Pete and I were the first to arrive at the Superior Riverside accommodation. It did what it said on the tin, being a comfortable, well appointed modern cabin. We bagged our beds and waited for the rest of the gang to show up and when they did they promptly re-arranged the sleeping arrangements. A few drinks later it was off to bed ready for an early start.
The next morning we were on the boat and on the way to Fish Rock. I chose Fish Rock Cave for my first dive and, because it was so good, for my second dive too. These were both great dives with fish life all over the place: Sharks, Wobbies, Rays, Lobsters, Cray fish and so much more.
That night was spent at South West Woks a good Thai restaurant which served great food including the Ginger Dish of Death Ben the ginger mans favourite.
Sunday was not so clever weather wise and everyone was moaning and groaning and wondering if the nice warm bed was a better option I was game as UK diving conditions are not too distant a memory for me! Fortunately the weather cleared up and the diving did not disappoint. This time I did the Shark Gulley and then The Fish Rock Cave again.
That afternoon was a BBQ and a few beers, Bens cooking left me wondering what time the other 150 guests were arriving (we did not go hungry!) Then we went to the old Gaol which closed 10 minutes before we got there but we were able to see a beautiful sunset, walk along the beach and watch the kangaroos before returning for some more beers back at the Superior accommodation.
Day 3 started much better and even Tash looked half awake for the first time all weekend. This time we were off to Green Island to dive the Pinnacle and other dive sites. The first dive was a wall dive off Fish Rock where we dropped in to see grey nurse sharks and as the dive got better and better my grin got wider and wider hard to keep a reg in a wide-mouthed frog grin! Grey nurse sharks, wobbegongs, shovel nose shark, bull rays, eagle rays, box rays, puffer fish, huge cuttlefish and a turtle, this dive had the lot and it was great.
Saving the best til last!! The last dive of the trip sounded like it had the potential to be an also-ran dive how wrong I was. We dropped in on a few more grey nurse sharks and waited for the rest of the group, then ascended to a ridge and as we pulled ourselves over the ridge we were staring at loads of grey nurse sharks bottoms which were holding station in the current. This was fantastic as they were within inches of us and were not in the least bit bothered, eventually we moved on surrounded by sharks every which way you turned, whilst looking at the sharks in front of you were missing the ones at your side and the ones behind you. We came across a round piece of sandy bottom which looking like a bowl, in this tiny space were 3 grey nurse sharks, 3 wobbegongs, an eagle ray and to top it off a turtle swam past. Then we went round the corner back towards the shotline and there they were again - loads of huge grey nurse sharks holding station in the current. At this point I wish I had taken my Inspo and not a 12 litre cylinder, as I would have stayed there for hours. I was in heaven. We had built up 11 minutes of mandatory safety stops (on day one the dive boat said they werent keen on deco dives) so we were forced to hang around on the shotline and watch these beautiful creatures. This, unbelievably, had knocked Pass St Jacque in Mauritius off the top spot as my all time favourite scenic dive, a record held for over ten years.
Back on board I could not contain my excitement as someone shouted whale and there it was getting closer and closer doing all the usual tricks. Then when it was 50 metres and heading straight for the boat it came clean out of the water and with a huge splash disappeared, several seconds later and 30 metres from the boat out it came again this time it did a barrel roll. It stayed alongside the boat for a while before carrying on with its journey, my grin was now wider then my face. All that was needed now was a whore holding a chilled beer when we got back to shore.
What makes a great dive trip?
Great food and booze
Great dive operator
Great crowd (Bec, Ben, Jules, Michelle, Pete, Red, Rick and Tash)
This had all the ingredients that made it a great dive trip.
Cheers Ben, I hope you enjoyed your birthday weekend as much as we did.