Saturday the 17th September, to celebrate my friend Nick Rawnsley’s dirty thirty birthday we shouted him a dive on the BNE ex-HMAS wreck off Mooloolaba Sunshine Coast. Unfortunately Nick K had to fly last minute saturday night so gave his dive to Daren M who is always generous enough to the both of us and well over due some good kharma. We met Pete G up there who had opted for the “not getting up at 5am challenge” and had stayed over night in Mooloolaba.
Summer is here and it was a beautiful sunny hot day. Which made wearing a hood and 5mm wetsuit not particularly tempting at first. We dived with Scubaworld and had two incredible dives. The seas were flat and we had 15-20m VIS underwater. The best diving conditions I’ve experienced on the wreck so far. We had a fun 50 minute dive through the wreck and saw everything from Lion fish, a lot of scorpion fish, clown and anemone fish, heaps of colourful blue and green nudibranchs, and I even spotted an octopus at the bow, just as we had to go up due to EDT.
On the second dive as I hadn’t brought a torch due to the hassle of having to multi task camera equipment and a torch inside a wreck I penetrated the middle level of the wreck as it is quite light inside and waited at the entrance while the others visited the engine room. I was about 9 minutes away from going into deco when I asked Daren how far away he was knowing he had gone deeper than me. He was 3 minutes away so we both came up to the deck about 16m. Daren did end up going into deco by 2 minutes which wasn’t a big deal as he is a qualified TDI DECO instructor but nonetheless we slowly ascended and did our stops together. I was worried about Nick and Pete knowing they had also gone much deeper but they said they were 20 minutes away from DECO which leads me to believe our computers/gauges may have been quite conservative, even though we had the conservative factor off.
Daren and I ended up being exactly the same on air both coming back with 50 bar (with 100 bar having twin tanks) It was my first day diving my twin steel tanks and I had SO much fun! They make diving so much more comfortable and practical, stopping at exact depths and using my lungs to hold position was a sinch compared to fluffing around in a BC and sgl tank.
I enjoyed diving with Daren, it’s nice to know you’re diving with someone who is extremely qualified and experienced and you don’t really have to worry about. And as always enjoyed diving with my two friends Nick and Pete. It couldn’t have been a better day diving, thoroughly enjoyed by all and looking forward to getting back there soon!