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Luis (IOW) by way of the river Arun - Gale warnings? It takes more than that to deter Guildford's di Print
Date: 22th July 2000

The boats have been a bit quiet for the last couple of months so it was good to get a couple of dives organised (courtesy of Dave and Carol). The usual routine, at the boat sheds at the crack of dawn, to prepare the boats, drive down to Bracklesham and then the obligatory faff. (Its about time we starting giving awards for faffing at this club as some of us have turned it into quite an art form). Anyway faff over, kit on the boats ready to launch and along comes the coast guard and sticks up an imminent Force 8 Gale warning. For some unknown reason the dive marshal of the day took this as a reason not to launch the boats and so the day ended - or so you would have thought.

Duncan was keen to launch the boats any way to see how the engines were running and so took a team off to give Spare Rib a run in the estuary. (Personally I think he just likes racing up and down in them but there you go).

The rest of us (that hadn't wimped off home) decided to do a quick river dive in the river Arun at Pulborough on our way home. (It won't surprise anyone to find out that Pete Raison was the leader of this group). Actually to call it a dive is a bit of a misnomer - a paddle being a more accurate description - as the river is a maximum of 1m at that location and mainly a lot shallower.

So in 6 of us went and Pat was the first to surface with a trophy - a pistol. "That's plastic", I said. "Er No", replied Mr Good giving it a good whack against a rock to prove his point. As it was it turned out, it was an air pistol but that didn't stop thoughts of having to spend an afternoon in the police station explaining how we had come to be in possession of a fire-arm.

As well as the gun, the days haul included a bullet, various shotgun cartridges, some interesting bottles and a prop. I know Carol is particular excited at the thought of Dave cleaning up those bottles and displaying them proudly on the mantelpiece!

For the naturalists amongst us there was plenty to see including bream, eels, carp and flat-fish. The latter most notable for being obviously(?) sea water fish - although tidal, at the point we dived the river it must have been a good 10 miles from the shore. (Someone's going to accuse me of exaggerating now, but that's what it looks like on my map).

Good fun was had by one and all. I'm not saying that I'd recommend river diving as a regular club activity, but as a one-off it was certainly an interesting experience - if you don't mind the smell that is.

 
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