One of the coolest things you can do underwater in Sydney, is dive with Grey Nurse Sharks. If you have done this before, then you know what I’m talking about. If you haven’t then I’m sure it’s on your bucket list!
Being underwater with grey nurse sharks is definitely one of the most exhilarating experiences you can have diving. Not only are they one of the largest marine animals that you can easily dive with, they provide an interaction with you like no other. They are territorial and swim in a very distinct figure eight behavioural pattern. This allows divers to get extremely close without the sharks swimming away. The sharks themselves are quite curious and will come even closer if they feel safe around you.
In Sydney, there is a small congregation of these sharks just off the southern point of Maroubra Beach. For most divers, the only way to dive with these sharks is by boat, which is a short 10 minute ride from Long Bay, Malabar. Keen, fit divers will often walk out from South Maroubra beach, jump in and swim out 100m, dropping down on top of the cave where the sharks reside. This however, takes around 30 minutes on foot, and seems a little crazy to most people!
A third option is to get in at Maroubra beach with multiple tanks and swim out to the sharks and back, being underwater for over 2 hours! This to me is the best option. Not only do you save on the cost of the boat dive, you get to see all the cool things that the reef at South Maroubra has to offer on the way out and back as well – more time underwater and cheaper than a boat dive!
Now, for this to happen, you generally need to have experience with twin tanks on your back (extremely heavy), one large tank on your tank and one large tank which you sling on one side (uncomfortable), or with Sidemount (one tank on either side of the body). This to me is the best option as it is the most comfortable and provides the best weight distribution with two tanks.
Sidemount equipment is an innovative gear arrangement, which may be used for all types of diving, facilitates “spot on” buoyancy within minutes, and results in a more streamline profile than a conventional gear configuration. It is unlike any other gear arrangement that a diver may be accustomed to using.