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 Montague Island

8-9 February 2014 

Coordinator: Ray Vran 

The original trip notice has been archived.

Trip Report - An attempt to dive the Lady Darling

Based on the weather forecast, Saturday morning was the sweet spot for an attempt on the wreck of the Lady Darling, with deteriorating wind and sea conditions thereafter. The surface conditions in the morning were as forecast - quite benign, about 10kt winds, and 1m swell.

Arriving at the wreck site and allowing the boat to drift while watching the GPS showed that there was significant current to the south. The boat was drifting at about 4km/h (2 knots). To better gauge the current, the shotline and float were deployed upcurrent of the wreck. The line and float were quickly pulled (very) taut by the current, and then the float began to sink, dragged under by the current. It soon stabilised about 1m below the surface! Time to abandon the attempt to dive.

However, we needed to retrieve our shotline. We managed to get hold of the submerged float, but the sand anchor was apparently wedged against the wreck, and with the current pulling on the line there was no way it was going to be able to be dragged off using the boat. At this point sending an experienced diver down the line was the only option to free it - thanks Norm!

With the shotline back on board, the boats proceeded on to Montague Island. There were still ripping currents here but at least the bays on the northwest side offered protection, and a gentle (if murky and cold) dive was had.

Despite the ordinary diving conditions, the camping under the spotted gums of Mystery Bay was lovely, and the mild temperature was a welcome change to that back in Canberra, which was suffering yet another weekend of 37C+ temperatures.

-- A Diver.

Kim has supplied a few photos.

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