Our scheduled camping trip is getting very close and we need to start locking everything down. Thanks to everyone who voted in the poll, the location winner is the SA sinkholes again! This means even with crap ocean diving we can still have awesome dives in freshwater.
Last time we went to Ewens and piccannie but this time we might be able to get access to Kilsby, one of the worlds best sink holes for diving. This has been closed to the general public and access can only be arranged through dive masters/instructors and thankfully James Cini, aka Gnomad, is working on this for us. So if this goes through it will be a great opportunity to dive a place that is usually off limits.
So for now I would like to get numbers organised so we can book accomodation. Is everyone happy with a camp site at Port mac like last time? Or if we have the numbers and interest maybe we could look at getting a house for the weekend?
Either way, let me know and I’ll start getting things together. We will discuss this at our club meeting coming up on the 13th but everything will need to be locked in prior to this as the trip is the weekend just after the meeting.
Waking up this morning I was wondering whether the predicted swell increase was going to arrive early or wait until after the social dive had completed. I was hopeful that the visibility was going to be at least as good as Saturday’s dive at Queenscliff (10-15m).
Approaching Anglesea all was looking good. From the cliffs near Pt. Roadknight the ocean was flat so I was confident we would be having a successful social dive.
Here’s how the conditions presented at Aireys. Very nice if I must say so myself.
Some of the SFD guys were already at the carpark and ready to go at 7:30am. These guys are keen. You can see them about to launch in the below picture.
I should have taken a few more photographs just a little past this point as some sets came in and what looked like an easy beach entry became much trickier i.e. overturned float boat and diving under waves. Good entertainment as I waited for the GFD guys to arrive at the more appropriate and gentlemanly 8:00am.
Finally the full group of GFD social divers arrived and five divers and three dedicated bbq participants were checked in. Conditions had turned quite windy by this stage and a few fronts had moved through.
The northerly winds and rain showers were quite impressive however they didn’t match the calibre of our father and son team. Watch this young guy, he’s going to take all our trophies and is already a great diver!
Here we are making preparations for our own launch – actually this looks more like a posing photo. I mean, who doesn’t pose before they hit the water?
No launching dramas.
Thirty minutes of swimming later we had hit our spot. Unfortunately the visibility over the reef sections was quite poor, not what we had anticipated. But then this is Aireys Inlet which can be hard to predict.
However if you were willing to commit to diving through the murky water there were a few species to be seen, particularly for this time of the year. Some decent sized sweep and long fin pike were speared.
Little did we know that the main event was to be the BBQ being prepared by Hayden. Take a look at the spread just before we totally demolished it:
This BBQ made the diving pale in comparison. So much so that we almost had a vote to change the club name to GFDB – Geelong Freedivers BBQ Club.
So if you’re sitting on the fence about joining the club for the diving aspect, definitely join for the post dive BBQs as they are so good!
Overall it was a really good Father’s day dive and social get-together. The conditions as we consumed the BBQ produce were probably more severe than the pesky currents, waves and murky water. Some fish were weighed in and accounts opened for the 2017-18 Club Spearfishing Challenge.
Just a reminder that there’s a social dive scheduled for this coming Sunday 3rd Sept .
Conditions are actually looking promising for an ocean based dive and we’re considering the Anglesea to Aireys Inlet area. The actual dive location will be announced later in the week.
Getting a non-bay social dive has been quite rare over the last year so it’d be great to see as many as possible gear up for this weekend. It’s a good opportunity to test out your gear in the balmy 13c water.
It’ll most likely be an 8am arrival and 8:30-9:00am start.
Remember to book in via the Social Dives web page:
On another note, could everyone please consider filling out this Port Phillip and Western Port Bay Survey – https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/SNF5L36? – as part of Dr Rebecca Morris’s collaboration in the World Harbour Project with the University of Melbourne’s National Centre for Coasts and Climate. The purpose of this survey is to learn more about people’s perceptions of man-made structures that protect the coast and new initiatives to try and develop coastal protection schemes that are more ecologically friendly. Feel free to forward this survey onto your networks also.
I’ve never done anything like it before so decided to turn up to the comp ranking session to see what’s involved.
The ‘Slow 25m’ was expected by me to be all about breath hold skills and this was proven wrong. The rule of neutral weight at 3m and not touching the bottom mean it is difficult to swim very slow at the shallow end. To stay midwater you need to move much quicker than you prefer and everyone had the same challenge. Buoyancy control and technique with a touch of breath hold skill might determine who will win this event and it will require a lot of practice. This practice should be very useful for spearfishing as the controlled slow motion, dive profile and dive times were more like an ocean hunt rather than a limit apnoea event. Will be interesting to see the strategies and techniques everyone develops as the event evolves.
Fast 50m. There was some variety in underwater swimming technique used on the grading night. Power and how to use it seemed to be the key and (again) breath-hold was less important. Danny stood out and headed the field using his well-rehearsed efficient technique: he will have many copying his style and it will take a lot of practice.
Surface 150m. Gerard created a wave as he showed us all how a real ‘A’ grader does it by setting the only sub 2 minute time and some were close enough to see we will have a real competition. Declaring ‘I’m buggered already’ at the 75m mark seemed to be a common cry and with even the slowest time (mine) under 3 minutes it’s not a long distance event. Like normal swimming a combination of power, fitness and technique would seem to be required. Doing more laps in the pool should see times come down through the season, and it may be that we are yet to see the one best way of turning and streamlining (and in my case, keeping hold of my snorkel).
The evening saw many asking about the rules and what is and is not allowed, we may see some refinements emerge over the coming week though it feels like the current rules offer a decent competition without much adjustment. Each of the events has its own need of special skill and physical condition so with the format in place we can expect to see the non-competition days begin to focus on these events. Last night was a good start and with the first competition date next week fin swimming at GFD will quickly hot up. Well done to Luke and the committee for putting this together.