Archive for August, 2012

#194 Blairgowrie Pier 2012-08-31

Friday, August 31st, 2012
Blairgowrie Pier in Melbourne, Australia
35 minutes, max depth 8.5 m, water 11°C
Buddies:

#193 Blairgowrie Pier 2012-08-31

Friday, August 31st, 2012
Blairgowrie Pier in Melbourne, Australia
39 minutes, max depth 8.2 m, water 11°C
Buddies:

#192 Portsea Hole 2012-08-26

Sunday, August 26th, 2012
Portsea Hole in Melbourne, Australia
38 minutes, max depth 21.6 m, water 12°C
Buddies:

Boat going out again

Sunday, August 26th, 2012

During the winter weather had been pretty terrible most weekends, so it’s no wonder we hadn’t done a boat dive in ages. Getting enough people together on a sunny and clear winter day is hard enough, on a windy and cold day it’s pretty much impossible. But weather was finally playing nice so we took the boat out for a spin.

I was looking forward to doing some deeper dives again after a break of several months but unfortunately things didn’t work out so nicely for me. First of all, I was somewhat underweighted. On most shore dives I finished the dives with plenty of air left, so this was less of an issue. But after coming up for a safety stop after our first dive at Lonsdale Wall I really struggled to maintain the stop with under 100 bar in the tank. This alone probably wouldn’t have been a problem, but I also wanted to practice buoyancy control with my BCD in addition to the drysuit.

On a single tank I normally just rely on the drysuit for buoyancy but as the advanced nitrox and decompression course was just a week away I wanted to get bit of practice with the wing as well. Unfortunately the wing can be bit of a pain to empty with a single tank which I found out the hard way. I had some tense moments overshooting the five meter stopping and trying to get back down. After dumping rest of the air I was finally able to complete the stop (still struggling a bit), luckily enough the dive had been pretty shallow (less than 20 meters) so I wasn’t too concerned.

After the first dive I thought the issue had simply been with the wing, so I jumped in for our second dive at Pope’s Eye without adding any weight. This proved to be a big mistake! I was using a half full tank from the first dive and with the strong current at Pope’s Eye I really struggled to maintain a good buoyancy. After struggling for quite a while I finally gave up and made a reasonably controlled ascent and got back on the boat. It was time to add some extra weight for the next dive!

After all the bouncing up and down and not equalizing properly I was suffering from a pretty bad headache at this point. At this point I was ready to call it for a day, but then Mel bailed out from the last dive due to reverse block. So I decided to come along to make sure we had a full boat. So we headed to Portsea Hole for the third dive of the day. With some added weight buoyancy was pretty ok this time around, I was also getting a better hang of dumping the air from BCD.

Unfortunately the combination of my bad headache and the fact that I was really focusing on my buoyancy meant I wasn’t paying enough attention to my buddies. Visibility at Portsea Hole was fairly poor but normally this still wouldn’t have been an issue as we had plenty of experienced divers with us. But this was also the day Dean was doing his first drysuit dives and he was having his share of issues with the suit. I wasn’t paying close enough attention and we ended up with the second close call of the day. Luckily nothing serious happened, but the incident still led to some unfortunate repercussions. 🙁

  • 2012-11-11 Hobbiton

#191 Pope’s Eye 2012-08-26

Sunday, August 26th, 2012
Pope's Eye in Melbourne, Australia
19 minutes, max depth 11.3 m, water 12°C
Buddies:

#190 Lonsdale Wall 2012-08-26

Sunday, August 26th, 2012
Lonsdale Wall in Melbourne, Australia
45 minutes, max depth 19.5 m, water 12°C
Buddies:

#189 Blairgowrie Pier 2012-08-21

Tuesday, August 21st, 2012
Blairgowrie Pier in Melbourne, Australia
55 minutes, max depth 4.3 m, water 11°C
Buddies:

Getting lost at Blairgowrie

Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

After a few weeks of no diving we finally got people together on Tuesday for a night dive under Blairgowrie Pier. Conditions were not really the best, visibility was quite low and often you couldn’t even see the next set of pylons. With the added distraction from a fairly strong current navigation was quite tricky and we ended up getting lost a few times.

Dean (who was just pier-sitting for us) had lot of fun following our torches and watching us wander around from the pier.I was diving with Clark and I think we got lost a total of three times during a 55 minute dive! Some of the others fared a little better but everyone out of the three buddy groups got lost at least once during the dive. Quite an achievement on a pier dive!

Despite the less than stellar conditions there was fair bit of stuff to see and luckily I had my macro lens on. Highlights of our dive included a big fiddler ray and several pretty dumpling squids.

  • 2012-11-11 Rotorua

Eye of the Dragon

Sunday, August 5th, 2012

Despite the windy weather we decided to take the boat out last Sunday for some easy dives to make sure everything was now working ok. Sadly, as we got the boat in the water we quickly found out the service guys had still not fixed the problem with the engine. At that point we had some disappointed (and quite frankly bit angry) divers. There was not much we could, however. With the strong winds and the risk of our engine stalling we decided to do some shore dives instead and drove over to Flinders, one of the few spots well-enough protected for a good dive.

While generally quite protected, Flinders can still be little unpredictable. Luckily this time around the conditions were nice enough and visibility was quite decent as well. I ended up doing two dives, first one with Melanie and Trenton and the second one with just Melanie. It’s nice to have new dive club members who don’t mind the cold water!

Lots of weedy seadragons around as usual, not as much as on some dives but still enough to keep things interesting. Before the dives Evan challenged me to try to take a shot of a seadragon’s eye. I didn’t quite manage, the seadragons have a nasty tendency to turn away from the camera. Some of my shots ended up quite nicely anyway, even if my hunt for a perfect seadragon shot continues. Apart from seadragons there were several cowfish and pufferfish around, but nothing too specials. And the place was crowded with divers, too! With the conditions inside the Bay fairly unpleasant it felt like most of the divers had had the same idea as us and headed to Flinders for some sheltered diving. There were lots of divers around, it was actually more crowded than on most summer days!

  • 2012-02-04 Lonsdale Wall

#188 Flinders Pier 2012-08-05

Sunday, August 5th, 2012
Flinders Pier in Melbourne, Australia
40 minutes, max depth 5.8 m, water 12°C
Buddies: Melanie