So then…. well its been a long time since I started this blog, but lo and behold this is only my second post! Soon to change however. The winter is nearly upon us, the water is becoming prohibitively cold, the winter swells are coming in…. and all I want is a cup of tea. With this change of pace, i’m planning on being a bit more productive in the blog department. Hopefully, once its become a more habitual thing to do, ill carry it on it the summer too!
So, how did this season go? Well we had lots of new freedivers come through the school this year, spearfishermen, total beginners, scuba divers, Royal Marines…. accountants…. It was fun. Lots of new friends made and lots of lessons learned, at both ends of the stick.
Weather wise we had a bit of a nippy one. It was often sunny, but it was very windy, which really put a cap on the sea temperature. Not too bad for one weekend, but im pretty sure i had some level of constant hypothermia! Still, cant complain, its still the best job in the world. We didnt have too much swell though, which meant we could still do plenty of diving on the North coast.
The big news of the season is that we sold our boat and purchased the start of a fleet of kayaks. I got progressively fed up with servicing costs, launch fees, and the niggling fear of breaking down at sea. So in August we sold the boat and got ourselves a couple of spanking new tandem sea kayaks… they are AMAZING! We can dive anywhere now, except perhaps miles out to sea, but who wants to spend all day in the middle of nowhere anyhow? Now we can anchor these little beauties off, drop a dive line off the bow and go diving, no hassles, no stress, and they are so much fun! At first i was worried that they would be a bit tiring to paddle, but that wasnt the case at all. In fact it makes the day a bit more relaxing overall, so I found myself with more energy to dive. Bonus.
The other big news this season was that i took part in a couple of TV shows, which were freediving related. One is to be aired in January or February and follows us teaching a new diver from zero to hero. Its going to be on Channel 4, and as far as im aware its still due to be called ‘The hidden talent show’. I wont spoil the show, but it was full of ups and downs, and was a lot of fun to be involved in. The other show we were asked to help out on was pretty randonm. It was for Jimmy Dohertys (of Jimmys farm fame) new show, and we were asked to see if i could help lower his heartrate on the TV. The purpose of this? To give a bit of a human edge to a piece on Hedgehog hibernation! Left field i know, but again is was fun, and Jimmy did really well to dunk himself in the pond which we had to do it in. Known locally as… wait for it…. ‘The shrieking pit’….NICE!
We finished off the season with a very cool trip to Gozo. For those who are still under the impression that Gozo was a character in the Muppets, its actually an island off Malta. In total there were 11 of us on the trip, including myself, my wife,one of my wife’s best friends, and an assistant instructor.We had people doing certification courses, and people just coming along for a dive so it was a good mix. Talking of good mixes, how about this for a healthy blend of individuals. We had, in no particular order, a Metallurgist/physicist, a professional artist, a GP, an oyster farmer and and oyster farmers girlfriend, a sports lecturer, a radiologist, an electrician and wife, a ballistics engineer and not to forget a Freediving instructor. Im so grateful to everyone who came, as it was loads of fun, and the diving was spectacular. Sometimes in freediving, you have to stop yourself to soak in the beauty that surrounds you, something which happend with monotonous regularity on this trip. The way the light catches a monumental submerged rock, watching the fish dance about the edges of the reef, feeling that stomach churning smack of unexpected vertigo as you swim over a 60m drop off. As one financial company keeps reminding us…. priceless!
Out for now… Dive safe.