Showing posts with label Wraysbury. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Wraysbury. Show all posts

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,

Monday, 17 September 2012

Underwater Love 2.0

My passion for getting dressed up in vintage garb, donning wigs and a face full of slap is pretty well documented here on my blog but this is only one of my many passions.
A more recently added love of mine is diving, no slap & no wigs involved in that.
The attire you don CAN be snazzy, however any sensible diver would choose comfort & fit over style any time.
When keeping yourself comfortable, warm and dry is of paramount importance, looking good takes a backseat.
However saying that I really rather like the action woman silhouette that a snug neoprene wetsuit creates and as for the drysuit it makes me feel a bit like an adventuress about to explore another galaxy, ready to endure all the excitement, adventure and really wild that I will encounter.
We did our PADI open water diver course back in February here in the UK, the water temperature back then was +4 degrees Celsius, it was bitter.
 My life flashed before my eyes several times whilst kneeling on the training platform trying to preform my skill tasks  but I survived to tell the tale and managed to bag my open water diver certification.
This weekend we were going for our advanced open water diver certification and after the diving we did in Egypt I was so much more comfortable below the surface this time around.
On Saturday we went to Wraysbury, which is where we did our open water diver course. 
I have to admit that I was a wee bit apprehensive at first, thinking back on the watery stone cold grave scenario of February but after seeing the lake surrounded by lush leafy trees in the blazing morning sunshine my mind was soon put at ease and I couldn't wait to get in. 
 We did two drysuit dives and one navigation dive. 
One of the drysuit buoyancy skills involved an underwater egg and spoon race, which was hilarious to say the least. 
The navigation dive was crazy. We got lost and had to surface, descend and repeat the skill again. This was because a group of other divers who were doing a search and recovery dive a bit away from us kicked up so much bottom silt that we had virtually zero visibility, it was like swimming through pea soup. 
We will be doing two more navigation dives when we continue with the navigation specialty course at the end of the month and hoping to do a bit of compass practice on land before then. 
On the Sunday we were doing our deep, wreck and PPB dives at the national dive and activity centre outside Chepstow. 
So after our day at Wraysbury we went straight to Victoria to catch a coach to Bristol. 
We got there just before eleven at night so we had to take an excruciatingly expensive taxi "to" the dive center. 
The taxi driver didn't know where the dive center was so hubby and I jumped out and walked around for half an hour to find it, just as well Mark had stuffed a couple of torches in the bag cause it was pitch black...all good fun though. 
We slept in one of the wooden wigwams on the NDAC site, they are only £40 a night for two people but you have to bring your own sleeping bag.
In the morning the other Dive Wimbledon crew arrived and after brekkie we kitted up for our three training dives.
The first dive I was a little bit apprehensive about because it was the deep diver one but after the briefing I chilled out for a moment away from everybody else and tried to visualize doing the dive before actually doing it and that really calmed me down. We went down to 27 meters and swam around an aircraft at the bottom a few times, ascended and preformed the all important safety stop  at five meters for three minutes and then surfaced. I was a bit scared that I would freak at the bottom cause ascending rapidly from that depth is potentially fatal but I was surprisingly calm throughout the entire dive.
The second dive was the wreck dive and we went down to explore a double decker bus. We didn't go inside the wreck but when we do our wreck specialty dive there will be a wreck penetration option, hubby is keen but I'm not that bothered about going inside stuff, I'm happy poking my head in to have a look but who knows as my skills get progressively better I may be looking for further challenges?
The third dive was delayed because unfortunately a couple of divers had an accident on a deep dive (40 meters) and had to be taken away in helicopter to a recompression chamber. It certainly puts things into perspective and makes me want to adhere to safe diving practices rigorously and checking my equipment prior to diving even more closely. The most important thing though is to keep calm, yes, of course things can go wrong but panicking makes things a whole lot worse and as you never dive alone there is almost always a way of dealing with an emergency without bolting to the surface. I panicked back in February whilst trying to perform the mask remove and replace task and had to be brought back up to the surface by my instructor, he held me down so that I wouldn't bolt and then slowly brought me up whilst trying to keep me calm, what a star!
The third dive of the day was a peak performance buoyancy dive or PPB as it's called in diver circles. We descended to a training table did a bit of hoovering and then swam back to the exit point exploring the area, we swam around a troop carrier maintaining neutral buoyancy and spotted several gnomes. You can bring your own gnome and add to the family and I am definitely doing that next time we go.
After the last dive I was so shattered I could hardly get back up steps of the pier, exhausted but very happy and guess what I jumped in as a open water diver and emerged as an advanced open water diver...huzzah!
An absolutely fabulous weekend was had and I can't wait to get cracking on the four specialty courses that we've got left, diving is so much fun and I love it!
If anyone in the London area is thinking of learning how to dive I couldn't recommend Dive Wimbledon highly enough, the instructors are ace, they are very engaging teachers, meticulously organized and make you feel very safe when you are diving.
Here's a few snapshots from our awesome weekend :)
I hope from the bottom of my heart that the divers involved in the accident  yesterday pulled though and will have a speedy recovery.
Have a great week y'all!
Lot's of love,