Monday, January 01, 2007

Thistlegorm - Shag Rock - Bluff Point

We were very lucky to be the only boat at the Thistlegorm at the start of New Year's day. Usually a site like this can have multiple live-aboards and a host of day boats competing for mooring space, plus who knows how many divers bubbling around.

Our pre-breakfast dive was a great experience, with visibility such that we could see the wreck from the surface, 30m underwater. Since I don't have an underwater camera or housing, go to Chris' blog to see some of his and fellow divers' pictures. I was thoroughly miffed to miss out on seeing dolphins and turtle seen by others, but spirits were raised by helping Chris fully analyse himself as a kinky, dinky, sinky, linky, winky, blinky, chinky, stinky, pinky minkey. I'm sure that you can get him to mime the full story.

Later in the morning we moved to Shag Rock where lies the wreck of the Kingston. As I recall I skipped the wreck to have a potter around between some coral pinnacles.

My final dive for the day was my final AOW class - Underwater Navigation. For this we had to time ourselves and calculate kick-cycles over a 30m distance. Then we used a compass to navigate a 30m square underwater. We did that at Bluff Point off Gubal Soraya. This site was sadly rather polluted, with much evidence of cans and plastic bags dumped from boats visiting the area.

Pia gives dive-briefing.

Our dive leader, Pia has spent much of the last decade diving these waters. With her presence, and German-accented fracturing of English, I'm reminded of a Rhine maiden (or perhaps Rotes Seemaid) channelled via Anna Russell, vocal equivalent of comic pianist Victor Borge;

in her humorous analysis of Wagner's Ring cycle, she began by noting that the first scene takes place in the River Rhine: "In it!!" After pointing out that a character in the Ring Cycle is the first woman that Siegfried has ever met who is not his aunt, she pauses and declares, "I'm not making this up, you know!"

*who, I just read, died only 2 months ago, aged 94, having retired to Bateman's Bay, south of Sydney!)

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