Four members of SSAC met as planned at Bushrangers Bay at 8:30am on an overcast Saturday morning. There was ample parking and just one other group of divers present. A significant swell was coming in from the east and one of the local divers wasn’t too optimistic about the conditions. But we all agreed it was worth a go, with Ben on his JJ and Fe, Soo and Sam diving single 12s. What you can't tell from Google maps is that there is a steep descent of about 100 wooden steps to reach the water!
We followed the northern contour of the bay and found that the conditions were actually pretty reasonable. As we entered the larger outer area a grey nurse shark briefly appeared. By the time we turned around to head back in the viz was in excess of 10m with a max depth of 18m. Somehow we missed the shallower entrance to the inner bay and found ourselves heading east again with a spectacular wall to our right and Port Jacksons on the sand below. After a swift course correction we made our way safely back in after a total dive time of 75 mins.
After inspecting Maloneys Bay and the Gutters we eventually settled on the Gravel Loader for a second dive. Soo decided to head home and Ben swapped his JJ for open-circuit. The entry from the slipway wasn't too bad and we set off towards the loader, following a shallow rocky seabed covered in black spiny urchins. Unfortunately a combination of circumstances (including a dodgy compass) along with the 150m swim conspired against us and we never made it to the loader. After 25 minutes we were safely back on shore.
We rounded-off the day perfectly at a local café in Shell Cove with post-dive bacon-and-egg butties and fresh coffee.