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November diving magic in Melbourne
Dive Days Saturday looked to have beautiful conditions for boat diving so Peter Briggs fulfilled his role as DC and we eventually organised 2 boats out of Sorrento (MVs Lawler and Gladding). There were not enough divers to fill a third boat so JL agreed to pick me up at Queenscliff on the way to the heads.

The weather on the day was even bettter than we had hoped, the rip was brilliantly calm and we powered out to 'Lost Reef'. We dropped the shot on an east facing wall in around 30 - 37m. JL and I thought the vis on the bottom was quite good at around 10m and we followed the reef towards the coast, returning to the shot for the ascent. There was no surge on the bottom, a relief after recent diving I have done.

On the surface we were buzzed by some dolphins and a seal, these stayed around while we were stripping off our gear.

The Storens and Adam then dropped down the shot line and powered off along the reef, ascending independent of the shot.

After a bite to eat we headed into the 'Bommies' near Castle Rock and found some interesting reef at betwen 12 and 14m. This was once again a very calm dive with lots to see, including 6 crays. The vis was good and the water temperature at 16C more than acceptable.

The weather had remained excellent with no swell or chop at all. All enjoyed a great day's diving - so good in fact that before I had driven home Greg Richards had arranged some diving for Sunday.

Sunday. Mick Jeacle came out of Sorrento and I launched from Queenscliff with Mick K and Christine who blessed us by being prepared to mind the boat while we dived.
Mick Jeacle led us out to the Coogee where I had a second drop of the shot line to ensure we were on the wreck. On descending we found the shot was in the middle of the wreck, between the boilers and the prow. The conditions on the way out had been very sloppy, indicating we could have some surge on the bottom, but it was dead calm down below and the vis was around 15m. It was my best dive on the Coogee to date, we swam past the boilers to the stern where the fish life was amazing, then back past the shot line to the bow. With time running out we headed back to the shot line and up.

Our intention was to see if we could dive the outside Nepean Wall, but decided we would be better to head inside while with the tide, given the size of the swells we were experiencing. Once inside we went to the 'Caves' part of the wall and dropped the shot on the edge of the wall. When Dive Vic came and dropped their shot 10m away we figured we were in the right spot.

Mick and I dropped in and found ourselves in a fantastic section of the wall, with good canyons and a large swim through cave. We avoided the temptation of going too deep to max out our bottom time but once the curent turned we headed back to the shot. I definitiely heard Mick sob when I pointed out my computer was telling me we were headed for deco if we didn't ascend. Our faithful driver had the boat positioned next to the shot so we had an easy recovery, a good effort with boat loads of divers out of charter boats all around us.

The clouds had moved away, we were in full sunshine and the wind had dropped. A great way to finish a weekend's diving.

The water conditions are looking great for this coming diving season. The water is warming up rapidly, the swells are impacting less on the bottom and the vis is improving. It is time to dust off the gear and give it ago!

Posted by DavidG on Wed, 18 Nov 2009 10:46 AM (2094 reads)

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