On an uncharacteristically warm day in late October of 2021, five members of the Southsea Sub Aqua Club ventured to the furthest reaches of Somerset to complete their Drysuit training.



Having already completed their theory session, Nicky, Steve and Dylon arrived at Vobster Quay, perhaps a little apprehensively, ready to dive using a Drysuit for the first time. After a short briefing, the three students started their preparation for their first dive and the watchful eyes of Instructors Robyn Peel and Jim Fuller. Despite the usual unexpected problems(1), we were all soon ready to venture into the sheltered water pen. The students quickly realised that drysuits, unlike, say T-shirts and shorts, considerably restrict your movements.

The first session involved getting weighting correct, and this is completely different to wetsuit weighting as we all know. This important step out of the way we then moved on to the stuck inflator and inversion drills, both on the surface and on the very convenient two-meter platform. Having completed those important skills we moved onto the all-important CBLs, first in the pen, and then from the six-meter platform.

The morning dives completed, we took stock (and tea/coffee and a burger), ready for the afternoon's experience dive. By then the fair and warm weather had given way to duller, and wetter weather. Some of us then enjoyed an hour exploring Vobster, including the top of the crushing works and a very scenic wall dive.



This involved an exploratory experience dive, where we were able to visit some of the attractions that Vobster Quay has to offer. After a bimble around the ledge at twelve meters, taking in the car and plane, we returned to our exit point, a new walkway adjoined to the pergola was our kitting bench and base for the day.

The diving complete, we packed up and set off for the long trek home, battling the traffic off the afternoon rush hour.

Overall a successful day, with three club members now trained and experienced in operating what is often an under-rated piece of active diving equipment, and now ready to dive year-round in the less than tropical South coat.



 (1) Oxymoron intended.


Self-portrait of the author, Jim Fuller