Having lost a few club members to Melbourne over the years, I thought it was time to go down there and see what all the fuss was about. The trip got off to a great start with an excellent Italian meal and visit to some of Brunswick Streets pubs and bars to catch up with current SSAC members in residence Rick, Steve and Etsuko. Unfortunately this had a proportional negative effect on enthusiasm levels come 8am when Rick I are set off to Torquay in the grey light of dawn to the swish of windscreen wipers. Two hours later we are at the beach, armed with a cuppa a muffin, the rain has eased to a light drizzle and the sea is flat as a tack. Things were looking up. We kit up and fall in to conversation with the diver setting up a rebeather next to us, who turns out to be none other than Stuart Cannon, the BSAC Coach for Australia!
Just as we are beginning to worry where the boat has got to it finally arrives...the tractor gearbox died on the way down and so Jeff (the skipper, from Scuttlebutts Scuba) was stuck in first gear! Not to be deterred we load the kit on and made for the beach, at a snails pace. Soon we are speeding to the dive site, a short 15 minute ride away. Once there the conditions are looking so good (i.e. not raining) there is a quick debate and we decide to leave the Dunloe for another day and head off to the Beverwijk, a dredger a few hundred metres away. Once shotted, we kitted up and all divers onboard piled in. The visibility was described by one of the locals as the best he had seen on the wreck at around 5-10m, and the water temperature was a pleasant 16c and the depth is around 47m. The wreck lies upside down, with plenty to explore inside and easy access through the bow which is fairly broken up and narrower exits at various points all the way along to the stern. Just off the bow is a massive pair of spoked wheels.
Once we are all back on board we zipped back to shore and the awaiting soap and homemade savoury scones supplied by Jeffs wife, Bev. The scones alone make the dive worth while!