John Briggs

Hi, I’m John Briggs, I live in Idle, married with two grown-up lads.  Age? Older than I look.

Dived since?

Bored to death sat around a pool in Cyprus, I was offered free a try dive in the pool, they then quickly signed me up for a further try dive in the sea the next day, I loved it. On our return, we booked a holiday to Egypt in 2006, and I was reading about what the red sea had to offer, so decided I must have a qualification to go out there with, and so it began.

Member since?

I joined this club 3 years ago now, I was a member of another club for many years, I should have moved years before. This club is full of nice people, who want to go diving, imagine that!

Favourite UK dive site?

I’m a rust lover and prefer the 3 day trips to the quick sprints here and there, I enjoy the sound of Mull as there are some good wrecks up there, and its sheltered so diving is almost guaranteed. But also enjoy diving out of Weymouth, there are some big wrecks out in the English channel, and some great submarine dives such as the M2.

Funniest narcosis moment?

I must get Narked I guess but is not something I notice. The funniest thing has been at the bottom of the Rhondo (50M) and my buddy Pete’s cylinder falling out of his BCD, he was gripping his reg with his teeth like there was no tomorrow (nearly wasn’t for him). It’s pitch black down there and we were racking up deco, but I got it back in and secure. I don’t remember that in the training!!

Qualifications?

I came through the BSAC training ranks and I’m a BSAC advanced diver.

Number of Dives?

I stopped logging dives years ago, but well over 400

What’s the best thing you’ve seen whilst diving?

I’ve been lucky, I’ve done lots of Redsea liveaboards, dived in Thailand, Bermuda, the Caribbean, America and all over Europe. But the one place I’ll never forget diving was a week-long liveaboard in the Maldives, the stuff we saw there will stay with me forever.

How often do you dive?

Whenever I fancy a trip really, I’m no puddle jumper these days, if it isn’t salty, I’m not getting in. As I said above, I prefer the 3 day trips, great diving and great crack with the lads, what’s not to like.

Who is your go-to dive buddy?

I’m a bit of a dive slag really, I’ll go with anyone!

What would you like to share with people who are considering scuba diving?

Do it, it’s a great hobby at home and a fantastic qualification to have when you find yourself in foreign climes, everyone asks me about it, and they’d all love to do it, why don’t they then? 

Julie Kelly

Hi, I’m Julie, I’m 41 12 but inside I’m only 17!!! and I live in sunny Keighley.

How long have you been diving?

I did my open water 13 years ago, but due to family demands I didn’t get much time to dive. I decided a couple of years ago to get my backside back in the water!!! and now I can’t get enough!

What made you want to become a scuba diver?

I always wanted to try it but never had the time, so hubby bought the course for me for my birthday.  I would much rather be under the water, life’s much simpler down there!!

Number of Dives?

71 and counting so relative newbie!

What’s the best thing you’ve seen whilst diving?

Red Sea trip SS Thistlegorm, it was very sad listening to the history of the ship, how it was sunk and how it took the crew over a year to get home!! Also, just going into the hold and seeing all the trucks, bikes ammunition and guns still there after all this time!!! It was an awesome experience.

Favourite UK dive site?

Not done much so I would have to say Farnes with the seals, now that was good fun! Hoping to do a lot more sea diving this year with the club!

Best piece of dive kit?

My dry suit, I purchased a second-hand one that was brand new 3 months prior to me getting it, anyway to cut a long story short it was returned to the shop 3 times because I kept getting wet and on the 3rd occasion they sent me a new dry suit, Bonus!!!!!

How often do you dive?

Get your kit, let’s go!!!

Ambition?

Live life and dive until I die!

Who is your go-to dive buddy?

My best dive buddy Is Marie but she’s a lightweight, so I’m not fussy if you want to go diving give me a shout!

Funniest Underwater Moment?

Erm let me think, probably watching the seals biting Marie’s fins at the Farnes or watching her puke on the surface 5 yards from the beach in a gentle swell in Lanzarote. She then had to crawl out of the sea like a stranded whale he he he.

What would you like to share with people who are considering scuba diving?

I would say listen bud, the earth has more than 70% water, what are you waiting for get out there and go explore, the fish are just waiting to welcome you!!

I would say that joining a dive club is one of my better moves as you have more options to go diving, everyone is really friendly and although I’ve just joined Robin Hood Dive Club, I’m sure I will be a member for a long time to come. What are you waiting for just do it!! You won’t regret it!

Johny Rangeley

Hi, I’m Johny, I’m 38 and live in Skelmanthorpe, Huddersfield.

How long have you been diving?

I’ve been diving since 2012 but I didn’t really get into it until 2014 with the club.

What made you want to become a scuba diver?

I always wanted to try diving and on my honeymoon along with my wife we decided to give it a go in Turkey. That was 2004 and I got the bug instantly, although I didn’t qualify until 2012 it was something I just had to do but didn’t really know how to go about it.

Finally I got on a course and passed but didn’t dive for two years because I didn’t have anyone to dive with. That was until one day when our regular salesman Michael came into the farmyard where I worked and I noticed he was wearing a dive club top (bear in mind I’d know and dealt with Michael for about 8 years, I never knew he was a diver). We got chatting and he told me about Robin Hood Dive Club, where they were and when they met up. Since then I’ve never looked back!!!

Number of Dives?

I’ve currently got about 120 dives and still going strong.

What’s the best thing you’ve seen whilst diving?

It’s got to be the Hispana or Breda in Lochaline.

Favourite UK dive site?

Lochaline is by far my favourite place to do a UK dive it’s just stunning scenery and absolutely stunning under the water too.

Best piece of dive kit?

My best piece of kit has to be my regulators, bought from the ROHO shop with a great discount and they’ve served me well ever since.

How often do you dive?

I aim to do three dive trips a year with the club and then the odd dive trip to Capernwray or a renegade day trip to St Abbs, Eyemouth or somewhere else.

Ambition?

Just to enjoy my diving and possibly do my tech 60 full trimix.

Who is your go-to dive buddy?

My best dive buddy has to be Terry Manton, but I’m happy to dive with anyone really.

Funniest Underwater Moment?

As for funniest narcosis moment, I thought a tomato had shrunk from the pressure, one of my best blonde moments ever lol.

Another was when I saw Keith being playful with a Farnes seal who was not so playfully attacking him. He was struggling to fend it off whilst asking for my help but I was too busy laughing to help. Sorry Keith 😊

What would you like to share with people who are considering scuba diving?

I’d just like to say, don’t write UK diving off because it’s some of the best you’ll do in the world and it’s on your doorstep.

Through the club you’ll meet a fantastic group of people/friends that will be there for you for life and experience new adventure rather than just wondering about them.

Bob Jones

I’m Bob Jones, I live in Heckmondwike, 67 yrs of age and retired, which gives me lots of time to indulge my hobbies, and to go on holiday, to the extent we now call it going travelling, we do it so often.

How Long Diving and Why?

I had a mid-life crisis about 20 years ago and decided to go and do things I had been unable to do in my younger years, through lack of money, time, work, family, all the usual suspects. Happily, that did not involve leaving my wife, Frances, indeed she joined in. That resulted in learning to dive, with Robin Hood Watersports. We learnt together, and dived together, we included diving in many holidays all over the world as part of what could be called ‘cultural’ (horrible word that) holidays to Africa, the Middle East, Mexico, South America. And of course all around the UK.

Club Membership?

I have been a member of this Club for about 3 years, having dived independently and with a previous Club. I joined because this Club actually goes diving, rather than talks about it.

Favourite UK Dive Site?

My favourite UK dive is the James Egan Layne, out of Plymouth, it is brilliant, on a good day like swimming in an aquarium, the block ships at Scapa are a close second.

Best Kit?

My best bit of kit is my Regulator, I treasure it, polish it, speak nicely to it, it keeps me alive! Funniest

Narcosis moment?

Whilst I have suffered Nitrogen Narcosis, I take it a bit seriously, and so cannot joke much about it, if it is dark it makes me frightened, if it is light, I just don’t give a damn, which in retrospect is just as bad. I watched someone curing a free flow on his main regulator at 40 metres by beating it against a rock, when it stopped, he put it back in and carried on down to 45 metres. Not good.

Qualifications?

I am qualified as a BSAC Advanced diver (although I am no longer a member of BSAC), which permits me to go to 50 metres.

Best Dive Experience?

I have lost track of the number of fabulous dives, sometimes it is the sight of a wreck as you descend on to it, others marine life from the tiniest jewel anenomies to white tip reef sharks. The key thing is to slow down and really look. I have to say the best dives were with Frances (she no longer dives for health reasons) simply because I was diving with my best friend.

How Often Do I Dive?

I go on about 7 or 8 dive trips per year, with the Club, most 2 or 3 days, an odd one-day outing, and sometimes for a week abroad. In addition, I try to go to an inland site once per month during the winter just to keep my hand in.

Best Dive Buddy?

You already know who my best dive buddy was (she will read this) I shall avoid saying who is the best amongst the people I dive with, I might need them someday! Perhaps the most frequent, but a long way second after Frances is probably Tom, despite his propensity to concentrate on his camera and forget to stick with his buddy, anyone diving with a photographer might as well be diving alone, you have to watch them like a hawk!

Advice to Anyone Considering Diving?

If you can, do. Go get professional tuition, most Clubs mess about and take far too long to teach new divers, and the quality of tuition is at best patchy, and sometimes downright dangerous. When you have learnt the basics, join a Club that actually goes diving, frequently. (You don’t have to go on every trip), and try to team up as often as you can with an experienced diver so you can learn from him/her.

Steve Free

My name is Stephen (Steve to friends). I live in Bradford and I’m in my early 50’s.

How long have you been diving?

I started diving in 2006 after a try dive in Gran Canaria. I passed my open water in 2007.

What made you want to become a scuba diver?

I took up diving because I loved seeing the marine life and being underwater.

Number of Dives?

I have done over 420 dives.

What’s the best thing you’ve seen whilst diving?

The best thing I’ve seen underwater is an Anglerfish off the Isle of May in 2017.

Favourite UK dive site?

My favourite dive site is the Rhondo in the sound of Mull.

Best piece of dive kit?

My best piece of kit is my Tec 3 regulators, so smooth to breathe on.

How often do you dive?

I try to dive frequently but unfortunately not as often as I’d like, but love every dive I do regardless.

Ambition?

I have two ambitions, to continue diving and eventually get on a Red Sea Liveaboard.

Who is your go-to dive buddy?

I don’t have a regular buddy now as my favourite buddy retired from diving, Stephen Stapleton, I miss our dives together.

What would you like to share with people who are considering scuba diving?

If thinking of taking up diving go with a reputable company like Robin Hood Watersports. Once qualified dive as often as possible and pick as many divers brains as you can for tips and recommendations on kit and places to dive.

Ian Booth

Hi, I’m Ian Booth and live a few minutes away from Robin Hood in Liversedge and unfortunately nearer 60 than 50 but think I have managed to retain my youthful looks better than some of the self-proclaimed “younger???” members.

Dived since?

I remember watching Jacques Cousteau as a child on tv diving in exotic places and thought I quite fancy that. It wasn’t until 2013 whilst on holiday in Cyprus that there was a try dive session in the hotel pool. My wife persuaded me to have a go, followed shortly afterwards by my children and wife. We had a couple of “proper” dives later, then on my return to the UK I started my diving education.

Member since?

The dive shop introduced me to the club late in 2016 but I didn’t join until 2017. Whilst the club does not do any formal training the members are very helpful and share tips and knowledge with me to help improve my diving.

Favourite UK dive site?

I haven’t done much UK diving but it is either up at Capernwray or off the North East coast around the Farnes.

Funniest narcosis moment?

Never really gone deep enough to experience the joys of narcosis. My air doesn’t last long enough for it to affect me.

Qualifications?

Advanced Open Water at the moment but have enrolled on Nitrox course and looking to complete my Deep Dive speciality this year so I can experience Nitrogen and Oxygen Narcosis in a certified manner.

What’s the best thing you’ve seen whilst diving?

The odd shark, Conga Eels and some beautiful corals.

How often do you dive?

Try to get a good few dives in somewhere hot in the summer holidays then a few trips away with the dive club to keep the skills up to speed and see the gloom of the North Sea or a sunken boat in Capernwray.

Who is your go-to dive buddy?

The slowest person to put their hand up to say they already have a dive buddy. Finding a dive buddy in the club isn’t a problem.

What would you like to share with people who are considering scuba diving?

Have a go, if you don’t like at least you’ve tried it. If you do like it learn how to lie convincingly to your partner on how much time and money you will be spending on your hobby.

 

Tim Saville

Hi, I’m Tim and age is just a number. It’s not how many times the wheels have been round, it’s the state of the engine that matters.

Member since?

2003

Dived since?

1997

Number of Dives?

1900

Qualifications?

PADI OC Trimix Instructor, TDI MOD 3 Rebreather Diver.

What started you diving?

Bored on my honeymoon, had a try dive in the pool and then got divorced.

Best dive?

It hasn’t happened yet. I’m booked on to dive the HMHS Britannic in October 2018 and I’ve got a visit to Bikini Atoll in 2019. So far it would be the San Francisco Maru in Truk Lagoon.

Ambition?

To dive the HMHS Britannic (better not get blown out!).

Funniest narcosis moment?

Mistaking a rubber inner tube for a conger eel whilst at 30m on Somali wreck at the Farne Islands. In life before helium.

How often do I dive?

I average around 150 dives a year, works out about 3 a week. I need to get wet regularly to avoid drying out.

Best piece of dive kit?

AP Inspiration Rebreather without a doubt.

Best buddy?

It has to be Liz, my wife, she knows me better than anyone, she is my conscience and voice of reason. Sometimes I need it.

Andrew Lamb

Hi, I’m Andrew, I live in the Wakefield area and clinging on to my 40s.

How long have you been diving?

A late starter to scuba, my first dive was in Blue Lagoon June 2010.

What made you want to become a scuba diver?

It was a chance conversation with a work colleague driving back from a meeting in Reading. “We’re off for a try dive tomorrow, want to come?”

Time with the Club?

I joined the club in 2010 not long after my Open Water training and soon found lots of buddies to go diving with.

Favourite UK dive site?

My Favourite UK dive site has got to be the Farnes, diving with the seals and a pint in The Ship, what more could you ask for?

Funniest narcosis moment?

Whilst not funny at the time, the loss of a weight pouch at 30 meters was followed by the biggest lead hunt you ever did see. With pockets full of rocks and fishing tackle I made it safely back on to Allan Lopez’s boat Spellbinder II.

Qualifications?

Coming through the PADI route I’m happy with Advanced Open Water, Deep and Nitrox, everything you need for that all important Egypt liveaboard.

What’s the best thing you’ve seen whilst diving?

My best spot was a large shoal of Hammerheads that circled their way up from the depths of Daedalus and gave us a spectacular display.

How often do you dive?

Not often enough!

Who is your go-to dive buddy?

My divelog software puts Paul Marsden as my most frequent buddy but he’s closely followed by Phil Armitage and Steve Free.

What would you like to share with people who are considering scuba diving?

Just do it! It’s such a privileged experience to dive with the wonderful wildlife you can see beneath the waves.

Liz Saville

Hi, I’m Liz, I live in Huddersfield and I’m only 43.

Member since?

2002

Dived since?

2002

Number of Dives?

1390

Qualifications?

PADI trimix 65, TDI cavern diver and BSAC rebreather mod 1

What started you diving?

I was climbing in Spain and it snowed, so I went to the coast and did a try dive….never looked back.

Best dive?

Tricky one this…it’s either Truk lagoon or my dive with a whale shark and giant mantas in Socorro, Mexico. I cried.

Ambition?

To dive Bikini Atoll

Funniest narcosis moment?

There are too many…..but the original ‘isn’t it funny how so many shipwrecks are close to the rocks’ is hard to beat.

How often do I dive?

As often as possible, although I’m getting more choosy in the winter.

Best piece of dive kit?

Thermalution heated vest.

Best buddy?

My hubby Tim.