Jo’s blog Salamander Day 3

What a great day we have had, starting with a big breakfast, which I am sure is getting bigger, and this year they certainly can pack away large amounts of food. Most are going up for seconds and then a bit of fruit is consumed just to make sure they are full. I really am not sure where they put it all?

Breakfast is soon worked off as the day begins with the pole drop. Only one drop today as we need to get kitted up for Coate Water and that can take a while! Still a couple not wanting to go down, but most now finding this second nature and loving the challenge. There is now less of the “no” and more of the “I’m next”.

Straight down and over to the changing bay where Mark and his team had kindly (and very early) set out everyone’s teddy suit, (I’m sure it has an official name but they are like large onesy’s), dry suit and shoes ready for Coate Water. With all hands on deck (and feet) everyone is squeezed into the suits (and squeezed is the word) and seated on the buses to take them over to the lake.

Once again this year we are lucky enough to have the Adver Newsquest Mini bus to take us over to Coate Water with Tony driving.  So with 8 in the bus, the others were packed into the ambulance, and fire car, RRV (oh blow I can’t remember what it stands for sorry Abi, I know you told us). With instructors in the engines we are ready to go. Nicky pips me to the front seat once again, but I don’t mind because Ben has the sweets (got to love a sherbet lemon).

Once we were there it was time to get the suits zipped up, helmets, gloves and life jackets on. Thanks to Nicky once again this year we have the great system of the pegs on shoes all named so we know where to put their glasses and hearing aids, makes life so much easier when returning them to the correct owner.

Paul joined us today along with James (who helped with the abseiling as well) both firefighter have done previous courses and it’s great to see them back.

We couldn’t go in the lagoon area as we usually do as this year the weed is taking over (even more than last year)! So we went in from just a little further across and they were able to walk in. Smiles and screams all round  as they get further in, then for the good bit, it’s the only time we don’t get them to say pardon as the wind comes out!! They pull the neck of the suits and release the air which leaves you with a fetching clingy look.

Now for those of you that know me well I don’t do water too well, so I stay with the ones that are unsure at this stage. Then the walkway is slid into the water and we are all able to sit on it and be pulled out. Much better for me, and I cling to the hook on the side. But my safe area is soon interrupted and I’m pulled off into the water. It really isn’t all that bad honest as the buoyancy jackets keep you safe so I bobbed along by the side of the walkway while the rest got off and headed off to the side ready for their favourite bit……yes the jumping in bit!!

I think there were only three of the young people who didn’t jump and the rest just kept going back for more. Sophie is great in water, be it a puddle or Coate Water she just loved it. There was a great dance build up from Myles before heading in, he may have even been helped in! But his smile was huge when he came round to do it all again.

All too soon it was time to head back for dinner, this year they were hosed down before they took the suits off, great fun, and just in case they didn’t get too wet in the lake Mark ensured they were now. Mark also felt Nicky needed a hair wash so she had a complete head to foot shower, think it was at this point she found the hole in her suit!!

Dinner went down well today as all that swimming made for some hungry people and Pasta bolognaise, chips and Salad and of course the seconds with jugs of juice.

Back to the classroom for a couple of DVD’s and a round of my favorite Ganglam Style, just in case they had forgotten about it.

We get to this point now it’s time to start practicing for the show, can’t say too much as it won’t be a surprise for you all. They all are given their jobs and a high speed ride in the engines around the yard. ………… and now you have to wait until Friday to know what happens next.

Night night