HMAS Adelaide aka Clifton Gardens Reserve (Halloween)

A photo from HMAS Adelaide aka Clifton Gardens Reserve (Halloween)
Clifton Gardens Wharf
A photo from HMAS Adelaide aka Clifton Gardens Reserve (Halloween)
Mark's bad boy

Divers

Jonathan Pearson* Sam Warwick Ben Crossett Mark Bonnar MIA: Paul Furnis (reckoned it was too cold….) +1 random -1 Stanley (finless)

After agonising over the weather forecast for several days, DSS finally decided on Saturday afternoon that the boat dive to the Adelaide was binned due to the 2-3m swell. After briefly considering a dash to Mount Gambier as a suitable inland Plan B, Jon convinced us that Clifton Gardens was a better option and he was going to lead us all to The Wreck located just off the jetty…..

Somewhere between parking (being robbed of $15 for the pleasure) and entering the water we collected a random dive buddy and lost another due to lack of fins (long story). 5 intrepid divers entered the water around 8am well behind the PADI & GUI convention who had apparently been there at sunrise as is required under Hogarthian principles. Us BSAC divers start the day with Bacon Sandwiches And Coffee before diving (and you thought BSAC stood for Better Send A Cheque…?)

Anyway, Ben and I decided to enter off the beach figuring that we’d stay around the end of the pier and make friends with the octopus. This would give Ben the greatest opportunity to focus on his Left Shearwater Button that had just come back from NZ for a second time. The hard-core faction legged it up the pier and took a giant stride in front of the dozen or so strung-out anglers who were still trying to cut the last GUI divers free. Our wreck hunters immediately tied off and frog kicked into the gloom….

By the time me and Left-Button Crossett arrived at the end of the pier only a thin white line snaking off into the depts was visible. It didn’t take us long to give in and the Darkness Beckoned us in the hope of some as-yet undiscovered treasure (I should just add that all this drama is taking place at 6m. Who needs to get Narked to have a good time!).

It would be great to end this tale on a note of success and to be able to congratulate Diver Bobby* on his splendid navigation and how unexpectedly great the wreck turned out to be (name changed by agreement). We’d hit 15m by the time I saw Bobby’s torch beam coming towards us (which was probably deep enough for a man with a single 7l tank on his back). As the Bobby’s Dredger Group reeled back toward the pier any last viz disappeared and for a moment, I enjoyed the feeling of being back in the Clyde alone in the dark.

So is there a wreck in Chowder Bay? Yes there is and here’s the video to prove it

We surfaced to this bad boy and a beautiful day. We did see octopus and sea horses, nudibranch, leatherjackets and loads more that I don't know the name of. It was ace to be back in the water after lockdown. And as for the question you all want answered…..I am pleased to confirm that Ben’s Left Button is working again.