Trip Report: Chepstow Training Weekend-29-30/10/2011
This semesters first training trip to Chepstow was a huge success. Four brave souls accompanied James and Martin to NDAC at Chepstow for a weekend of Ocean Diver and Sports Diver training. The weather was generally good, except for a few showers which no one seemed to mind.
Saturday was an exhausting day, 5am start, arriving at Chepstow at 9am. Upon arrival we found Alan Thomas and Dave Bell who had dragged a couple of OWICs with them to help us all out. This gave us 1 and a half instructors to each student. With so many instructors, even our instructors were able to do some training.
Our Ocean diver trainees, Matt and Mike, were heavily praised for there diving skills by the Welsh Regional Coach, Dave Bell. Without any prompting by Dave, Matt and Mike worked together as a buddy pair, confidently and competently, helping each other when needed.
Sports diver trainees, Hayden and Kate displayed great skill in completing almost all of their training for the Sports diver qualification. With an instructor each, they were able to practice skills such as compass navigation, DSMB and SMB use, along with dive leading skills.
After a day of diving, the sun setting, and the rain setting in, it was time for the main event. Each year NDAC at Cheptow run a 'Spooky' Night Dive. The aim is to collect lanterns that have been hidden underwater. A prize is given if a lantern is found. Hayden led Kate on her first night dive and were able to find themselves a lantern. Meanwhile, James and Martin were exploring an Arriva Wales bus at 20 meters and found a lantern that another diver ignored. These lanterns were exchanged for two Northern Diver masks that were donated to the Sub Aqua club for use in the pool.
Despite an extra hour in bed, we still arrived early at NDAC after a night staying in the Etap in Newport. (Etap has a lovely view of the M4). Steve Humphreys from Heads of the Valley's Sub Aqua Club joined us to assist James in teaching our Sports diver trainees more skills, whilst Martin, despite a not-so dry drysuit, was able to finish off Matt and Mikes Ocean diver qualification.
In all, this was a fantastic start to our busy training schedule for this year. Thanks to the instructors who took part in this, Alan, Dave, Rachel, Phil and Steve, we were qualify two new Ocean Divers and complete everything that the Sports Diver trainees need to do before the upcoming rescue skills workshop.