Issue 10 September 2007
|Special point of interest:||
SSCOTLAND TRIP 2 - 2007 - By Haribo Noakes
Welcome to new members Paul Lathbury & Tony
Items for Sale:
Hi dudes, grab yourselves a stiff drink and enjoy the report on Scotland
trip number two. No D.O. on this one. Did they behave themselves? Did
they Bu**ery. Incidentally, this Al did not sink the boat. I'll come to
The event started, for some of us at least at Glencoe, where B and B was the order of the day or rather night. And so was beer and din-dins at the Clackhaig.
On to Skye the next morning stopping briefly at Portree for any items we had forgot, posting them into any holes we could find in a bulging Starbug's hold. Pardon? Yes, there was beer inside, barrel and cans. Not to mention wine. You have to be prepared, in case of being blown off. We located Alan at Uig, went for a glass of beer in the local and made plans for next days diving. Or at least some jammy wretches did. I know that’s polite for me but Lin edits any expletives. She also implied that the last letter was too long. Cob**rs!
Have you noticed Lin always finds the most wicked places to stay? No? Neither have I, only joking its good for morale. The house, a new one for us was no exception, the "dogs wotsits" already. Lots of room for beer, food, cooking and drinking. However it was supposed to sleep ten and there were 13 of us. Fifteen if you count the two guests, the Tamel brothers, Sidney and Bud. Mattresses covered every square inch of available floor space along with blow up beds and blow up dolls. No, that was not lie mode, it was artistic licence. I'm not saying what kind of artist through. Speaking of which, no sooner had the beer hit the floor that the infamous "Black Wid…" sorry "Black Russians" put in an appearance. Quite a lot of fruit, several bottles of wine along with unspeakable quantities of vodka and southern comfort (sorry Paul) were skilfully and drunkenly employed to formulate the most astoundingly delicious and colourful beverages imaginable. Sadly I have had to hand over my "crown" to one of them. Wendy is now "Curry Queen" What do you mean hooray? Cheek!
Does this sound like a recipe for disaster? Not at all (that was lie mode). Things started to go boobies upwards when someone decided that it would be no problem for the kids i.e. Kathryn, Victoria, Ashley and George to go for an exploratory walk just before dark. Bad move, I was just in the process of finding myself a cupboard to sleep in when I noticed activity outside involving lights. What's up I enquired, "the kids are lost" was the reply. "Excellent", Helen looked at me. "No, No, Not excellent. Bad News, Bad News". Having crossed Helen once before it was time to tread carefully. That was an accident as well. You don't believe me do you? It was just that I got mixed up with scallops and garlic. Perfectly innocently I gave Helen a whole fried garlic glove to try; thinking it was a scallop. She didn't buy the accident excuse and accused me of going into lie mode again, whilst chasing me and threatening all kinds of nasties. Thankfully we reached an agreement. I behave. Asking a lot perhaps but the bonus was, I got to keep all vital organs and extremities. Poor kids! Coastguard was mentioned. Time for me to hide. Well I have this allergy to helicopters you understand. Where could they be? Well not in my cupboard, so I was off to bed.
Next morning I looked outside for signs of body parts but there were none. Either the little bug…. I mean little darlings were still missing or had been found and forgiven. Fortunately the latter was the case. Some locals had rescued them from a very dicey area in total darkness. We were all grateful and relieved. Well we would had to do all the washing up ourselves.
Would this lot be safe diving? Good question, time to find out. On the Peregrine, Alan suggested a couple of relatively shallow dives to start off with, which I thought a bit strange. He was however looking a bit tired and I concluded that he was hoping for a feast of scallops, which he has assured us is the secret of a Scotsman's virility. We Englishmen rely on real ale and a wife with a bad memory or a sense of humour, preferably both. Sidney at this time offered to be marshal. You remember, Sid Tamel. That’s right. Pickings were slim on the first couple of dives. But! Bonus. Trodday cave was for the first time, since a seal a couple of years back, tried to eat Phil, Chris and Clive, on the cards. Sid's brother Bud joined us; I mean them on this dive. You got it, Bud Tamel. A nice pleasant, different kind of dive. So I was told you understand. Bud enjoyed it. Only one thing for it. Back to base for some neck oil and a serious greedy. The "little uns" were confined to barracks. The "Black Russians" were beyond control.
The second days diving was interesting. Picture the scene at Graddich no less. Everyone waiting for slack kitted up except for me. Well I was hiding away in the loo from preying helicopters. They don't need much of an excuse you know to have you away. Anyroadup, slack didn't materialise. It would appear that slack on neaps is different to slack on springs. I wonder if Scotsmen have "bulls**t mode" because later we pursued a "False Killer Whale" which was heavily disguised as a Minky. Quickly transferring our butts to Fladder for a dive and a drop of fishing while we waited for another slack. George and Ashley made sure we were all right for tea with Pollock. Alan claimed that catching vast quantities of huge fish was the cause of his hernia. Yeh right.
Slack did arrive at last and Sid offered to marshal. Everyone enjoyed the dive and more edibles came aboard. My crab dressing trainees were going to be happy. On the way back. Bud asked if there was any chance of a quick shallow one. Antisgier was the venue and Ashley offered to take him in for a low viz spuddle. Yes there is such a work it's Cornish for ……. Something. Back at the house we were having problems getting rid of crab shells, fish smee….. but no scallop shells. The tandoori sauce was waiting but no scollies were showing. Everything was swinging on the last day. Exciting ain't it? Shuttit!
I'm waiting for Lin and Cheryl to bring me some beer. Quite frankly, I'm struggling. Well the cra.. I mean words seem to flow more easily after a drink. Here they are bless them. That’s better. "Your hair wants cutting, your moustache wants trimming, you need a shave. Are you in 'scruff mode'?" She asks. Charming!
Day three and it's scallops or bust. Alan had to be away early so one dive was all the team had to deliver the goods. Roy and Lin performed like a couple of tarts, Ashley was too busy being good with mum watching him to catch anything, but fortunately Kathryn and Philippa and Phil and George managed to bring home the bacon, so to speak. Tandoori scallops here we come. Rick Stein by the way has put a contract out on me.
Alan made a run to beat the weather, whilst we, i.e. me driving, Lin and Sue navigating and a further eighteen divers tucked in the back of Starbug headed home to marinate the precious shellfish. Then horror or horrors. Just as we pulled up to our sleep ten house, we observe the owner outside, chopsin to Helen. Lin went white, Sue cried out "shut up in the back and hide". They covered themselves over and went into "giggle mode". Only one thing for it blagg our way out. "We're going for a look at Camus Mor, back in ten minutes". Hurriedly we put Victoria wise and did a runner.
Discretely, we returned and piled unnoticed into the house. That was close. We were being joined by Steve (the brewer) and June later. That’s two more, better clear a couple of drawers out. Crowed house? No, Don't be silly. Our guests arrived and were duly impressed. Food was unreal. Rich and Phil B were absolute stars with preparing crabs and peeling scallops and as ever the girls ensured that gastronomic delights were not thin on the ground leaving me the "Baron of Botulism" the minimal to do. What a night we had, Tandoori scallops and all sorts. It all went too quick.
It's always a shame to leave Skye, but we had, sorry, dammit, they had the wrecks of the Sound of Mull to look forward to. They thought. Just outside Fort William, Lin received a call from Mark at the centre, informing us that the boat was poolified, sick, unwell. "No problem" said Lin "this lot will fix it". Mark then shocked us by saying "its not that kind of sick, more like your kind of sinky, sinky, plungy to the bottom, hole in the hull kind of sick". Rats bo-----s. Everyone's first reaction was to blame me. I protested that I was fifty miles away. They suggested that Alan had accidentally used my compass, which was left on the dashboard of the boat. Point taken.
Under the circumstances there was no option but to go into "panic mode" Mr. Mainwaring. "What about all the kit?" Lin asked in shock. Oh no, I suddenly remembered there was almost a whole tub of "psycho mice" on board as well.
Roy wanted to dive the Peregrine with the girls till we convinced them that traditionally wrecks lie on the bottom, not the surface. The way Alan was driving it was nearly an altitude dive. It turned out that the poor guy was in serious pain with this hernia thing and was living on painkillers. The result was he fell asleep. Luckily for all, he did not go down with his ship. The Peregrine can be replaced, Alan can never.
The next phone call was interesting. We were having breakfast in Fort William when we were asked, "can you collect your kit from the boat before it is taken away to the boat yard?" "Yes" "Within the hour?" "No". By the time we had crossed on the Corran Ferry we had nowhere near enough time to get to Lochaline, yet we made it with three minutes to spare. We had driven like well, we had and no one was there to take the boat away. Taking the smeg or what. Anyway bravely, without thought of my own safety, I rescued the "psycho mice" and then the kit from the boat. Pardon? Yes, yes, I admit it was in the harbour in six feet of water but the b….rs wont let me go in the shower without a fifty percent stage bottle these days.
With all the kit in Starbug, it seemed conveniently placed for a shore dive next day. You thought the same. Good. Only one or two things separating it from us, like some food, a skinfull of beer and a nights sleep. That sorted, next question. "Where shall we dive? How about the wall?" "Don't ask me, I don't give a monkeys". Is anyone feeling sorry for me by now? Sid marshalled and a good dive was had by all, all of them that is. Bud was trying to bribe Ashley to take him in again. His chance arrived at the Wishing Stone.
Yes it was a new one to me as well. What actually happened was the intended shore dive was the Shuna. Well, despite the fact that the wreck was some one and a half miles closer in than Roys estimation, it still made its mind up not to be dived. Roy and the girls sort of swam off at a tangent. No Roy hadn't got my compass!! They were about to give in so Sid made them go down for fifteen minutes to log a dive. The stones we threw suitably encouraged them. No other divers tackled that one "Wishing stone" someone suggested, "Go on then".
The Wishing stone site as it happens is fine. Own car park, easy entrance, almost, and a large stone of the wishing type, making it easy to find. Bud was going to enjoy this. Frantically, yes frantically they kitted up. I looked at the stone. I'm not superstitious but, maybe one wish. Next thing you know, there is this little guy next to me playing a piano. What the smeg do I want with a twelve-inch pianist? Don’t they have spell check in the occult! Good job the dive was OK. Bud was all smiles. Mind you, so was Charles from the Hotel on the way back, I found that disturbing.
Fortunately for me at least, the tribe had decided to give the next day a miss and go reckying a potential new base and take the ferry to Tobermory. I say fortunately because I had somehow done my back a mischief. Fish and chips, plus beer at the Mishnish followed by Ibuprofen would sort me, yes? No! But they knew a man or rather a girl that could. In view of the fact that this person just by chance was a "Black Spid" sorry I mean "Black Russian" you can imagine my lack of confidence. They used devious means to make me submit. I gave in to two sherbet fountains. "Philippa is very good", said everyone and to be fair she was. However my back was still crap but joy of joys, the kids cooked the tea. Honest and righteous scran it was, leaving the grown ups (I use the term loosely) with more time to drink. Even the washing up was sorted for us.
News on the boat situation, such as an alternative looked grim. Still one or two had a knock at the wall dive. I was banned from lifting anything heavy. They even threatened to give me beer in half-pints. Time now was running out and last night invariably means necking anything left in cans, bottles etc., and a mixture of whatever is left in the food store. Sounds a bit iffy I know but you would be wrong. The womens always make me look a tart around a kitchen and this occasion only served to underline the fact. I can do a curry, with everything on my side but meals out of thin air, sorry, out of my league. Dudes we have the best. One of them even found time to break me. You better believe it. Well Wendy decided that I was in a sad state and hot and cold compresses could be the answer. "I'll try anything," I said in desperation. Bad decision, I couldn't move. "You've broke me" you b….er. They propped me up to eat. Amazingly enough though I did make a miraculous recovery. Wendy said "get off your arse you ungrateful **!! Or we will hand you over to Dianne Spriggs and pay her to give you a serious massage! " The thought of Al pate was a frightening concept.
That dudes was more or less it. I must go, as I can hear the noise of rotor type blades. It could be someone cutting grass or it could be a hel…… Argh! Buzz off! Leave me alone!.......
Thank you to everyone who has contributed to this months issue, and apologies for any mistakes.
Any further articles for next months edition would be appreciated, (any gossip, scandals, etc that’s printable) so let us know by 12th October.
Thanks to the Editors:
Sue Mace, Wendy Munday, Phillipa Cresswell,