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IFC, Bristol - 20/10/12 to 21/10/12Edit

Instructor Foundation Course, Bristol

Attendees: Georgie Delaney, Rob Harries, Jon Hauser, Anya Keatley, Andy Mortby, David Wilby, Hazel Wood, Kieran Wood (& 16 others!)

I only speak for myself (Dave) of course, but I did enjoy the IFC despite the occasional patronising moment! We're all better prepared for teaching the hoardes of trainees this year after this.

Not to mention, Hengrove pool is very very cool. Moving floor to change the depth. Magic underwater speaker system...

Dave

Cromhall - 04/11/12Edit

'Quick few dives at Vobster...' - Dave Wilby, Jon Hauser

After too long a drive with flood waters and snow holding us back, Jon & I eventually made it to the beautiful Vobster Quay Inland Diving Centre.. to find it shut due to two inches of snow, apparently the first time it's closed in four years.

So we embarked on our way to the experience that is Cromhall Diving 'Centre', a 15m hole in the ground surrounded by metal containers full of fat blokes. Quick weight check with new gear, one murky dive and some tangly reels.. Great day.

8 hours, one dive, one newt. Although I did like the newt.

PS: Finished off the day with a nice bit of scallops and chorizo at the generosity of one Andrew Kiddier.

PPS: Andy, sorry about spilling beer in your shoe..

Dave

PK - 22/03/13 to 30/03/13Edit

Location: Mullion Cove (not Porthkerris..)

Attendees: Up to 40ish people

Dates: Friday 22nd- Saturday 30th March 2013

Weather: Cold, windy, hail, occasionally enough sun to cast a shadow..

I’d be the first to admit that this certainly wasn’t the easiest PK (in name only) ever run, but it worked out in the end, albeit with some major shifting of expectations. We left stores on Friday night an acceptable time behind schedule and remarkably made it into the campsite with no fuss except for a mystery tour through Gweek. All was going to plan!

On Saturday morning it was feeling rather windy, with all reports predicting strong easterlies until at least Wednesday we headed down to Mullion Cove, normally calm with the wind from the east. But just as we turned onto the road to Mullion, the van’s gearbox started to fail, until we had to turn it off to get it into first.. On nerve-wrackingly reaching the car park and wandering down to the harbour we saw why nobody was bothered by the van’s tardiness, waves over the breakwater as a result of a westerly swell. That’s it, we’re holing up in the chocolate factory, there have been worse places to hang tight. Scouring the map for other sites and even inland locations (as well as Jez pointing out the locations of Cornish conquests) we ultimately had to call the day and head back to the campsite, the van being towed in an unholy van-van-boats train of destruction (http://goo.gl/6dt07). The rest of the day was spent down at the beach near the campsite, or with many cups of tea planning how we could fit in the training now with only two instructor days left.

Sunday, we headed back to Mullion Cove and chucked in a few sets of instructors and trainees as the swell had died down enough. But after a few cries of “F*** that”, we waited for the tide to come into the harbour a little more with a morale-boosting barbecue. Despite some substantial waves, upper lips were stiffened and a round of first open water dives were completed and a moral victory claimed.

For the next few days, Mullion was calm and we managed to get 8 ocean divers fully qualified, even including a boat dive on Wednesday. Thanks has to be made to Si from Imperial College Underwater Club (who were down for the week too) for agreeing to act as supervision for our assistant instructors after the OWIs headed home on Monday. Si was rewarded with the finest generic blended scotch to be found in Spar..

On Tuesday, we were finally provided with a new van, in which we barely fit all the kit but allowed us to tow the trailer, without lights.. Meaning we could get a boat out on Wednesday and Thursday, on which we could sing such classic sea shanties as “Blow the Man Down” and “Uptown Girl”.

Having got everyone qualified on Wednesday, we were feeling pretty pleased with ourselves and with one more day of guaranteed calm water we sent out some shore divers to have fun on the reef as well as a boat over to the wreck of the Denise with directions gleaned from our very own website. Apprehensive about whether we’d find anything, we lowered our expectations, but on following the directions along a gully we found the first smatterings of metal until we came upon the magnificent boilers, wedged between rocks, standing 4-5 metres high. In fantastic visibility we worked our way around the flattened wreck with a couple of pairs of divers and saw plenty of life. Putting an SMB up from the boilers to allow later groups to find it, we headed up raving about the dive. As soon as we got back to the harbour, we sent out two more groups of divers, who found it a little more currenty.. We were diving off slack, close to springs, but the wreck is certainly diveable in most states.

A little more shore diving concluded our last diving day of the trip due to the strong winds the following day. So, on a PK trip in which we didn’t dive Porthkerris once, a good time was definitely had by the remaining 15ish and a number of ocean divers did get trained.. I think that’s a success?

Dave

Additional TripsEdit

Shoalstone Scallop Harvest - 14/10/12 

Brixham Training Trip - 09/03/13

Louis Sheid - 02/03/2013

Land's End - 03/05/13 to 06/05/13

PK/Manacles - 16/08/13 to 20/08/13

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