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Date added: 13 April 2007

Scuba Diving - a SwindonWeb adventure 

Nothing to do in Swindon? Think again!

In this the latest part of our series of SwindonWeb adventures we've been continuing our search for things to do that are just a little more exciting than the usual.
Things that are a: not neccessarily the type of fun activity you may associate with our lovely home town and b: something which we can film some humiliating video of someone trying out.

Part Five: It's splash time - scuba diving!
with SwindonWeb's game girls underwater, Kirsty Heber-Smith and Liz Ledger

For our latest SwindonWeb adventure we were thrown in at the deep end somewhat - quite literally!

An underwater experience that left us quite hot, sweaty, wet and utterly breathless - but one we would definitely do again in an instant.
Scuba diving in Swindon

We are, of course, talking about diving - or sub-aqua diving to be precise. A sport we surprisingly found we could do here in Swindon.
So, with fanciful ideas of swimming with dolphins and grainy memories of Jacque Cousteau pludging the depths we set off in one of our SwindonWeb Minis - for Dorcan Leisure Centre!

A place we would spend the next two hours in the capable hands of two very able - and strapping - instructors from Ocean-Realms, a Swindon dive club who like to put the fun into going down below (their words not mine!).

But before we could even think of wet-suits, snorkels and flippers we had to complete all the serious stuff first: signing our lives away and watching a 30-minute instructional DVD highlighting all the things that could go wrong if we failed to breathe properly!
A brief period when one of us (no names mentioned) got slightly cold feet about the whole experience when terms such as 'burst lungs' and 'the bends' were mentioned - but that thank god was short lived.

Next came the tricky job of avoiding our camera man while we stripped off and got into our SwindonWeb Magic Roundabout t-shirts. Pervert!

That done, we soon got all girly and very excited about getting in the water. A funny feeling really; like a mix of scared intrepidation and nervous anticipation. Either way, we were ready to go diving!
Or so we thought.

Our instructors for the second time in the evening, just putting a check on our eager enthusiasum to just 'jump in' by once again emphasising some of the safety aspects we needed to bear in mind.
The fact that I was more worried about a hair cut that cost me 40 quid the night before didn't seem to worry anyone else, but that's beside the point.

Finally... we started doing all those things divers do. Namely get in the water and put on things like weight belts and air tanks.

And trust me when I tell you this - those things are heavy! Really heavy!

Just imagine giving the fattest member of your family a piggy-back whilst standing on a slippery floor, and you'll get what I mean!

That accomplished, it was flippers on (with help) and the chance to get a feel for breathing through what was introduced as our 'regulator' (and what we would soon find out to be our best friend underwater).

Next - goggles, which, incidently, we had to spit into first to stop them clouding up - and sounding like a poorman's 'Darth Vader' we just about had the thumbs up to go fully under.

All our early fears were gone. This was starting to get really exciting!
What followed over the next hour can only be descibed as a truly magical experience. It was that good.

Our instructors couldn't have been more patient or encouraging. One minute we had never even attempted breathing underwater - the next minute we were doing tricks.

Things we had never thought possible in the first session such as 'losing' then 'retrieving' our regulators and simulating a 'goggle emergency' became second nature. That and swimming in formation while being filmed. Go girls!

At times we quite forgot we were doing all this whilst still in Swindon! And not in the South of France or the Maldives. Yes, quite an exaggeration I know, but even Dorcan pool can seem like a million miles away when you're having this much fun.

An experience we never really wanted to end.

But when the time did finally come around to get out of the pool at 10pm, we couldn't believe how much we had achieved in such a short time. Even our instructors were impressed.

And possibly relieved! It's not everyday you have to cope with two girls far too excited for their own good, but they did an absolutely fantastic job.

Thanks guys - it was brilliant!
Scuba Diving - 13/04/2007
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Scuba Diving
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