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 Currarong

6-14 May 2017 

Coordinator: Torsten Schwich and Jeremy Weinman 

The site (the SJYB and JB)

The Sir John Young Banks is one of the most distant, challenging and rewarding sites the club visits. It's a line of reefs running roughly north-east off Currarong. It's a much further run than to Montague to give you some idea... The water is often very clear, we usually see grey nurse sharks, good fish life and great underwater topography. Being far offshore, we usually see interesting seabirds and there's a very real possibility of bumping into good pelagics. You can be sitting not far from the anchor in a crevice, with a parade of grey nurse sharks and huge smooth (a.k.a. bull) stingrays, with PJs and wobbies everywhere too. The cuttlefish are some of the largest ever seen, and often free swimming. Seals are not uncommon. We (ANUSC) have used a lot of dives, oxygen and lovely tech gear to see and explore the Banks and have great tales to tell.

However, diving at the Banks is not for the inexperienced. We often end up diving quite deep (say, up to 45m) and most importantly, the currents are usually very, very strong. Divers thinking of doing Banks runs need to be confident and happy descending and ascending in fierce current, they need to be ok with deep diving and associated narcosis and decompression considerations, and they need to be happy with their equipment. Most club divers intentionally run-up some deco to get reasonable bottom time. Some also dive with pony bottles, twins and O2 / rich mixes, or rebreathers for longer bottom time and accelerated deco though this is definitely not mandatory. Some are happy diving with single tanks and this has the advantage of less drag whilst being buffeted by the currents. Returning to the anchor and ascending on the anchor line is important.

We usually dive in shifts at the Banks and for safety reasons, have one boat 'live' as a chase boat in case something happens.

For the Banks, it's best to sort out who you'll buddy with before the trip. We might be able to assist in listing who needs a buddy etc.

Some pics from some previous trips:

2008 - http://scuba.club.anu.edu.au/trips/2008/0502_sjyb/
2009 - http://scuba.club.anu.edu.au/trips/2009/0502_sjyb/
2010 - http://scuba.club.anu.edu.au/trips/2010/0501_sjyb/

As well as diving the Banks, we'll do the gentler JB dives accessible from Currarong in the afternoons. So you don't need to be a tech-head diver to come on the trip. You can sleep in and take a leisurely breakfast and then join the crew for some relaxed afternoon dives.

Safety

The ANUSC is a keen proponent of safe diving practices and actively encourages all our divers to:

This list is not exhaustive, and more information on the Club's safe diving guidelines can be found on our safety website http://scuba.club.anu.edu.au/safety/. The ANUSC also actively encourages all members to become familiar with the operation of all the Club's safety equipment. If in doubt, ask.

While the Club requires all divers to accept responsibility for their own diving and self-regulate, we will only feel comfortable arranging your place on a boat intending to dive the Banks if you are either known to us (or other divers on the trip we know and trust) as a safe and capable deep diver. Alternatively, you can convince us that you will be able to dive safely at a site such as this. For instance, that you are experienced in diving at depths of 40 meters and preferably deeper, have good air consumption, have dived in severe currents, have experience with strong narcosis and can navigate at depths, have the training or experience to undertake decompression diving, and we have a very strong preference that you have previously dived with the buddy you'll be with on the day. We will not allocate you a buddy as for deep diving it is important that you both are comfortable to be diving with each other - thus your buddy will be up to you to arrange, though we can assist with suggestions. It is also important for divers to be familiar with your equipment set-up - The Banks is not the place to try out a new gear combination for the first time. All SJYB divers must carry a SMB and whistle.

To sign on

We need to hear from you (email: jw.bwds@tpg.com.au and torstenschwich@gmail.com) if you're interested in the trip (and sooner, rather than later!)

Specifically, when we email the members to ask for participants we will need to know:

For the SJYB

Thanks

Jeremy & Torsten


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