The club’s annual ex Bovi, now known as the Plymouth weekend, was an exceptional one this year and was supported by thirty club members who dived over the Bank Holiday weekend.
We had two boats booked for the weekend, Brian Deluce was marshal on one, and Len on the other. It was good to see some new faces as well, Jackie and Brian Maskell, Kevan Tulip, Steve Isley, Ruth (excellent tea and coffee maker), Roger, and of course the usual culprits ﾐ you know who you are!!
Bank Holiday Blues
Its always the same on a Bank Holiday weekend, you want to get away as quickly as possible but you are going to hit the traffic at whatever time you leave. Len, Paul and Bret decided to leave in the morning in time for the bars to open at 11am but their plan was scuppered with lots of phaffing, and they finally got down about 4pm. Their plan was to go for one of their many curries that weekend and went over to the Barbican on the ferry.
It’s raining Len
They went to the local Indian restaurant and tried to order their meal but found it difficult reading the menu due to not one of them having their glasses, except their beer glasses! Coming back, Len couldn’t wait for the loo and had to ﾒgoﾓ over the side of the ferry ﾐ very unfortunate for some of the other passengers who got splashed in the face, luckily for Len they thought it was raining!!
I travelled down with Gill Champion and the kids, Aaron and Mellissa. After jam packing all the luggage into the car we eventually at 6.45pm. I had already given Bret my dive gear and he was going to put it into the car with him, DIT and DOT. That was the plan, but he left it in our car so with my luggage, Gills and the kids, plus an O2 kit, we were full to the brim.
At last we were ready for the long journey. The roads seemed to be reasonably clear. Great we thought, as this rate we will be in time for last orders. That was until the car suddenly gave out a warning sign that we had a puncture and to pull over! We were on the M3, two kids in the back and two females parked up on the hard shoulder with the prospect of unloading the boot and changing a tyre! We looked at the tyres and they didn’t look flat (except at the bottom) so we decided to plod on to the nearest service station and put some air in them. We couldn’t even get the cap of wheel! The car’s computer said we were OK to travel at 50 with ﾒa flat tyre apparentlyﾓ – so we hit 90 to make up for lost time!
Jams, white van man and a fireman
Hooray, we were on our way again and doing really well, until suddenly a traffic jam and it was certainly that! We were about half way and the traffic and come to a complete stand still. We sat for about 15 minutes and decided that this jam wasn’t going anywhere. People were turning off their engines and getting out of their cars to walk up the hard shoulder (and coming back with MacDonald’s)!
Poor Arran needed to go but being a ﾒteenagerﾓ wanted to wait until we reached some toilets. He couldn’t wait any longer and had to get out for a wee. Just at that point the driver behind us turned on his lights and lit Arran up in a blaze of light ﾐ he was like a rabbit caught literally in the headlights ﾐ very funny for us, alas not so for him.
A white van (it would have to be one of those wouldn’t it) even went past us on the hard shoulder to get past, we considered it but thought better of it. Then behind us a fire engine was attempting to get past everyone and all the cars had to move over for it to get past. Some guys were walking past and said that a chemical lorry had turned over up ahead so the road had been closed so we just had to sit there. After about an hour we did start to move very slowly and we managed to pull into the service station which happened to have the MacDonald’s. We pulled in and went in to order our meals and visit the loo. Suddenly, the evening got better! Three firemen walked in! All was not lost!
The rest of the evening, very boring, we got down there and everyone had gone to bed ﾐ well it was 1am in the morning! Oh, except the cat but more about the cat later!!!
Weather was generally good for diving, the usual wrecks, James Egan Layne, The Fort, Fairylands. Diving over (you can tell its me writing this) and back to base.
That’s enough diving
The girls, Eraina Keepin, Gill Champion came along as the non-divers and after spending all day in Plymouth shopping and drinking they staggered back to the Hotel with their newly bought England shirts (never mind, you can keep them for next time)!
In the evening a couple of us went for a wander over to the Borringdon Arms where they had a Beer Festival and a live band, well someone singing but he was very good indeed! (mental note for next year, don’t spend all night in the Hotel, take a walk to the Borri Arms (it’s where we used to stay) and join in the live entertainment).
A surprising reception
The hotel resident cat had quite an exciting evening ﾐ some “after hours” activity was being held in the reception area by one or two club members – only the cat knows the truth! Oh, and Mark East who was even more surprised than participants! I believe a bill was sent to the resident guest/s which read as follows:
In the evening John Rapley, (who incidentally didn’t actually go on this diving trip because of an operation on his big toe)! had booked us all into the Indian restaurant in town. This I think was the third Indian meal that Len, Paul and Bret had in the weekend, I think photographic evidence was sent to John on more than one occasion! Fantastic meal and it was finished off with a birthday cake being brought out for Gill Champion’s birthday and all the restaurant staff sang ﾒHappy Birthdayﾓ to her. Different to say the least!!
A little more diving
Last day and more diving, this was probably the best day out of the weekend. We went out and did Hand Deeps ﾐ a firm favourite with everyone! It was a bit bumpy going out across the races but well worth it!
Bret was diving with Steve Isley (trainee) and Len on the Scylla ﾐ well he was up to the point when they had to go through a hatch cover. Len managed it quite easily but Bret couldn’t get through so he had to take his trainee round and come back out the way they went in. (You can thank Len for that little piece of information)!
I can’t think of anything else, but it was a weekend of fun and laughter and lots of ﾒhad to be there momentsﾓ. Definitely going next year.