Brixham Breakwater Beach – My First Dive (May 2000)

by Tahnee Sheppard. (14 years).

Sunday 21st May: I have to admit, I was rather nervous. Should I trust these sometimes-weird people with my life? The thought that came to me next, was that if my Mum (who is almost 35) could do it, so could I.

5:45 was a very early start as far as I was concerned. We got to Harry’s for 7:00, and were at Brixham at about 9:00.

As we pulled into the car park Stuart and Liz Butterfield were awaiting our arrival.

Ten minutes later Tim and Steve arrived and our little dive party was complete.

The weather was supposed to be nice but throughout the day it was sunny then cloudy, hot then cold so we just got on with it.

I had my first dive at 12:00 ish. Whilst the others were in diving we sat waiting to see their little heads bob up. People dragging each other up the beach in the name of training trying to save their lives whilst the waves were refilling their lungs with water was all very new (and amusing for me).

I was most worried about the cold water to be quite honest. If there is one thing that I don’t like it’s the freezing cold British waters, but after trying for ages to get the neck seal over my head Harry came along and did it like an expert so I knew I was in safe hands.

I shuffled down to the shore line with God knows how much weight hanging on my hips which I thought would snap any minute, and a bright yellow bottle thing filled with the stuff you breathe. I think it’s called air. I was to find that very useful once I got in the water. Anyway, I slowly moved backwards (on the verge of falling head first into the sea). It took a while for the water to find it’s way into my suit but as it did it wasn’t even that cold (honestly). We swam for a bit then Harry got his S.M.B sorted out and we went down.

The visibility was good and we saw lots of sea dwellers that were new to me. I saw the difference between the different types of crabs, and some (what I thought were really big) starfish. The only thing that really got to me was the surges of cold water down the back of my suit.

After about thirty minutes we went up, swam to the shore and shuffled back up the beach. Totally exhausted and freezing I grabbed my warm dry towel and jacket and relieved the strangling seal around my neck.

My first dive over with I thought it would be more fun the next time. It would have if I could tell the difference between a living and a dead pipefish. Harry played a horrible trick on me and then everyone had a good laugh about me afterwards in the place divers call heaven – the pub.

My second dive that day was not so good. The other million and one divers there had stirred up all the sand that day, but we did see a cuttlefish, which I’d never seen before. We were going along and Harry stopped, and in his hand he held what I thought must be a dead fish. He carefully handed it to me and thinking it was dead I took it from him. When Harry signaled to me to let go I did and the damned thing shot right under me and up between my legs. It nearly gave me a heart attack I felt like strangling Harry.

After we all got packed up and cars were loaded we were off home, dragged into the pub of course. The carvery was very nice thank you. And so was the beer!!!!!!!!!!!

God was I glad to get home. The day was sooooooo tiring take it from me.

Bye then……….until next time?

Last updated on: 21-November-2000

Copyright © 2000, 2008 Bristol Aerospace Sub-Aqua Club

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