Monthly Archives: November 2009

Summer fun…..Where did that go??

 Well where did that go….summer that is
I can’t believe it’s been so long since I last put an entry on here… sorry chaps, ( if there are any chaps left  ).
What have we been up to I hear you ask ( either that or it’s old age finally catching up with me )…
Well pull up a chair weary traveller I will atempt to keep your attention long enough to tell you!
Sun, Sea & Rescue
 Ouch… 5 days in the water all day, no cover & no sun lotion…that stings a bit!
Silly Billy!
If you can be arsed to look at the previous entry, or have memories like elephants, you might remember that we were off to Kos for 3 weeks to do a rescue diver course…
The Apollon… floating HQ of Liamis Dive Centre
well the good news is that after 5 days of very hard graft, a lot of studying, and a fair bit of stress, we passed, and are now qualified!   Hurrahh!!!
This gave us another 2 weeks(ish) to mess around in Kos, and to be fair, we did mess around, and didn’t do half the things I had planned to do.. like looking for somewhere to live maybe, go to Kalymnos, go to Antimachia, do more diving than we did, all sorts of things that we just didn’t have time for.. sounds just like home doesn’t it?
but we did have time for this…. barbie on the beach
with our good friend Mike doing the cooking..mmm!
On the beach with friends
It was weird, we had more time there than we’ve ever had, but ended doing less , how does that work….
Still, we  had a brilliant time, spent a clucking fortune, and I really wish we could do that every year ( keep on wishing mouseboy! )
Kos Harbour
Sunset on the beach outside the Rainbow Restaurant
Kamari Bay , Kefalos, Kos
 It was very quiet out there this year, the exorbitant euro rate is really hurting the tourist trade, and I think this is going to be difficult for the locals on Kos.
In the 9 years we have been going there , we have never had any problems at all, and have felt completely safe, and in fact did so this year, but the seedy characters of the underside that can be found anywhere, have started to rear their heads, and one night in a restaurant, we were treated to a visit from the local canabis growers….
Much whispering and muttering under the breath,and a considerable amount of ass kissing ( not by us I might add  )…..the darker side of paradise….and something to think about for the future without doubt.
I do have lots more to tell about our 3 weeks, but I would start pontificating, and basically bore the tits off anyone that has them, so lets move on to the end of August……
Red Sea Live Aboard and Hammerheads
 Mv Whirlwind – sister ship of the Mv Typhoon, our boat

As this is a special year, I was 50 last December, and we’ve been married for 20 years, we decided to push the boat out a bit this year, re. holidays hence the 3 weeks in Kos ( apart from the rescue diver stuff ), and we booked to go on a week living on a boat on the Red Sea, all inclusive and more intensive scuba diving  than we have ever done.
Up at 6.00am ( clucking bell!!! ) bell, briefing, diving, bell,breakfast, bell, briefing, diving, bell, lunch, bell, briefing, diving, bell,afternoon snacks, bell, briefing, night dive ( an experience on its own I can tell you ) , bell ,dinner, beers, sleep…up at 6.oo am etc for 7 days….
I started to feel a bit like a boxer, our lives were ruled by the fact one day I got so confused I nearly went diving instead of having some food, much to the amusement of some of the other guests, especially when in all seriousness I asked " Is that the bell for diving or for dinner"
 Mv. Typhoon
Swimming through a wreck
Where is everybody?
On the wreck of the Thistlegorm, British transport ship
sunk by german aircraft on 6th October 1941
with the loss of 9 lives.
Our guide Sammy, on the Thistlegorm- 30m down….
with a BOMB!
A stonefish in hold no1 on the Thistlegorm 
bet you can’t guess why it’s called that..
the fish that is!
We have done some of the most challenging diving we have ever done, plus we did a dive course ( why the fuck do we do a course EVERY Time we go away  ), which qualifes us to dive to 40 metres  ( that’s at the limits of recreational diving), met some very interesting & famous people, a gent called John Bantin
 John Bantin, Diving Guru
 very famous in the dive world and who writes for Diver Magazine and another geezer call Kevin Gurr ( who has dived to the TITANIC!!!  in a bathysphere- that’s a long way down, 2.5 MILES)
 Kevin Gurr
The Mir Bathysphere….
Would you want to go 2.5 MILES underwater in this??
 The Titanic.. a long long way down!
Our final dive of the holiday ( and course ) was a  deep dive of more than 30metres, in the deep blue ( that is in the sea, in the middle of nowhere, where all you can see is blue, no bottom,no reefs, no sand,no reference points,  just empty blue…..and the Hammerhead sharks!

 Note the large shark shaped mo fo in the centre of the pic!
2 corks please and make it quick matey!!
While we were on the boat, one of our party was taken ill, a gents called Ash,from a suspected stroke –  which started to happen when he was 18m down,- he had to be taken off the boat because he was so ill,-  and at one point we were worried whether or not he was going to make it back home.
Which was ironic really because ever since we had booked the trip, I was convinced it was going to be me, and I wasn’t going to come back from this trip…..silly really , but with everything that had been going on this year, I was being stupid, and also very pessimistic.
Ash did make it home eventually, a few days after us, and is thankfully making a good recovery, but hats off to a top bloke,Vini Howlett of Aquasport International who had organized our trip and was without doubt the saviour of Ash.
Happily we both survived too, though as I said earlier, we were both taken right out of our comfort zone re . diving, and have both decided that we really need to do a bit more diving over here and get some more experience ready for next year maybe……( this has since become definitely, the old growlers job & health permitting )
It was just as well we managed to stay healthy as when we got back….

Gallbladders and Hospitals
Funnily enough, on the monday after we got back,the old growler had a really bad attack of what we thought was Egytian tummy….. ie. the shits, a lot of abdominal pain, and a substantial amount of puking.
This cleared up quickly,and we smugly thought that it was indeed the tummy bug, but 2 days later she woke up worse, crying, in agony and writhing around the bed screaming in pain.
She wouldn’t go to A & E, so I made her go to the quacks that morning….. and to cut a long story short, she was diagnosed as having gallstones, and an appoitment was made for her to go for an ultrasound scan.
This was a worrying time for both of us,as she had other symptoms,that were causing concern, and I was aware of this, bit didn’t want to mention it, just in case.
The scan came, and it was confirmed that it was indeed her gallbladder  (thank god), and an appointment was made to remove the offensive article.
I’ve not experienced surgery, or this kind of worry regarding my mrs before, and to be honest I was quite concerned.
Happily, the operation was a success,keyhole surgery, and on BUPA care of work,- that’s another story –  and she is feeling much better now thank you, but still hasn’t been back to work yet, though she is due to return on monday 9th November.
Mentally she is ready for it, but I’m not so sure physically… time , and her return to slavery will tell. 
Well that’s my catch up tale… severely cut down.
I hope it’s has been an entertaining read for you, and that you haven’t got too bored. , well done for getting to the end!
Before I finish I must mention a few folks……
Firstly Kenny in Middlesborough.
He has just been diagnosed with primary cancer of the liver, and is fighting it with everything he has got.
You don’t know him, and I ‘ve never met him in person ( though it was close ), but please spare a little time for him next time you are having a quick word with the big man upstairs…….every little bit helps….
Good luck Kenny, my thoughts and prayers are with you my friend.
Kathy.. Welcome back babe!
Spaces just got a whole lot better, good to see you girl!
Jake… Nice to see you back writing too…. it’s been too long! Hope you had a brilliant birthday!
Thanks to everyone for leaving me messages, and to those that have stuck by me during my period of absence.
Take care my friends, I hope to see you soon!