In our series of monthly social dives, we arrived on a warm sunny morning at Shelley beach. Showing our post dive intent early, we chose a seating area right next to a BBQ.
This was to be old school diving and a tour to force of 1990s kit, open circuit, single cylinder, wet suits, semi-dry suits (or dry suits with holes), shore entry, in short, we did BSac proud, well apart from Ben who persisted in showing he’s a modern man when it comes to kit.
The dive - reasonable viz, max. depth 9.5m, I think Fe and Katie were in for the longest at about 50mins, leaving the guys to cook breakfast, or were we lead to shore early by our stomachs? It was noted that al gave the turn around signal first, was this indicative of his lust for lard?
Highlights, a massive Flathead that would have been very nice in a light tempura batter if we were not a national park area and a very friendly, inquisitive cuttle fish.
Now onto the main event - the breakfast - bacon, eggs on the Trangia, saus...
It was forecast to be the coldest day in 2 years, but that didn't put off Al, Gary and Ben going for a dive with Souther Cross Divers. Their bravado paid off with a beautiful, sunny day, a low swell, and great vis. The destination was the Canoe Barge - one of the less dived Long Reef sites. It sits intact and upright at 50m to the sand. Plenty of fish life, including a herd of Port Jackson as well as fans, some sponges and even nudibranchs for the trainspotters. While it wasn't as cold as forecast it was still decidedly warmer in the water than out: 19'C through out the dive, once back on the boat the winter chill and a light breeze meant that the cuppa soups, hot dogs and other snack greatly appreciated on the trip back.
We met up at Gary's place in Currarong on Friday night and for beers 'n pizza (or wine and cheese for the ladies) with some cheese before turning in for the night at a reasonable hour as it was a 7:15 am departure the next day.
Saturday started with a quick breakfast and then the 40 min drive to Dive Jervis Bay. We were on Genesis, the faster, smaller boat, which the 6 of us shared with two other divers and the dive guide. The stiff southerly had the waves breaking on the shore in Huskisson...which didn't boad well for getting out side the heads. After a lot of phaffing (the dive shop was a man down) we pushed away from the dock, only to be hailed by a desperate diver. It was one of the two other divers who we thought was a no-show had been send to the shop's other boat. After more phaffing all his gear was on board and we set off again. With both dolphins and whales it was a pleasant trip across the bay. The tip of Bowen Island was the neare...
As we drove down to Bare Island the piddling rain gave way to patchy sunshine and the wind dropped. Al, Fe and Andy were up for the dive, well, we were up anyway.
We parked at the top of a short path down to Congwong beach & faffed around getting all the usual kit together for a nice easy shore dive, The usual BSAC, three scooters, a rebreather, a side mount rig, drysuits and the kitchen sink.
We recovered Andy form the loos nearby, (He’d found a friend to chat to) and entered the cool, clear, calm water of Congwong, motored off to Bare Island bridge past the kelp and went for a spin round the island, only getting lost four or five times.
Saw a big fat groper, a bunch of recreational divers with a confused look, and beat a hasty retreat after nearly an hour. Andy’s drysuit was full of water, and he needed a pee.
After the usual post dive extra faff we went to Driftwood cafe round the corner for a “fatwood” burger and coffee.
Overall highly recommended, Congwong i...
There is nothing like a relaxing shore dive, especially in idilic spring weather, until you turn up at the chosen beach (Shelly) to find that it is hosting as major cancer charity walk and it's pandemonium. While the eager beavers (Glenn, Sam) who had arrived at 7am and managed to get a parking spot dived the plan, the rest of us bailed out to the calm of Little Manly Beach round the corner.
Al, Ben, Owen and Fe had a relaxing hour long dip, while Duncan, Sandy and Zoe provided the shore cover. A fun time was had by all.
This year the Christmas party was on Shark Island. Soo and Fe formed the advanced party and they set up base camp in the gazebo. Most of us came over on the 10:50 ferry and before long we were tucking in to a fine array of food. The Island is in Rose Bay, so the afternoon was spent idly watching the passing yachts go by, a round or two of boules, a dip in the sea or exploring the island’s foreshore and grottos, which were hand built in the early 1900s. A cleansing ale at the Fourtune of War rounded off a perfect afternoon.
Fe, Andy , Duncan and Ben had a relaxing dive down at Bare Island. The vis wasn't the greatest, or was that just the silt kicked up by Andy's scooter?
The post dive burger at Bare Grill & Cafe hit the spot and everyone waddled home having had a fun afternoon.