24 May 2014 – Shirala

Alex Kennedy wrote the following report:

We met up at around 09:00am (well most of us, me and my dad were having breakfast in the harbour café because my dad managed to misread the e-mail  :p). The group of the day consisted of Julian, Steve, Tim, Simon, Thea, me and my dad.  It was our first dive of the season we were quite eager to get out there no matter what the weather was like.  Lucky it was sunny all day but there was a wind in the morning which did give us some trouble getting to the Shirala.

When we started looking for the wreck on the sonar we seemed to be getting some interference which we thought was due to a fault with the sonar (spoiler, it wasn’t) . When we finally managed to locate the Shirala we shot it fairly quick and then waited for the tide to settle down as we had arrived ahead of time. During that time Thea  became quite sea sick in a rolling sea,  so  our first thoughts where to allow her in the water first.

When the waves had calmed down a bit we decided Julian was going to go down on recon to see if it was diveable.  Once he had been down for a while me and my dad went in. Unfortunately the current was still running despite us waiting as long as we could, so we  were unable to reach the shot line on the first run.

Plan B was to hang off the boat to give us a lift to the shot. Once we went down we soon realised why the sonar was being screwy. There was all kinds of silt and crap in the water which meant by the time you got down to 20m you had a round 0.5m vis, which is always nice…… for the first dive of the season 😉

Luckily we came prepared as we both had buddy lines (good planning!) we could use so we had one less thing to worry about.  After a while of swimming about we found rusted sections of the Shirala that were hidden  under sand.  So the dive was not a complete loss. After about 50 mins we had to come up, by which time typically the current had slowed right down and the weather had also improved.

After we had returned to the rib we found that Steve and Simon had become separated on their ascent. This was due to Steve’s DSMB reel becoming  jammed leading to a quicker ascent than planned.  Simon realising this deployed his own dsmb and made his own way to the surface.

Once all divers were safely back on the rib, following our chocolate break  we returned towards the harbour as quickly as possible as  we were close to low tide.  As we approached the harbour mouth sea level was very low and we ended up having to get out and push for a bit as it was far too shallow to risk using the props.

So after all that we de kitted the rib, washed our dry suits and had our picnic lunch in the sun. So all in all not bad for the first dive of the year 😉

Posted in Dive Diary 2014
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