First dive of 2017

 

“Oh god I needed that, I was starting to think I was drying out”

 

Those were the words that ran through my mind as I broke the surface of the warm water on one of the first days of 2017.

Ascending from one of the 2 shallow photography dives planned for the day into the bright warm sunshine of Bawley Point NSW, I knew that it was going to be a good day.

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Planned over a Christmas BBQ a few weeks earlier, the double shore photography dive was chosen as when you are the buddy with the camera, you often are the slowest one of the pair. This can lead to your non camera toting buddy already looking at the next aquatic marvel while you are still taking your 900th photo of the tiny Nudibranch you spotted, trying to get the light just right.

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The day had no particular aim other than to increase comfort and practice skills. It so happened to be one of the warmest dives I had done at Bawley Point - 21degrees.  In August during my rescue course the temp did not get about 13 degrees. The warm bath-water like temp made for an even more enjoyable dive.

Amongst the small group we were able to practice our photography and camera handling while snapping pictures of one of the countless octopus who live in the rock crevices, or the bottom sleeping Port Jackson sharks soaking up a few zzzzz. The regular appearance now of a large cuttlefish is also a highlight.  To round out the cephalopod team, a school of small squid remained in the warm current for both dives. 

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All in all it was a perfect day and was much needed to get the 'gills' wet again.

In the below video you will also see the preparation that goes into getting ready for a dive when you have to travel 1.5 hours to a dive site.

Starting to feel like a real Scuba Diver

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I have now finished 6 dives following my PADI Open Water Diver Qualification. Of those 6, I have had to share air (essentially, I nearly ran out of air due to hyperventilation and excitement) if you would like to see this process, here is a Youtube clip showing the underwater process

I have now finished the final two, number 5 & 6. Only during these dives did I start to feel like a “real” scuba diver. Not just some one pretending. I was able to settle in to the dive. Enjoy it.

Here is a video of those dives (click on the picture)

“Diving

Padi Dive Course Complete!

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What a weekend!

As you know I have been completing my Open Water Diver Certificate through INDEPTH Scuba here in Canberra.

The past weekend saw the second and final weekend component.  Heading down the coast on friday night with all our gear packed, my dive buddy and I arrived at the dive lodge to start fresh and early on saturday.

Saturday saw 3 dives, mostly concentrating on practicing and demonstrating skills we learned in the pool the weekend before. My biggest apprehension was the component relating to removing my mask in the water, and replacing it. This simulates your mask being kicked off and you need to recover it. I just could not calm down enough to process not breathing through my nose! Well in the open water (a 6m deep shore dive location at Bawley Point NSW) I nailed it. Taking it slow and not rushing.

The following day was the 4th and final dive was a boat dive at a location off Batemans Bay called ‘The Tunnel’ The current from the north was described by our boat captain along with our dive instructor and dive master was ‘ the strongest they have seen’. Descending the 10m down the boats anchor line to the lip of  ‘The Tunnel’ the divers looked more like a flags in a storm. But once crossing into the ‘The Tunnel’ it was calm. Reaching our max depth of 18m – the max depth of our PADI qualification – we saw a lot of sea urchins and the Blue Rass that love to eat their creamy insides.

Sadly I was unable to capture any video or images of the dives as they were learning dives and I wanted to concentrate on the actual skills needed.

Below is the group and our instructors.