30 July 2016 – Shirala

Report by Andrew Hubbard

Plenty of drama to start the day as, after a leisurely breakfast at the Boathouse we got the boat ready and were just getting changed when a huge bang and cloud of dust came from the fuel pontoon.  With everyone rushing from all directions we found the fuel cabin completely demolished into matchwood.  Having had trouble starting, a jetski eventually fired up locked on full throttle and took off across the water at full bore, jumped out of the water, over the fuel pontoon right through the cabin, back into the water on the other side and across the marina basin, only coming to a halt when it crashed into the far pontoon.   Fortunately no-one was hurt but it put the fuel system out of action for at least a week. Luckily, we managed to get launched before the Harbour Master arrived and sealed off the slipway.  

The sea state was excellent so we arrived at the Shirala in excellent time and, in fact, a bit early for slack.   Pulling down the shot line against the current we found the shot firmly placed right in the stern of the wreck.  With good light and a respectable 4 – 5 m vis, we set  off across the wreck into the current with plenty to see amongst the tangle of metal.  On reaching the port side we headed off over the boilers to the stern coming across an odd large wheel-like object on the way.  After getting to  the stern it was simply a case of drifting gently back with the current across the wreck until  the shot line loomed into  view.  With plenty of bottom time and gas it was nice to continue exploring further for a while before heading back, moving the shot out into the open to prevent it tangling and ascending back to “our world” and the waiting  boat.  With loads of life, good vis, calm seas and 17oc water temperature, this was a really enjoyable dive and nice to be back in the water after being held off by the weather so much earlier in the year. 

Unable to refuel or recover the boat due to the earlier shenanigans at the marina, and having used so  little fuel because of the benign sea conditions, we simply left the boat in the water and unanimously decided to come back the next day for another cracking day’s diving.

Posted in Dive Diary 2016
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