Miriam, John and I arrived at Capernwray at 10.05 am so Miriam could do two Sports Diver training dives before the night dives started. John, our chauffeur, was there eagerly anticipating Alan’s arrival in the afternoon so that he could do a SD training dive followed by the ‘experience’ night dive. Neil, Evelyn, Hannah, Lisa, Tom and two little pooches were also there as Neil and Evelyn were taking Hannah in for Ocean Diver training. Fortunately the November day stayed dry and not too cold.
Miriam’s and my first dive was SO2 - use of the (conventional) SMB. Visibility was very poor so we got the chance to use the SMB line as a 'buddy line' for real, and the drill went well. With the first two elements of the second dive, SO3, successfully completed (descend a shot line and use of a distance line) we set off to find the diving bell with our club’s 40th anniversary plaque suspended below. Success! We arrived at the bell and the plaque’s still there. We’d planned to look for the Gnome Garden but time was running out, so we’ll leave that for next time. We returned to the shot line on the big plane to carry out the final two elements of the dive (ascend a shot line and carry out a simulated 3 minutes ‘deco stop’ at 6 metres). A successful day!
Meanwhile Alan, Elaine and Mike arrived, but not Wayne - he’d been held up earning his living! They all did two dives, including a night dive, before approximately 500 open water swimmers were due to wade in for their circuit of Capernwray. They were all raring to go but unfortunately were kept hanging around waiting for their surface rescue canoeists to arrive. The latter had been held up on the M6, which meant each group of approx 100 swimmers set off later than anticipated, resulting in the fireworks also being delayed.
The fireworks display was on the left hand cliff face, facing the ‘reef’ entry point. Unfortunately they were not transported across until the last of the swimmers were out of the water and then they had to be set up, so the anticipated 8.00pm fireworks display didn’t start until 9.10pm and then lasted only 10 minutes (!) so it was after 9.30 before we set off for home. The upside of the delay was that quite a few people didn’t bother waiting so the car park was somewhat less crowded by the end and our departure was easier than it would otherwise have been.
Thank you to John for my lift.