The forecast was a bit of a mixed bag, a high of 29'C, a strong north easterly wind building during the day, MetEye was predicting 2-2.5m seas, plus the risk of thunder storms just to add to the excitement. However, the call came through from Alex that the dive was still on so we all met up at 33°44'20.8"S 151°18'29.4"E, aka the boat ramp at Fisherman's Beach, just next to the Long Reef Golf Club. Once a substantial donation had been made to the local council for the privilege of using the rather convenient parking and toilets, we set about kitting up.
Shortly before 12 noon the Frog Dive boat rocked up, disgorged the previous round of divers and we waded in to the mild surf to clamber aboard. It was a short, but lumpy ride out to the first site: Cathedral to Wall drift. As everyone is suited 'n booted it didn't take long for everyone to get kitted up and roll off the side of the rib. I was in a trio with Paul C and Stu, the vis was nothing to write home about, but good enough to take in the striking rock wall and large boulders. Hiding in the cracks were eels and wobbiegongs as well as the usual array of sponge life and stonefish. See Paul's video for more. Alex said the best bit for him was coming face to face with that big cuttlefish - he was quite happy to sit there looking at me cycling through all his colours - I've never seen one that close and for that long before. After 45 min we were all back on board and heading to the shelter of the beach.
There was only a short gap between getting back from the 12 noon dive and the departure of the 2 pm dive (the skipper waits for no one!). Alex and Liz, who had had one of those dives where if it could go wrong, it did go wrong (oh, the joys of rental gear!) decided to throw the towel in at this stage so alas we missed out on Liz's home made sausage rolls, cookies and brownies. Those who were going out on the second dive quickly ran up the beach to grab a fresh tank. Once everyone had sorted their gear out it was back out to long reef and the same site. This time we found the cathedral, more of a church I would say, but still good fun with a number of few swim throughs and dramatic rock formations. Once back on the boat (thanks Paul for sterling navigation!) we were relived the weather hadn't got any worse, and there was no sign of the storms (they finally turned up once I was home and washing the kit!).
PS. If anyone is thinking of doing a double dive with Frog Dive again, it may be an idea to sign up for the 10 am and 2 pm to give a bit more of a surface interval. Price is $100 for those with their own kit, $160 for those without.