Divemasters have a fun fuelled weekend at Chepstow

Written by Dev Glaizner, a DLL Divemaster Trainee

We had the best time in Chepstow, especially taking full advantage of the new facilities- hot food, not too greasy and you can eat in a comfy environment still in your SCUBA gear!

We arrived Easter Saturday and after working out where everything was, kitted up, got in the van and hit the water. The only downside to Chepstow is you need to ensure that you have all your kit with you before getting into the van which takes you to the top of the slope to get into the water- some of us learned this the hard way- mentioning no names!!

Our first deep dive, the visibility was amazing and we had a great time bumbling about.  Our second dive involved the search and recovery of Easter Bunny rabbits – well it was Easter!  Successfully searched and recovered we headed up to our wigwams to get ready for a well deserved curry in the heart of Chepstow town – a DLL tradition.  Upon returning to our wigwams we got the bonfire started, being introduced to the American tradition of s’mores by Denise – delicious chocolaty marshmallows sandwiched between crackers. Yum!

After eating and drinking our fill we took our weary bodies off to the cosy Wigwams- very comfortable! (Tip- turn the heater off before you go to sleep!)  Upon waking to a sauna like room we headed for breakfast- reasonably priced and enough fuel to get us started for our next couple of dives.  The first dive we went to the other side of the pontoon for our first deep dive of the day. Getting down to 36 meters and it’s a bit eerie down there- quiet, dark and full of boulders!  Again great visibility for such depths.  Our second dive of the day was to use our newly acquired search and recovery skills to search and recover a missing weight belt and Theresa and Denise did a great job of inflating the lift bag (see celebratory photo below)!  Once done it gave us an opportunity to explore Chepstow- with its helicopter, plane, a few ironing boards (random!) scattered about the place and “truck lagoon”.

I think as it had been such an exhausting day, and whilst most of our group departed back to London, the rest of us had a “quiet night in” making full use of the new restaurant to have dinner and a few beers before once again heading back to our bonfire and trying to find out what we could burn, whilst perfecting our s’mores. (The paper on a Heineken bottle makes the flames a lovely green – don’t try that at home!!).  Remembering to turn off the heater in the wigwam we all tucked up for a cosy sleep ready for the following days diving.

Exhausted and tired the weather took a turn for the worse. Miserable and grumpy we headed down to the water for our second attempt to reach 40 meters. What an awesome dive- it’s easy to forget that it doesn’t matter if it’s raining on the surface when you’re floating underneath, and certainly when you get a bit narked, nothing in the world matters!! Until you surface! Through the torrential rains (it wasn’t really it just felt like it!) we made it up for lunch and once the rain had eased we went in for the final dive of the trip.  We wanted to find the gnome garden but had been informed that the gnomes were on holiday (in a bag tied up somewhere is apparently the equivalent to Gnome Bahamas) so we went to discover truck lagoon more thoroughly.  Again fantastic visibility and lots to see.

It was such a great weekend and it was so much harder to go back to work the next day – I’m counting down the days until I can head back!!

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