Aussie Diving 1 to 15 December

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Sas

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Melbourne, Australia
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I got out for a night dive tonight and it was AWESOME. Primarily as my buddy survived an attempted eating by a 2m stingray... but I'll get to that later.

Anyway, me, + two buddies got to Mornington about 8pm. Michael + I were mainly there to practice some skills for cavern, which I start in two weeks :bounce: :bounce:. We did gear removal midwater, buddy breathing, trying to remove and replace masks with one hand which is doable but I found it mutually exclusive with keeping my hood on, and also laying line and then reeling it in without our masks on. The last skill I thought would be hard but it is actually really easy. If you just hold onto the line, buoyancy is easy and it is quite comforting as you know where you are heading. After a few minutes I could see quite decently actually, well not good compared to with a mask on but I could make out shapes and so on.

Whilst I was laying line (I went first) a giant stingray made an appearance so that was quite exciting. Then when Michael was finishing up winding in his line, it showed up again and must have been gnawing on his arm or something like that as Michael said later he wondered how I was squeezing his arm on that side (I was on the opposite side of him). At this point he had no mask on and had no idea what was going on other than I grabbed him and tried to indicate to stay still. In hindsight the whole thing was very funny. After we finished we found it yet again and it swum right over me. I should have used that chance to remove a long line hanging out of its mouth but I figured it might not take kindly to this. We swum around for a bit more sharing air as practice + saw an octopus in a bottle and one in a tube. There was also an eel (not so common here) and the usual fish. We did 72mins so shorter than normal and the temp was 19C

Anyway, one of the best dives I've done in a while. The skills were fun and not too hard and the stingray was really fun.
 

bowlofpetunias

Oh no, not again!
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I got out for a night dive tonight and it was AWESOME. Primarily as my buddy survived an attempted eating by a 2m stingray... but I'll get to that later.

Anyway, me, + two buddies got to Mornington about 8pm. Michael + I were mainly there to practice some skills for cavern, which I start in two weeks :bounce: :bounce:. We did gear removal midwater, buddy breathing, trying to remove and replace masks with one hand which is doable but I found it mutually exclusive with keeping my hood on, and also laying line and then reeling it in without our masks on. The last skill I thought would be hard but it is actually really easy. If you just hold onto the line, buoyancy is easy and it is quite comforting as you know where you are heading. After a few minutes I could see quite decently actually, well not good compared to with a mask on but I could make out shapes and so on.

Whilst I was laying line (I went first) a giant stingray made an appearance so that was quite exciting. Then when Michael was finishing up winding in his line, it showed up again and must have been gnawing on his arm or something like that as Michael said later he wondered how I was squeezing his arm on that side (I was on the opposite side of him). At this point he had no mask on and had no idea what was going on other than I grabbed him and tried to indicate to stay still. In hindsight the whole thing was very funny. After we finished we found it yet again and it swum right over me. I should have used that chance to remove a long line hanging out of its mouth but I figured it might not take kindly to this. We swum around for a bit more sharing air as practice + saw an octopus in a bottle and one in a tube. There was also an eel (not so common here) and the usual fish. We did 72mins so shorter than normal and the temp was 19C

Anyway, one of the best dives I've done in a while. The skills were fun and not too hard and the stingray was really fun.

Great story Sas.. I wonder what the ray was thinking :rofl3::rofl3:.. this thing isn't very taste and it isnt very smart either :rofl3:
 

bowlofpetunias

Oh no, not again!
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We got a surprise ...checked conditions for Bare Island tides, bouy weather.. all the usual stuff... figured it would be awash on the easern side but fine on the West and Viz should be ok as it was well into the incoming tide.... WRONG! Eastern side definitely out Western some decent waves/swell and current... Viz 7M down to 5 :shakehead:

Last weekend we found one of the concrete anchors and chains for one of the Bouys they put in a while ago. We all debated going up the chain to see exactly where we were in the Bay. This has been an ongoing discussion for years... "exactly where do you think we wind up etc" Nobody went up the chain:no:

This Sat we actually had a discussion of our dive plan. Our standard plan for years in our group has been agree on buddy pairs, general dive site/direction.. go till someone indicates they need to turn around (could be for air/cold rarely boredom) and head back. We all agreed if we found a chain... two divers (for safety we didn't want to send one up alone) would go up it while the rest would stay at the bottom of the chain and wait for them to return and finish the dive.

Didn't find the chain.. heard it rattling but the viz made it very hard to find anything so we didn't bother going looking.

What made the dive.. is the Red Indian Fish! We haven't seen one here for a couple years but they seem to be seasonal so hopefully the sighting of one means more to follow. For those of you who know the site. It was past the metal prop/fin just before the split rocks before you get to Seahorse Rock(where the hollow log is).

anyway here is my selection from the dive.
429-022-Large.jpg
429-026-CLarge.jpg
429-024-Large.jpg


The morays that were everywhere last weekend were not to be seen.. only found 1!
429-071CLarge.jpg


I have downloaded a few more pictures here if you want to check them

D-429 pictures by bowlofpetunias - Photobucket
 

Gudge

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Exmouth, Western Australia
I didn't check in here all November because the only diving we got done was in Lembeh! :D

We got our first dive on Ningaloo today after our Lembeh trip, a 90 puddle about on Bundegi Reef. I was out to practice my Wide Angle Macro technique with the 10-17 fisheye zoomed in to 17 sitting on a 1.4X teleconverter. At first I couldn't find any suitable Wide Angle Macro techniques and just had to be content with shooting conventional wide angle:

732977170_7mVM7-M.jpg


732977232_2Vfky-M.jpg


732977285_dxSJX-M.jpg


Towards the end of the dive Mary came and grabbed me and took me over to this little lump of coral with a large nudi sitting on top of it. At last the perfect subject for a little Wide Angle Macro shooting. Here's my two favourite shots (neither of which are cropped):

732977321_33Viz-M.jpg


732977340_wyCqS-M.jpg
 

bowlofpetunias

Oh no, not again!
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I didn't check in here all November because the only diving we got done was in Lembeh! :D

We got our first dive on Ningaloo today after our Lembeh trip, a 90 puddle about on Bundegi Reef. I was out to practice my Wide Angle Macro technique with the 10-17 fisheye zoomed in to 17 sitting on a 1.4X teleconverter. At first I couldn't find any suitable Wide Angle Macro techniques and just had to be content with shooting conventional wide angle:

Wow .. not talking in my league Gudge... my interpretation... $$$$$$ white noise $$$$$$ ?????? $$$$$$ white noise $$$$$$$

Glad you got this equipment Gudge because I enjoy looking at your shots so much!

Towards the end of the dive Mary came and grabbed me and took me over to this little lump of coral with a large nudi sitting on top of it. At last the perfect subject for a little Wide Angle Macro shooting. Here's my two favourite shots (neither of which are cropped):

732977321_33Viz-M.jpg


[/QUOTE]

This is my favorite of your shots ever! Stunning.. thanks for sharing!
 

Gudge

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Wide Angle Macro is using a wide angle lens (usually used for very big stuff) to shoot very small stuff (what you would normally use a macro lens for, eg nudi). In this case the combination of lens I was using is equivalent to a 24mm fish eye lens. It focusses almost down to the port surface and gives you nearly 1:2 magnification with a whole lot more depth of field than a macro lens. When you pull it off it gives an entirely different look to shots of small critters than what you get with a macro lens.
 

Sas

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Today I got in two dives on HMAS Canberra! :) The conditions have been crap the last few days but today we had very little swell and crossing the heads was very calm. The viz was about 10m but often more inside the wreck. I managed to borrow a pony so was 'allowed' to go inside by the charter (they are requiring a redundant gas source if you want to penetrate unless you hire a DM to guide you) and we spent a lot of time working our way from the bottom to the top of the wreck. We started off in 30m but spent most of the dive 20-25m, with the last 10min near the bridge in about 15m of water.

They've left a fair bit of stuff in the wreck, chairs, sinks, signs, panels, and things like that, but it was like swiss cheese and there was no point where it was super dark or where we could not see an exit. So, basically a giant swim through. There was surge through the wreck so that pushed us around a bit but I didn't really get bothered by this. It is going to be really interesting to watch the growth over time - on the outside there is a lot of algae already but inside it was quite clean. We got to see a Red Velvetfish, very rare, never seen one before - the poor thing was being buffeted by the surge and last I saw of it was when it got stuck in an eddy and was sucked down one of the openings of the wreck :(

We did 62mins first dive, and 51mins the second dive so for once we got fairly decent runtime allowance from the charter. Though we were told when booking we could do 60mins x 2 but when we got out their the captain told us 50mins but we said we'd be doing 60! :wink:

Anyway, it's HUGE so going to take a fair bit of diving to cover it all. One of my buddies took some cool photos so I might ask her if I can post a couple here once she's sorted them.
 

bowlofpetunias

Oh no, not again!
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Oh yes please.. pictures would be wonderful.. thanks for a great report Sas
 
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