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<font color='#0000FF'>Wanted to go and do a check out dive with my new gear.  Thanks to YD, even though I am Billy no-mates, I had a choice of buddies –  in Capernwray in January.  Agreed to link up at last with Narkedat50 (James who is much younger than 50 ) and who only lives a few miles from myself and meet Kirky and DaveJ there.
I was diving with “new” hood, gloves, wing, twin 10s, regs, computer, membrane suit and undersuit.
I haven’t dived with wing, twins or membrane before so my ‘risk assessment’ or natural optimism assumed everything would go tits up – suit leak, weighting problems, collapse carrying it all.

In the event all was great, I thought the drysuit was leaking as I waded in on both dives, which was worrying, but in hindsight it must have been the undersuit had ridden up as I donned it and put bare leg against the freezy membrane – not a pleasant feeling.  However, I had no significant problems with the gear, regs fine, suit good – even tho large for my short fat self - managed buoyancy and lugging gear to and from car park no problem - even tho Kirky drives into the car park and turns a sharp left to park by the concrete blocks despite loads of spaces miles nearer the shop and water.

Minor problems were configuration – regs dangling and tangling round other plumbing even tho I thought I had them secured. ( I have invested in bungee necklaces so hopefully that is gone now.  I bought one from Capernwray shop to try – and had one made up today for free with ( cheaper ) air fills from Aqualogistics. )  One of my Poseidon regs felt very uncomfortable – and in fact has caused some damage to the inside of my bottom lip – maybe new mouthpiece will sort this ?   I also felt more conscious of floaty feet, so ankle weights from now on.

The diving itself was surprisingly good, the site was nearly empty and a bracing four degrees.  I had expected to take ages messing about with weights with all the new gear, but simply had taken off eight pounds from my usual and that was it.  At the end of the second dive, I did a proper weight check and we discovered another four pounds off would have been spot-on but I tend to go overweight anyway and had huge amounts of lift available.

James was great, very experienced and supportive.  He was quite happy to bear with my experimentation was ready to provide help and advise and kept himself watching and nearby on the first dive – which I led.  We went in off the beach, made sure I could both float and sink at will, then took off.  To the six metre platform trying buoyancy and both regs.  Turn left, drop down the wall, past Gypsy Moth, through the oil-rig container to African Queen, Podsnap ,then just swim following a wall.  Eventually, completely lost, I decided to 'pop' up and have a look.  James took charge and we did a stop at 5 metres and surfaced virtually opposite the jetty and started a long surface swim which was a bit of a blow.  Luckily we passed near the new attraction ( the Diving Bell ) and agreed to drop down and have a looksee. I then led back underwater ( which is much much easier ), past the upside down car, transit and other car to the wall near the plaque.  Swimming in mid water, and seeing the car, van etc, from above with good viz was almost abroad-like – James said I should get out more.  We met the roadway near the 6 meter platform and swam in nice and easy – virtually one hour underwater, yet not too cold or tired.  
Second dive, James led and was determined to out-navigate me, ( even tho mine was largely due to luck.)  Walk-in, drop down, Gyspy Moth, Diving Bell. Candida, Orca, torpedoes, Dreamer, horses – again virtually an hour.  Very well done.  If we had only thought about it, we could have included the Censa and done the lot.

Well pleased with my “new” gear, itching for next time.

Many thanks to James and YD for a great day out
 

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The Artist formerly known as 'Kirky'
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Hi billy - nice meeting you and narkedat50 as well. Sorry about the trek from the parking area but we figured that this was part of the learning curve - next time do not listen to us !!!

Glad the gear was OK

Personally I think cape is a great site during Winter when the vis improves and the mobs reduce. You can get up to 20m vis on the far side !!  OK - its not for everybody but it beats not diving at all. If you need buddies in future, contact me or DaveJ via PM. We are planning a couple of trips back to cape, plus Vivian, Dorothea (max 30m) and Trefor pier (max 8m)

Once again - nice meeting up with you.
 

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To dive or not to dive - that's not even an option
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As above, it was a good day out, nice to put a few faces to names, and funny to get the reaction "so you'r Narkedat50!" when I introduced myself to Kirky and DaveJ. Still don't know if that was good or bad??

Thanks to Bill for puting up with my safety stops, not a bad habit, and thanks to Dave who lent me a set of gauges after mine joined my ATX in a hissing contest. Still, can't start the new year without spending money on new kit, it just wouldn't be diving!!

James
 

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Glad you all had a great time, sorry I couldn't make it. Will somebody please pass the Beechams, Lemsips etc? Doh!!
Still I'll make up for it in Dom Rep next week!!
 
 
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