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Craig Mainprize

Which type of parrot should a pirate have? That was just one of the many questions Paul, Andrew and I were posing as we teased each other about which eye to wear our patch on. Andrew was mulling over a bottle of stain remover after over-feeding his bird, whilst Paul and I loaded up the truck at an ungodly hour in the morning. We programmed the SatNav and set off on our two day adventure to become Sea Dogs of the High Seas. (Boat Handling course in Essex).
Ocean Visions
Pointing After many hours navigating the busy shipping lanes of the M11 and A10 we decided to pull into port and locate some provisions. After poring over charts and compasses we programmed "take me to the nearest McDonalds" into the SatNav and headed into the wind.

One of the best inventions of modern times a voice said "You have reached your destination.", but after scouring the horizon through our worn and trusted telescopes... All we saw was McDonalds Taxidermist and an irate Land Lover shouting "Oi, you can't park here". We tied him up and made him walk off the back of the truck before departing to the real restaurant opposite. We arrived at Bradwell and met our instructor Black Beard Captain Black Beard to you ye insolent swab!
Certificatisation Reading the weather is extremely important when out at sea. Andrew excelled at this being a former BBC weather girl, he stood up and expressed deep concern about the occluded front rapidly hurtling our way and the impending torrent that would follow. Paul and I applied our sun cream before boarding the Black Pearl (RIB) that we had commandeered for the afternoon. We did the safety checks always have a pointy bit facing forward... Clicked it into gear and proceeded at full speed out of the harbour with Black Beard hanging on yelling... "8 Knots!"

Patience is a virtue formerly found in our instructor, but two days of our humour and unbelievably natural boat handling skills left him in awe as we motored four and a half tonne of un-steerable vessel towards his boss's boat. Turn to starboard... STARBOARD! PORT! REVERSE!... Ooops. We left mission accomplished.
Our qualifications secured, all the baddies' ships sunk and our instructor's nerves in tatters.

Craig Mainprize is Chief Instructor at Hydroactive dive centre and runs the dive shop based in Letchworth, Hertfordshire. Hydroactive's training centre is based nearby at The Old Waterworks in Clophill, with purpose-designed lecture facilities, plus heated pool and full changing amenities.
H2O Dive

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