ANUSC
Home :: Dive Trips :: Info :: Member List :: Gear :: Boats :: Safety :: Environment :: Camp Sites :: Social :: Buy-Swap-Sell :: Site Index :: Joining the Club
 

 Cape Conran or Eden

26-29 January 2017 

Coordinator: Sharyn Wragg 

The original trip notice has been archived.

2017 Cape Conran trip report

Trip photos are below...

Diving

Boat: 65 + shore: 3
Some reconnaissance trips had been organised in recent years by Sharyn, then an ill-fated 2013 trip in which both boats broke down on their first trip to the reef. Apparently the reef was also dived once in the early days of the club, but with no marks for wrecks and not finding them. So it gives me pleasure to report on the first ANUSC trip that extensively dived this site. The trip enjoyed fine weather each day with some light sea fog on two mornings. The low or absent S/SW winds was critical to launching and retrieving boats from Cape Conran boat ramp.

The first dive was exploratory, because our map and GPS marks of the SS Ridge Park didn't seem to agree. We found very pretty sponge gardens teaming with butterfly perch, wrasse, abalone, and a sea dragon. Although we didn't find the wreck, it was a satisfying dive. The next few dives found the Ridge Park and an inquisitive seal. Saturday morning's group opted on an exploratory dive, the afternoon divers chose the Auckland, which bore a riot of colourful sponge, ascidians, and corals, and a huge painted cray sitting in the open. Fish were varied and plentiful in the reserve. On Sunday we did an exploratory double-dive on a the central pinnacles along the reef's spine, descending past kelp and scoured rock to increasingly rich sponge gardens and corals at the base of the walls. Lastly, a blow-off 14m dive between the reef and the shore, where the rocky Yeerung river channel continues into the sea bed. This was a lovely dive with kelp, PJ's, rays and a seadragon, a contrast from the sponge gardens of the reef. The vis on most dives was about 10m once down, water a comfortable 22 degrees.

Camp and other activities

Jungle Beach Campsite had plenty of space, and the club chose a shady corner on the bush border to itself. Nearby tracks into the scrub were used for the compressor, walking, birdwatching. Wildflowers, monitors, echidnas and pygmy possums were seen at camp. Facilities were good, and the camp hosts Darren and Leasal were very helpful, calling the day before to offer advice on the diving conditions, and supplying a fireplace and a tractors load of firewood for two nights (as a welcome one-off donation).

The Gippsland wilderness has much to offer, and we visited nearby the beautiful rivers, swimming holes , rainforest and coastal walks. We also went to Marlo pub on Saturday night to meet the local ranger / tour guide Mike Irvine, and thank him for dive GPS marks, wreck maps and a booklet on Beware Reef.

Boats

The boats performed well, although there was no radio in Tig, so the boats were always together (Torsten brought a hand-held). The area has become a popular for fishing, and there were some ques at the ramp, especially on the last day. On the trip home, Tigger's trailer bearing failed resulting in it being hauled home on a flatbed trailer and a very late night for Jeremy and Michelle.

Participants

Divers: 19 (SRA members: 18; Students: 1) Total: 26
Sharyn Wragg (Trip coordinator); Claire Scott; Chris Bloomfield; Michelle McKendry; Charles Adamson; Alan Rennie; John Miles; Tim Stapleton; Peter Christen; Gail Vest; Viridiana Silva Perez and partner; Torsten, Anabel and Jonah Schwich; Brenda Woods; Lucy Randall; Oscar Hatten; Cecile & Glen de Vine, children and parents; Jeremy & Michelle Weinman.

All participants had a good time and remarked on the beauty of the area and their desire to return when the trip was run again.

-- Sharyn

Photos courtesy of Alan, Claire and Sharyn.


Weather :: Joining ANUSC :: Links :: News :: Contact Us :: Copyright