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Ocean Diver training 2016

Diving – The cement pond

Executive summary – We came, we dived, we didn’t urinate in the pool. 3rd September 2016

Island Skool was the scene for this seasons intake of brave Ocean divers, testing their metal against the unfathomable depths of the metric pool. Early birds were rewarded with tales of the gymnastic Paul Bayne failing to land a promising triple Salchow with half somersault and pike from his queen sized divan onto an unfortunately placed piece of lego. Paul was unable to hold the landing, stumbling into a tin bath and frightening the pigeons cooing on his window ledge. If only he had realized an ice skating twirl is incompatible with busting a move in gymnastics, he could have scored so much higher. We never managed to determine what he was wearing at the time, but it is suspected he was in legwarmers, a silk cape, wearing an oven glove. He did have a bad boy limp for several months after the injury, apparently. “Haddaway and Sh1te man, were dnya get yer limp man”.” Doon the pit, the toonal collapsed on me foot like”.“ Yeh Lyin Billy Elliot poofta, yer mam told us how, tootoo Boy”.

Lessons started after a brisk swim up and down and a lesson on how to kit up and check equipment. The correct method of a three points of contact entry to the pool was made, whilst some of the more advanced divers fell into the water. Early learning began with putting on some manky masks and snorkels, along with quality kit. Before long heads were underwater, masks were steamed up, filled with water, breathing was practiced and coughing began. Snorkel training was demonstrated by our resident free diver, Chesty Cath Chu. The duck dive - quack indeed - never has the elegance of the pike and streamlined plummet been demonstrated so perfectly. People have said they have seen a sofa duck dive in a canal more elegantly, but I say no. This is a lady who can hold her breath for several minutes, her boyfriend must be so proud and pleased…

Lessons progressed, air in air out. Meanwhile the qualified lay-abouts were swimming about with no mask on, no fins, no BCD. You name it, they took it off. Then it happened, the myth was busted. It may have been the orangeness, or the bad taste, or the annoyance of naff kit, but you can swim backwards in spilt fins. If any straight blade dive bore waffles about flat fins, you can only swim backwards in flat fins, blah blah, world war 2, Noah had a pair, fiddledy fin. Say Nay, on the 3rd September split fins were used to propel a diver, in a short wet suit, backwards in controlled conditions. Stick that in your pipe and get back to the snug.

We shared the pool with the Octoputt Club, not to be confused with the Octonauts, who are fictional cartoon characters. This looked like hard work, if asked, the answer in no. More skills and lessons were demonstrated and practiced. The session ended with a communal free flow air breathing exercise. All survived and we were finished by 1230. Home for tea and crumpet and lashing of strawberry jam. More training next week?!?! Thank you students, helpers and especially the trainers for making it a good day.

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