With pleasant odours drifting from the familiar kitchen, a warm fire and a comfortable seat, DJ started to study the diary. He had always tried to follow Donna's advice and record every detail; so important after each dive. Trying to reflect on all the adventures - Thistlegorm - 'Grandad is asleep', whispered Sally; astride the Matchless bikes, flashes back to the early 50s climbing Mamore near Kinlochleven the Loch; Stoney Cove and that awful helicopter dive; well done that was a super landing, I will pass you for flying, now train for IMC. John Hart's face blurs into the dream of a sea cow, why? Dressing on the shore and entering the sea with Janice to find one but with no luck until the very last moment there is one grazing on the sea grass; trying to get back through the swell...tired. A flashback to sitting on toilet seats where? Yolanda. And watching the grouper and batfish. The first night dive again with Donna down the rope fastened to the pinnacle; lion fish in all their splendour lit by the torchlight.
The Jolly Rodger - what? (The Jolly Rodger was the destination of a promotion when DJ initially launched his Vauxhall Dealership prior to learning to dive in the mid 80s.Walking the Plank as a result of being the youngest dealership and plunging over 50 feet into the waters of the Caribbean, that was when he first saw a lion fish! Now the 100th Dive at Benel Gebel,101 at Banana Reef. Derek! Wake up! Dinner is served! You have been asleep for nearly an hour! Pick up your diary!
DJ reluctantly does so and, recovering from what has been a dream of reality, realises that, though distorted by time, the events of the past years will be in his memory for life.
It is the most grateful thanks that Derek, DJ, offers to all those who contributed to making these events possible; Janice, Terrence, Donna, Emperor Divers for their professional approach to a not so young diver, to the crews of those superb boats, and last of all to Bryony of Emperor Divers who has put up with the old guys ramblings on a monthly basis. To all divers, just breathe slowly, keep calm, don't touch and ENJOY the wonderful experiences.
Yours, Derek Oldham