Over Christmas some of the more foolhardy members of the club went off to explore Tasmania. While it wasnt exactly a club trip and it wasnt all diving here are some of the underwater highlights... the advance party (Matina, Ross, Rick and Ben) established base camp in Bicheno, a charming village on East Coast. We were booked in for two days diving with the Bicheno Dive Centre on the first morning it was a bit blowy so on the advice Bruce, we went off rock-hopping up the local gorge rather bob around in the washing-machine like swell hoped for better weather the next day. One member of the party still managed to get wet, if only knee deep, after slipping off one of the rocks. Unfortunately the next day the diving conditions were still grim so we drove up the coast to the Bay of Fires, but Peter, the proprietor of the local dive shop said the vis was down to arms length, so not really worth getting wet for. The following day we were heading up to the Promised Land (near Cradle Mountain), but Bicheno bay was looking so flat we swung by the dive centre and a cheeky dip before heading off. We dived on one side of Governors Island, the water was still a bit murky but plenty of life.
We joined up with Michelle, the final member of the party at the van (dont ask) for Christmas, but put it this way some were pleased when several days later we made it to the third stop on the tour: Eaglehawk Neck. This time were we a bit more luck with the weather, getting five dives over 4 days. There was a wide variety of dive sites from plunging walls to long n narrow caves, spectacular anemone encrusted rocks, kelp forests (which we skipped as the water looked like skimmed milk!) and the SS Nord, a lovely wreck at 40m. Not to mention the stunning scenery (basalt cliffs, huge arches and caves, playful dolphins, albatrosss and passing Sydney to Hobart race yachts). Having just scraped the surface of Tasmanian diving, we all vowed to return again, but probable during the winter when the water may be a cool 11C, but the visibility is normally between 30 -50 m.