Perth BSAC make the most of the South Scotland Regional Training day, Saturday 8th September

Having worked with Edward and Robert at the monthly regional training day held by the Southern Scotland Region at the Tea Rooms on Loch Fyne for a while now, it was very pleasing to see a good turn out from the Perth BSAC club. It is really important that we support both the National and Regional teams as much as we can, as they do a great job in providing training, often with little or no thanks. So before I rabbit on, many thanks to Edward and Robert and all the other instructors that turned up and make the event so worthwhile.

Having sorted out the admin we all set about our dives, Bethan and Hamish successfully completing DO6 and DO7 which positions them excruciatingly close to completing their Dive Leader qualifications. I think we should run a sweep stake on this ! Maureen and Fred went in to do a Buoyancy and Trim workshop and were accompanied by Steve who jumped at the chance to join them and demonstrate his almost perfect lateral and vertical hold! Regardless of the outcome everyone reported having learnt something from this exercise and I think if we run this again we will see more people having a go ! This particular exercise is really a SCUBA game where performance can be assessed and therefore improvement measured. I had the opportunity to instruct on a OO4 lesson, CBLs and tows. Every time I attend these events I learn stuff and this trip was no exception. Within a club, where we see a progression through training, we make assumptions based on our experiences of trainees. At these events you only have a Qualification Record Book to provide experience of training and you have no idea what challenges the student has. As it was we had problems getting down and spent a lot of time on the surface trying to sink an voluminous neoprene drysuit without getting too much water in the through the neck seal. When we eventually got down, it was like chalk and cheese, from floundering around on the surface, a diving epiphany happened as we sank and ‘SCUBA Jane’ happily and competently completed a set of good lifts and got a signature in her book for her efforts. Well done!

It was very refreshing to see some old faces at the event again. With a shore based appearance from Paul who has dived with us as a guest, and Darryl who took a bit of a bus man’s holiday, doing a job of underwater work, moving and lifting a weight for DO4. A good effort from DT here, his volunteering as an instructor gave another student a chance to get a skill signed off and nearly his next qualification. We may end up seeing more of DT as he ended up with a Landrover full of not so dry dry-suits that needed his expert repair services.

The afternoon dives saw more drills and assessments and with these complete the need to retrieve a shot line used by the BTW. Here was an opportunity to have a recreational dive and I joined Hamish and Frank for a slow swim along the inside reef to retrieve the equipment. The vis, once away from the corner was very good and the variety of fish life surprising. A new comer to the reef was the rather striking Pouting, which darted to a fro , showing off it’s zebra stripes. A big disappointment was finding a crab tangled in fishing line and a team effort to cut off as much as possible saw me holding the claws while Hamish and Frank cut as much line off as possible. I get so cross when I see this !

Well that was it apart from a quick refreshment stop at the George on the way home. No photos today as we were training and the opportunity did not present itself to take a camera into the water.