Sometimes things don’t go to plan… luckily at K&E we have our very own super hero.
Here are first-hand accounts from two damsels in distress…
It was the club’s annual bank holiday trip to Plymouth and, after a few trips to Wraysbury, my first venture into the British seas. Although I was a bit unsure about weight, I had made some calculations and thought I was sorted. Unfortunately once my cylinder was nearing empty it turned out that I didn’t have enough weight, and after much faffing about with the SMB at 10 metries, I found myself at 6m, then 2m and then realised my feet were out of the water. This had not happened before, and after lots of expletives, for some stupid reason I thought that if I kept my head in the water it would be okay. I also thought that I might be able to descend again. Obviously neither of those things would have helped at all, but I couldn’t really believe what had happened and decided that rather than stick my head up and signal ok to the boats, should lie face down in the water and think about it for a while (my buddy was still at 10m looking for me).
## Is it a bird, is it a plane?
And then he was there… Super(bar)man. Turns out Len’s skipper had seen me, had a few kittens, and chucked Len, who was on the lift making his way out for a well earned cuppa, off the lift and back into the water. So as I lay there pondering whether I would be able to wear my new shoes into the pot, Len grabbed hold of me and yanked me up. This was despite me trying to signal to him that I needed to keep head in the water.
Realising that I was probably going to be okay, I lay back and waited for my tow to the boat. Unfortunately, Len then shoved me towards my boat and finned off into the distance. I expect another diver (of sorts) needed rescuing…
## Basic lessons remembered:
1. If you are not sure about your weight, get some advice and do a proper weight check.
2. Remember you will weigh less with an empty cylinder.
3. Decompression is not about keeping your head in the water.
4. Always signal to the boat that you are okay, otherwise the skipper will be less than happy with you.
5. If you are really starting to panic think about shoes.
By Dolly Dot I (aka Venessa Holt)
# Super(bar)man — The sequel
Do Superheroes get any time off? Seemingly not, having swung into action once during the club trip to Plymouth to save Dolly Dot 1 from the perils of the deep, with his pants on the outside, cape and hoses flying Super(bar)man flew into action once again, proving that Super-heroes never tire!
The sea was raging, the boat rocking and sea monsters stirring… with buddy checks completed I leapt of the back of the boat to follow my buddy, however I soon realised that all was not as it should be. I had inflated my BC before leaving the boat but for some reason instead of bobbing immediately back to the surface I began to descend very rapidly, I tried filling my BC which didn’t help much, now that’s odd I thought. It was a frantic and hard job swimming to the surface, not only is scuba kit heavy to carry on land its also darn heavy when trying to swim to the surface with no real means of buoyancy. I managed to reach my buddy my head barely above the water where I fully inflated by BC again. Ummm wonder what happened there. We began our descent down to the wreck of the James Egan Lane, a lovely little wreck dive, however, the speed of my descent represented that of falling lemmings. It got faster and faster, no amount of air in my BC would slow it down. Wonder if I should do a star fish impression on the way down, you know bit like sky diving… no time to organise arms and legs though, as I hit the sea bed at 26 metres in around thirty seconds, sending a massive nuclear mushroom of sand and silt into the surrounding area at least I remembered to clear my ears.
## Who is that super-hero?
My buddy joined me and I indicated I thought I had problems with my inflator hose, think his x-ray specs were faulty that day. We decided to have a little bimble around the wreck but the fact that I could not lift my body of the sea bed was certainly going to hinder my bimble and it was clearly not doing much in the way of visibility for anyone else. Not only that I was beginning to stress about actually getting back to the surface, if the worse came to the worse I could ditch my weights but lead shot not cheap and better to hang onto weight and then inspiration struck me like a number 9 bus, close dump valve on dry suit and use dry suit to descend… ta-dah don’t call me dolly !! Err, then my recent rapid foot first ascent in Portland sprung to mind, OK lets just half close valve and perhaps swim a bit too, then again, I could always close my eyes and think of shoes, heard it solved a lot of diving issues. Whilst I had my eyes closed and thoughts of mules, slingbacks and four inch high heels crossed my mind I failed to witness Super(bar)man spinning into his pants and cape once again.
## Leaps buildings with a single bound
When I opened my eyes there he was, like Neptune himself, a true vision to behold with his SMB safely deployed I was able to hang onto the line with one hand and Super(bar)man with the other whilst he assisted my swimming ascent. Once on the surface he gave me the inflated SMB to hang on to whilst we waited for the boat, a true hero in a situation that could have gone Pete Tong if I had ditched my weights in an attempt to get to the surface!!
Once on the boat I was able to ascertain that the problem was my BC shoulder valve which seemed to have got stuck open, so air was going in and straight out again. Thank gawd for superheroes. Who needs shoes when you’ve got Super(bar)man Len ?!
By Dolly Dot II (aka Sandra Argent)