Cape Conran, Beware reef
16-17 February 2013
|Coordinator: Sharyn Wragg|
Typically for Cape Conran, the weather was pretty calm in the morning, with increasing winds by lunchtime and strong winds in the afternoon. Beware Reef wasnt really diveable by the afternoon, as expected. Luckily they were easterly winds and the swell was small, making the boat ramp (on the west side of the cape) very protected. Just as well, as the channel out from the boat ramp is a boat driver's nightmare - shallow, narrow and littered with prop-bending rocks, lurking menacingly just below the surface.
The weather was but a minor problem. The first run on Saturday was run, with the Goat exhibiting some steering/hydraulic problems. Almost everyone got a very good dive in at the wrecks of the Ridge Park or the Auckland. The viz was good (15m), almost no current, little wind, but the water was unexpectedly cold (14C!).
Unfortunately, the steering of Goat was too bad to take it out again. Worse, during the changeover, the hydraulic steering line on Tigger fractured. So neither boat had steering and it wasnt able to be fixed on Sat afternoon. This was all rather suprising - the hydraulic steering rarely causes any issues, and losing both boats to it is unheard of.
Luckily, the local commercial operator was running out of Cape Conran, and a double dive was organised on the Sunday morning to Beware Reef and Yeerung Channel. Plenty of nudibranchs, sponge gardens, giant PJs, and even a Weedy Seadragon were spied.
Despite the issues with the boats, everyone got a decent dive or two or three, the weather was sunny, the campsite was a lovely bush setting, there were plenty of non-diving things to do and the locals were very friendly and very tolerant of us out-of-towners hogging their boat ramp.
Tatiana, Michael W, Peter, Kim and our fabulous trip organiser Sharyn have provided photos.