Trip Organising, the Seals' Approval

Excalibur Farnes October 2011When I was asked at the beginning of the year to organise a trip to St Abbs in October I wasn’t overly worried. After all how difficult could it be?
A couple of phone calls to Paul and Rachel at Rock House, stick the trip on the planner and wait for people to come forward with their money. Or so I thought! Everything went fine to start off with, I made the booking and people put their names on the planner as interested – great, no problem, er well it didn’t quite work out as I’d hoped.

By the summer holiday I thought I’d better start getting some money off people and confirming them on the trip. That’s when then ***t hit the fan. I contacted everyone who had said they were interested only to discover only 3 could actually make it. Excalibur Farnes October 2011By chance that weekend virtually the whole club was busy doing other things. After a number of frantic phone calls I was left with no option but to contact Rachel up in St Abbs and, offering my most grovelling apologies cancel the booking – embarrassing to say the least.

But it all worked out in the end.
Speaking to people I realised that pretty much any other week in October would have been OK, so I decided to try again. We regularly go to St Abbs so I thought I’d try somewhere else. I remembered Mike organising a trip at this time last year to the Farnes to dive with seals. This had unfortunately been cancelled due to bad weather. "Lets try there." I thought. I contacted the hard boat dive centres in the area only to be told that I needed to book about a year in advance – so it had to be the clubs own boat Silver Fox. Accommodation also proved difficult to find. I eventually came across Annstead Farm, half way between Beadnell and Seahouses, which had a bunkhouse available.
 Excalibur Farnes October 2011
The original plan expanded from 8 of us taking Silver fox to a total of 15 of us going on the trip and taking both the club’s boat and Ben Flowerdew’s RIB - Angelina.  The diving was great, particularly on Sunday when we really got amongst the seals, and the company better still. My only regrets during the weekend were; that we were unable to dive the wreck of the Somali (but the seals more than compensated) and that Joyce managed to get in to the “non-snoring “ bunkroom!
Joking apart, I had a great weekend and would like to thank everyone who came for making it so, especially Dave for helping me organise the trip and then making sure everything ran smoothly.
Excalibur Farnes October 2011Would I organise another trip? You bet I would. It’s not simple but the more senior club members are more than happy to help and when it finally works out it’s a great feeling.
To see more pictures from this trip, visit the Excalibur Gallery here

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