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ISSUE 23 ARCHIVE - QUIZ: FRESH WATER VS SALT WATER

We all like a dive. But some prefer to sit on a plane getting a DVT to reach their favourite tropical site whereas others love a jam on the M6 to get to theirs. Which are you? Inland or Offshore? Let's do the quiz to find out.

1: Weight Belts

In May's Modern Britain we all have lower back pain. GP surgeries are full of it, A&E is blocked by it and osteopaths can earn more than footballers. So how does yours affect your diving?

A – Even the slightest weight across my lower spine causes agonising spasms across my upper bum. Ouch. So the less weight the better. I always dive fresh water ponds in desert oases. That way you don't even need a wetsuit. Sorted – my blinging jewellery is enough weight to get me down.

B – I made it all up. The back pain that is. Don't most people? Helps to get the blue badge and a few extra quid each month and the GP gives me repeat sick notes after a phone consult. But that may stop after the letter from the police with a picture of me ice diving in Russia's White Sea and 20 kilos of lead hanging off my L5/S1.

2: Visibility

Apparently some divers actually like to be able to see stuff underwater.

A – Absolute rubbish. Vis is totally over-rated and frankly for beginners. There's nothing better than diving through mucky silty darkness with only a low intensity torch and a dirty mask. Sometimes I even close my eyes for extra dark effects. That's proper diving.

B – The etherealness of light as it cascades down through the azure waters – and glints off the back of a ray, is why I dive. And take drugs too.

3: Underfoot

A – There's no sweeter feeling than the subtle grittiness of car park gravel through a neoprene boot. That slight crunchiness and the scuffy sound as we drag our feet on the 200 metre fully kitted walk to the lake's edge. Heaven.

B – I know it gets into your sandwiches. Gets under all your toe-nails and ends up causing your bed sheets to become all gritty. I know it gets into every cut and can cause rampant infections. And I know it harbours bugs that give you leishmaniasis and sandfly bites. But you know what? YOU CAN'T BEAT A BITTA SAND.

4: Grouper vs Pike

We love fish. And the bigger the better. But not that big. Which is your favourite medium-sized big fish?

A – The King 'o' Lake Predators. Every time. So fierce they named a medieval weapon after them, and that bloke in Dad's Army. Pike – don't tell him your name! Camouflaged from above and below, they can be hard to see until they float majestically in front of a well placed shopping trolley. Or come to the surface to gorge on unsuspecting ducklings. Truly the most British of fish.

B – I love Star Wars – and if ever there was a piscine version of Jabba the Hut – it is the Grouper. Obese, with dark shadowy eyes and cleaner shrimp dancing round its mouth like Princess Leias. Some divers take down boiled eggs to feed them on the Barrier Reef – where they are called Coral Cod – but hey Ozzie, a quick taxonomic note – there's no decent coral and it sure ain't a cod.

5: Wrecks

What's your favourite steely underwater discarded machine?

A – Cars. Because I've got one at home and can relate to it underwater. There's a cool Ford Capri in a lake in the North. Awesome as I have a Mondeo, so I can see what my car would look like if it was 30 years older and at the bottom of a body of water. If I use a right side- mount tank, I can actually open the door and sit in the driver seat. Not sure it would start though, what with all the dampness.

B – Cruise boats. Whilst still diving I have no time for other sorts of holidays. But the wife's been nagging me to go on a cruise for a while now. Part of my research is to check 'em out at the bottom of the ocean. It's good to know how far the galley is from the bar. How big the outside rooms are compared to the inside one's. What sort of view the skipper would have from the bridge – if the boat wasn't upside down and buried in silt. So far the Lusitania is my kind of cruise boat, but White Star Line seemed to have shut down. Guess it'll have to be Cunard then.

6: Chamber Proximity

I'd rather have a gun and not use it, than not have a gun and need it. So said Wyatt Earp before becoming Marshall of Tombstone and shooting up the Clancy Brothers. It is the same with Dive Chambers. What do you think?

A – Some of these UK dive sites are a bit deep and it's good to know there is a chamber within an hour from my dive. It gives me a degree of confidence to know that if anything went wrong, the dive docs are just around the corner.

B – Mozambique. East Africa. Deep diving. Reverse profiling. And so remote from any medical facility that the last guy who got bent, woke up in a chamber in Durban and was given a pair of shorts and a Nelson Mandela T-shirt to hitch back to his hotel 500 miles away to get the rest of his stuff. Made a man of him, that trip, despite the furore in a bush in Eastern Tranvaal with 2 poachers armed with AK's. True story.

7: Pre-dive Carb Load

We all know that a one hour dive burns as many calories as Sir Mo and Sir Andy do in their respective sports. They eat glucose gel and bananas before winning Gold. How do you get the energy to see you through your sporting activity?

A – Double McSausage Brekky and a KFC hot wings kicker on the M6 services on the way to Stoney. If going to Chepstow there's an ASDA Welsh Faggot Stop pull-in somewhere near.

B – Old biscuits and bootleg mini-Snickers on my dive boat. And the sugar sachets near the now empty coffee pot.

8: Celebs

They are everywhere now. Blame reality telly and Gogglebox. There used to be so few that Fred Dinsdale, chimney wrecker was cult. Now the early evictees from BGT and BB are soon turned around for Eurovision and CBB. It does my head in. Warhol's 15 minutes of fame has now become Cowell's 1 hour of fame. Anydoors – who would you like to see at your dive site?

A –Bearded Bill Oddie in a camo jacket looking for a reed warbler up a marsh near the car park.

B – Kanye, Kylie M, J-Lo, Prince Harry and Diane Abbott all topless on the boat next to me off Key West. Sweet. Selfies all round.

9: Ice Ice Baby

Bizarrely in Winter there's this hard crust to the top of the water. I blame Global Warming, or is it Climate Change? Either way we've covered every weird weather pattern with those. But how hard do you like your ice?

A – A 2mm thin shell to jump through at Vobster, rare but it's fun to be the first in and leave a large hole for others.

B – Bring the oxyacetylene, the Bunsen's and a chainsaw. I'm diving the krill migration in Antarctica. It'll take 4 days to hack a hole here by which time I won't have any fingers left, but I can always press the down-button on my BCD with what remains of my nose.

10: Apres Dive

It's been a long day. 3 dives, plenty of fish and some photos good enough for Nat Geo. Let's relax and see what the after party is like.

A – I've been clamped in the local car park. And there's a tail back on the M4 'cos of a learner driver stopping to update his Facebook in the fast lane. At least my local road should be clear, but there's been a knifing. Home by midnight. Doh.

B – The boat ran aground on the coral. There's been a bombing at the port. The hotel is now structurally unsafe after the last earthquake. Home by midnight. Doh.

SO HOW DID YOU DO?

Mostly A's. You are truly an Inland Diver. The hardest-core that Middle England has to offer. You have EasyJet to the azure waters of the Med. But forget it. There's a lake you have to test your kit on up the road. In December.

Mostly B's. And you are a different species. You prefer to surround yourself with warm climes, delayed flights but a fuller passport. Just wait for the E.Coli to kick in on the Uber back from the airport.

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