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Blue O Two
I know me t'interweb two point nowt and I want me chuffin' Big Fat Feed of RSS fed to me.
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(iPhonoclast version)

I've been in New South Wales (so called because it looks like South Wales but newer and completely different) for the past ten days and they don't have any computers in Eastern Australia so I couldn't do a blog. I would apologise, but you're easily distracted, so look at the video of the cuttlefish instead.

We went through Sydney, where you'll be surprised to learn there's an Opera House. There's also a bridge, but I've seen bridges before, so whilst other members of the party were looking at that, I checked the latest news on my phone.

"Where's Hawk's Nest?" I asked Mixmaster Darrington of LDC fame, who's back in Straya for Santamas. "Where we're going", he replied, "why?". I showed him the report of a great white shark attacking a boat there that morning. Then I showed it to Marina. Fortunately, the report was illustrated with a picture of a great white jumping out of the water, so I could point out to her that the rubber one in Jaws, which I'd made her watch a few nights previously, was quite unrealistic.

Marina got a bit angry: "Why would you show me that?", was all she would say. Clearly she was frustrated that now there's been a sighting, the probability of us encountering a great white whilst in the water was drastically reduced. "Don't worry", I reassured her, "it says here that they're seeing up to ten a day now that they've imposed fishing restrictions in the area". She's started talking to me again now that we're back in Melbourne.

Sadly, the biggest things we saw on the trip were dolphins and kangaroos (not at the same time), but the diving was awesome. Unfortunately, we were camping which means you're constantly exhausted thanks to the kookaburras. These little chaps, like most birds, like to get up before sunrise and they have a distinctive call that many people say sounds like a laugh. And it does sound like a laugh. It's the cackling, howling laugh of a madman. A madman or a chimpanzee. A vengeful chimpanzee, driven beyond insanity by years of disfiguring vivisection. A vengeful, maniacal, horribly mutilated chimpanzee with a machete. And it's 4am. Why would a malicious, maniacal, mutated chimpanzee be cackling with evil, hooting glee whilst lurking outside your tent at four in the morning with a machete? I did postulate a theory or two in response, but none of my solutions were conducive to a restful slumber. Fortunately, Marina wasn't woken up by the kookaburras.

She was being kept awake by nightmares about sharks.

KLJ Diver Travel
Comments on this post:

This comment was posted in response to a letter published in this article. All comments are welcome.

Dear Rob and Gordon (Ramsey)

Please don't read too deeply into the letter that Lorraine Hill from Friends of Cardigan Bay sent you,myself and many other local fishermen have been fishing scallops responsibly in Cardigan Bay for over a quarter of a century,returning to the same healthy fishing grounds year after year,scallop stocks are as healthy,if not healthier now as they have ever been - if this is not a well maintained sustainable fishery,then I don't know what is!

Cardigan Bay plays host to a rich and varied array of wildlife,we've witnessed for ourselves increasing numbers of dolphins in recent years and the local media reported large 'super-pods' of up to 1500 dolphins off the West Wales coast this summer.The local tv news only recently reported that the seal population was increasing with a threefold increase in the amount of pups born this year.How can this be I wonder if we are to believe what these so called 'environmaentalists' tell us? The Bay's marine environment has to be vibrant and healthy and the food chain in tact or how else could these populations be increasing?

Our livelihoods are under an ever increasing and real threat by the naivety and ignorance of these people.

Yours sincerely


fishing vessel Harmoni MR7


Mark Roberts
Adventure Divers La Manga

Dear Mark,

Thank you for posting your reaction to the letter I published in my article in the last edition of Cooking the Catch.

I think that the points that you make are very valid, and I hope that the readers of the magazine do not for a moment believe that all fishermen operating in Cardigan Bay are doing so in an unsustainable manner, however there is another point you make which does actually raise a degree of concern.

You mention that there are increasing numbers of dolphins and seals in Cardigan Bay - this is itself is something to be concerned about, as it is an indication that the balance of the food chain is actually changing. If Cardigan Bay has not historically been the home to large numbers of dolphins and seals, then the fact that they now thrive there is a sign that there has been an increase in the numbers of species on which they feed, which ultimately, (somewhere down the line) means something else has been removed from the food chain.

I think that ultimately, whether or not scallop numbers in Cardigan Bay are being managed well is not actually the issue at hand here (although it is certainly something that has been in the press a great deal recently) Personally, as a chef and a diver, my concern is more that the fishing methods used are actually detrimental to the undersea environment - this is something that I am afraid cannot come into question here - having seen the results of dredging first hand, (and as a chef, knowing the difference in taste between dived and dredged) I can only say that I am in favour of the hand dived - they taste so much better (less gritty) and leave the sea bed looking like there is something living there!!

Kind regards,


Andrew Maxwell
Diving Chamber Treatment Trust

For an even better blog than this... Read the Battersea Blog

Get Orf My Pier

(iPhonoclast version)

There's a couple of weedy seadragons for you then; keeps you happy. But it almost went so wrong.

Basically, I was a bit warm in my drysuit and I decided Marina didn't need any help gearing up, so I hopped in quickly for the dive. Then, because I had to wait around for so long on the surface because Marina couldn't get geared up on her own because there was no one around to help her, I decided to check the housing on the camera, which is something I've never bothered to do before. It was steadily filling up with water.

Fortunately, the waterline was just below the actual camera, but then I had to wait around for ages whilst Marina took all her gear off so she could fix it and then had to float around for even longer whilst she geared up again. Seriously, if it's not make-up and hair it's a twelve litre steel cylinder and ten kilos of integrated lead. It wasn't the last problem her flimsy, girlie ways would cause that day though.

Mere minutes into the dive (54 to be precise), Marina decided she wanted to come up. It transpires she was getting bothered by quite a big ray (see comment below), which kept reminding her of great white sharks. Ridiculous since no one has been attacked by a shark in the state of Victoria for four years and the attack on that occasion was at least fifty and maybe even sixty metres from the actual spot we were diving.

We got out anyway (because the battery in the camera had died), but this involved climbing a bit of a rickety ladder which lacked any handrails at the top so you have to drag yourself horizontally across the ground when you get there. It's two metres or so up and can be a bit tiring, which is why I grabbed Marina's tank valve to help her up the last bit. I seemed to just be getting in the way though, so I let go after a few seconds. Turns out that was all it required for her to lose her balance and tumble back down the ladder into the water. Women have foul mouths on them sometimes.

Best not to help at all, really, which is the conclusion Marina came to with my driving. She made me do it. Don't get me wrong, I drove once in Canada, three years ago until everyone asked me to stop, and before that for a bit in Queensland, seven years ago, until I reversed into a wall and before that for at least a week in 1993, so I'm quite experienced. I just don't like it when there's objects around or I have to change gear or steer.

If, for example, there was a jerry-can of two-stroke diesel mysteriously sitting in the middle of the road and I was piling towards it at 80km/h whilst making driving noises (unnecessary, apparently, because the car does them for you), I'd probably just drive over it. I've seen it done with rabbits: they duck and the car passes harmlessly over them (but not the wheels. They make an exciting bumping / crunching sound). Jerry-cans, though. They have a different approach altogether, preferring to get lodged on the front axle instead of ducking. This generally makes an unpleasant scraping noise, but the diesel looks good in the rearview mirror as it spurts down the highway. I don't think they have a problem with fires in Victoria though, so it's probably OK.

The night before we came across some parked cars in the middle of the freeway and some girls who were trying to coax a koala into something that resembled bushes and didn't have cars doing 100km/h along it. The koala was having none of it and kept running (well, waddling) off in circles that, although they were ever-increasing, always ended in the middle of the carriageway, which it appears was the best place to sit down and look adorable.

Fortunately, Marina was driving, so it didn't end up on our axle, and there was no water around for me to accidentally drop it into. I think it was just hitching. If it had been down to me we'd have picked it up. I was a bit hammered though, so it wasn't down to me. Which is a shame, because driving is probably like dancing and I'm bound to be 37 times better at it when I'm drunk.

I think that's the best idea I have ever had.

Diving Chamber Treatment Trust
Comments on this post:

(iPhonoclast version)

I asked a girl out once whose surname was ray. She had blonde hair and looked a bit weird but her tits were quite big.

She said no.

Adventure Divers La Manga

Rob - your blog on weedy seadragons - that was at Rapid Bay? No leafy's?

Nice to hear there's someone who's driving inspires as much confidence as mine.

Lady friend in the USA let me have a spin round the block for 10 minutes - never asked me to share any of the driving to Yosemite...I tell you the car pulls to the right & what a stupid side to put a gear stick on!

Control freaks, the lot of the them.

You press on regardless & hold your end up, fella ;-)

Howard Sawyer
50 Reasons to Hate the French

Hi Howard,

It was under Flinders Pier, which is down on the Mornington Peninsula. Mornington's a bit like Cornwall: some beautiful bits with a few Newquay's thrown in just when you think you're enjoying it. No leafy ones this time although I did see one once. I was inexplicably staring at a bit of seaweed for half an hour and then it moved.

Back in 2003, when I was in Port Douglas, I ran out of money whilst doing my Divemaster course and ended up delivering pizzas. That was when I reversed the boss's car into the wall. My nickname was "Employee of the Month".

What I remember most though is the guy who showed me the ropes. Lovely fella, he was very understanding about the driving thing and kept saying "It's OK mate, you just have to get used to driving on the left". I didn't have the heart to tell him that's the tradition on UK roads as well. Particulary since I kept making his head bounce off the windscreen whenever I applied the brakes or changed gear.

Adventure Divers La Manga


It's not funny to count down the seconds to the tram's arrival. For six minutes. Out loud, using only odd numbers. Never do that again.

London and Midlands Diving Chambers

For an even better blog than this... Read the Battersea Blog

Do you have one of these, exactly the same, but alive?

It's really quite hot at the moment. So much so that I spend all day working in just my pants. Luckily, I work from home most of the time, but it gets very embarrassing when I have to go out for a meeting in the city or something: I think everyone else tends to feel terribly overdressed.

Anyway, the other problem with the weather is that when we first moved into this place, the landlady asked us to look after her plants for a couple of months. At first this was quite easy, because it rained every day. Now that we've hit drought season though, the plants seem to be receiving substantially less water.

Marina has intimated that perhaps, since I spend all day sitting around in my kegs, I could have taken it upon myself to feed the plants from time to time. I tried to claim that they were cactuses and hence didn't require liquid nourishment, but as you can see from the photo, I may have been lying.

Unfortunately, you can't tell from the picture what the plants used to be. Next time I'm forced to engage in some sort of similarly responsible behaviour, I'll take the photo beforehand, so that when I kill them I can go to a plant shop for replacements (if such a thing exists. Perhaps you have to wander into the wilderness or something).

I'll take the same approach if ever I have to babysit. I can wander into an orphanage with a photo, point at a child and say: "I need one of those, but smaller and in blond".

Surf And Turf Safaris
Comments on this post:

Vid-e-o blog

Vid-e-o blog

Vid-e-o blog

Vid-e-o blog


Ron Hubbard
Adventure Divers La Manga


Here's some lightning, just for you. And the seadragons above are Thetan level four.

The stingray isn't though. She's in league with Xenu and has no tail.

H2O Dive

For an even better blog than this... Read the Battersea Blog

Here There Be Dragons (x20)
A parrot, for Ed again.

I counted twenty individual weedy seadragons under a Melbourne pier on Thursday. So did Marina. Great dive.

Unfortunately, we had an argument before we left concerning leaving the packing until the last minute. In order to prove that it's quite possible to pack absolutely everything required fifteen minutes before leaving on any given journey without forgetting anything, that's exactly what I did. And, might I add, I did it successfully. Everything packed, nothing forgotten.

Except the phone charger.

And my jeans.

And all my socks, the suncream, and my sunglasses.

Oh, and the waterproof housing for the camera. Nice parrot, eh?

Scuba Trust

For an even better blog than this... Read the Battersea Blog

More Muscle = Less Brain
Under Mornington Pier, no one can hear you scream

As I was so horrified by the state of my beer belly on that last video, I decided to go for a run.

I've never run before except when being chased by something, or the time when my brother made me sprint a mile and a half to Hillsborough in order to miss as little of Wednesday being thrashed as possible. It was minus 5 degrees celsius and it made my knees hurt.

Anyway, it turns out that far from being as unfit as you would expect, I'm actually much worse. If I was in hospital, they'd have to wheel me around on a trolley to reduce the chance of a cardiac event. Not a bad idea actually. Most of our flat is uncarpeted, so the wheels won't get jammed as Marina pushes me about.

The thing is, the day before yesterday, as I steamed through the park at about half the speed an average human walks at, I spotted a possum being entertaining in a tree. "That would've made a great video for the blog", I wheezed to myself anginally, "if only I had my camera". But I didn't, of course, because I was exercising.

Which just goes to prove (scientifically and conclusively) what everyone knew already: the more exercise you get, the less art you're able to involve yourself with.

So, by being healthy, you win for yourself a life that's longer in direct proportion to how much less it's worth living. And it means that instead of an amusing video of a marsupial in a gum tree, you have to put up with a picture of a starfish instead.

I'm off for a beer and four hundred cigarettes.


For an even better blog than this... Read the Battersea Blog


Here it is kids: my first video blog entry!

I know, the excitement is almost too much to bear. If you're experiencing a tightness across the chest at the moment, it's because the excitement actually is too much to bear and you're having a heart attack. I suggest calling 999 at your earliest convenience.

Obviously, it's generally impossible to isolate paradigms as they develop, but I think we can safely say that this is the turning point of the interweb and life as we know it. In viewing this, I'm sure you will feel like Robert Oppenheimer as he saw the Manhattan Project come to fruition in a giant mushroom cloud, but better because this is clearly more interesting.

And it doesn't end there: I might even shave for the next one.

Diving Chamber Treatment Trust
Comments on this post:

Hi Rob!

I just thought I would send you this quick video, not just to prove that it's possible now, because that would be your job and I'm not you, but because I was compelled to by your dramatic sexyness.

Not Rob
H2O Dive

I have bought speakers so was able to hear your commentary. Another waste of 15.

Rob's Mum
e-med Arabic

For an even better blog than this... Read the Battersea Blog

Stripey Fish

(iPhonoclast version)

Look at that! Forget about the 21st Century, we've jumped straight into the 22nd. I do believe this site is now the most technologically advanced on the entire whirlynet. Nobody has video. Nobody. Except for youtube. And all forms of porn.

And isn't that just a staggeringly exciting feature to open with, eh? Those are called black and white stripey fish and there are at least ten of them in Melbourne. If your browser doesn't display the video properly, you'd probably best just do yourself in.

Doubtless, there'll be thousands of video blogs pouring in from me now. I can tell you about things like how I bought some weights this weekend:

I bought some weights this weekend. Now, when I go diving, I can just use my own weights and not hire any. Because I bought my own, you see.


Dive Worldwide PNG
Comments on this post:

I played the video, absolute magic. Last week when we went to London we visited the Imperial War Museum and I had a go on ship spotting from a sub. You were supposed to be dead accurate as missing an enemy boat could be fatal. Anyway I thought I had seen 6 ships but it seems there were only 5. Have you seen any Sea Dragons? They are so cute.

Rob's Mum, Aged 7 and 3/4
Diving Chamber Treatment Trust


those fish are just THE BEST. Absolutely freakin AMAZING.

Tht would be my BEST DIVE EVER if i saw that kinda shit.

Off to CROMHALL now to see if i can see my hand this time.

FatSteve from Bristol
Adventure Divers La Manga

For an even better blog than this... Read the Battersea Blog

PADI for Nurses
Not a nurse but something else.

Yesterday, Marina's hospital gave her a multiple choice medical exam to take home and complete which has almost exactly the same format as the PADI exams.

Typical questions are:

#7. One of your patients is diabetic and was due an insulin dose half an hour before your shift started. Unfortunately there is nothing in their notes to indicate that they have received it. Do you:

a) Assume they have had the dose and move on to the next patient.

b) Assume they haven't had the dose and administer it.

c) Ask someone who knows whether they've had the dose or not, and act accordingly.

d) Attack them with a shovel.

#13. A patient goes into cardiac arrest and the ward doctor instructs you to begin CPR. Do you:

a) Immediately commence Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation.

b) Immediately commence Recycling the patient's Crisp Packets.

c) Immediately commence a shovel attack.

d) Spread your arms out like wings and immediately commence running around the ward whilst making the appropriate aeroplane noises.

I got that one wrong.

Dive Worldwide PNG
Comments on this post:

You forgot Option e).

Start Movie CPR: ie. all wrong so the patient croaks but you really need the bed space.

Tis the truth maan.

Barry Blenkinsop
H2O Dive

In the movies, the patients always revive after approximately eighteen seconds of CPR (twelve seconds on TV because of ad breaks), which goes to show that the nurses in real life (as opposed to TV life) are obviously doing it wrong.

Which means, Barry, we can only assume your theory is correct. But what do they need all these spare beds for? That's where the real conspiracy lies.

50 Reasons to Hate the French

For an even better blog than this... Read the Battersea Blog

Kitler in her bunker.

We've been looking after a friend's cat for the past few days. For a while I assumed that, as with any cat, her hobbies mostly included just scratching the new couch and depositing fur on every object in the flat. How naive I was.

Having seen the picture on the left, the danger will be immediately apparent to anyone with a passing knowledge of feline fascism.

Her name is Clarabel. "As if that would fool anyone!" I hear you cry. Sadly, I was fooled until it was almost too late.

My suspicions were first aroused when I realised that it's almost impossible to open a cupboard here at the moment without "Clarabel" leaping inside. When she's not in cupboards, she's under things: couches, tables, shelves. "There goes a kitten that loves overhead environments" I exclaimed, simply, foolishly, naively, "She'd make a great wreck diver!" (This isn't true, incidentally: she wouldn't make a good diver at all, because she's a cat, so she'd drown and die).

And then for the past two nights, Marina has been on night duty at the hospital, and so, selflessly and heroically, have I.

Not at the hospital, obviously, but at home, on the laptop.

Anyway, I used to think that at night, cats slept or ate cat food or played with cat toys or had cat sex with other cats or something. But this one spends half of the night with a fat, puffed-up neck and big black eyes, subjecting ornaments and bits of furniture to merciless, unprovoked attacks.

The other half she spends bullying my psyche with her relentless, fascist propaganda: demanding food and water for the master race (cats) and subjecting me to terrible slavery (mostly involving making a fuss of her: if I don't, she miaows relentlessly).

Of course, I should have known it would end like this at the start, as soon as I saw the Kitler moustache.

That and the fact she kept planning reichs.

I told Marina about all this when she returned home this morning but, selfishly, she seemed more interested in banging on about boring work stories involving people coming in with horrific injuries and dying and stuff. I was forced to interrupt: "All the signs are there", I said, "This is what happened in 1938 with Czechoslovakia". I eyed Clarabel suspiciously. Marina tickled her on the chin. Then she told me to shut up and went to bed.

It's Poland I feel sorry for.

Travelling Diver

For an even better blog than this... Read the Battersea Blog

Getting a Semi On
Seahorse contemplates zip repair.

Marina bought a BCD and semi-dry wetsuit last weekend, which leaves me on the horns of a shocking dilemma. You can look at the pretty picture of the seahorse whilst you think about it.

The BCD is awesome, but so is mine, so I can handle that. Unfortunately, the semi-dry is also awesome and it was underneath Rye Pier last Sunday that my drysuit was clearly inspired to fulfil its own ambitions and became a semi-dry itself. It's been threatening to ever since I hauled it, battered and crushed from the shipping crate. The problem is it's the zip that's gone, so I'm looking at a AU$500 repair bill.

A fantastic semi-dry along the lines of Marina's will set me back AU$850 and will sneak me back into the lead in the battle of "who has the best gear" because my regs are superior, and will remain that way for at least another two months until they break as well.

What do I do? I'm not a tight person, except when it comes to spending money, so any advice would be appreciated. So that you have all the information required to make an informed decision on my behalf, I can tell you that the drysuit is a membrane design and now goes under the name "the thing with the bastard zip". The water temperature is f***ing cold, or 12 to 13°C. And the seahorse is yellow.

Diving Leisure London
Comments on this post:
Rob, yesterday

Re Marina's "semi-dry wetsuit". I hope she kept the receipt.

A diver cannot have a girlfriend called Marina unless he is Captain Troy Tempest. Are you Captain Troy Tempest? No.

Actually I spoke to a postman the other day called Roy Mayall. This is 100% true.

Adventure Divers La Manga

For an even better blog than this... Read the Battersea Blog

I know me t'interweb two point nowt and I want me chuffin' Big Fat Feed of RSS fed to me.
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