Trip Reports from 2012

Kangaroo Valley

A photo from Kangaroo Valley

Its not Australia Day without a barbeque, and where better to barbeque than Kangaroo Valley.

It may not involve diving but the canoe trips into the wilderness of Kangaroo Valley have become a staple of the club social calendar, and the spit roast barbies have become legendary. To add a bit of variety to the trip this year we decided to investigate the Shoalhaven Gorge side of the reservoir, although unbeknown at the time of booking this involves getting to the Kangaroo Valley Canoe Hire place by 8:30 am, and a rather early start for, especially for those north of the harbour! Amazingly everyone not only arrived pretty much on time, but we were all packed and sitting on the bus ready to go by 9am...apart from Pete, who was taking advantage of the last civilised toilet for the next 36 hours!

Once we were down at Tallowa Dam the mist and drizzle had lifted and we had a beautiful paddle down to the camping areas, stopping off for lunch along the way. We pitched camp on a large fl...

Bare Island

A photo from Bare Island

Sports Diver Theory Day

The first round of the Sports Diver Qualification for Ben A and Rob commenced with the easy Ocean Diver exam. After not doing too well, the day could only get better. The marathon theory training day consisted of 6 subject areas presented using good old fashion PowerPoint by Ben and Owen. We all managed to get through the day thanks to the help from the many biscuits and thought of a beer at the conclusion! Ben C and Owen did a fantastic job of teaching the topics; I feel that I really learnt a lot from the day and was eager to get into the water at Bare Island the next day.

Bare Island Dives:

Everyone rocked up on the beach at Bare Island around 10am all clued up on SMBs, Towing, Rescue Breathing and Chest Compressions (to name a few), ready to put the theory from the previous day into action. After finally getting sorted with the equipment, and learning the valuable lesson that regs can have different connection methods to BCDs the hard way (Grrr!!), i...

Baz's shop

WET, WET, WET.

I picked up Jonathan from his house in the red Ferrari leaving wonderful skid marks up his block paved drive (oops sorry!) as we sped off into the distance for another exciting days diving..outside Bazs!!

We roared down the road with Born to be Wild blasting out of the car to the deep roar of the 1300cc engine wheezing down Military Road.

Eagerly we kitted up and marched into the water. Oh s**t I am soaking, what is going on? We got out and effected a quick repair to turn my Typhoo teabag back into a drysuit. It didnt work and 30 minutes later I stepped out of the water having had a good if not very wet dive.

A cup of tea, biscuits, some quick repairs and a sit outside on Bazs deck in the sunshine to dry off and we were ready for round two. Our repairs worked perfectly this time.. right up to the point where we got back in the water, when I looked down I could see my drysuit foaming and frothing at the gash where the leak was Ah well you can only get so wet and...

Shelly Beach BBQ and training session

A photo from Shelly Beach BBQ and training session

The idea was to hang out at Shelly Beach in Manly with friends from the club but Ben A and Rob quickly snatched the opportunity to get some training done. Ross tried to humiliate the students by getting them to wander around the beach whilst wearing silly hats and string at a compass but the opportunity was wasted as a rain shower spoilt the fun. Our non-diving members were huddled under any cover they could get.... autumn in Sydney, nah.. more like Bognor. Rob, Ben and Ross went off to get some nav and dSMB drills done and two prospective members went off for a dive (welcome Bob & Amy) whilst the layabouts stopped the picnic blankets from blowing away (in the non-existent wind) and made sure that they took on extra food just in case they were too light. Luckily, they held off eating the lot so the divers could stuff their faces and then the sun came out. After lunch, Owen took over to add a level of pressionalism to the training and put the trainees through their paces. So, 6 ...

South West Rocks Easter trip

A photo from South West Rocks Easter trip

After much a-do with the organising part of the trip, and an all time record number of adjustments to the number of divers with the dive centre, I set off for the long trip north to South West Rocks with a vague understanding of who else might or might not be joining us up there, but I knew there were going to be a few Robs and a few Bens at least. After a long and arduous journey we were met with an equally long and arduous check in process for the cabins, confused by the fact that James had booked one of them in his name and was no longer coming, which completely threw the whole paperwork system into chaos. A long day but nothing that a cold beer and a few burgers couldn't fix, even Ross and the newly qualified Mod 2 Michelle made it in time for tea. We resisted the temptation to follow club weekend tradition and overdo it on the first night, and retired relatively early for a good nights sleep* *Except for the unfortunate Rob S who chose to bunk up with Rob J who "snored like ...

Coron Bay - The Philippines

A photo from Coron Bay - The Philippines

After a year in the planning and an ear injury that almost prevented me from going, we were all finally off to the Philippines to dive the Wrecks of Coron Bay. The trip report has been written by a different person each day to get a different perspective of the trip. During the trip, various nicknames were earned/given; these will neither be discussed nor explained.

Cast List:

Mike ‘Passion Fingers’ Whitworth, Rob ‘Two Breakfasts’ Larisch, Sprocket ‘Crotch Nutter’ Coghlan, Michelle ‘Soapy’ Buttfield, Rhodri ‘Tummy Rub’ McDougall-Brown, Ben ‘Bog Brush’ Crossett, Ross ‘VC’ Coleman, Gary ‘TSB’ Meakin, Rick ‘Fluffer’ Grundy

Getting There and Pre Diving Activities

Saturday 8th - 20th

Sprocket was the first to arrive in the Philippines. He undertook a GUI Fundamentals course followed by the full Trimix course with Tech Asia in Puerto Galera. Sprocket passed both courses just in time for the trip.

Thursday 12...

Mount Gambier

A photo from Mount Gambier

In a field not that far South of the market town of Mount Gambier, in the rural end of South Australia, there is a hole. It was formed in 1938 when a horse stumbled while ploughing the field. Imagine the farmer, Mr Griffin’s, surprise when with the aid of a weight and line, he work out there was about 5m drop to some water and then went down a further 40m! Fast forward 30 years and the cave had become a well known dive site for the brave and adventurous. On 28th of May, 1973 tragedy struck a group of eight divers went for a dive, but only 4 returned. It took over 10 months to recover the bodies. Due to this incident and a spate of deaths at other cave and cavern sites in the area many of the landowners had closed their sites and the state government was threatening to close them all unless the sport got its act together.

The threat of closure resulted in the formation of the Cave Divers Association of Australia (CDAA) in September 1973. ...

Magic Point and The Gap

A photo from Magic Point and The Gap

Uncertainly was definitely in the air right up until we turned up at Mosman Whalf to board the ‘large’ boat to set sail for Magic point just south of Maroubra. The swell on Friday was reported to be around 5m and the boat looked unlikely to go, however due to good conditions on Saturday and a great Sunday morning it was confirmed to go. Was meant to be a meet at 1pm for a departure of 1.30pm, but that turned into a meet at 1 and a departure of 1.05pm!!

The swell was as per predicted around 1m, everyone could handle the 40 minute trip to the dive site, except one poor sole who on our arrival decided to feed the fish, bringing in the bait for the sharks was a good plan.

With Ben A assisting the dive manager (the skipper) two by two we entered the water to dive at ‘Magic Point’, my first reaction was ‘boy that’s cold’. We all went about our individual dives hunting for the cave where the Grey Nurse Sharks like to congregate. The quantity of fish was amazing, schools of different...