The latest step in lifting the COVID-19 restrictions couldn't have been better timed with pubs now being able to have up to 50 people. So we booked a table and headed down to the Nelson for the monthly get together. Aside from signing in it was just a like a normal night at the pub but (a) you know you had a table and (b) it not being too, noisy so a win-win. It was also a productive evening so keep an eye out for invitations for a Shelly Beach dive on the Queens Birthday, Christmas in July and hopefully the 2020 SSAC bushfire/COVID recovery weekend away.
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.