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    Australia Day Weekend

    January 28, 2014 2 min read

    Australia Day Weekend

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    What better way to celebrate the public holiday weekend than with a couple of sneaky dives. I headed down to popular Bondi, Sydney and caught up with some friends of ours at Dive Center Bondi . One of Sydney's leading PADI Dive Centres. Dive Center Bondi have a complete range of PADI and GUE (Global Underwater Explorers) training programs, servicing, gear rental etc.

    DiveCenterBondi

    First I tried on the Wetsuit, Booties and BCD they had picked out for me, kudos on sizing guys mine fitted like a glove. Next was to check our gear and ensure it was all in good working order. Throughout the shop there were people getting gear advice, trying on BCDs and wetsuits along with weather and dive stories from the previous weekends, such a buzz of activity - the vibe was feeling good.

    The day looked a little over cast but sometimes I find these can be the best for diving. I was hyped because ultimately I was hoping to catch a glimpse of the Weedy Sea Dragon as well as diving in 'colder' water. Now hold on…. i'm not precious, I just have done 90% of my dives off a little island in the Seychelles, where for three months I was enjoying the 30 degrees average sea temperatures ok.

    Weedy-Seadragon=-1

    The Southerly winds had taken hold so unfortunately our original destination of Bare Island and Gordon's Bay were canned and we headed to Shelley's Beach, Manly. Adjacent to North Head and Fairy Bower, Shelly Beach is the only West facing beach on the Eastern Coast of Australia.

    Shelly_Beach_Manly

    Shelley Beach is a protected Marine Reserve as it is part of Cabbage Tree Bay Aquatic Reserve a special area that provides sanctuary for the Weedy Sea Dragon, Elegant Wrasse, Black Rock Cod and Blue Grouper.

    Dave was our Instructor and Guide for the day and he was brilliant, trying to scour the weeds for us to see the illusive Sea Dragon but alas their disguise were way to cunning for us that day. All wasn't lost however, I got to see the beautiful Fiddler Ray, some big Wobbygongs, the cutest little Nudibranchs, a Blue Grouper that was taking too much interest in my mask for my liking and an Estuary catfish.

    Trygonorrhina_sp_A4

    One thing to note, I probably spotted about 5 Stonefish out in the weeds so it definitely pays to ensure you maintain neutral buoyancy, saving you from touching anything. Plus, you have a much better dive experience when you have full control. Practice with your breath next time you are under the water.

    The conditions were ok, calm waters with about 6-8m vis, the dives were extremely relaxing and it was fun searching the weed beds sometimes feeling dizzy with the swaying of the leaves. Maximum depth on our first dive was about 12 meters and the temp on my dive computer was at 20 degrees so not too bad.

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    The problem I find every time I go for a dive, I always want NEW gear. At the moment I have my eyes on the new Suunto D4i it acts as both a Scuba and Freediving computer. Nice neat and compact. Time to start saving, anyway I hope you all had a good weekend!

    See ya, Zoe :)