He's been diving forever and he's got the beer belly to prove it. He's got more stories than you've had
hot dinners and, like it or not, you're going to
hear every single one of them.
In this issue ScubaGit explains why women make such crap divers
Dive Girl! What's that about then? A load of rubbish if you ask me. It would never have been allowed in my day - we never used to have women divers in our club. Women did sensible stuff like making the packed lunches and knitting spare straps for your fins out of wire wool.
If you wanted to dive you had to be a man. A proper man, that is, not like the nancy boy divers you see these days with their fancy computerised gadgets and self inflating whatsits. What's wrong with a good old-fashioned pair of lungs to inflate things, eh? We always managed it in my day and we never had half the accidents this rabble have with their fancy Buoyancy Control Devices and their poncy-looking drysuits. We were lucky if we had an old pair of overalls and a pullover to dive in.
Reg, our Diving Officer, used to recommend doubling up on underpants for a bit of extra warmth where it counted, but most of us regarded this as a bit sissy. I've only ever owned the one pair of underpants anyway. They were good enough for my wedding day, and with luck and a bit of elastic maintenance, they'll last me another 25 years.
Diving used to be a real sport. Where have all these so-called women divers come from, then? None of them look like they could pass an A test to me - show them the rough end of a snorkel and they'd probably faint with shock. Everybody knows ladies can't dive - too frightened of getting their hairdo's wet.
Standards are dropping as fast as a barmaid's knickers. I blame these modern training methods: they're so lax, it's ridiculous. These days you could put a chimpanzee in a wetsuit and before you can say PG Tips it'll have passed a couple of PADI qualifications and be planning to open a dive centre somewhere exotic. Kimmeridge was as exotic as it got in my day.
It's all about money these days - too much spare income has made people soft.
We never had the cash for all this hard boat diving and bed and breakfast performance. We made inflatable boats from old inner tubes and raided the scrap merchants for anything that we could patch together into a workable outboard.
It's a marvel what you can do with ingenuity and a length of gaffer tape.
We would camp out by the shore with nothing but a couple of old blankets held together by safety pins for shelter - bin bags were considered luxury items. Tents? Don't be soft. For entertainment we'd see who would be first to contract trench foot. Of course Alfie 'the fungus' had a headstart there - his left foot had never recovered from his days at the front in Northern France.
Ah yes, most of the club were ex-military chaps. Men who'd seen action and faced down more inedible rations than you could find in a Bovisand burger van. Men with brains bludgeoned into unquestioning discipline. Men possessing the kind of glorious disregard for personal safety that, luckily enough, often gets mistaken for bravery. A fine bunch of fellows - and not a skirt to be seen.
Except on Tuesday nights ... which at Reg's insistence was when we all dressed up in stockings and suspenders and played the game with the barrel and the half pound of lard. Reg was always a stickler for keeping those military traditions alive.
Well you can't expect women to understand that kind of fun.
That's why they'll never make proper divers.