Today I would like to thank the wonderful team at Eltham & District Sub Aqua Club (EDSAC) , which my son Ben joined in January this year, initially this was to fulfil the 3 month skills requirement of the Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award but since then because he just loved it. So every week until now he's been training in a pool in South London but today it's time for 'The Lake...'
We've been hearing about 'The Lake...' for some time, a freezing cold filled-in quarry in Kent that when mentioned is always followed by a pause, not sure why (maybe the freezing cold? maybe the swirling mud?). It has various vehicles, boats and statues submerged for divers to explore and is supposed to be great (if cold!) Yesterday two of the teaching team, Diane and Nelson, invited us to their home for Ben to be kitted out in wet suit and assorted layers to combat said cold. They lent him everything he needed apart from boots (they did try but his feet were too big for theirs) of course they quickly made a call and another member of the team stepped in with the right sized boots.
Today, Diane and Nelson even drive us to the 'The Lake...' where John and Kevin had also given up their morning and were waiting to support Ben on his first outdoor dive. We had Good Luck messages from fellow instructor Denis (who Ben says makes the Friday lessons such fun) and knew that Graham and Tracy were rooting for us back from the base. At every point dealing with this Club I have found the team to be helpful, patient, enthusiastic and endlessly kind - they are wonderful ambassadors for the sport. Thank you.
Ben loved the dive! It was quite a different experience watching from the banks where the divers disappear and you don't see them again for 47 minutes... On the way home I did think that the fact that the lake surface being so calm and looking like nothing is going on makes an apt metaphor for being the parent of a teenager - actually there's a whole adventure under the surface!