It isn't really treacle after all...

When we booked a week in Bulgaria, I hadn't been able to find anyone who'd dived the Black Sea so I was really looking forward to doing something you lot hadn't done! I did my e-research and was able to find there were two PADI centres in our resort, Sunny Beach. I didn't find either of their addresses on the Internet, but I took the more portable bits of kit and persuaded Chris that we should borrow a snorkelling kit for him so he could come snorkelling with me.

On the first morning of our holiday we made the two-minute walk down to the beach and lucked out, there was the Deep Blue PADI centre right in front of us. If you ever need to know, Deep Blue is near the south end of the beach and Blue Angel is somewhere on Old Nessebar. We went back later when they were open and I arranged a dive for the next day.

The Deep Blue crew picked us up right on time the next morning and took us back to the centre to sort out kit and disclaimers. As well as hiring me the rest of the kit, they threw in a wetsuit for Chris. The total cost was 60 leva, 30 euros or about £22.

We drove round to the north-east side of Nessebar, which is a formerly fortified and now heavily commercialised island. There are small quays round the side, very popular with local fishermen; we went to a "spare" quay next to some interesting-looking rocks, probably not so good for rod fishing. There were four of us diving - three English tourists and one of the PADI guys. I must admit I hadn't been looking forward to the group dive bit but didn't feel too uncomfortable with a group of four. The other PADI chap stayed with the van and kept an eye on Chris, whom I photographed with a wetsuit and snorkel and then guiltily abandoned to his fate.

After checking kit and signals, we swanned gracefully down a ladder into waist-deep choppy water and put fins on. Then we submerged and headed out to sea. The sea bed was rocky/sandy and mussels appear to have been a popular part of someone's diet over the years. Sea temperature started off at 22 degrees, deeper and farther out it cooled to 20. There are no poisonous critters in the Black Sea, so we were told. I saw maybe ten different species of fish, none of which I would have put at above 20cm long. I'm not too good at recognising what's what yet and some of it may be unique to the Black Sea, but some of the fish looked similar to wrasse and dragonettes. There were a few crabs, again nothing very big, and three species of jellyfish, including one that reminded me of nothing so much as a lampshade. It was lovely, white and very solid with a blue line on a frilly fringe and billowing tentacles.

The sea bed was almost completely free of any man-made litter. We found just one long piece of chain and one length of cable. Where we were, it stays shallow for a long way out. We stayed in for an hour but didn't go deeper than 8.4 metres, just pootling along looking at stuff and coming out at the same ladder where we went in.

When we surfaced Chris had just come out of the water, having enjoyed himself as much as I had, I think. Don't hold your breath though, he hadn't had a Damascene moment. But we did go snorkelling together at the same place a couple of days later and I finally got some pictures out of my camera. I hadn't allowed for the bobbing up and down that happens on the surface so they were nothing special but I was pleased because they were the first lot that actually came out. So just for the sake of it I've put a few of them on http://blackseadive.mysite.orange.co.uk

I hope I haven't rambled on too much, but before I go to bed I would just like to say how much I appreciate all the time you guys have given training and helping me, and especially making sure I finally qualified in time to go on holiday. THANK YOU!!!!! XXXXX