Video 81 – Ocean drive

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Full version is 16mins 15secs long, and can be downloaded and streamed online.

The latex wrist seals on Andrea’s Ocean wader suit had started to perish – they were still working, just about, but little cracks were starting to appear on the surface and it wouldn’t be long before one or other of them tore. Having ordered two replacements, she sat down at the kitchen table to fit them. Impact neoprene adhesive is fantastic stuff, and within 10 minutes of gluing the new seals in place she was able to try their fit around her wrists.

Trying the fit of a wrist seal is one thing but, obviously, the only real test involves submersion in water. Let’s be honest: what else is there to do on a bitterly cold and windy January day? 😊

Having driven over to the coast wearing her Ocean suit, Andrea splashed across the sodden marsh grass until she entered the complex system of deep mud-filled gullies that form the estuary. The mud was knee deep and quite sloppy, but it had huge suction. This made walking in it extremely tiring, so she took to wading down the middle of one of the rivulets.

After a bit of sliding down the mud banks into the water it was clear that the new wrist seals worked fine. She was warm and clean and cosy in the wader suit. Warm and clean and cosy that is, until she decided to roll into the water sideways from a steep bank… A shock of cold water cascaded down her fleece inside the suit, soaking into the top of her jeans. The ingress of freezing water was definitely a shock, but somehow it was also a very moreish experience!

When she was quite wet indeed inside the suit, she clambered onto a muddy shelf and proceeded to remove it. Any thoughts of her inner clothes staying clean soon vanished as she plunged one of her knee high riding socks into the mud. The point of no return had been passed! And so she made the most of it – rolling, sliding, splashing and getting completely covered from head to toe in sloppy mud, wearing only her fleece, jeans and riding socks.

The only problem was that it was hailing and snowing intermittently, and the air temperature was 2degC; the water temperature was probably about the same. It was extremely cold! So, having dug her Ocean wader suit out of the slop, she waded across the stream to a piece of firmer mud and slid back into the suit. With it all fastened up and her wader belt in place she plunged back into the water to clean up, externally at least!

Of course, she pushed it too far – like she always does, allowing a lot more freezing water to pour in through the neck of the suit. But that’s what wader suits are for, she thought with a smile! And then, with no more energy to play, she trudged up the muddy slope and back across the marsh grass to the pickup – taking the opportunity for a final clean-up in one of the shallow pools that dot the grassland, of course.

Driving home, she was just another farmer’s wife in a pickup truck, wearing a one-piece green waterproof suit. It was only when she removed the suit at the door to the house that the truth about what was inside was revealed! With a slick of muddy water running across the yard, she pulled off her soaking socks and headed indoors for a long, hot, and fully clothed, shower.

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