Showing posts with label Dive Wimbledon. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dive Wimbledon. Show all posts

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Meet People, Go Places, Do Things

A few years ago Mark and I were strolling along a beautiful sun soaked beach in Thailand after a wonderful snorkeling excursion. I remember talking excitedly about the amazing things I had seen under the surface as well as bemoaning the fact that my lungs would only let me stay down for about forty seconds at a time before demanding I'd return to the surface for another greedy gulp of air. 
When Mark said "We should learn how to scuba dive" I just kind of laughed it off, as back then I mistakenly thought that scuba diving was the reserve for people with plenty of cash to splash. 
However on our return to the UK Mark phoned a few places to inquire about training and costs and after considerable deliberation we decided to sign-up for the PADI Open Water Course with Dive Wimbledon and so the journey to awesomeness began.

As ridiculous as this may sound to others, learning how to scuba dive totally revolutionized my life and it has had a profound effect on my self-confidence. Sometimes something brilliant comes along that makes you glow and grow and for me that something was scuba diving.

  "Meet People, Go Places, Do Things" is the PADI motto and since becoming Divemaster Trainee with Aquatron Dive Centre that has become my sweet life :)

Yesterday Mark had a day off so we jumped in the car and drove to Loch Long. In the morning we dived a site called The Caves and in the afternoon we moved down the shore to a site called The A-Frames
The Caves - Loch Long
Mark and Jen enjoying a post dive coffee.
We've had a fair bit of rain and blustery winds here in Scotland of late but yesterday we had perfect diving weather. In the morning there was barely a ripple on the loch and we even had some blue sky breaking through in the afternoon. The water temperature was a cool 10°C but even after a 45 minute dive I still didn't feel that cold, in other words there is a very good reason why so many fellow divers opt for the Scubapro Everdry 4, it keeps you nice and toasty.
Pre-dive lunch at A-Frames where we managed to gatecrash an army exercise.
The highlight of the day was having our first ever catshark encounter. Sadly we didn't bring the GoPro camera on these dives which was a real shame because the visibility was really quite good but I was brushing up on my navigating skills and we thought it best not to task load ourselves. There will be another encounter I am sure.

I will wrap up with a little medley of pics from the past couple of months.
Now that Mark and I are both Divemasters in training we will be doing a lot more diving with the school, both as little helpers and as students ourselves.
The first rung on the PADI professional ladder looms in the distance but first there is plenty of studying, practicing, perfecting, working and playing to be done :)
The PADI Master Scuba Diver is the highest non-professional certification level in the PADI system of diver education, it has been so much fun getting to this point and I am very much looking forward to getting on the first rung of the PADI professional ladder.
Mark and I did four pool sessions and three open water days with the school this month. We also did the Enriched Air Diver Course and bagged our certs with flying colours, huzzah!
St. Catherines - Loch Fyne with Aquatron Dive Centre
29 Steps with the Open Water students who all did swimmingly.
Mark also did the first part of the Night Diver course at the A-Frames, I tagged along to serve up a hot drink during the surface interval.
St. Catherines with the school last Sunday. It was a bit of a dreich day but it takes more than a bit of rain and wind to wipe the smile off  a Scottish scuba divers face, we are hardcore ;)
Next month is set to be just as busy, kicking off with the Aquatron Big Sale Weekend and Halloween Charity Dance this Saturday. Mark's costume is all sorted but as per usual I am still pondering what get-up to go for, too many choices is my delightful problem.

Have a funderful Halloween peeps :)
Loads of love,

Sunday, 21 July 2013

In Your Arms I Feel Sunshine

It has been a busy wee weekend for Mr & Mrs Mcletchie.
On Friday we enjoyed our daily little picnic in the park, we had wraps...
An arachnophobic would probably have jumped out of their skin to find this little critter crawling on their straw hat but I quite like spiders.
We managed a quick catch up with the geese...
...before going home to get ready for an evening at the theater.
Three of my friends are in The New Actors Company and they were staging a play by Peter Ustinov at the Southwark Playhouse called 'The Moment of Truth'. 
In the intermission Mark and I made a pledge to go and see more plays, we really enjoyed it...
On the way home from Elephant & Castle, a little impromptu posing ensued  ;)
I wore: 70s Russian scarf print maxi frock, 80s Pierre Cardin sandals & Leslie Works button bracelet.
Mark wore: 70s shirt, jeans, DC shoes, watch & man-bag.
Then on Saturday morning we hopped on the train to Wraysbury to go diving.
Although we hooked up with our fabulous pals from Dive Wimbledon the dives we did were unsupervised fun dives. This was a bit of a milestone for us as thus far we've always had either a guide or instructor with us. So we 'planned the dive and dived the plan' as it goes in the PADI manual, it was lots of fun and I have to say that I totally feel like a proper diver now, yay!
Mark had to borrow a pair of fin boots, the Blue-footed Booby springs to mind ;)
We will be continuing our dive education next month by doing the Rescue Diver Course, needless to say I am very excited.
It is tradition to have a plateful of cheesy chips when we dive at Wraysbury, just the picture of them is enough to clog an artery or two.
The dive centre was rammed with people, lots of dive clubs doing courses but we stayed away from the training platforms and explored the less popular spots of the lake. There are plenty of wrecks scattered about and Mark did a grand old job navigating from one to the other through the next to no viz water.
Here's a little funny trailer that Mark made up from some of the clips he took with his GoPro camera ;)
Yesterday it looked as if the weather might be on the turn and in the evening rain clouds were looming above but this morning we woke up to another brilliantly blue sky, so there was nothing more to it...picnic in the park time ;)
Another scorcher is forecast for tomorrow but it looks as if we may be getting some rain next week. I think the plants will be rejoicing when it comes but I for one hope it doesn't linger too long.
Right now I am feeling incredibly upbeat and centered, like I am riding a wave of positive energy.
All of a sudden the inclination to get things done has returned with renewed zeal.
Life is just so much better when it's sunny outside :)

I'll love you and leave you with Moloko, enjoy :)
Hope you've all had a fabulous weekend.
Take care,

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Electric Avenue

I'm wild about "tarty textures" and I have a few frocks made from crinkle effect stretch fabric.
I bought this electric blue beauty on eBay a few years ago...
This is pretty much a dream frock for me as it incorporates several of my obsessions.
I love ostentatious 80s frocks that make no excuses for being bold as brass.
Delightfully sluttish textured stretch, ravishing ruffles, perfectly puffy shoulders and an in-yer-face primary colour to boot, it ticks all my boxes!
Vintage 80s dress, Steve Madden boots, layered tights, FROCKTASIA earrings & necklace, a selection of bangles.
Mark & I went to a wee birthday get together at Mike's pad last night. I met Mike when I went out with Leslie a few weeks back. His awesome band Super Full Moon were playing at The Old  Queens Head where Erik was doing a gig too. Mike is a super talented singer songwriter and all-round lovely chappy and it was really nice to meet some of his fabulous friends and have a wee jam too :)
You can check out Mike's band on ReverbNation HERE, they are brilliant!
Here's Mike and Jozef doing their stuff...
Today I had my Emergency First Response course at Dive Wimbledon.
I was a wee bitty woolly headed after last nights festivities it has to be said but my hero and instructor extraordinaire Jon pulled me though it, he's such a star!
So in a few weeks my certification will come though and we can start planning for the next stage of our diving education which will be the Rescue Diver Course. I'm really excited and I can't wait to get cracking with it. Hopefully we'll be able to do some dives at Wraysbury in out wetsuits before long but the current water temperature is still a bit too much like an arctic enema for my liking.
Here I am looking ultra glamorous & feeling like a bag of old and moldy ass... 
How am I holding that poor plastic baby? It's probably a good thing that I've never spawned!
Hope you are having a grand weekend?!

Here's Skindred to play us out, enjoy ;)
Loads of love,

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Diving into fun

Two posts in one day, how very extravagant of me!
Truth is I'm playing catch-up :)
Yesterday Mark and I went down to Dive Wimbledon to book me in for my Emergency First Response course. 
Mark actually took the EFR instructor course late last year but hasn't actually done any instructing yet so he's going to sit in whilst lovely Jon is doing the instructing to really learn the ropes. 
Completion of the EFR is a prerequisite for the PADI rescue diver course which is next on our diving to-do list.
So now I've got my course material to dive into over the next few weeks, not to mention my very own private, in-house EFR instructor, to help me along should I get that sinking feeling at any time whilst reading the book ;)
After my morning coffee yesterday I popped up to the loft and found yet another bag full of forgotten about frocks.
There are actually still bags up there that I haven't looked inside for yonks, bonkers!
Inside the bag that I brought down was this delightful crimplene creation from St Michael, I believe it's from the sixties...
Vintage 60s floral print crimplene day dress, 20s tail tux jacket, repro Victorian lace-up boots, tights, driving gloves, mohair hat, soapstone & macrame heart earings, Frocktasia horse-brass necklace & Lanta Animal Welfare tote bag.
Although I absolutely love its yummy raspberry colour and ditsy floral print, it is sadly just a little too large for me so it will be joining the cornucopia of fabulous frocks in my market stock, speaking of which...
I'm very pleased to announce that Frocktasia is now booked up to be a part of  the wonderful Dandy Lion family for three more months, yay!
The next market is on Saturday the 6th of April so a preview post is in the pipeline for that, probably just after Easter.
If you are thinking of coming along to peruse my goodies and have any special requests as to what you'd like me to bring on the day, please feel free to e-mail me with any suggestions or requests on
I will of course also be telling you about my fabulous fellow sellers in a pre-market post cause they are BRILLIANT but not all pitches have been confirmed as yet, so that will be done after Easter too :)
Can't wait for this to roll around, it's so much FUN!
Hope you are all having a great week!
Today's tune is by Inner City....BIG FUN, enjoy :)
Loads of love,

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Scuba Dooby Doo!

Mark & I spent last weekend at the National Diving & Activity Centre to finish off our last two diving speciality courses. 
We took the train from a rammed Paddington on Friday afternoon and arrived in picturesque Chepstow a few hours later. 
We stayed in a wooden wigwam again...Lucky 13 ;)
Here I am...Hello there!
Wearing my outdoorsy clobber :)
Our awesome instructor Andy & his lovely wife Lesley also arrived on Friday night, so we all met up at the cafe/bar for some grub and chattery.
Then it was off to bed, to catch some Z's before Saturdays Wreck diving extravaganza. 
Saturday morning...
It was a little bit nippy but after a "full English breakfast" minus the meaty stuff I felt more than ready to brave the water.
Dive Wimbledon, what can I say...
I'm so chuffed that we came across these guys, they have been awesome all the way!
I can't believe that less than ten months ago I had never even breathed underwater, now I can navigate a course in very poor visibility, I can hover and control my buoyancy by lung capacity, I can lay a line and penetrate a wreck and I feel like a proficient diver.
Never in a million years did I think that I'd end up feeling so fired up about diving.
When we did our open water course last February I thought that would be as far as I'd want to take it but after our very first dive in the Red Sea I knew that I wanted to go further. 
I wanted to improve my underwater skills and also be able to dive deeper than the 18 meters you're allowed to as an open water diver.
So we signed up for five specialities; Dry suit, Navigation, Peak Performance Buoyancy (PPB), Wreck and Deep and we got our Advanced Open Water Diver certificate included in the price.
Here are our fellow students gearing up for the wreck diving on Saturday...
We did three dives and our wreck was a single decker bus.
1. Surveying the wreck and map any hazards and points of interest.
2. Lay a line outside the wreck, then follow the line back whilst closing your eyes, then retrieving the line.
3. Penetration dive, lay a line inside the wreck and retrieve the line.
Both Mark and I did really well and managed to bag our wreck certs, yay!
This is how happy and contented you look after a days diving... 
In the evening the whole crew amassed at the cafe/bar for dinner, drinks and much chin-wagging.
At ten I called it a day and snuck away for a rendezvous with my sleeping bag.
On Sunday morning there was mist in the air.
Before breakfast there were thin wisps of mist dancing over the water...
After breakfast you could hardly see the quarry for the thick mist soup...
We had more important things on our minds, like gearing up for the days first deep dive...

This was the car park before our first dive...
and when we got back up it looked like this :)
We did our three deep dives to the 'BAE 146 Aircraft' at 27 meters.
1. Navigating a reciprocal heading and looking at what happens to colour and a plastic bottle at depth.
2. Swimming around the aircraft maintaining neutral buoyancy, ascend and preform safety stop where you breathe from your buddy's alternate air-source for a minute.
3. The last dive was a bit of a fun-dive, we descended nearby the jetty and swam out to the aircraft, swam through the aircraft and then went on a short tour around a few of the underwater attractions.  I had brought a garden gnome with me which I planted nearby the Devon Aircraft at 25 meters.
I decided to named him 'Orinoco Browne'...
Orinoco from The Wombles of Wimbledon & Browne is the surname of Awesome Andy our instructor :) 
Happy hubby, the best diving buddy a gal could possibly wish for...

Me (in my gnome hat) and our fabulous fellow students in-between dives...
I had a cracking weekend and I have to say that I feel a little bit sad now that it has all come to an end.
In a few days the postman will bring us our Wreck & Deep cards and then that will be that...until next time ;)
We're already scoping out the rescue diver course for spring and hopefully there will be some warmer water diving on the cards before then. Diving ROCKS!
Before I sign off, I want to show you the awesome new stock that I've added to the shop recently, clicking on the pic will take you to the item... 
Hope you are all doing grand and that life is treating you well :)
Lot's of love,