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