24 June 2017
|Coordinator: Scott Wyatt|
We left Canberra at 6 a.m. and, after the obligatory coffee at the Braidwood bakery, made it to the Narooma boat ramp at around 9:30.
After a quick meet-and-greet with the local Marine Rescue crew that was conducting boating practices, the five of us performed a conveniently unspectacular Narooma bar crossing. We hadn't even cranked up the engine after the bar when skipper Scott slowed down to give way to a couple of Humpbacks that kindly waved their fins at us in return. We then headed South towards the GPS coordinates of the Lady Darling shipwreck (a few more trips to it and Scott won't need a GPS to find the wreck anymore). Getting out there was a bit rough with a fair bit of wind chop that we headed straight into. Once at the wreck we gratefully discovered that there wasn't any current running and the water was a near-perfect blue. Scott (on CCR) set the sand anchor that was rigged into the reef anchor, a combination that worked very well under the given conditions.
Due to the wind and the somewhat rough conditions we decided to dive in shifts (3+2). The wreck was very exposed (i.e. not covered in sand which can indeed happen according to the Narooma diveshop). The vis was touching on 20 m, the growth on the wreck was rich as usual, and there was plenty of fish life, including an impressive number of Port Jacksons at the stern of the wreck. Whales could be heard during the dive, and conditions at the bottom were superb. Probably too good for the Sunfish, which could not be seen anywhere.
After a brief surface interval in the shelter of Montague Island, we had our second dive on the Western side of the island. Plenty of seals in the right mood to play, more PJs, two huge Bull Rays, and even a turtle joined us on this pleasant dive.
A fantastic day, which underlined (again) that this time of the year is not to be missed for diving. Thanks a lot to Scott W. for putting the effort into organising this trip!