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Return to Wraysbury Lake

I swear, after passing my PADI I never wanted to see Wraysbury Lake again. But last night I went just to work on my buoyancy under water.

The idea is basically that bodies float, whether alive and kicking or full of water. Ye canna argue with the laws of physics, captain, but you can dodge them for a while. Contrary to one's every instinct, floating is no good for scuba. What is required is neutral buoyancy in the water, neither floating nor sinking. To reach this stage you use weights and judicious amounts of air in the buoyancy control device (the BCD). Once at this stage, you can control going up and down with your breathing.

Unless you're me; I listened to a German diver who suggested I try with 6 weights (2kg each) rather than 4, so that I would at least have some chance of sinking. I did this, and fell dramatically, down, down, past the underwater platform, down until landing on some hard smooth surface. I scrabbled to find the inflator hose, put more air into the BCD, and began to rise slightly. Not really controlling my buoyancy in the water, I found myself swimming too much, as opposed to my companion, who moved through the water with minimum effort and maximum grace. He was very kind, even when I nearly kicked his mask off by accident. Pulling myself together, I was ready to investigate the object I had landed on.

It was an old boat, rusting slowly, cabin doors screwed shut, but the deck open; a small person could get in to the cabin through the holes. My companion ixnayed emphatically when I suggested going inside. Apparently they screw the doors shut so that divers couldn't get stuck in there. Well I ask you; where's the point in that? We found a bus too, completely furred over as though someone had covered it in a thick shagpile carpet, windows open, piscine passengers flitting around the inside, probably all carrying soggy tickets to the sea-side.

The visibility, while better than last time, was still poor and of course dusk had been and gone, which meant we had to use torchlight. That really was exciting, hunting around wrecks in the dark, spotting crayfish and perch, pike and eels and minnows. You can take the crayfish home with you; they aren't indigenous and are considered a pest, indeed, this is the bounty for lots of divers at the lake - they grab themselves a few crayfish for supper. Me, I couldn't do it, despite my love of sea-food. They look so valiant, shrinking from the light and raising their claws in defense against a predator so much bigger...anyway, carrying a bag of dripping and furious crayfish on the train back to Waterloo would be no fun. No, they're safe from me.

The nearest we came to a moment's upset was when my companion bumped into a traffic bollard in the dark - and when he asked me how much air I had left. I couldn't read my gauge at all. I like to think it was the light, but he was clearly very concerned. Even in the dark, you need to know how much air you have; 'About 100 bar,' I told my companion airily. He looked at me with the practised air of a professional. 'You were at 120,' he said. 'Did you actually see that, or did you guess it from the time we spent in the water?' My answer, naturally, came from column B, but I made light of it. Still, he has a point. An eye-test is probably in order.

Despite the algae, the silt and the curious lack of beer choices at the bar, Wraysbury isn't all bad: The parish lacks no history, having been settled since the times of mammoth and flint, and the Magna Carta was signed here. Plus on occasion it can be pretty:



If anyone knows a less clumsy way of putting up photos, please tell me. LJ doesn't seem to let me upload straight from my PC - annoying!

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
happybat
Aug. 22nd, 2013 08:13 pm (UTC)
Have you read 'The Wheatstone Pond' by Robert Westall? YA fiction, the boat reminded me of it strongly. Probably just as well you didn't go inside...
smokingboot
Aug. 22nd, 2013 10:07 pm (UTC)
I never have, is it worth seeking out?

You have me intrigued...

Hope all is well btw, it's been far too long!
happybat
Aug. 25th, 2013 08:40 pm (UTC)
Really depends on your taste for haunted ponds - for myself, I quite enjoy them :)

smokingboot
Aug. 25th, 2013 09:06 pm (UTC)
I can imagine...funnily enough, my companion, a dive master told me that often he finds the lake 'too spooky.' There's a trench somewhere near the centre that you can dive down into, but he demurred. Apparently it's *really* dark down there. How it can be darker than a moonlit lake beats me...

Edited at 2013-08-25 09:06 pm (UTC)
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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