Wow was the parking bad for those that arrived after 7.30am!
Owen, Pete, Sam and Ben set off to tinker with kit, take pics and in Petes case to get back into the water after a wee while. Mission accomplished. A warm humid day soon had the dry suit divers cursing us in wetsuits though that changed when we got into the water. A gentle bimble up the inner side of the reef, vis ............ mmmm poor, weed gives way to rocks and eventually to sand. Not much life to be honest, about 3 wobblegongs, large number of rays, some nice angel fish, a very unplayful cuttle fish and a bunch of friendly groupers. 40mins to an hour in the water depending on your body temp!
All kit put away and a good old fashioned Australian BBQ breccy - bacon, sausage and egg rolls, brown and tommy sauce, lashings of coffee and banter across the hot plate with our fellow aussies.
With light winds and a low (but Easterly) swell we drove over to Bass Point just south of Shellharbour. Make sure you SatNav maps are up to date as the Shell Cove Marina developments are coming along fast. Our aim was Bushranger Bay, which from the viewing platform was looking spectacular. Unfortunately, many other people had the same idea, the carpark was chocker and alas the council is clamping down on people parking in non-designated spots. While you can dump the gear and leave the car at the other carpark near the toilets, it was a warm day for a 0.5km walk suited up so we thought we would try some of the other sites. At 'the slot' (near the cultural walk on google maps) it was looking a bit surgy, so we ended up at the gravel loader, plenty of parking, and an easy entry/exit via the boat ramp.
With the sales in full swing and Christmas out of the way, it must be summertime. The sun was out at Shelly Beach and the water was 21'C at the surface and 19' at depth, well 9m. Ben & Owen had an enjoyable bimble for about an hour while Zoe, Tomoko and Andy chilled on the beach. The vis was not the best, but it didn't stop me messing around with the camera. Post dive, Owen rustled up a quick bacon & egg bap, while Andy was dreaming up plans for a dive down south while he still has a break from work.
God Bless the Queens, and more importantly Australia, for making her Birthday a public holiday!
It is only a couple of weeks until the winter solstice, and on Wednesday we were all enjoying the warmth of the fire at the Nelson. and moaning about the rain. However, the forecast for the long weekend was dry and sunny, so plans were made for a shore dive and (shock, horror!) there was even talk of doing some training.
Come the holiday Monday, Sydney was trying it's hardest to make you think it was still summer: Sunny and 20 degrees both on land and in the water. There was no sign of the student, so the training was abandoned and the toys came out. Dispite the recent rain, the visibility was still in the 5m range, which was good as the three of us all had scooters and it could have ended in a tragic accident if the vis was bad. As it was, much fun was had by all.
Key point for next time...don't go for an 11am meetup time...the parking is shocking and worse, the cafe...
During last weekend's dive at Shelly Beach Al was claiming there was a massive pack of (juvenile) bronze whaler sharks. Knowing full well that it doesn't count unless you get a picture he was back again this week with Ben and Sam also join the shark-fest.
The conditions were great, light winds, no swell to talk of, good vis and the water still a toasty 22'C. Ben and Sam set off at a leisurely pace (you know you are taking your time when you get overtaken by a cuttlefish), while Al buzzed around on his scooter. 80 min later nearly every Australian fish species had been ticked off, but the marauding pack of whalers were somewhat light on the ground. Apparently, the open circuit gear makes them a bit skittish, with Ben only getting one sap of one from afar.
Still, a bacon & egg buttie with a coffee rounded off a perfect Sunday morning.
On 4th May, SSAC made its semi-annual pilgrimage to Jervis Bay. Despite the weekend being bookended with rain, we had a fabulous day out on Dive Jervis Bay's new boat Wanderer. With the conditions perfect, we did the double dive up at Drum & drumstick, checking out the ordinance and playing with the seals. Alas Ross' recently repaired drysuit blew a seal, so it was only the one dive for him. On the way back we had a bonus tour of the sea caves.