The Pamir

For the first time, Delph dived a wreck today. It was her first wreck dive.

Wreck diving isn’t different to other diving, per se. There is just a lot more hovering mid-water. And pulling yourself through small spaces. Not bashing your head. Wreck diving means you have to be good at maintaining buoyancy.

At the same time, Lulu led her first dive – with some of our anchorage posse: Gavin and Andrea. They are both certified divers. Andrea is even at instructor level. Both however, are Pamir wreck newbies. Lulu is definitely not a newbie. She and Jack have dived this purposely-sunk 170 foot freighter many times now. Both Gavin and Andrea were happy for her to lead the dive.

We met at the wreck’s buoy before midday, by our anchorage. Our stuff was assembled and loaded into Edna. Gavin’s and Andrea’s stuff was ready too. The only difference with our gear was Andrea’s twin-set tanks. When Andrea mentioned he had a twin set, we thought this meant he carried two tanks on his back. In actual fact, he carries them side by side. Like he’s nursing newborn twins.

The girls and I like to say that if our little anchorage was a sitcom, then solo-sailor, Italian Andrea would be its main character. We like Andrea. He has a chilled-out view of the world.

Lulu decided she liked him first, in the first days of lockdown. We kayaked past his boat. He came out to say hello.

‘Not sure if I’m supposed to be kayaking at all,’ I called out.

Andrea lifted an eyebrow. ‘Well, if they tell you not to, just don’t do it again.’

‘I like that guy,’ Lu said as we paddled off.

Jack had briefed Lu all morning. Go down the shot-line, take them onto the port side of the Pamir. Head up the wreck towards the anchor.

Lu’s party went down first, followed by our little gang. Delphine descended with an ease I hadn’t seen. Usually she plays around with clearing her mask or equalising her ears. This time she sunk straight down. We settled ourselves at the raised bow of the Pamir, ready to begin.

Jack and I looked around for Lu on the port side as agreed. Except her group were on the starboard side and heading down towards the stern of the wreck, not the bow. What’s more, Lu was in front of them, finning away. Jack and I looked at each other. Our child.

Our dive was fantastic. Delph went into rooms and through corridors without a problem. We bumped into Lu’s party too in the main cargo compartment. She’d evidently slowed down and they looked happy. Phew.

At the end, we came up first. Lu was close behind. All three emerged in a cloud of bubbles, Andrea with his metal twins.

Lulu was grinning. She pulled her regulator out of her mouth. ‘I didn’t kill anyone!’ she exclaimed. Yep. The dive leader has been born. Our wreck diver too.

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