12 April 2014 – Mulberry Harbour

First boat dive of the 2014 season!  Following his bad experience on the boat last year Mark has written the following report:

leaving MarinaI had been out on the club rib once before. That day last July had resulted in entanglement in the shot line as I descended, an uncontrolled ascent shortly after reaching the sea bed (only 9m thankfully) and a realisation that I do get sea sick, as I waited for the others to complete their dives. With that experience etched into my mind, it was with a mixture of excitement and caution that I arrived at the marina with my Joy-Rides on Friday morning.
We all met at the Boathouse Cafe about 9.  Andrew went through the simulated deco dive plan I had been asked to prepare, then we ordered breakfast. Most of the others tucked into eggs and bacon as I contented myself with dry toast and jam much to the cafe owners disdain, referring to me as Captain Sea Legs.  After leaving, Andrew gave me a dry run in distance line use. Next we began to prepare the boat and ourselves for an 11 o’clock ropes off.
The dive group consisted of Andrew, Jenny, George, Dave, Elliott, Thea and myself. The sea was calm and the ride to the Outer Mulberry was quicker than I had expected. After kitting up and buddy checks,  Andrew and I were first in. We descended to 10m and followed a line to the edge of the structure. As planned, I attached the distance line to one of the protruding steel reinforcements and we headed off north. After a while the current, though slight, was becoming noticeable so we retraced our route and travelled in the opposite direction. Visibility was about 1.5 to 2 metres and water temperature was 10 degrees C  but I have been training in “muddy puddles” recently and I didn’t think it was too bad. Where I was concentrating on keeping the line taut, I didn’t look around too much but Andrew did point out a colourful anemone. Unfortunately we hadn’t started the distance line exercise at the bottom of the marker buoy line and we couldn’t find our way back. We deployed my dsmb and ascended simulating a deco dive ascent. 
Once back on the boat, Dave and Elliott surfaced shortly after and then Jenny, Thea and George completed their dive. Afterwards it was decided to head for Black Ledge for a drift dive. A suitable site was chosen and this time I dived with George. We descended to 10m. I held the smb reel while George used a torch to point out marine life. A colourful Cuckoo Wrasse ( I was reliably informed later) seemed out of place as torch light lit it up like a tropical fish. I also liked the small shark like dog fish that let us get to within inches of them before they swam away. After a quick passing 30 minutes it was time to go back to the boat. Dave and Elliott had also had a second dive.
On return to the marina, after a careful approach to the river, we unloaded the boat and got changed. I thoroughly enjoyed the day and would like to thank fellow club members involved for their help, advice and support. Looking forward to next time.

Short video of the boat coming back to the marina:


Posted in Dive Diary 2014
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