Shelley Beach Showing Off (Diving as Minnie Mouse)

Shelley Beach Showing Off (Diving as Minnie Mouse)

Diving
Seeing as we had the day off, and the kids were at school, Sharon and I decided to head down to Shelly Beach for a quick dive and to test out some new gear. On route, we stopped in at Frog Dive to fill our tanks and pick up Sharon's "new" regs. And somehow, while I was loading the tanks into the car, Sharon ended up borrowing a Minnie Mouse hood in case the water was chilly. Sydney was expecting a huge rain bomb to pass through in the upcoming days, and some of that rain was already starting to hit us, so we wanted to make hay while the sun shines. We parked near the Fairy Bower pool and kitted up on the side of the road. The air…
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Underwater Cleanup at Clifton Gardens

Underwater Cleanup at Clifton Gardens

Diving, Event
One of the things I've learned (or finally got to witness) as a diver is that a large percentage of our waste ends up in our oceans, which damages both the fauna and flora. However, despite how large this problem is, even the smallest of gestures can help. If not us, then who? So on Sunday morning I headed down to Chowder Bay where I met up with the Frog Dive crew to clean up the area under the Clifton Gardens wharf. Clifton Gardens is one of New South Wales premiere muck diving sites, with incredible macro photography on offer for those willing to put their eyes to the test. We split up into buddy pairs, and allocated areas to clean. My buddy and I focused on the area inside…
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A Sneaky Dive at Shelly Beach

A Sneaky Dive at Shelly Beach

Diving
With Kerry out from Perth, what else would we do other than go for a sneaky dive. The initial plan was to dive with Kerry, but sadly she wasn't able to do her refresher in time so Sharon stepped in to fill her shoes (fins). We packed up the family early on Sunday morning and headed down to Bare Island to join Frog Dive for a shore dive. Despite it being a beautiful day, water conditions were still far from ideal. In fact, a quick chat with the dive master confirmed that we shouldn't expect more than 3 meters of vis. We therefore made a last minute decision to change venues and headed north to Shelly Beach, where we knew visibility was likely between 5 and 10 meters. Bare Island…
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We Found Secret Vis!

We Found Secret Vis!

Diving
After months of no diving in Sydney, courtesy of La Niña induced flooding and near zero vis, Sharon and I finally managed to get back into the water. As per usual, we met the Frog Dive crew at the Mosman Rowing Club just after 7am, and kitted up in the carpark while getting to know our fellow divers for the day. At 8am we climbed onto the boat and began the trip to North Head, while receiving our safety briefing. Our first dive was at Rock Fall, and it was an interesting experience to say the least. The 6 of us met on the surface, and then descended in what turned out to be a shocking 2 meters (if that) of visibility. By the time we reached the bottom, we'd…
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An Adventure at BlueFish Point and Rock Fall (Including a Wobbegong Attack)

An Adventure at BlueFish Point and Rock Fall (Including a Wobbegong Attack)

Diving
I've done a lot of dives of late, but this was perhaps one of the more memorable ones, and for all the wrong reasons. After finally securing a babysitter, Sharon and I booked ourselves a double boat dive. We were slightly apprehensive since a fatal, white shark attack had taken place only 3 days prior, just 10 kms south of the dive site, but we decided to go for it anyway. As planned, we met at the boat ramp at 7:30am, ready to head out at around 8am. We immediately ran into our divemaster, who happened to have run my Emergency First Responders course, and had a quick chat to him while we setup our gear. Everyone arrived on time, so we were soon on the boat and headed for…
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Kayak Fishing Cowan Creek…Again…

Kayak Fishing Cowan Creek…Again…

Fly Fishing, Kayak Fishing, Lure Fishing, Salt Water
Somehow December was all about the diving, and I didn't manage to get in any fishing while on leave. Hell-bent on righting this wrong, I loaded my kayak onto the roof and headed down to Cowan Creek. To be honest, my expectations weren't high; I'd visited Bobbin Head the week before to fly my drone and the water looked like a mud-bath. But you can't catch a fish without a line in the water, and a day spent paddling through a nature reserve is never time wasted, so I headed out anyway. When I arrived at Bobbin Head I was pleasantly surprised - the water had cleared up nicely despite the ongoing rain, and so my hopes lifted. I was quick to get onto the water and decided to paddle…
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Diving Kurnell – The Monument

Diving Kurnell – The Monument

Diving
While Nick and his family were in Sydney, we were constantly on the lookout for family friendly dive sites. As such we headed down to Kurnell, and dived at the Monument. The site is situated on the on the southern headland of the Botany Bay National Park. Entry into the water is close to the famous Whale Sculpture, directly in front of the Commemoration Flat picnic area, which is what drew us to the site initially. It's also a great venue when a strong southerly is blowing (which is exactly what was happening). The Monument dive site, Kurnell Nick and I spent an incredible hour in the water, making our way along the rock wall, looking into every nook and cranny. Visibility was 10 meters+, and the water was a…
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December Diving at Clifton Gardens

December Diving at Clifton Gardens

Diving
December was a dive heavy month for us. Nick (and family) travelled down from Brisbane, which meant a week of near daily diving as we explored Sydney's plethora of shore based dive sites. And as with many Sydney divers, their journey began at Clifton Gardens. Clifton Gardens from the air Looking down on the Clifton Gardens dive site Nick and I made a last minute decision to do a night dive at Clifton Gardens on Christmas day. We arrived at around 7pm, and were immediately disappointed by the amount of rubbish left lying around from the Christmas day celebrations. After making a few weak excuses, and ensuring Nick things weren’t normally like this, we geared up and headed down to the water. We dropped below the surface at last light…
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Exploring Shelly Beach (Under and on Top of the Water)

Exploring Shelly Beach (Under and on Top of the Water)

Diving
Shelly Beach is one of Sydney's most well known, shore-based, scuba and snorkelling sites. It's located in Manly, and lies within the Cabbage Tree Bay Aquatic Reserve, home to over 160 species of fish (so there's plenty to enjoy). The site is perfect for beginners, and is sheltered from most weather conditions as it's a west facing beach on the east coast. We chose to dive Shelley Beach over December as it offers a wide array of activities, from swimming and snorkelling for the kids, to diving for the adults, all in close proximity to some amazing coffee shops. It's also the home of Weedyland, so there's always a chance of finding the gorgeous weedy seadragon. Before going further, it's worth calling out that one of the downsides of this…
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Rescue Diver Training

Rescue Diver Training

Diving, Salt Water
There’s no doubt about it, diving comes with a few inherent risks. And while it’s safety record is great, and it's standards are high, your safety is ultimately your own responsibility. And if you can extend that responsibility to also include others, amazing! With that in mind, I signed up to do a Rescue Diver course, which also includes an Emergency First Responder certification. As is the norm with PADI courses, the weeks preceding the course were spent going through online training, and writing short online exams. We then gathered at the dive shop on Friday evening to meet our dive buddies, do a short knowledge review, and collect our gear. And then the real fun began… Day 1 - The Skills Little Manly on a cloudy morning I arrived…
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