Saturday saw 17 of us trot down the road to Holborough Lakes for a day of training. There were 5 Ocean Diver trainees, 4 Sports Diver trainees, 6 instructors and Sally who came along simply to get some dives in (but ended up joining in with the SD trainees, doing rescue skills), and a guest appearance was put in by long-lost diver and former Club Treasurer Anna.
Brett had organised the day into 4 sessions. First, OD trainees got in the water to do the basic skills (mask clearance, DV retrieval etc) that they’d already practiced in the pool, while SD trainees were shown how to use a compass in a dry practical with Kim. The remaining 3 sessions alternated wet and dry, with OD trainees (Bjorn, Grant, Nav, Raj and Tom) ticking off various skills, and SD trainees getting familiar with Resusci Annie and her terrifying clicking sternum.
The 2 SD dives (sessions 2 and 4) were eventful due to the very bad visibility. The lake was especially busy with several clubs and schools present that morning, resulting in rather a lot of silt being kicked up and visibility ranging from practically zero to a metre or 2 towards the far end of the lake. This meant repeated loss of buddy/instructor/orientation, but Adam and Victor managed a successful compass navigation from a platform to a wreck, and all SD trainees (including Alan and Elaine, now in re-tailored drysuits) completed a Controlled Buoyant Lift followed by a very tiring tow with rescue breaths. We were knackered, yet inspired by Brett’s rousing “you’ve-got-it-easy-I-had-to-tow-Ross-in-a-howling-gale-in-the-Atlantic-whilst-being-attacked-by-albatrosses-and-all-I’d-had-for-lunch-was-a-handful-of-hot-gravel” speech.
It rained, but as it was warm and not windy, it was tolerable, although our kit got pretty muddy. We were all packed up and (vehicle problems aside) ready to go at 2.30pm.
Big thanks to the instructors – Kim, Brett, Mariette, Lars, Ed and Steve – for their patience and for giving up their Saturday for a murky but fun day out in Kent.