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 Shellharbour

27-28 May 2017 

Coordinator: Aidan Lloyd 

Hello fellow ANUSC members,

 

I am organising a trip to Shellharbour for the weekend of 27-28 May. Here are some details:

 

FIRST THINGS FIRST - SAFETY

 

The ANUSC operates significantly differently from commercial dive operators. There are no designated dive guides or dive instructors, so  you are expected to be responsible for the way you dive, know your (comfort and skill) limits, and dive within those limits. Please consult carefully the ANUSC's safety section

 

In short:

-         Dive in buddy pairs

-         Dive to your abilities (consider navigation skills, depth you're confident in, air consumption, currents etc.)

-         Go down the anchor line, come up the anchor line.

-         Avoid decompression dives and reverse profile diving.

-         Abort a dive at any time at any stage if you are not comfortable - communicate this with your buddy!

-         Be familiar with your dive gear and report any malfunctions immediately (and again to the gear returns officer when returning it!).

-         Be very careful in currents - the boats are unattended during dives, so you drifting away might go unnoticed for quite some time.

-         Raise concerns and issues - don't be shy.

 

WHAT'S THE PLAN

 

This 2-day/2-night trip will go to Shellharbour, South of Wollongong. Shellharbour has a good mix of boat and shore diving options, which makes it suitable for those with a little less experience and/or cash. It is also only 2.5-3 hours' drive away, so not too far for a normal weekend trip.


I plan to head down on Friday night, dive Saturday, dive Sunday morning and early afternoon, leaving for Canberra in the late afternoon/early evening. 

 

WHO CAN COME ON THE TRIP

 

You have to be a current member of both the SRA and the ANUSC to be able to dive with us. Non-members (family, friends) are welcome to join us for camping but won't be able to dive with us - sorry.

 

WHERE WILL WE BE DIVING

 

There is very good boat diving around Bass Point in the 20-30 metre range. There are also some very good shore dives within the Bass Point Reserve in the 18-25 metre range. You can see more on the club's Shellharbour info page here (click me!), or the local dive clubs page here (click me!).

 

WHERE WILL WE BE LAUNCHING THE BOATS

 

We will operate from the boat ramp in Towns Street, Shellharbour. At this stage, I plan for the first boat run to depart the ramp at 9am (so leave camp at 8:30am). The boat ramp is close to a good variety of cafes and the dive shop in Addison Street in the CBD.

 

WHERE WILL WE BE STAYING

 

We will stay at Killalea State Park, located on Killalea Drive, Shell Cove, which is 15 minutes south of Shellharbour. The cost is $21 per person per night. You can check out their website at http://www.killalea.com.au/home. The website has an "Attractions" page that has some suggested activities for any non-divers. 


The club will be booking sites for us so remember to sign up early, you don't want to miss out due to a full campsite!


This also means that you should be prepared to having to pay for camping if you sign up and then pull out at a later stage and we can't find a replacement for you.

 

HOW DO I GET THERE

 

Use your SatNav or Google Maps. For any luddites, head to Sydney along the Hume Highway (M31) until the turn off for Sutton Forrest at Canyonleigh Road. Follow the Illawarra Highway (A48) until Albion Park where you turn off onto the Tongarra Road which you follow for a short while until the T-intersection where you turn right onto the Princes Motorway (A1) and head south-east to the coast.

 

Keep travelling south on the Princes Highway, go under the overpass and then take the "Shellharbour Rd - Shell Cove, Shellharbour" exit. At the top veer LEFT onto Shellharbour Road, cross to the right-hand lane and at the next roundabout turn RIGHT onto Dunmore Road. Follow this road, go past a school on your right and through a set of traffic lights. Turn LEFT at the next street (you will see a brown Killalea State Park sign and you are now about 4 minutes from the park). You will immediately come to the first of 4 roundabouts you have to go through. To the right is the golf club but YOU MUST TURN LEFT at this roundabout onto Southern Cross Boulevard. Turn RIGHT at the roundabout onto Killalea Drive. Go past the school (on your left) and you will come to another roundabout. Go straight through this roundabout and over the bridge. At the next roundabout turn LEFT and follow this road until you reach the boom gates. The boom gates open automatically between 4:30am and 8:15pm. An after hours access PIN is required after these hours. The camping area is 1.8 km on the right past the boom gates.

 

WHERE DO I GET GEAR FROM

 

The club has around 13 full sets of BCD/Reg/Cylinder and 4 weight belts for hire. Note that we DO NOT have masks, fins, snorkels and wet suits. It is recommended each diver take two tanks if possible (will depend on how many the club has to hire out and how many people sign up).

 

The gear issue will be on Thursday 25th May at 17:30. Gear will be issued at the dive shed right next to North Oval, accessible via McCaughley Street (see map attached). Dive planning for Friday will also be finalised then. Even if you don't need gear, please come along to help prepare the boats etc.

 

Please assist our gear issue officer by bringing exact change for hire and/or deposit if possible, and note that only cash can be accepted. Cost for gear is $10 per item for non-students, plus a $10 deposit per item. Student members only pay $10 deposit per item, i.e. the rental fee is waived.

 

HOW MUCH WILL THIS TRIP COST ME

 

The trip fee will depend on how many dives you do and how far out the dive sites are. Student members get a $5 discount per boat run, and boat license holders get a $1 discount per boat run.

 

Cost for air fills is $8 per tank.

 

Camping is $21 per person per night (expect to have to pay for this if you sign up and then pull out later since all the camping had to be paid for in advance). 

 

A towing fee of $10 per diver is to be paid if you're still signed up for the trip at noon on Wednesday, 24th May.

 

The return trip is around 450km. Petrol costs depend on the consumption of your car, of course, but on average it may be $50-60 for the return trip.

 

GEAR RETURN AND DEPOSIT

 

Gear has to be returned at 17:30 on the Thursday following the trip (1 June) in good condition, after having been rinsed (including cylinders) with fresh water thoroughly and then dried (not in direct sunlight, though). Cylinders have to be returned full. Returning gear late or in poor condition (e.g. unwashed) or returning cylinders not completely filled will cost you the deposit. Please report all problems with gear to the corresponding gear officer on that day and to me (preferably by email including the gear identifier and the problem you encountered).

 

WHERE DO I GET AIR FILLS

 

Refills can be bought at the Shellharbour Scuba Centre in Addison St, the closest dive shop to the boat ramp, which will be open 8am-5pm on the weekend. You may also wish to check their website for the possibility of free guided shore dives on Saturday and Sunday mornings and afternoons. I suggest you contact the shop if you are interested in participating in their dives.

 

WHAT INFORMATION DO I HAVE TO PROVIDE 

 

Reply to me (Aidan Lloyd) with answers to the following questions and  PLEASE ADD YOUR NAME IN THE SUBJECT LINE:

 

1.       Are you a current member of the SRA and the ANUSC?

 

2.       Are you a full-time student member of the ANUSC?

 

3.       Are you a certified scuba diver?

 

4.       What is your first and family name?

 

5.       What is your mobile number?

 

6.       Do you need to hire a Tank, BCD, and/or Regs?

 

7.       Do you need a lift? (and where in Canberra are you)?

 

8.       Can you offer a lift (and where in Canberra will you leave from)?

 

9.       Car registration (I may need this for the campground entry)?

 

10.   Can you tow a boat or a compressor trailer (you need to have a medium to large size car and tow ball)?

 

11.   Do you have a boat licence?

 

12.   What night(s) will you be staying (Fri and Sat - both recommended if you want to early boat dive Saturday)?

 

13.   Will you be sharing a tent (if so, with how many others as I need to book the appropriate number of sites)?

 

14.   How many dives have you done and when was your last dive?

 

CANCELLATIONS

 

I will keep an eye on the weather and surf conditions and cancel by 23 May if absolutely terrible, but the advantage of diving Shellharbour is that is relatively protected and shore dives may still be an option if conditions are not suited to boat dives. Due to diving being dependent on ambient conditions, however, there's always a risk that on any particular day diving opportunities might be limited or even non-existent.

 

QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS

 

Please let me know if something is not clear or if you require further information.

 

 

Cheers,

Aidan


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