Its been a couple of weeksnow since I’ve done any real activities during the school holidays. Did some Kayaking on Wednesday but nothing else after I injured myself playing squash. Still got some knee, neck and arm pain.
I haven’t been SCUBA diving for quite a few years now and decided this summer was time to get back in the water again or I probably never would. Today was the day. I had some concerns:
Would my recent injuries prevent me from diving? No.
Would they have a wetsuit big enough for me as I’ve put on a lot of weight since my last dive? Yes thankfully and bigger!
Could I still use my own equipment, bought a while ago, but hardly ever used? Yes, but need to get some kit serviced.
Would I bottle it entirely? No, but I nearly turned the car around and went home.
Would I make a complete twat of myself? Not quite although I certainly need lots more practice in the water.
Arrived at Wraysbury Dive Centre at about 9.30 and was met with a couple of younger guys called Andrew and Jimmy who would be my instructors for the morning. Throughout the morning they helped to put me at ease and were very patient with me. They quickly found me a wetsuit that fitted fine. I tried my gear on. The BCD just fits me. Any more weight and it wont! We used a mix of my equipment and theirs. In total, I was there for about 3 hours during which they demonstrated and then tested my ability to practice basic SCUBA skills such as buoyancy control, mask clear, buddy breathing, regulator retrieval, assembly of gear etc. After this they gave me short tour of part of the lake to practice my diving and then back to dry land. Really enjoyed it. Wasn’t particularly graceful in the water and need lots of practice to get comfortable again. Not sure if I’ve got my weights properly sorted/balance yet just for me.
Dive time was about 32 minutes and it was nice to get a recent entry in my dive log book. The lake is quite murky with visibility of 5-6M. There are some sunken vehicles to explore at various points, fish and American red crayfish everywhere. The instructor tried to get me to hold one of them. I managed to touch its shell but had no intention of getting up close and personal with anything that has more legs than me and pincers to boot.
The guys were very patient with me. I had one to one attention and no else was diving at the time so made me a little less self conscious than I might have been otherwise. Have left my Suunto dive computer with them for a service and booked a new diver package for the 21st for some more practice with a buddy for hire (cost £50).
One of the problems for me to dive is that you need a buddy and all my family and friends cant dive, are not interested in diving and/or cant swim and don’t like water. Hopefully I can find a more permanent buddy at Wraysbury and continue diving through the year. I would also like to take one of my underwater cameras with me and try to get some footage next time perhaps?
The SCUBA review cost £65 and for 3 hours of tuition, equipment and patience, I think this is great value for money. Looking forward to the 21st now and some more practice.