Sunday 12th February 2013
We headed out on Ocean Cat today with beautiful weather and calm seas. We had a vote on where we would like to go and decided on the Arizona. The Arizona is relatively deep, all the good stuff sits in about thirty metres and you can drop down to forty metres so it was a thirty minute dive time on this one and forty for those with Nitrox.
Visibility was about thirty metres and no current, it really was perfect conditions. We had a ball exploring the mountainous area for the first time. I didn’t take many photos because I am still getting used to my new strobes and longer strobe arms, but it didn’t phase me because I was just having fun soaking it all in.
We voted on Hutchinsons Shoal for the next dive which suited me just fine as I had never done this dive site before either. George suggested a drift dive and I was starting to think I wouldn’t need to exert any energy today at all! Hutchinsons really was stunning. Visibility was forty metres again with no current. There was heaps to see at Hutchinsons because the landscape is vast and has many pinnacles, swim throughs and caves to explore. A few of the experienced divers on the boat for this site had mentioned a few caves and told us to look for the hooked rock to find them.
Nick found the first cave, and then I found the second larger one which was amazing! It has a shallow entrance but then opens up inside featuring beautiful Gorgonian fans and black corals, there are three or four little pathways, you can access or exit vertically through a narrow passage, however as I was filming I didn’t want to damage my camera squeezing through so we opted for the obvious exit ahead. Inside the cave you could have spent the whole dive alone. Having a torch mounted to my camera was fantastic! We did a maximum dive time of forty minutes on this dive and maximum depth of twenty eight metres.
George the skipper offered us the option of having a third dive earlier in the day and had said to save some air. I had sixty bar left in twins so about one hundred and twenty bar in total which was plenty. The maximum time on this dive at The Hustler was only going to be a twenty minute one.
The Hustler sits in twenty metres of water. There was a slight current here and we did use a bit of air and energy finning to the wreck fifty metres ahead of us. Visibility was at least thirty metres so once I saw the wreck I was quite relieved I would be able to have a rest.
The Hustler is very small and compact, similar to the Aahrus, but it has lots of little surprises hidden away. Lots of bright purple sponges, schools of Jew fish and we had a Leopard shark too. Back on the boat everyone was thrilled with the day, enjoyed a hot shower and some chocolate bars and drinks.
A big weekend of diving as Nick and I had dived the Brisbane ex HMAS wreck yesterday! So now I am well and truly exhausted and ready for bed! Zzzzzz