A dive at Bare Island was the first of two ‘the Meakin is back’ dives planned for Gary Meakin’s return visit to Australia. After organising equipment and logistics the time was set for an 8am meet at La Perouse on Saturday.
At 7:30am Monique and Sam received a message from Gary informing them that he had split his head in a surfing accident that morning and was going to hospital for stitches! This followed the news that a swimmer had been very badly bitten by a shark at Congwong beach the previous evening. The first we learned of this was when 9 News approached Sam for an impromptu interview. This later appeared on the evening news when the ‘local swimmer’ declared how ‘totally shocked’ he was. 9 News failed to include the bit where, when asked if the shark attack had deterred him from entering the water, Sam replied ‘no, but my wife won’t be very happy with me if she sees this on the news’.
During the final stages of kitting-up a policeman approached the groups of divers and did his best to discourage people from diving. But the general consensus among us and other divers was that it should be ok. However, we did decide to stick to the western side of Bare Island. Also Monique was still eager to try out her new dry suit.
The conditions for diving were excellent and we had a nice relaxing dive. There was one ominous moment when a large dark shape appeared from behind the rocks but it was just a lurking blue groper. The marine life was plentiful and Monique even found an octopus. After 50 minutes and a maximum depth of 13 meters we returned safely to the shore. Not long afterwards 9 News packed-up and left, probably disappointed not to witness further dramas.