Lady Musgrave Island
25 June - 9 July 2014
|Coordinator: Ron Henry|
Every year the club runs the Lady Musgrave Island (LMI) Dive trip. LMI is an uninhabitated island in the same chain of islands on the Great Barrier Reef as Heron Island. Except for two composting toilets installed by the National Parks the island has no facilities. This trip is simply awesome - its like a National Geographic expedition. Most years We charter a barge to take all our stuff out overnight: two boats, compressor, 1800 litres of water, 1000 litres of fuel, $10,000 Food, etc etc and 30 divers and friends.
This year is a little different, we currently have 17 divers, 1 non diver, and 4 children, so we can not afford the barge from Gladstone. Instead we are going to take a high speed catamaran from the town of 1770. Apart from getting to the island a lot faster, we can also order fresh food during the trip. We are also driving our 2 club boats out to the island.
And the attraction - LMI has better diving than most locations on the Great Barrier Reef - but the special thing it has is Manta Rays - see the photos below.
This year the trip is going to spend 14 days on the island from 25 June to 9 July. Cars are likely to leave Canberra Monday 23 June and return by Friday 11 July.
A $250 deposit secures your place, if you have a car - the trip cost for members is $1400, (full time students $1300; non divers $1200;).
Put your deposit into
Account Name: ANU Scuba Diving Club
Account Number: 00900324
You can also go to the ANU Branch of the Commonwealth Bank (or any branch) and do it over the counter. Just ask them to tag it with your name.
Just as a backup send the treasurer Nick Hudson (NicholasHudson01@gmail.com) an email that you have made the deposit - he will check the account to make sure everything's good.
If you want to come then let the coordinator know:
Between June and October there are very good chances to see Humpback whales playing just off the campsite or breaching next to your boat! Underwater, fish life is abundant, you can spot turtles and sea snakes on almost every dive, manta rays and reef sharks are common encounters, not to speak of the variety of tropical reef fish, including bat fish, butterfly fish, angel fish, anemone fish, and so on. Water temperatures in June-July should be around 21-23 degrees. But there is more to it than just diving. We will have gourmet food every night, and you can enjoy Gin'n'Tonics or beers at sunset, go for a relaxed swim or snorkel in the lagoon, or spend the day just sleeping or reading a book in a hammock.
The club books up to 25 spaces for divers and 5 spaces for non-divers on the island (the total number of people camping on the island is limited to 40). This is a group trip and requires participation and responsibility from everyone. This is your trip. We take several tons of gear, including our two boats, anchoring gear, our base VHF radio, compressor, a kitchen marquee and stoves, tools, wet ice fridges, fuel, fresh water and food for two weeks, plus all the personal diving and camping gear. While we buy most of the food locally, the 2 boats and all other gear must be transported from Canberra with trailers. Most people travel in a large, fast catamaran to the island. Most likely, everything will them be unloaded into glass-bottom boats to be taken to the island lagoon entrance (Visitors access), and then we have to carry it 300m to the camping area. Two wheel barrows are available. The club boats may also be able to take some of the gear over the reef to the camp site around high tide. Going home is the reverse of the process.
The booking on the island aligns pretty well with the student mid-year break.
The club booking for the island is limited to 25 spaces for divers and 5 spaces for non-divers on the island, if you want to go you must secure your place with a $250 deposit as detailed. Beyond that you need to be capable of socializing and enjoying the company of others, and be eager to contribute to the running of the trip. The trip list opens at the Club AGM on 5th March - at the North Oval Pavilion.
What you pay for the trip takes you from Agnes Water to LMI, pays for your camping permit, provides your food and (non-alcoholic) drink on the island, provides fuel for boats and compressors, kitchen infrastructure, gives you all of the diving you want, and brings you back to Agnes Water. You will need to get yourself to Gladstone and back (we'll try and match people to spare car seats), have a tent and basic camping gear, and your own SCUBA gear. Full-time student members get free use of Club scuba gear for the trip. Costs are listed in the summary at the top.
It is important to realise that you are not paying for a commercially organised and fully catered trip. This should be considered as an Expedition where the success (or otherwise) depends on all of us doing our share to make it work. This means that members of the group are expected to help whenever and wherever they can - without this input these trips cannot function. If something needs to be done, you do it. Fortunately, over the last 20+ years the Club has built up great expertise in how to run trips like this, so there will be experienced hands to advise the inexperienced, and pass on their expertise. It is a great way to learn a lot about a large range of outdoor skills - not just the diving. Please note that the nominal coordinator is only that - do not expect them to organise the trip for you!
There will be a major trip planning meeting in May where we will talk about the nuts and bolts of getting our trip organized and allocate many of the responsibilities and functions that need to be undertaken. We will talk about life on the island, safe diving, using the boats, what to bring, cooking, and finalise lifts and cooking pairings. All participants will be expected to attend. There will also be a pre-LMI Working Bee and packing session the weekend prior to the trip.