HMAS Canberra

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There’s currently a heatwave in Melbourne with temperatures rising up to 40 degrees. Luckily weather will be back to something bit more reasonable starting tomorrow. Anyway, as the weather was so hot, we decided to open the diving year early and went diving yesterday (2nd January). Monday was a public holiday here in Victoria, so we ended up with quite a few people. We cast off our boats at Queenscliff.

We were using both the MUUC boats, I was on the big boat which visited some slightly more advanced sites while the small boat went for sites suitable for OWD divers. The first dive of the day and the definite highlight was HMAS Canberra. This 138 m long warship was scuttled in 2009 as an artificial reef for divers. It lays in a upright position with the bottom at around 28 m.

The dive was superb, the wreck is quite easy to penetrate (the ship was specifically prepared for diving after all) and we ended up making several visits inside. After the trips through the hallways, our last stop was at the ship’s bridge. There’s a lot of stuff to see down there, hopefully I have a chance to visit the wreck again. I did bring my camera along, but my main focus was definitely on the dive itself, not photography. Some doorways were bit cramped anyway, so my strobes were pulled in for the majority of the dive.

For the second dive of the day we visited Portsea Backbeach wall. Decent enough dive, there was a pretty good wall with corals and kelps. There are quite a few crayfish in the area, but we only ended up seeing one. We also got a surprise visit from a lone seal.

Apparently I had my lens set to manual focus (I don’t have a focus ring), so most of the photos ended up bit blurry. I had to switch lenses in a hurry just before leaving from the shore and I didn’t notice the issue until after the dives. Not a big deal for me anyway as the main focus of the day was on diving itself. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to visit Canberra again soon to take some better photos.

All in all, an excellent way to open up the new diving year!

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