This was the second of the three organised days for the trainee Dive Leaders and it was again going to be a day of two halves.
The morning dives were to be once again at Vivian, with Irfon and Julie pairing up for DO1, David Jones guiding Tracey and Kirk through DO2 and Peter demonstrating Dyfed the fun that can be had with a lifting bag in DO4. Dave H, Hugh and Mike came along for support.
After a de-brief, we all headed over the bridge to Anglesey and to RAF Valley for the Afternoon lectures. We had a rendezvous with Flight commander Calderwood @ 12:30 hrs sharp. All of us made this deadline bar one, poor old Dave H got lost – let’s hope his under water navigation is better!
It was decided to get the oxygen administration lectures out of the way first with Irfon, Peter and David J delivering the practicalities of oxygen use. It was then on to the ‘main course’ and the real reason why we were at RAF Valley – Lee’s ‘Helicopter operations’ lecture. It really was a worth-while talk all round as it was felt that a re-cap was beneficial to the whole audience, instructors and all. The icing on the cake was a walk round one of the five Sea King helicopters that are stationed at the base. Lee was very thorough and informative in his talk about the craft and had an answer to all the questions thrown by the inquisitive divers, including the one about the Carson blades. Just to add cherries, sprinkles and smarties on top of the cake, another craft came into land just as we were about to leave – and yes, it really was Flt Lt Wales at the controls.
A good day, many thanks to Dave J for liaising with Lee and of course to Lee himself for an informative and enjoyable afternoon.
Dive leader training was on the agenda for Brian and Dave H. Irfon taking Brian for DO4 take two and David J taking his namesake for DO6. Brian completed the task of moving and lifting the shot with ease, thanks to a co-operating lifting bag this time. Dave H had trouble with elements of the mask clearing, so this part of the lesson will be re-visited at a later date, the AS ascent went without a hitch.
The water is still a balmy 11 degrees and the viz was a good 6 meters or so making the dive a pleasant one. Good news for the four other DL trainees who will be taking the plunge next week.
It was Carl and Anja’s turn for some Dive Leader training with Anja performing DO1 – DSMB use under the guidance of Irfon whilst Carl and David J undertook the challenges of DO4 – Shot recovery by simple lift, this time, the lifting bag behaved.
A de-brief, a coffee and a surface interval later and we were ready for another dunking, this time Carl and Anja would be paired up for DO6 with Anja leading the exploratory dive. They performed all aspects of the lesson with ease and they are to be commended on holding a 3 minute stop @ 6 whilst performing an AS ascent from 15m. It looked, and it was, as both of them agreed, very, very tiring. A good day.
Again this week there was a flurry of activity with training happening at all four corners of the pool.
Lowri and Dewi and Wyn and Steven progressed to OS2 whilst Carys and Robin took on OS1. Our newest member, Andrew Scott came along and completed his swimming test with style. Also in residence were Mike and a friend who came along for a play with an old ‘twinhose’, whilst David J, Maureen Rhian and her niece came along for a swim. As usual it was off to the Vic for a social.
We met at 9 a.m. at Vivian, the students were Kirk, Dyfed, Brian, Tracey and Julie (although Julie wouldn’t be diving as she had a chest infection) and the instructors were David J, Robin, Peter and Irfon. Mike, Wyn and Dave H also came along for a dive. Kirk and Robin, Dyfed and Peter and Tracey and Irfon paired up for DO1 – DSMB use whilst David J took Brian for DO4 – shot recovery by simple lift, although the simple lift bit didn’t happen due to a miss-behaving lift bag. Julie provided Shore cover.
We then shot over to Tudor lodge for a three hour grind on the lectures and practicals. Peter started off with DT1 – The role of the Dive Leader, then Irfon took over with DT2 Basic Life Support – no pressure then with Julie scrutinising every move! It was left to Dave J to finish the afternoon with DT3 – Oxygen and diving incidents and DT4 – Casualty assessment –again with Julie giving us the benefits of her experiences.
A good start to the programme, thanks to all who attended, especially to the instructors – without them, the day simply wouldn’t have happened. Big thanks also to Carl and Anja for loaning us the use of their breakfast room.
If you’re thinking of coming along for a quiet swim on a Wednesday, think again, the pool was akin to a Jacuzzi with all the bubbles. For once, this wasn’t down to my grumbling bowels, but the sheer number of divers underwater – eight in all and a couple of snorkelers to make ten. Steven and Lowri had started their training with Irfon and Dewi, Wyn was taking Richard, one of Brian’s minions, for a try dive, whilst mother and daughter, Tina and Becky were on an orientation dive.
Robin took our newest member, Catrin, for some snorkelling tuition and supervised her 200m swim. This left David Jones as a solitary swimmer above the waves, A couple provided shore cover, namely Brian who helped with kit fettling and Mike who was dishing out abuse to any Liverpool supporter who happened to walk by. At the pub, we were joined by Carl and Anja and Hugh dropped in en rout from Cardiff to swell the numbers even further. How we mocked and laughed, drank beer and ate chips – a fitting ending to a fruitful evening.
There’s a good crowd out on a Wednesday night these days, and if you haven’t been along yet, there’s always next week!
With winter approaching and the days getting shorter, the general consensus was that a single dive would be the order of the day. We had a very good 7m neap tide and low water was at lunchtime, Ideal. So it was to be Brian, Irfon , Peter and John who met up at Porth Colmon for eleven o’clock for a dive on the Tripods – well, if you’re only doing the one, it’s worth doing a good un.
We weren’t disappointed, the viz was good, about 5m, the sea life was plentiful, congers, crabs and lobsters were abundant, whilst Pete saw a solitary tope, but best of all was the underwater topography –there were steep cliff faces emerging from the sandy bottom @32m, climbing all the way up to 23m, and then deep gullies criss-crossing the outcrops – all covered with mussels – simply stunning.
It all sounds perfect doesn’t it, well I’ll let you into a little secret, it wasn’t all plain sailing. Brian managed to loose his torch, whilst Irfon managed to re-discover Simon’s reef on the way back into port and to finish things off, a collective gaff (we’ll all take the bullet for this one Pete) we lost the locking bolt for the Krypton Factor clamp – I of course would never suggest that we did this on purpose so we would never have to use it again.