The first trip of the season has to be done – it’s a rite of passage where you are allowed to get away with all sorts of things without being laughed at too much. It’s the sort of trip where you expect poor visibility, coldness, darkness, calamity and generally no fish, but you go anyway because if you missed it, you couldn’t claim to have done your “first trip of the season” PADI speciality for a mere £40. ‘First Trip of the Season 2014’ did not disappoint, as I will explain.
It is interesting that Club day trips are rarely day trips any more, with most of the group heading up the A1 after work, choosing their destination from Seahouse’s delightful range of accommodation on the basis of how much heat and hot water deprivation they were prepared to cope with. Whilst most chose to luxuriate in B&Bs, the usual pikeys were to be found loitering at the end of the car park. Despite a slightly dubious curry, maybe one too many beers, and a lot of in-bed giggling, at 8am fairly precisely we were all assembled on the harbour. At 9am we were still there. Someone was reconstructing their regulators from bits of rubbish in the boot of their car, someone else was trying to figure out how they could attach their tank to their body without a BCD, and the worst trip secretary ever was trying to construct forgotten log sheets from scraps of paper and sellotape. When we eventually set off we did have a full complement of divers, with a full set of kit, and a sort of log sheet, such is the ingenuity of the Club and the determination to ensure no one gets left out of the rite of passage.
The “sods law” rule applies to many sports – if you are a cyclist, the direction of the wind changes the minute you get to the top of the hill, if you are a diver it is always flat calm the day before you dive. So on Saturday, the previously pancake-like sea looked like a Mr Whippy, the boat rolled, the curry returned, the kit fell off the benches and the words “why do we do this” echoed around the deck. We all jumped in and a couple jumped out again, a couple separated (possibly for ever), weights went plummeting down into the depths, SMBs went floating off into the distance. It was all good fun – and yes, it was freezing, the visibility was pants and two of us saw a lobster. But if you’ve missed this trip – you’ve missed ‘the first dive of the season’ and you’ve therefore missed something special. Nothing else really compares. Roll on the second dive of the season….anyone want to be a better trip sec?
Thanks to Steve Frees, Steve Stapleton, Andy Crowther, Johny Rangley, Tim Saville, Liz Saville, Julie Price, Barry Shaw, Stacey Stella, Terry Manton, Sheelagh Kay, Phil Barber, Brad and Jake Womack, Nicholas Topham, Graham Watters and of course me, for a great trip.