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Sunday 20th April 2008 Flinders and Spoddington's Reef
Dive Days My turn to tell the tale and I hope I can do it justice.

The day started at around 6.00am when I begrudginly eye balled my bleeting alarm clock with a look that would wither a granny at 50 paces. Sadly it had no effect on my alarm and a tapped the 'snooze button'. Emma, bless her, rolled out of bed and into some clothes to take care of breakfast. I snoozed.

At 6.23 I performed my own version flopping out of bed with all the grace of a spoon of mashed potatoes.

By 6.33 we were at Davids, loading gear into boat and by 6.50 heading out on an overland safari to flinders. We were graced with a lovely red sun sitting over the city as it tried vainly to burn through the smog. Unusually pretty for something created by pollution. A few discussions around safety as well as Davids new dive ladder and alpha torch saw the time pass quickly, minutes blended to hours, hours to days, days to weeks, until....

We made good time and got to flinders at the agreed 8.30am. We even had a chance to stop for a croissant and muffin, or for David a nice hot pastie. We arrived to find everyone there and ready to go. So after some brief good mornings it was on to launching the boat.

I must say after all the talk of beach launches, this was easy. As I stood back and observed the proper boat launching technique, I had to wonder if perhaps everyone was just talking it up for themselves. Once I'd watched everyone get their boats into the water, we crewed up (Robert and Grrrr, Then John L, Adam, ?, and ?, and finally Myself, Emma, David and Alan).

So off our little flotilla went, and went, and went, and went. It was about now I wondered if I might be underdressed for Tasmania. Cruising along, marveling at the amazing lack of swell and the velvety carpet of water ahead of us. Eventually though, we slowed to a crawl on the western side of cape shank, inspecting some promising looking reef on the depth sounder. Would we find spoddingtons reef?! Thankfully we were unable to locate the marks Grrr had previously described.

It was here we anchored up and planned our first dive. Emma and I were fist into the water. The first shock of the water on my head was like having someone stick me in a vice. My computer showed a chilly 14 degrees. It took some time to get used to I must say. I resolved to create a warm patch in the water as soon as possible.

Emma and I hit the bottom in around 10m, of a dive that saw our deepest being 14m. As we descended we saw a small squadron of juvenile cuttlefish, a new find for us. As we pocked and prodded the bottom looking for some elusive crays I uncovered a small wobby (about 1.5m). Parting the kelp for a better look I attracted Emma's attention. Much pointing and shrugging later, Emma finally spotted our quarry. I was half tempted to give him a poke so Emma might see, but decided I am far too attached to my fingers.

The dive terrain was fascinating, poking amongst the kelp and crevices, with a few small swim throughs and large crevices to poke into. Under one I found the biggest cray I've ever seen. He was within reach (not sure if that means he was within reach of me or I was within reach of him). Emma's eyes were like saucers, and I think she was already going through her mental recipe book. Alas, it was a bit premature. I tried for the grab a little too early and he was able to get out of reach. Nuts. Still I think If I had got hold he may well wrestled me under the rock for dinner anyway. He had legs like tree trunks, teeth of a lion........etc.

Emma got a little cold and headed for the suface, and I snuck around for a few minutes more underneath her, keeing track at the surface easily enough in the 10 or so metres vis.

Once back into the boat, made much easier by Davids new hand rail, we waited the 10 minutes for David and Alan to appear. Davids first dive with his new Alpha torch proving very successful. A few crays and cuttlefish spotted, and a very relaxing dive had by all. Grrrr didn't have quite the same luck with his own new torch, as he pulled it out at the surface and it disgorged a tasteful black tar having flooded some time ago....

On to lunch and we shared some hotdogs courtesy of our super el capitarn David. Yep, this is definitely the boat to be on.

Having had one good dive on this spot ourselves, Grrr and Robert decided this would be a good location for a second. However we moved a little closer to the rocks to change terrain a little.

Another very pleasant and relaxing dive, closer to some long kelp forest and some more ledge poking. This time with the added comfort of a hood (ahhh tropical bliss). Another big cray and family out of reach, a few crabs, and LOTS of abalone later it was time to head for the surface.

Another good dive with Davids Alpha torch, another easy entry on the new ladder, and another flooded torch for Grrrr. If you're in the market for a torch, ask Grrr to pick one out for you, and buy the one next to it. you can't go wrong.

A little sad to call it a day with such spectacular and calm conditions (best surface conditions I've ever had anywhere.) it was time to head in. John and co stopped for another short dive on the eastern side of the shank, (Someone may well have promised cray for dinner perhaps John?) while David and Rob's boats headed for the shore.

The trip back was short and the water conditions still calm. Reuniting boat to trailer went smoothly with the help of Davids snatch and some strong arming by the rest of us.

Before calling it a day we unloaded and packed some gear, and shared the final hotdogs around the crew. I'll leave the final word for Grrrr, "Is that ANOTHER hotdog?"...."You prick!"

Posted by Greggo on Mon, 21 Apr 2008 07:59 PM (1085 reads)

"Sunday 20th April 2008 Flinders and Spoddington's Reef" | Login/Create an Account | 1 comment

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Re: Sunday 20th April 2008 Flinders and Spoddington's Reef (Score: 1 )
by Shadow on Mon, 21 Apr 2008 06:05 PM
Is that another flooded brand new torch.... you prick!

I don't even like hot dogs, and now I don't even like underwater torches.

Now you know why I sign my name Grrrrrrrrrrr

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