Given that winter’s started to bite, and that my intelligence is notoriously high, I decided to spend last weekend diving near Portsmouth, on the South Coast of England. It was 6 degrees, for those of you who, unlike me, understand the numbers on thermometers. If the technical side of things work, there should be a picture of Horsea Island just next to these words – don’t be fooled by the apparently placid look of the water, it was very cold and a lovely pea-green (perhaps that should be pee-green) colour, and you could see about ten feet at best. Lovely.

But the diving itself went pretty well, and the instructors and my fellow pupils were friendly types, perhaps partly because the shared experience of being so very cold so very much of the time brought out the James T Kirk spirit or something. At one point in the conversation, though, one of the divers referred to the Surface Support people (the folks who were staying on land and monitoring how long we’d been under, making sure we had enough remaining air, that kind of thing), saying they envied them. To which one of the Surface Supporters replied with something which sounds like an aphorism, though it was new on me: “Better to be in the water and wishing you were in the boat, than in the boat and wishing you were in the water”.
A good point there, I think.

Oh, and I got to roll backwards out of a boat and into the water, like you see in films and TV. Which was, in itself, worth enduring the cold for.