Dimple Neal - Treasurer
You've probably already guessed that Dimple is actually James's other half. His long-suffering wife, who has to endure all things scuba diving whether she likes it or not!
Dimple is, in fact, a PADI 'Scuba Diver'. She undertook her training back in 2013 whilst in Marsa Alam, Egypt. James was her instructor!
And whilst it wouldn't be accurate to say that she is a keen scuba diver because she isn't! But she does like to go for the occasional 'bimble' with James when they are on holiday together.
She is qualified to dive to a maximum depth of 12 metres and can only dive with a suitably qualified PADI Professional. Which is all she wants to do, her diving interest stops with James and she simply likes to go for the occasional dive with him in order to see some of the things he gets to see.
On her last dive in Egypt, she saw a turtle, and she takes great delight in reminding James that he didn't get to see it.
Dimple takes care of the InDepth Dive Club finances. She kindly volunteered (got the short straw) and was duly elected as the club's treasurer. Her day job is in banking and she is responsible for training teams to meet with compliance.
Dimple's scuba journey really started back in 2001, or at least her water-based life skills started back then when she undertook the RYA Level 2 powerboat handling certification.
At that time she used to head down to Lyme Regis regularly with James when he was doing a lot of powerboat racing, and she was heading out to sea with him in some seriously powerful race boats, many of which spent most of their time airborne!
These things weren't small pleasurecraft, we're talking high performance, race-tuned machines that you could easily injure yourself with if you didn't know what you were doing. The stable at the time included:
14' Formula 1 racing catamaran fitted with a short-shaft Mercury 150.
20' Ring Powercraft fitted with a Mercury XR2 race-tuned outboard.
25' Phantom fitted with twin 250hp Mercury outboards. One with a counter-rotating gearbox.
36' Extreme fitted with a V12 marinised Lamborghini Engine.
It seemed only appropriate that she learn how to handle a powerboat properly, and so she found herself down in Topsham, on the River Exe and out at sea with 'On the Fly' - the 20' Ring Powercraft, learning how to not only handle a boat at sea, high speed and low speed, but how to park it alongside various pontoons, how to navigate at sea, buoyage and chartwork as well as radio work and sea survival. She completed her RYA Level 2 Powerboat Handling course in June 2002.
Having passed the course, Dimple then got to drive all the boats, except the 14' Formula 1 catamaran. She became pretty good at it as well and is a proficient helmswoman.
When James went from digital publishing to traditional publishing the powerboat racing went by the wayside as the time constraints became a factor with print deadlines, but she can remember spending many a night on Lyme Regis beach, sleeping under the stars with nothing more than the boat tarpaulin for shelter, or in the car because it was so cold! She will recant theses tales with much less enthusiasm than James...!
It wasn't until they were on their honeymoon that she ventured out on another boat him, this time it was on a sailing catamaran in the Caribbean Sea, and it was whilst on honeymoon that James returned to scuba diving.
Dimple hadn't realised that she'd secretly married a scuba diver and that she would end up spending so much time on, in or around the ocean. Holidays became diving holidays, trips became diving trips and weekends away where invariably by the coast. Subsequently, it was whilst on one of these diving holidays to Egypt's Marsa Alam that she found herself learning to scuba dive.
As well as having her PADI Scuba Diver certification, Dimple is also a fully qualified Emergency First Responder, Emergency Oxygen Provider and she also has her Project Aware and Coral Reef Aware specialities.
She is often roped-in to helping out on various courses, organising holidays, booking flights and generally involved behind the scenes in the day-to-day running of the club. She also makes the most amazing bacon and eggs butties when there's a course running at the Dive Den!
It was only a matter of time before the first boat appeared. And, with that, the need for suitably qualified diver coxswains. Dimple soon found herself being dragged back on board and back out at sea.
Having fun? Perhaps you had better ask her that...
“BEING RICH IS HAVING MONEY; BEING WEALTHY IS HAVING TIME.”
— Margaret Bonanno