The Crazies have been to Portland again..
Well, it was that time again. First weekend in January and the usual band of Crazies headed to Portland for the annual club trip. I had decided to hand the mantle over to Tom to arrange the diving and in Tom’s usual organised and methodical manor, the weekend was executed with the pose of a true dive organiser. The bunch of crazies included, Tom Holt, Venessa Holt, Jackie Maskell, Brian Maskell, Ian Emery, Trish Emery, Chris James-Roll, Chris Hunka, Mike Ford, Dean Mitchell, Kirstie Mitchell, Richard B-P, Dave Tresidder and Me. With ‘special guest star’ Mark Cluett as our cox for the weekend. Weather was bright and clear on the Saturday, if not a little chilly..Minus 1 degree, with the water temperature a balmy 6-7 degrees (depending on who you spoke to) we were not expecting to do any thing longer than 15-20 minutes max under water. There are some rumors that a certain couple spent 40 minutes under water, but I think its an urban myth.
Richard B-P, The Mitchells, The Maskells and The Emery’s were diving with F&B, so we all went in our separate directions on Saturday morning. Tom, Mike, The Chris’ and the Tresidders were on Britvic with Mark, we headed to Lulworth banks. The Chris’ were first in, kitted and ready to go in 5 minutes, they were chucked overboard for their dive. Tom and Mike were next, some 20 minutes later they were both finally ready to get in the water, then it was Dave and My turn. We were dropped in, had a fantastic dive, viz was good, our drift included a quick rummage on the British Inventor and some 29 minutes later, we surfaced. The Chris’, Tom and Mike all missed the Inventor, but all the same they all had a good dive…. once they got in! Back to the Aqua cafe (or should that be non-Aqua cafe, as you cant go in in wet gear) for tea, lukewarm soup and some of Chris Hunka’s chips. Back out for the second dive of the day, the old favorite, Countess of Ern. The guys on the F&B rib joined us and we were all to dive the Countess. As we decended down to shot to be met with spectacular viz o 4-5 meters, some of the best I have ever seen in Portland. After another 25 minute dive, we surfaces with cold hands, ice cream headaches and unable to talk as our faces were numb. We all grunted that it was a good dive and all headed back to the bunker for a warm shower, change of clothes (for some) and a trip to see Weymouth lifeboats care of Steve Collard. After a while, the boys were oooing and arring over the RNLI rib, the girls conversation turned to more important things.. hand bags, shoes and sale shopping. Quick change for those who needed it, then off to the Cove Inn for a full on dinner and a couple of drinks. Those diving on the F&B rib were all very disappointed that F&B had called Sunday and were not going out. They all had to console themselves with large quantities of wine and whiskey. Yes Richard, I do remember the conversation about quavers and the fact that they make excellent hand cream ?!?!?
The Britvic bunch, were more reserved on their drinking and all took to bed for an early night in readiness for their Sunday dive. The weather forecast was predicting a force 5-6, although we were not worried, we’ve dived in worse! It was Venessa’s first time back in the water since the arrival of James Holt and she was very excited. Off we headed back to the Countess, to find the viz. We had another fantastic dive on the Countess, all back to shore with the rib recovered in time for elevenses in the non-Aqua Cafe. Kit all packed up, it was time for some photographs of James Holt, K&E youngest Diver Cox and plans of lunch at the World End with the usual moans of how to dry your kit in your house in winter time.
Tom, thank you for organising a great trip and I hope everyone has finally thawed out.