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Sunday, 25 August 2019
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New Hope - Jubilee rites of passage by Bolt Tail Print

And another one joins the club

Having done a PADI open water course in the Red Sea some two an a half years ago I thought it was time I did a little more diving. After sending out numerous emails to different clubs and associations it was you lucky people at Guildford BSAC that replied to me first. So I thought I'd pop down and see what you were all about.

Arriving one Tuesday evening about four weeks ago I was greeted by some extremely  friendly people who shook my hand, introduced themselves, then rushed off shouting over their shoulder "I'll be back in a minute". And was the last I ever saw of them.

Others chatted for a bit about where, and how many dives I'd done, "Just the four dives in Sharm" I replied, to an aural onslaught of air being sucked through teeth, titters, giggles and full on belly laughs.

But I didn't let that get to me and, like a glutton for punishment arrived promptly at 19.30 the following Tuesday for a lecture on Adventurous diving and a pool session. The following few weeks were still met with teeth sucking and giggles, especially after booking my place on the Hope Cove weekend. I asked Duncan if I could book some equipment. "What do you need then" he asked. "everything" was my reply, "what. BCD, regs and bottle?", "and dry suit and fins and........"  I said as Duncan buried his head in his hands and silently wept.

After a seven hour drive we arrived at Hope and none of that seemed to matter. Everyone there was really friendly, (one the first night my sexuality was questioned [by Claire], and I was asked [by Claire and Victoria] if I had a piercing in my privates). OH MY GOD!!!!!!, What have I let myself in for.

The first days launch was a little disorganised, but after Simon Denny built in his three hour contingency and made everyone get up at silly o'clock in the morning this was over come, and the next few days of diving were spectacular.

It ran with almost military precision. The weather was great, not the thunder storms that were forecast  so an average of eight metres Vis when your expecting to not be able to see your hand in front of your face was awesome. Unfortunately being a trainee I was unable to be on the boat when Georgina finally found a wreck. But the reefs were breath-taking, especially around the tail.

The evening entertainment around a camp fire (more a pile of dried grass that the great hunter gatherer [Simon Denny] scraped of the floor outside his tent) was just as enjoyable as the diving and It was here that I really began to feel like part of the "family". It was also here that I began to realise how incestuous this family could be (no names mentioned but you know who I mean).

As the saying goes all good things must come to an end. And so it did, with me deciding NOT to dive probably the best dive of the holiday. Somebody hit me please!

So after listening to every one else saying how amazing it was and how great the Vis was we hooked up Mckie and headed home. Only to make an unexpected, half hour stop two miles down the road as Simon Gosling crashed the trailer into a grass verge, (admittedly that is a little over dramatised), do BSAC do a course in reversing with and without a trailer?

If any new comer to the world of diving were to ask me the best way to learn I would immediately reply, "Join your local branch of BSAC". Thanks all, I had a great time and you all made me feel right at home.

Clayton Lewis

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