How to go for a lockdown dive
By Jenny Lord
Spend the week before the dive emptying the contents of your dive bag all over the living room. Tip half a cup of water into your mask and throw it over the sofa. Deny all knowledge of how the water got there, insisting it was all dry when you put it away last time. Ensure gear is spread sufficiently to get in the way of anyone trying to actually use the living room. If anyone complains, remind them this is important safety equipment and you need to make sure it’s all in working order before use. Leave all gear strewn about for the whole week. Bonus points for taking the reg apart and leaving the bits on the kitchen table, right where everyone normally makes their lunch. Yell at anyone trying to move anything and explain that it needs to be kept in the same order you took it apart so you will know how to put it back together again.
The night before the dive, hastily reassemble reg and carefully pack all dive gear into your bag, unpacking and repacking several times to make sure everything is there.
Photo by: @DarkSideDivers
Wake up at 5am and ensure the rest of the household is awake by upending your gear bag and repacking it, this time remembering to put your mask in.
Load all gear into the car. Bonus points for dropping your cylinder and waking up the rest of the neighbourhood. Sit in your car for 3 hours. Get out and start stripping off, with a towel half-heartedly wrapped around you for modesty. Ignore any comments from neighbours. Realise you forgot your thermals. Put normal clothes back on. Put a drysuit on over the top of normal clothes. Tell anyone nearby that the water’s warming up and you’ll be ok. Ignore strange looks from your neighbours.
Assemble gear. Reassemble gear the right way round (we’re not judging, it’s been a while for all of us). Put the gear on your back and pick up your gear bag. Carry everything up and down the garden 10 times. Place a plank between two walls (ideally different heights) and walk along it. Put bag under a garden chair and tie your kit to the fence. Sit on a chair and sway gently from side to side for an hour. Bonus points if you get someone to throw the odd cup of water at you. Attempt to balance on a football while putting on your kit. With fins and mask on, waddle to the other end of the garden. Holding onto mask, reg and weight belt, lie down in kids paddling pool. Ensure this has been filled with ice-cold water. Lie there for 20 minutes, ignoring neighbours who are asking if you need help. Occasionally waggle your fins. Pee yourself. Realize you hadn’t hooked up your catheter properly. Remember you’re wearing your only set of clothes. Lie there for another 20 minutes.
Get up and climb the step ladder whilst still wearing fins and mask. Take off the kit and tie it back to the fence. Tell anyone nearby how great it was and not really that cold for this time of year despite your bright-blue lips indicating otherwise. Sit on a chair and sway gently from side to side for an hour. Walk back along plank and up and down the garden 10 times, carrying all equipment. Disassemble your kit and chuck it in your car. Take off the drysuit. Get it halfway off before remembering you don’t have any dry clothes. Put drysuit back on. Get in the car.
After 3 hours, get out and go into the house. Ignore shouts from members of the household about dripping water everywhere. Go straight to shower and strip off. When dry, grab your bag from the car and throw it in the spare room, loudly announcing to all you’ll “rinse it off later”. Leave pee-smelling drysuit hanging in the shower, ready for next unsuspecting victim.
Sit down with a cup of tea… you’ve earned it!