Archive for Member News

A travel story…

Hi People. You may know that ‘I am not well’ and ‘have not been well’ for some time. Well, to prove it, I will be having an operation on both of my feet. It is a rather long and somewhat convoluted story, as indeed is my life, but I will keep it short:

Basically, my wife, Mrs G and I were taking a cruise on a wonderful liner in the Mediterranean, just off the west coast of Italy.

All was going so well when Mrs G and I went up looking for the toilet as my incontinent pad was leaking a bit. Somehow, we ended up in a place called The Bridge. My first thought was that the toilet attendants were very smart with gold bands around their cuffs. Bad move. Mrs G (who is a bit hormonal at present,… come to think of it, she has been hormonal for fifty years now)… Anyway, I digress. Mrs G suddenly started to flirt with the main attendant, who everybody called Captain. It wasn’t too long before he was so distracted by her, that I took the opportunity to ask him if I could have a go at steering the boat. I assumed that he had heard of my legendary navigational skills and would not mind. I thought he was up for it because he suddenly exited the room with Mrs G in hot pursuit, leaving me on my own, so I took hold of the steering wheel and off I went. All was going swimmingly when I saw this lovely little island, called Gigolo or something, so I turned towards it to have a closed look. It was a bit dark, I must admit, so I thought that I would give the engine a bit of welly as nobody would see me. Imagine my surprise that some silly Italian fly-tipper had dumped a load of rocks right in the shipping lane, how stupid was that. Next thing I know, another asthmatic Italian crew member is phoning me up on the Bridge phone to ask me if he should let off all the passengers as the boat is just a bit skew-whiff. I told him not to be such a big-girls-blousey scaredy-cat. Anyway, just to be on the safe side, I navigated a bit closer to the island to gently nudge the ship over a little to straighten it up. Now that’s when it all seemed to go pear-shaped.I was getting a bit fed up driving the old tug and went off to find Captain Schittino. By now, I guessed that the entertainment was not very good down below as everybody now seemed to be up on deck, watching me drive. I caught sight of my wife, Mrs. G, who was smiling and salivating with what looked like a pair of trousers and underpants in her hand, not unlike the ones that the toilet attendant called Captain, had been wearing, (he must have inadvertently dropped them, just like my poor wife had dropped her dress). I could not help but notice that the name label on the pants was not M&S, but the Italian equivalent, Francesco Schettino. Anyway, I must have tripped over her bra and draws as well ‘cos the next thing that I knew was that I tumbling overboard and falling into a bloody lifeboat that some silly bugger had untied. I tell you, I was beginning to question the Health and Safety practices on board the Costalot Concordia. I could have really hurt myself had not the quick thinking Captain Schittino suddenly seen my plight and jumped into action, appeared from nowhere underneath me, with the lifeboat’s tarpaulin over him to break my fall. Just as well he had put the tarpaulin over him because he was naked. (Apparently, he had somehow caught his clothes on Mrs. G’s fingernails in his desperate bid to reach the lifeboat before me and safe me. Was he quick thinking or what?
He was wonderful and tried to phone my wife to tell her I was safe when he was interrupted by some silly harbor master screaming at him in a mad panic. He was so concerned for my safety that he refused calls to return to his ship saying it might endanger me, even though he obviously wanted to. How selfless was that of him? I suggested that he should not worry about me and go back but he must have thought I was really scared, as he shouted at me, commanding me in broken English – “NO BLOODY FEAR”,… so I didn’t fear, and I relaxed. Unfortunately, that’s when he trod on my toes and broke them in his super-human desperation to jump from the lifeboat and swim to the shore, all to help little old me. What a man. Unfortunately, he must have got lost in the confusion for I never saw him again. Hope he is alright and sorry for scraping a bit of paint off your boat.
… AND that’s how I ended up in hospital, waiting for my toe operations.

I will probably not survive, as afterwards,… apparently,… it is excruciatingly painful. But I am not one to moan, as you will know. I will just grin and bare it, as is my way. However, if I do not recover and slip away on the operating table, remember me and I hope to meet you all again ‘down there’ as Beelzebub is the only one that is likely to have me.

PS. If you should come across dear Captain Schittino of the Costalot Concordia, thank him for taking such care of me and I look forward to buying him a drink on board as soon as they manage to put the plug back into the tug.


Pat Gibbon

No 62: BSAC Membership Rates

Hi All

BSAC are increasing their annual membership subscriptions with effect from 1st March 2012 and I attach a schedule of the new rates. For most of us it’s an increase of £2 which won’t affect us until our common renewal date of 1st November 2012, but I thought I would let you know now (before I forget!).

The new rate will apply to a small number of members renewing between March and October.



Diving Experience Wanted !

If anyone is planning any UK dives in the next few months. that is within sport diver limits. Could you please let me know, as i could do with the experience. I dont mind travelling and most days should be ok..


No 58: Photos needed!!

Hello Everybody!
I hope you are enjoying the Christmass Advent Calender on the Surrey Aquanauts Facebook page:
I have a small favour to ask! I need some more photos’ from SA members to put into it!!!
Can I have your Shots (Diving, Above water and Outside the UK) shot this year??
Can you also provide a little story on what, where and how of the photo?

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