Past Trips - Easter 2001

I WISH I'D KNOWN THAT!!!

If only I knew then what I know now" is a phrase I often hear. It might also sum up my first ever dive trip Easter 2000 when LSAC ran their annual trip to Cornwall. It was a brilliant event all round. Good campsite, well planned trips and plenty of dive camaraderie. Both Ed and I had a marvelous time.

However, there was one phrase that seemed to come around quite a bit; "Oh yes, that happened to me when.............". The only problem was it was always after the event.

The said events were silly little things like; letting go of a weight belt before it was securely in the boat (doh!) or on exit find that your brand new dive knife was no longer on the side of your leg.

Talking to other divers, many had experienced exactly the same things and all offered their belated words of wisdom. So here is mine for all you first time sea divers.

If you value your kit, think about making it secure. By the end of the week I learned a multitude of simple and safe techniques to keep equipment from straying.

Sand gets in everywhere. (Where have I heard that before?) This might seem obvious but some tiny grains made their way into my mask. On my second descent to the Volnay I had trouble clearing it and at the bottom of the rope decided to abandon the dive. Later on, with closer inspection some sand was caught in the seals.

Re. Last story, remember your training in the pool and don't be afraid to call it a day if you're unhappy. Fortunately, Neil found a new buddy at the surface (a bad air fill halted the other) and managed to get a second dive in.

Be prepared for a no-dive day. Take plenty of alternatives. We do have a body-board in the loft and a good strong kite but did we bring them. No! And all I heard was "wished we'd brought our…".

Oh, and a good book is compulsory!

You might well have the constitution of an ox but take some seasick pills. I was relieved to find that some of the most experienced divers do. Perhaps they know that going around in circles trying to get on the site markers can take some stomach-churning time. Neil Brown can give the latest advice but for me it was a brand called "Stugerone".

I sometimes wonder if I should collect from all the dive-leaders and above, their own top ten tips for happy diving. I'm sure it would make valuable and interesting reading! Any offers?

Finally:

Don't let go of your weight belt

until you know it's safe! (doh!)

Have a great time.

Tom

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