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Week 7

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15th - 22nd March 2004

Went boogie-boarding with Fletch, George & Andrea... the beach we went to had a notorious rip, and I found it!  Coming back in took me ages, and I was really knackered!!!  and when I got into the shallower water, a wave crept up behind me and sent me into the washing machine, finishing up by smearing me along the sand...  So I've got a little scar from that one!

My dorm... dorm 6

ooh, is it raining again?


PADI Open Water - Day 1
In The Classroom

Today was the first day of my Diving course...  We spent the whole day in the classroom... watching DVDs and being taught by the lovely Annabel.
I had some nice Fish n Chips for lunch.

It was a nice day outside... but we didn't see much of it :-(

Mick goes in the pool... not sure he wanted to, but he did...

PADI Open Water - Day 2
In the Pool

We spent the whole day in the pool on a glorious sunny day!
First off, the 200m swim followed by the 10 min treading water...  Errrr... I failed that!  Did about 80m before managed to breath in most of the pool water and had to grab the side of the pool... Annabel very nicely let me off the swim so long as I did a 300m snorkel instead...  fair enough!  Never worn a snorkel before, so it was a length or two before I got used to it, but managed it easily...  I got off the treading water completely!!! Don't tell anyone!!!
I spent most of the morning session busting for a piss!  that wasn't very comfortable I tell ya!

It was all good fun tho, and all that breathing underwater stuff was fairly easy...

PADI Open Water - Day 3
Dives 1 & 2

Ooh, No photos on this day!!!

But we went diving just off the Mutton-bird Island...  Not so much to see down there, a few wobbegong sharks and a few other fish, but it was good to get in the ocean with all the gear on...  Swimming around underwater and being able to breath is my kinda swimming... I'm use to swimming on the bottom of the pool... cos I naturally sink!  So have a regulator full of air in my mouth was perfect!!!
We did loads of the drills we were taught the day before in the pool...
When we came up from the first dive, we then did our 'taking off your weight-belt' & 'taking off you BCD' (the inflatable jacket thing with the air tank fixed to it) exercises... this meant we were bobbing up and down in the water for ages...  that when I got sea-sick!  Never been sea-sick till then before... and it's really horrid!
I got back in the boat and spent the whole time wanting to get back to shore!  I totally forgot about the wicked dive I'd just done!
The best way to cure sea sickness is to get back in the water!  so after morning tea, we did... I instantly felt better and enjoyed the second dive loads.
But I had to get out again after that and it was back to feeling horrid again until we reached the harbour.
The first thing I did when I got back to the dive shop was to nip over to the chemists and buy some Kwells... Sea-sickness tablets!  I never wanna feel like that again!!!
Didn't stop me buying fish and chips again tho!!!  Mmmm...

PADI Open Water - Day 4
Dives 3 & 4

Someone had tried to break-in during the night and had mashed up the padlock... so the key didn't work at all...  So out came the angle grinder!!!

We kitted up and loaded the trailer and bus and headed down to the harbour and the boat...

All loaded and we were off!

Joanne, Nick & James... James was my Dive Buddy!

Full speed ahead!!!

That's where we were headed... The South Solitary Island.

Rain on the horizon...

It took about 30 mins to get there on the boat.

I was going to take my camera down with me that day, but not for the first dives, as we had to do all our exercises...

The other group coming up...

What do ya reckon then Nick???

God I look like a plonka... but we all did when out of the water with all that clobber on!

Dive Two!  Down we go!

Jason, our instructor kindly takes our group photo!

A wobbegong shark... they're not really sharks in my book, so I wouldn't get too excited by them... difficult to spot tho aye!

Jason leading us...

My Dive Buddy James!


It'd make a nice fruit bowl...

Fish everywhere... but buggers to photograph...

A starfish!

Some cool little blue fish... the blue is a lot blue-er down there tho!

Back at the mooring rope and it's time to go up...

Wow, nice photo... wish I'd got his fins in it!

The sun shining down on us

Smile guys!

Me again...

Oooh, The ladder!

The second dive was excellent, but all the good fish were on the first dive, where I didn't have my camera... sods law...

We said goodbye to the island, and headed home...

Not before a...
Cheese And Jam Sandwich!!!

I love diving!  It's fun!

The precinct in the town centre of Coffs

A really cool band playing in the Coffs Hotel... They did an excellent version of Duelling Banjos!!!

A wonderful sunset... shame we weren't up at the look out to see it properly!

Our friendly cockroach mate at the BBQ site...

The jetty at night...

Off for another bout of Jetty Jumping!!!

Pete goes in...

Brave sod... diving in head first!!!

Miriam, the good sport... didn't bring her swimmers... that didn't stop her tho!

The harbour at night...

Let's go rope swinging!!!

Pete tries to do a back-flip...


Pete tries again to do a back-flip...

This one was funny, Fletch AND Steve both at the same time... But fletch got dragged off the rope half way!

And again...

And yet again!!!

Give up man!!!

These mad gits decided to swim all the way down the river and out to the jetty...  It really isn't deep... and they landed up wading most of it!

Miriam chases after them after one more jump...

Nice day for jetty jumping I reckon!

Miriam ready to go...

This time she plucks up the courage to dive in head first!!!  But her legs go over on impact and jars her back!  Ouch!!!

"Ow my back!!!"...  All the life-guards rush over to help...

George jumps in...

Another good dive by the Canadian... he was the one that did it the other night...

Pete decides to have a go...  and produces a wonderful belly-flop-ish landing... which didn't hurt at the time... but he had a massive bruise on the leg a few days later!!!  ha ha!

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