Capernwray Trip Report
It was that time of year again, a weekend of greasy breakfasts, cold temperatures and heaps of faff. Whilst this sounds like just about any UoNSAC trip, this one was a little special being the Ocean Diver Open Water trip.
A chilly start awaited us on the Saturday morning. The Yorkshire countryside surrounding the hut looked beautiful at this time of day the drive to Capernwray was a sight to behold (if you stay awake). We joined the back of the notorious queue on the small county road into Capernwray but by some luck/barging through, the van and minibus managed to get prime spots close to the water.
The meticulous planning of kit went out of the window and I spent most of my morning running to and from the kit container (why they put it up the hill remains a mystery) to acquire replacements. One main issue was due to the below zero temperature which did not sit well with our regulators. After various free flows and a couple of faulty BCDs we finally had everyone in the water apart from myself that had to miss the first dive due to, you guessed it, a free-flowing regulator.
Although the cold took its toll on the trainees, it was nothing a burger and a cup of tea could sort out in the café. Everyone was eager to get back in the water (sort of) and thankfully a lot less kit faffing was involved.
That evening was spent eating enough Spaghetti Bolognese to feed the 5,000 with plenty of spare spaghetti for dessert. We then played the classic Capernwray games that included the Moon game and the leprechaun game (which always incites anger and frustration in at least one person). Jon bore the brunt of the games by being the victim in the spoon game and in Steve’s water tray race game.
The last day started like all last days, lots of faff. Trainees were scrambling to get their belongings on the minibus and myself and few others were furiously scraping the pans used for breakfast and clearing out the rubbish.
Luckily the temperature increased slightly to avoid large scale dive apathy in the trainees. The dives were surprisingly faff-less (that I know of). My last dive with James K involved attempting to find Davs and Harry, but of course I got horribly lost but managed to bump into a couple of the wrecks.
After the dives we managed to fill the van with all the equipment again just before a group photo down by the water just before the light went. This signalled the end of yet another successful training weekend at Capernwray. Thanks to everyone who came along, from our trainees to instructors to helpful committee who were there just to help out.
Written by James Pilkington, pictures mostly by Davs Brander