OK… we’re not going to lie to you. It was cold… really cold… really, really cold… the kind of cold that makes you go… ooohhh.. that was a bit parky! But you know what… it was GREAT FUN too!
Traffic on the M25 and M1 on a Friday night was a little challenging (when is it ever not?), so everyone arrived at the B&B a little tired and in need of nourishment (food & liquid). We all headed down to the Blue Bell and had some stuff to eat, whilst being serenaded by a “questionable” singer (he couldn’t reach the high notes and when needed to hit them he’d ask every body to join in to help!). Early arrivers Lois, Robin, Ness and Noakesy were joined by a Michael who was trying a new dive club for the weekend (needless to say he fitted right in – apart from when Keith ignored him at the bar!). Ken, Eric and Julian arrived later on with the singer in full effect. A beer or two later and we beat a hasty retreat for a good nights sleep.
Saturday morning arrived way too quickly and we trooped down to ensure we got prime parking on the lower car park (arriving at 6.30am helps to ensure it!). A wet walk back and we grabbed another hour of shut eye before our lavish breakfast and a walk back to Stoney Cove. Dives on day 1 were cold and visibility wasn’t great (as you can see from the pix), but despite that it all went well and the heated changing rooms were appreciated by all. A swift half at Nemo’s bar (every dive centre should have a nice bar location) ended the first day’s diving… but the day was far from over!
Noakesy, slightly damp from a leaky dry suit, had a dead battery in the car – Keith from the Dive Inn to the rescue! (If B&B’s got awards, the Dive Inn would be our top performer!). We then ended up rolling over to the Taj for a curry which was great fun, even though the main oven at the curry house was out of action.
Day 2 was again, WAY TOO EARLY!… but it was worthwhile as the bottom car park quickly filled up. A trip to the hydrobox at 35m proved eventful (Julian enjoying a freeflow!) on Dive 1, and then a roll over to the Staingarth and Invincible for Dive 2 was enjoyed – Keith’s navigation has also definately improved from his last Stoney Visit – but it was very very very cold (4 degrees – and Ken was in a semi-dry!) . We all ended up back in Nemo’s for some late lunch before the joys of the motorway and reality set in.
Thanks to Ness for organising and everyone for braving the cold for a great couple of days – remember, just cos it’s cold in the water, it doesn’t matter if the company is warm!