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Ok, it finally happened.  A small, but representative "Southern" contingent got their arses into gear and dived in the same place at the same time!!

Seeing as no-one else has so far volunteered a quick summary here goes....

The culprits were Lou & Caroline, Matt & son Adam, Andy P, Mark Chase and a threesome headed by Paul Steele (Steelemonkey on D-Net).

Myself and Caroline comprised the advance party, arriving at Stoney at a creditable 7.45am to bag a place in the queue for the bottom carpark.  And thus Camp Delilah was set up.  The Volvo parked with boot open became base camp for all the lazy gits who turned up an hour and a half later to find they were up in the top park.  Amazing how many bags and stuff she could fit in (if you own the weight that was left in her then message me and we can arrange a return...somehow), plus damp divers perched on her tailgate - her bum is now the only clean part of her thanks to all that lovely Stoney water!

Mark Chase was the last to arrive and hence missed the first dive.  Split into two teams with Matt & Adam doing some drysuit practise ont he 6m ledge, and myself, Caroline and Andy off to the 20m ledge.  Andy wanted to play with his camera (the results of which he has promised to post here) so he kindly offered to follow me.  Cheers.  So, no pressure at all then....there is poor little me having to lead not only buddy, but Andy (who is way more experienced) around, on our 6th ever drysuit dive, on our 3rd visit to Stoney and in what turned out to be not the best viz.  I opted for the "safe" navigation option which is landmark based and involves visiting almost everthing on the 6 & 20m shelves!  A bit of right to the viscount, down the cliff, that-ish way to the edge and then left to the coach etc etc etc.  Did find everything though - I was quite chuffed!  Quick swimthrough on the Stanegarth and Andy "Lord Lichfield" P giving it some with his camera, and then up nice amd slowly for a swimming safety stop and an exit.  The stress and cold meant I went through my air about twice as quickly as usual - apologies Andy - but my hands were feeling a bit cold by then anyway.

Out and found a 3hr wait for fills as one compressor had gone down and the other was on trickle - bollocks - never mind, good company to pass the time with so we got the bottles in the queue and Andy went off the find Mark.

Mark found and Andy and he buddied for the second dive.  Over the long SI it was discovered that Adam's moans at being cold were not down to teenage sulkiness - he was carrying about 20 litres of Stoney in his drysuit boots and legs - he had one heck of a leak in in suit and had been sat for about an hour without realising the liquid nature of his  socks!  Bless him, and all credit to him, he dried off best he could and went for a second dip!  All respect and title of Hero of the Day!

Mark & Andy appeared back from their second dive before the rest of us got in so they were given the onerous task of bagging a table in the bar and sorting out Andy's photies on his laptop so we could reap the instant gratification of the digital age.

This they did very well and we all gathered for a post dive SHANDY - no, really, I was driving, I did have a shandy.  Andy made us all sick as parrots with his talk of the trip he is planning for Truk & Bikini, we viewed the slide show and generally rounded off what was a very nice pootle.

It was great to meet some of the guys, we both enjoyed the day immensely and look forward to many future dives with the YD gang.  Thanks to all who came for making the day, and see you sometime soon (Matt- we might be there on Saturday so keep an eye open!)
 

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Hey Lou, hows it going.

I have to say to all concerned, Lou's a star, not only did she hit just about everything that Stoney has to offer, they both put up with me tagging along for the ride being irritating with a camera. I sent an e-mail to Heads-up but heard nowt so far> Heads-up, if you read this, got a few pickies, but no idea how to get them up.

Thanks for a fun day.

Andrew
 

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Hi Andy - the camera was't irritating - it was great to get some snaps!  Just hope you didn't mind the whistle-stop tour and being lumped with two lesser experienced divers.

Looking forward to seeing the photos again.

Cheers

Lou & Caroline
 

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Hey Lou,

A very big thanks for submitting the (very well written & witty) report of the 'Southern Contingent's' Troop Gig!! 3 hours for a fill!! Gotta love that - NOT!

AndyP, look forward to seeing the photies of the day out and finally putting some names to faces. Actually, on that note, we will be adding a section of pics on here called 'Meet the Mods', just so everyone can finally see our ugly mugs and get to see just who to aim their abuse at ;) The ones of Davey Willo tied to the 'Felching Stool' are only just this side of pornography, but I think the censors will allow them.

And I've given Jay all my pics from my recent gig in the Maldives - so they should be up on the Gallery SOON!!!

Now that the Shandy Contingent of YD has proved its mettle, we shall have to pick an equi-distant dive site for a full hook-up to include as many of the Troop as can make it - say, Trearrdur Bay in Anglesey??

Thanks again Lou, look forward to reading any other dive reports on this evidence.
 

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Lou,

Thanks for the update and so sorry I could not meet you all,  I had mentioned to Matt that I was planning to go.  Unfortunatly I have been feeling sorry for myself due to a cold/flu over christmas and missed 2 oportunities to dive (Bugger !).

Let me know if the Southern lot are planning to meet up again in the near future and maybe we could all meet up at the new national dive centre in Chepstow when it opens (Northern contingent as well
).

So Bren,  reckon you can get us a chance of a pre opening splash to check the place out


Darren
 

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The Artist formerly known as 'Kirky'
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Did somebody mention Anglesey
- include me in (date permitting of course)
 

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Just not enough dive time.
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Lou, good write-up, yes Adam was a hero but it just re-inforced my opinion of him. I had told him that he could call the dive at any time for whatever reason and he did that about 15mins into the dive so that re-inforced his belief I meant it, which is what any buddy team should agree to regardless of age/experience etc. I think the weight (2lb yellow jobby?) was ours and I need to let you have your clip back, so if you are there on Saturday maybe we can swap the bits then. You seem to have become a real Stoney nut, what time you getting there, can I drop my stuff off again (only joking) I need to be there for 9 this time so I might even make the bottom car park. Adams not coming, he's working, so I'll have his tank and probably not need a fill this time fortunately.
Matt
 

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Hey guys, if you decide to do the new dive thingy at Chepstow I'll be up for it.  Having family (of the in-laws variety) down that way it should be a fairly easy do for me.  And if the timing is right I might even be able to watch the mighty Gloucester from the comforts of The Shed (C'mon you GLOS).
 

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Excellent report Lou, I'm really looking forward to these piccy's.. well done and thanks for the read.

All the best
Dave. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
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Yep, 2lb yellow jobby.  Thought it was yours, but thought we had better check because I didn't pay too much attention to what was going in and out of Delilah.

We'll keep an eye out.  We shall try to be there at about 7.30 again (we can do that by getting up at the same time that we do for work, so it isn't too painful).  If you do get stuck up the top you can drop your stuff again if you want!

Our Rescue Diver course is 18-20 Jan so we are just trying to do as much practise as we can with the drysuits before then.  Want to be completely confident in our own bouyancy control before we try and control someone elses, so it is this Sat, and then next Sat too, with the course starting the following Friday.  Bit nervous to tell the truth, but we have decided to go for it rather than put it off another month.

Stoney is just so handy for this type of thing.  We can practise away without waves, surge, wind, tides etc to worry about, and it is 3 times closer than the sea.  No brainer really.

Can't wait to get back in the sea though....bit bored of perch.
 

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Glad to hear you and Caroline are about to do your Rescue Diver course, Lou. EVERYBODY should do it. You'll not only learn to rescue a diver in trouble but also improve your own skills. A dive-school owner friend of mine says you're not a real dive until you have your own kit and have done the RD course. Good luck with the course!
 

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Hello Jhon,
           This is SSAC basic training. SSAC does not even get recognised in the big-bad world. As part of our training(Budgy will testify) we NEED to rescue an unconcious diver from 20mtrs. We buddy-breath from 15mtrs, and yet, we are still not recognised as educated divers. This is the equivelant of the PADDY Rescue/Dive Master, as our basic training. When I say basic, I mean basic.
 

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Hi Peter,
I'm not really familiar with the SSAC or BSAC system but the CMAS/Swedish Sportdiving Federation system also includes rescue training in the entry level course. I won't argue the pros and cons of the different organisations' training (I have experience of both PADI, up to DM level, and CMAS, Basic Nitrox ) but just point out that they have different basic philosophies, PADI chosing to divide the training into smaller portions. Both systems work well, in my opinion, but a disadvantage of the PADI system is that it relies on everybody going all the way up the ladder to Rescue Diver, which unfortunately doesn't happen in reality. Here in Gothenburg, only between 50 and 70% contine from Open Water to Advanced Open Water and even fewer to Rescue Diver. The schools have tried various ways to improve the statistics, for example by offering OW divers a good discount if they do the AOW course within a certain time limit, but they haven't been very succesful. It seems particularly difficult to get girls/women to do the RD course as it has unfortunately got a macho stamp. Anyone who has done the course wil tell you it is hard work but it is certainly within the capabilities of any normally healthy and fit woman. I have said on a Swedish diver's forum that I believe PADI need to look at ways of solving this problem, either by finding ways to motivate students to continue their training or by including the important parts of the AOW course and basic rescue training in the entry level course. The fact that we only had one death in 2001 and 4 in 2002 (with an estimated half a million dives per year) shows that there is nothing basically wrong with the training, though (most Swedish divers are PADI trained).
 

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Just not enough dive time.
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Yeah good pickies, no I wasnt going for his arse!
He's giggling as usual, probably cos he's just found out he needs another bit of kit and guessed who's going to pay for it.
Cheers AndyP, nice photos, you shouldnt have told the Northerners that the fish are plastic though.
Matt
 

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OK, Now I'm hurt

The fish are real, just ask Mark, he knew exactly where to find the Pike and took us straight(ish) there

Andrew
 

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Well in guys and gals - looks like a top day out and top photies.

Hey Mark, Matt, Adam and Andy, think yourselves lucky that you get to go diving with a pair of honeys like Lou and Caroline!! I've just spent all weekend divng with the Lesser-spotted Willo and, on Saturday, and by appointment only, the Greater-crested Stevie W!! ;)

We MUST do this ALL TOGETHER somewhere SOON!!! Diving has to be the only aspect of life where it's acceptable to say to a bunch of like-minded people: "OK, let's meet and get wet", and not get either filled-in or your face slapped.

I know, we could call it a YD UK Conference, if it'll lend it gravitas, and give ourselves and excuse to get together!
 

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I don't know about Ole Gunner, but the likeness with Prince William is almost spooky. I'm glad to finally put a couple of faces to names though. Sorry Matt, I thought wrong, you're much uglier in real life than I could have possibly imagined. Good photos though!!
  Is Stoney always that busy? Does this not take away the feeling of boldly going?

Peter
 

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I didnt want to mention that his Mum & I think he looks like Price William so as not to influence others but he does you are right. Does a really good impression of him as well, now there's a thought. The camera caught me at a bad angle really, I'm much better looking, ask Lou she nearly crashed her car as I got out of my weezle on Saturday last!
I could tell she was mighty impressed with my tanned lithe body.
Stoney was quiet that weekend you should see it when its really buzzin. Plenty of spare occy's to grab anyway, who needs a close fitting buddy.
Catch u later peeps
Matt
 
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