Monday, April 26, 2004

a weekend as a deckhand/galley slave

we were camped at hyam's beach last night, first thing this morning, after the boss and i went to the boat ramp to meet the Don and get the exposed film and drop off some food, we motor out through the heads and dive crocodile head. the same location where the other, cooler deckie, and boss F found a porthole.

next we decide to motor up to the drum. everyone gets two dives, the cook and i manage a dive as well. con the conga is nowhere to be seen. but a good dive nonetheless. then we bounce our way back down the coast to hyams beach. it's not as rough as anticipated, although still a little bumpy when we get in the bay with the strong westerly that's blowing. only two for the night dive while we all have a few drinkies.
some slide shows, including presentations from the last 2 years of shootouts. very amusing. perhaps tomorrow we'll stay here and get a dive at hyams beach.

not a huge hangover, managed to get myself into bed at around 11:30. this morning the last of the processed slide film is back, we pick it up at Hyams Beach boatramp. the competitors have until 10:30 to mount the slides they want to enter for each category. in the meantime, the cook and i go diving.

you can dive this site as a shore dive, but we're doing it as a boat dive. and a cool dive it is too. the viz isn't too good, around 5 metres. but i take heaps of pictures of old wives (it's a type of fish) and manage to find a turtle and the frantic picture as it swims off, actually works. then i find an eagle ray! too cool. i've never seen one of these before (and everyone else gives me a hard time because they see them all the time. nuts to them) i take a few photos, then it gets restless (just wakes up?) arches it's spiny tail and then shoots off. i called this one princess diana, because as soon as it saw me it went "fucken paparazzi"! and swam off straight into the nearest rock, then it fought off the kelp and nearly ran into a huge blue groper that had to duck out of the way.

i need new gloves, a little maori wrasse bit me while i was taking pictures of the old wives. (gettout of it you little fuck!) a couple of little stingrays on the sand on the way back to the boat. all in all, a lot of fun :-)

25/4/2004 12:00am

what a totally awesome weekend. we had the shootout presentation tonight, and everyone got a prize. unfortunately so did i. the hero award for diving overboard to rescue a lady's lost fin. drat. yet again i have made myself famous by doing something stupid, like diving overboard to rescue a sinking fin, and then they took my photo at the presentation, and one of the presenters pulled down my tracksuit pants, fortunately i had shorts on underneath.

the guy who won, we talked into entering the competition a month or so ago. it's his first compettion. among other things, he's won a trip to the solomon islands. too cool. i think he's glad now we talked him into competitng so he could learn some new things.


after such an idyllic day yesterday, a beautiful red sunset with the cresent moon and venus, today is a little less perfect. the swell is up and the wind is blowing. but the water seems lovely and blue and the divers all went for a stress free dive without the pressures of the photo competition. today is the last day, and one of the divers has already got off. we left him at Murray's Beach boatramp waiting for his lift home.

all the competitors should be happy i think. they produced some lovely pictures and no-one went home empty handed. i've had about enough for one weekend. a 4 day charter is a little taxing. it'll be nice to sleep in my own bed. even if i do have to go to my "pay-the-bills" job tomorrow morning.

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