The Scuba Dive Pioneer – Shark and Ship Wreck Adventure.
by Versnar Cheng
Lets just say ” I may not be Christopher Columbus, but I have discovered a Divers Treasure”.
Nelson Bay is less than 3 hours Drive from Sydney CBD. Known for it’s Dolphin and whale watching, if you presume this is icing on the cake for Diving – you are correct!
Arriving before sunset on Friday guest are welcomed by Tom, the most accommodating host and owner of Port Stephens Motor Lodge. Lead by Dive Master Kane from Abyss, you know this Trip is going to be fabulous before hitting waters.
Saturday. Arriving at ‘Lets go dive’ shop, Dive gear & tanks were transported onto the boat. Mask and fins strapped around the wrist while boarding the MV Tomaree. Skippers Adam and Pete briefed the Divers on the locations, emergency and boat Facilities. Setting sail on a 1 hour boat trip, Jackpot!! Broughton Island.
First Dive, Broughton Island – Shark Gutters up to 27 meters depth. After descending 14 meters from the achor line, two Port Jackson e it calmly dashed away! Now, if that didn’t get your heart pumping with Awe and excitement. Multiple this by 10! This Dive site lives up to it’s reputation! Just be ready to be Amazed!!
Second boat Dive of the day, The Wall! This will absolutely blow your Lava Core socks off! The Wall sloped up to 18 meters in depth. The sheer wall is abstractly painted with the most amazing and vibrant soft corals. I was memerized by a brightly coloured Sea spider, it was the most magical thing I observed. There are endless schools of fish, rays and sealife. I promise you, there will be one or more things to fall in love with on the dive. I spiderly did!!!
Third Dive, Shore Dive located at Fly Point at Halifax Park, Nelson Bay. The Shore dive is a great drift dive, this calm and relaxing dive will have you spotting arrays of sponge gardens, schools of fish, ledges and overhangs that would just amaze you! Believe me, just peek under the ledges – you’ll find various Nudi’s to decorator crabs. ” It’s absolutley Amazing, especially if you were particularly interested in the fascinating Micro Sea life” a qoute from a Dive Buddy . Get your Macro Lens ready!
Sunday, still excited from the previous day of diving. We were back at the ‘Let’s Go Dive’ shop. We boarded the MV Tomaree and set sail for yet another thrilling adventure to Cabbage Tree Island, Nelson Bay. The water was Deep Blue Crystal Clear, absolute Pristine!
First Dive, The SS Oakland Ship Wreck. Just knowing the ship wrecked over a century ago was overly exciting. I Quickly geared up, Regs in, Mask on and slam dunked into the sea with excitement! Descending down the anchor line, eyes are bewildered with amazement as the ship becomes visible. The Bow, Stern and rib cage is still somewhat intact. The Corals and sea life was beyond any divers dream! I have never encountered so many Wobbys and Port Jacksons in one location. Schools of cat fish swam in circles, the artificial reef was colourfully abundant, the whole dive is absolutely superb! … and did I mention we heard WHALES in the background!
Second Dive, Cabbage Tree Island reef. The Reef is directly off the island at 14.6 meters in depth (according to the dive computer). As we calmly glided against the sea beds, we came across another wreck (A fishing Boat which sunk in 1997). The wreck is scattered on the sea bed, from a toilet bowl to a statue. After striding along further west, we came across the bow of the boat. The most exhilarating thing about wrecks is the rapid artificial reef formation.
To top the dive off, we came across the Gargantuan Donut Nudibranch! This chubby Nudi is the size of a golf ball – not only beautiful, but a rare sighting!
The Nelson Bay weekend Trip was utterly Magically! I have the following contributors who made this trip EXTRAordinary Amazing. Abyss Scuba Dive shop, DM Kane Bellis and of course the Amazing Friends on the Dive trip – Amber, Roger, Rachael, Chris, Edward, Gary, Helen and the Boat Captain and crew from Lets go Dive Shop who got us to and from the amazing dive locations.
Definitely a weekend Trip to be added on any divers to-do-list.