22-25 April 2017
|Coordinator: Jeremy Weinman|
Diving at Montague
Montague Island is one of the top 10 dive sites on the NSW coast. Some 7 k off the coast, its rocky sides plunge into the surrounding waters producing some of the best underwater topography in our region (big cliffs!!). Montague is best known for a range of deeper dive sites - ideally, members should be happy to dive at depths over 20 meters (30 is good) and be comfortable in a bit of current. There are shallower dives, and these are usually dedicated to seeing if the seals decide you're worth playing with, that imho can be nice but not the main reason you'd take a 30+ minute boat ride out to sea. When the East Australia Current (the EAC - just ask Nemo) is running from the north in the months from January through to about May there is warm clear water (up to 30 m vis) full of massive schools of fish. Being buzzed by hundreds of big kingfish is not uncommon during these times. I've even twice been buzzed by big black Marlin at Monty! The abundance of fish is also a reason why 2 types of seal (the NZ and the Australian fur seal) have colonies on the northern and north western edges of the Island. Montague is also one of the declared Grey Nurse shark critical habitats, and is a known aggregation site for these magnificent creatures. We'd expect to spend at least a few dives checking out the known shark gutters where, at depths of about 25-35 meters, the Nurses cruise past.
In March 2011 we were treated to a group of seals playing with a large bait-ball of yellowtail scad. They were herding it around, much like a group of children passing a ball amongst themselves. Amazing to be just meters away while this all happened!!
Other diving possibilities depending on favourable conditions, interest and experience ... over the last decade, we have also been exploring a dive site a bit further south termed Auginish Reef - we may try a dive or two here again. We also have a current permit for diving the wreck of the Lady Darling which lies on sand in 30m of water.
Have a look at what people saw in 2013:
or 2012: http://scuba.club.anu.edu.au/trips/2012/0310_montague/
or 2010: http://scuba.club.anu.edu.au/trips/2010/0424_montague/.
Diving with the Club
If you've not dived with the Club before (and even if you have!), PLEASE read about how Club Trips work so that you will have a realistic expectation of what we can provide (lots) and what we expect from you (the same!). We work differently to a commercial operation, and you will need to understand what benefits and obligations/responsibilities are passed to you with this.
If you'd like to come, let me know [by email to firstname.lastname@example.org]
I need to know the usual stuff:
Mystery Bay Camp site
We'll be staying at the Mystery Bay "primitive" campground, which is a lovely spot on the coast between Narooma and Tilba Tilba. It is large and rambling and full of tall spotted gums, and we're normally able to secure some great spots at the northern end - (see this google maps link). The campsite now has its own website.
There are enclosed cold showers, some centrally placed taps, and NP&WS style drop dunnies.
Air fills will be from Ocean Hut in Narooma. They moved a few years ago and are now in Field St, down on the flat, not on the highway halfway up the hill. However, there are likely to be delays on Anzac Day (25th)
The club is a keen proponent of safe diving and boating. Please read the section on Safety and Diving at the Level You Feel Safe With, as well as the club's Safety Information and Dive Tips.
Gear Issue and Boat Preparation
Please be aware that gear issue is on Thursday 20th April at 5:30 pm at the gear shed, North Oval. If you're coming along, please plan to be there to help put the trip plans, boats and gear together.
Just a little reminder that you need to have your membership current for the trip - if yours has lapsed, you'll need to renew.
Club membership is available at the ANU Sport reception (bring your C-card for them to see to validate your form, even if renewing); if you need to join the SRA for 2017 (students are automatically members) you can do this at the SRA counter - or online via the ANU Sport website.