On Saturday night PB took Andrew and I out in his boat to dive the wreck of the Hurricane, just off the coast of Rosebud. The Hurricane was a clipper sailing ship that sank in 1869. She was relatively intact until the 1960s when officials considered her to be a hazard, and hazard blasted it, leaving the remnants spread out over the sandy seabed.
Over the course of an hour I was able to sit and watch a blue ring octopus going about it’s night, as well as various colourful fish and an anemone that I haven’t observed before. The bioluminescence observed was out of control, love the night dives!
The last time I dived this site was as part of my Wreck Course, weighed down with a stage tank and the responsibility of being “on course”. It was great fun to just explore and see the sights, although it wasn’t without it’s challenges – ascending in the dark holding a torch, catch bag, SMB and camera, trying to vent air from the drysuit and hold a 5m safety stop, before hauling ourselves (and gear) into the boat. Still, a tonne of fun and a great experience diving on PB’s very well organised boat.
Location: Port Phillip BayWater Temperature: 21°CAverage Depth: 10.5mMaximum Depth: 12.1m
On ANZAC day, we had plans to dive the HMAS Goorangai, a minesweeper that was used in conjunction with two others to sweep the shipping lanes approaching Port Phillip in 1940. The three vessels successfully located and destroyed forty mines over a fortnight period. Unfortunately HMAS Goorangai sank whilst doing a crossing, and lost all hands on board – the Goorangai is now a designated war grave. As the wreck is located in the shipping channel, it is only able to be dived when shipping has been halted – something that we had hoped for on ANZAC day, but alas it wasn’t to be.
Instead, we dived Boarfish Reef, a fantastic site amongst the Sponge Gardens, about halfway between Queenscliff and Point Lonsdale. On the day that we dived, it was almost an aquarium, with fab viz and curious fish almost sideswiping us as they swam around. Highlight for me was the blue devil showing off – first up in the video. And for those of my friends terrified of spiders, be sure to watch the last clip – not a great example of videography, but SPIDER! SEA SPIDER! SPIDERS exist underwater! 😱🕷😱
The other take-home from this dive for me? It is the second time I’ve dived Boarfish Reef – the first was on my Dive #4, as part of my Open Water course. My log entries for that day back in December versus the ANZAC day dive (#46!) are considerably different!
For the last leg of our Epic Africa Trip, we were struggling to find reasonably priced direct flights from Madagascar to South Africa for our return flight, so when we found one with a 5 day stop over in Mauritius, we made a last minute decision to tack on one more country to our journey.
By this stage, it’s probably no great surprise to most of you that I used this opportunity to get under the water! Diving in Mauritius is an easy affair – resort operators carrying all your gear to hard shelled boats, with simple step off entries. In a first for me, the water was so warm (29C) that I managed to dive in a 3mm shortie, a bit different to the thick 7mm semi I use at home!
Highlight of the video? Watch out for the 3 green turtles I was lucky enough to play with! Last dives of the trip for me – overall I managed to get underwater 17 times, not bad!
Location: Grand Baie & Flic en Flac, MauritiusWater Temperature: 29°CAverage Depth: 18mMaximum Depth: 23m
The final pre-Epic Africa Trip dive was out on Red Boats to Party Point, a dive site along the Lonsdale Wall. Fantastic dive, with step outs as we descended, not dissimilar to an underwater rollercoaster!
The dive was made all the more fun by the fab crew I was lucky enough to dive with 👌🏻👌🏻👌🏻