So… I have moved to the North East. Having spent three years bobbing around at sea on both the Halton and Clasina, moving to the city is definitely a huge change for me, although I can firmly say I have missed sitting on a sofa so much!
Having been spoilt by the ability to dive every day, it is now dawning on me that I have to think about rebreather logistics and where the nearest gas station may be. However, I am fortunate enough to know a few people in the area, (courtesy of working on a dive boat), to help me out with this. Fast forward a few months and I have now become familiar with the local charter boat, Spellbinder, and the skipper Allan Lopez, who has helped introduce me to some of the most commonly dived sites here on the NE coast (it is very different diving compared to the West Coast, but equally as beautiful!).
I have also embarked on my first RIB dives with the rebreather, and completely underestimated/forgotten what RIB diving was like (again being spoiled with hard boat diving for the past 3 years!). Getting the gear on before the dive was not so much of a problem, but the end of the first dive was more challenging! With a camera and a bailout passed up, I started the usual RIB routine of unclipping my harness to pass up weights, getting ready to get out of my gear, and this was when I got stuck… that schoolgirl error of trying to pull both my arms out at once and getting stuck, feeling like a duck! As someone who prefers a harness without a break it in, what next occurred was a huge amount of wriggling (and complaining) before getting myself out of my gear, to find I had also forgotten to unclip my drysuit hose, clearly making it harder to get out of my gear. Many thanks to Dunc who helped me get out of my gear and hauled it into the RIB!
Despite the gear faffage, my first RIB dive was a success! I have now created a new routine to get out of my dive kit when I am on a RIB, so I don’t look like I am impersonating a duck. Hopefully, I can get many more dives in before the season comes to an end here in the North East!