Thursday, July 28, 2011

49 today

I thought I would escape the aging process but it happened anyway.

Here's the first grey hair!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Diver Training

The Dumfries Sub Aqua Club was at Capernwray Dive Centre on Sunday for training.  It was a glorious day out!  We had blue skies, warm sun and for once it wasn't overcrowded at this particular dive site!  It is usually heaving with other divers . . . perhaps it is because of the struggling economic conditions that there are fewer divers.
Lovely Weronika
One of our club members, Weronika was having her first open water dive.  She managed beautifully!  I am slightly envious that she is just about to turn 18 and is already a diver!  I didn't start diving until I was more than twice her age!  I was her instructor for the day.  It was only my second time as an instructor in open water.  I was being carefully monitored by the Branch Diving Officer to ensure I didn't screw up her training. 
Weronika getting geared up to go!
The manufacturers of Suunto dive computers had a tent set up at the dive site today.  Our group was one of the first groups to arrive.  Because we were in no hurry, I went down to the tent to see what they were promoting.  It turns out that they were handing out their new dive computers for people to use for the day. (Yes please!)  I got to use the new Suunto Vyper Air.  I'm telling you that it is a very nice dive computer indeed! I especially liked the display of the dive profile afterward with the time and temperature shown as I scrolled through the dive minute by minute.
Vyper Air on my arm!

The trout in this flooded quarry seemed to be bolder than usual and certainly posed for photographs much better than they have in the past.
Alex punching a trout

Trout swam right up to my mask and didn't care if they bumped me.  The perch just sort of hung out at the bottom and looked around by our fins to see if we stirred up anything tasty for them.

The roach just looked bored by the whole ordeal.


On one of the training platforms - there is a deck chair - new divers can pose for a photo.

Diving has got to be fun and when a person is going through the training, it can seem like it is just a long string of assessments and drills. 
It is because we do this for fun that we go in and out airplanes, and horse around on the boats that have been sunk at this training facility.

Most of us managed to get three dives squeezed into the afternoon.  Even though the diving itself isn't strenuous, hauling equipment and tanks around can be tiring.  We were all ready to go home by the end of that last dive.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Battle of Duckweed

The duckweed in our pond keeps trying to reintroduce itself.  I have a zero tolerance policy with duck weed.  I will do a visual check of the pond and remove every single little green fleck of pond weed that I see.  I've been doing this since last year.  I don't know where the stuff is coming from.  Every week there are between 5 and 20 little bits to remove.

The duck weed may have had a benefit.  I shaded the water and inhibited the growth of a new pond pest - blanket weed.   Sheesh!

I was scooping out the blanket weed and discovered that the newts have been busy!

Baby newts!

I have to be very gentle and check the blanket weed carefully.  These very small and delicate newt babies are living in there.

That little guy went straight back in the pond and wiggled away.  No harm was done to any newtlings during the production of this blog entry.