were not sure what to expect and were particularly surprised about the quality of the visibility, it was a novelty to actually see something tangible under water at last and diving in and around a double decker bus and the aeroplane was fun. There was a rumour that John Rapley and John Fowles spotted the famous Gildenburgh pike. I did look out for it on her last dive but didn’t manage to see it, this was lucky for the pike as she would have probably trod on it anyway as I had done at Wraysbury the previous month!!
On surveying the Gildenburgh site we were pleased that we did not opt to stay in the accommodation, the luxury caravans!! They looked well past their sell by date and were not recommended by others in the group. But we felt that an income generating opportunity has been missed because they could be just what the mushroom farmers needed to grow a bumper crop, they possess the ideal environment of being dark and damp.
On Saturday evening we thought that we would try the fine cuisine of a local pub I believe it has be awarded 4 or 5 Michelin stars or was it tyres!!. As the resident entertainment manager John Rapley organised a quiz, with an Easter egg as the prize, and with the help of the locals, Len Hards won but there were rumours of foul play, we found that there were 3 sheets submitted by Len but as the night continued and as more fine wine (!!) was consumed he was forgiven and the Easter egg was enjoyed by all.
We really enjoyed the trip and would recommend it as an ideal venue to any new diver to build up new skills, anything from here on can only be a bonus. It was very well organised by Jo Eaton and the instructors and was deemed a success by all ﾐ thank you Jo.