Voted one of the top twenty beaches in France; Carnac is just a short car drive from the Brittany Holiday Cottage and with my love for ice cream I always pop into my favorite ice cream parlor with over 125 flavours.
One of my hobbies is Scuba Diving but I must confess I have been limited to the types of diving I've done. All my dives have been in nice warm water over 27c with good visibility of over 30 meters and only 30 dives logged.
Last year I had a friend over for a holiday and I decided to go for a dive via the dive school based at Carnac while he went sailing. It had been 2 years since my last dive holiday in Egypt and always in the past if its been over 6 months from my last dive I have always had a check dive with an instructor to make sure I was confident in the water.
Now totally my own fault because as a diver the only person you can trust for your own safety is yourself and this particular day I failed big time, I told the dive instructor that it had been 2 years since my last dive but I am a very confident diver and asked 'do I need a check dive?'The instructor said that it was not necessary and he and I would buddy up for the dive and he would keep an eye on me.
I had told him what my past diving experiences were and he said no problem.
Firstly I was given a full dive suit as the water temp was 16c and was asked how much weight I needed for my belt, I said I had no idea as wearing a shortie in the past I was down to 4 kilo's and had no idea of the buoyancy of a full colder water dive suit.
On the boat out to the dive site I discovered that the dive instructor was not just looking after me but he was diving with a group of 7, we put 10 kilo's on the dive belt and he said he had an additional few kilo's on him if I required additional weight.
So with 10 min to go before we reached the dive site we all got kitted up, my gear was not checked by the dive instructor and I did not check him as he was busy sorting out the party.
When we entered the water I could not believe the visibility it was like pea soup down to 5 ft and being one of the last to start my decent everyone had disappeared before I had got down to 5 meters. At that point I was struggling with my weight belt, it was basically slipping off my waist and sliding down my legs, struggling to sort the belt out I was now all alone, 20 seconds later the dive instructor came back up to me but indicated for me to surface and he was being followed by the rest of the party.
When we were back on the boat he said he could see I was having trouble but the anchor had come loose and he decided to save the boat first from drifting off rather than assisting me. We then re-positioned the dive boat and this time my equipment was checked.
Once in the water everything was fine and we got down to the bottom at 20 meters and started to swim along the sea wall, the instructor was leading the party and I found myself at the back of the party. I decided to try and get closer to 'MY BUDDY' only to find it impossible as all the other divers were blocking my way, I then moved up a little to swim over the pack to get close to the instructor but when I was hit with all the bubbles from the tanks below started to go up.
That's when to be honest I don't know what happened apart from panic, the dive party disappeared, my mask was clouding up and I had no idea if I was stationary or drifting upward until it was to late and I had started to accelerate upwards as I became more buoyant and broke surface a few seconds later. I was disgusted with myself because I have never before done that and knew how dangerous it was.
I had to make a decision because I knew I must now be missing from the dive party and after sorting myself out went down again to join them. At 20 meters I located 2 divers and joined them thinking they were my party only to find they were a separate pair that were on the same boat...now what to do, I stayed there for 30 seconds to see if I could find my guys but no joy.
Now were they still down here or had they surfaced to find me, I decided to go up and sure enough the whole party were near the boat, they had been down for only 10 min in total and now the dive had ended due to me getting lost.
It was a very quite boat ride on the way back.
Back at the dive club I booked a check dive for the following day and just said that I was not used to the diving conditions. The next day I arrived back in Carnac to be told that due to bad weather the visibility was to bad to dive, I said I thought the previous day was bad at which point they said 'no that was ok'.
In front of all the other divers I said to the dive instructor I had a confession to make, he asked what. I said sorry I lied, I'm not actually a qualified diver, I just wanted to have a go yesterday. The dive instructor could not grasp exactly what I had said so after repeating it his mouth dropped with shock, he realized his mistake. Even though I had them in my bag he did not ask to see my licence or Dive log before I dived with them.
The thing that really hit me after the dive the previous day was if I had died no one had my details, no one knew who I was and it really hit home the lack of professionalism.
Hence a very important lesson was learnt, never forget your training and speak up if your not happy with the situation.
Talking to some of the other divers there are some good dive sites around Carnac but as yet I have not had the urge to go back....I think I need a few dives in comfortable surroundings to regain my confidence.
What ever your sport or hobby your sure to find it close bye the Brittany Holiday Cottage and I'll be happy to assist to find out details of what you are interested in prior to your holiday at La Forge.