South Australia dive report

Outer Bamnks diving on the Great Escape Southern California Live-Aboard Dive Boat

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Posted by Max Bottomtime on June 25, 2024 at 11:01:10:

Merry and I just returned from a three-week adventure in South Australia. We were there last year on a group trip but missed the Giant Cuttlefish migration at Point Lowly, north of Whyalla. We planned to spend a few days in Adelaide, drive to Edithburgh to dive the jetty for a week, then head up to Whyalla for a week before returning to Adelaide. Our diving adventures rarely go according to plan.

A month before the trip I took our drysuits home so we could save them for the trip. We switched to our backup suits for local dives. I swapped the dryglove rings from Merry's suit and installed them into her backup suit. As we were gearing up for our first dive at the Edithburgh Jetty, I noticed the open sleeves on Merry's drysuit. I had forgotten to put her rings back in her suit. We would have to alternate our dives, cutting the planned dives in half. I transferred my rings into Merry's suit and watched from the surface while she dived with our friend Wayne Roseboom. Back at our hotel, Merry charged her batteries while I searched for replacement rings in South Australia. There were none to be found. Wayne managed to find a set of oval rings from his friend Russell in Adelaide. They are not my favorite rings, as they tend to pop open in the water. Beggars can't be choosers, so we made a five-hour round trip back to Adelaide for the rings. As I walked into the water for my first dive back at the jetty, the water rushed into my suit from the gloves, causing a complete flood. I stuck it out for fifty minutes but had to waddle back to the wall to get out of my now heavy drysuit. After washing and drying my suit, I wrapped duct tape around the rings and managed to stay dry for the remainder of the trip. Merry wasn't as lucky. Her zipper broke, causing floods on each subsequent dive. Her weightbelt zipper also broke but duct tape came to the rescue once again.

Two weeks before the trip I developed a nagging cough. There were no other symptoms, so I thought it might clear up soon. It got worse. When I would cough, my throat would close, causing me to stop breathing for twenty to thirty seconds. We drove to the Yorketown Hospital where I was diagnosed with Pertussis, Whooping Cough. A round of antibiotics stopped me from being contagious, but the cough may remain for up to twelve weeks. Oh, joy! I managed to get two dives at the jetty out of the four I had planned. We also had issues with our battery chargers. Three of our four focus lights fried. The chargers decided to fail at the same time. I didn't try charging the fourth light, so it still works.

We packed the car and headed to Whyalla, hoping for better luck. The surf was too high to dive on our first day but calmed enough to get in the water on day two. Facilities at Point Lowly are perfect for divers and snorkelers alike. Restrooms, changing rooms, free WiFi, fresh water shower, and an easy walk over flat rocks down to the water. There are also vendors with food and coffee, plus a glass bottom boat for those who don't want to get wet while viewing the cuttlefish. The cuttlefish are everywhere, so we didn't have to spend any time searching for photo subjects. We kept our dives to an hour due to Merry's flooding drysuit. The water was 58, the same as our water at home. As we headed back for a second day of diving, the road to the site was closed. An oil tanker truck had burst into flames overnight, melting the asphalt. Road crews worked overnight to open the road twenty-fours later. They never work that fast in California. We dived for the next two days before driving back to Adelaide. We spent the next couple of days relaxing and walking to the flying foxes near the Adelaide Zoo.

Edithburgh Topside

Edithburgh water tower under repair.

Mosaic rocks along the shore

Merry descending the steps, camera in hand

Edithburgh Jetty underwater

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