Off to the legendary Thistlegorm for me today. It’s a rare treat, but dare I say it, a young guides job! I’ve done my time getting up at 3.30am, picking guests up (at least one of which has slept in), waking the police up to issue your permission to leave the jetty, then followed by a fitful sleep when you worry what you have forgotten, waking the guests up again for breakfast and then praying to the gods that it is flat around the corner. Then of course you have the comedy of being the only boat out, and as it is not marked, having to convince the skipper that the GPS really does know better than him where it is (not actually always the case I have to admit!). Then you remember what you forgot, the spare GPS batteries, as it starts to die, and breathe a sigh of relief when another boat overtakes you.
Once at this world famous wreck, you have to tie onto her in a responsible way, with a knot that will last at least 3 hours in changing currents. Once you’ve made sure everyone knows what to do once diving her (one minute rule and NDL VERY important on this dive), its into the water where invariably half your guests have disappeared by the time you are on the wreck. Once gathered up, you begin the dive in the manner we all learnt all those years ago – there’s a set route here, and its important to follow it. Once inside, if people are coming the other way, it causes no end of trouble.  2 absolutely awesome dives later and someone has to go and untie the boat before heading back. Oh yeah, that’ll be me!

The preceding text is a worse case scenario (well not quite, we all have better stories than that!). Today however, I’m private guiding one guest who wants a slow paced couple of dives and to give his camera a decent outing. So my day reads more like this: Get to jetty, get on boat, sleep, brief, have a beautiful first dive, showing my keen photographer ladders, shells, locomotives and various other twisted metal parts. Dive 2 we manage to avoid everyone and get the wellington boots, motorbikes and rifles to ourselves. My guest is over the moon as we exit the ship, as just entering is a group, lets call them a ‘gaggle’, of divers looking armed and dangerous (think GoPro’s, video cameras and slates to ‘speak’ with each other). As we leave behind a stream of bubbles and a fair cloud of sand, we head to the boat with some awesome memories, as always, of our dives today.Knackered, but buzzing is how you describe a Thistlegorm day. Although today, thanks to my  guest, colleagues and two enthusiastic Divemaster Trainees, its just buzzing!