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Sunday, February 27, 2005

a port stephens sojourn


a summary for those who get bored quickly and want to skip to the end

* went to port stephens

*night divers go diving (at 10:30pm), rat chooses the beer option. drinks, sleeps.

*saturday morning arrives. berocca, gatorade and red-bull for brekkie. go for walk from shoal bay to fingal bay with cute chicky**. go for dive at fly point, awesome dive. have counter lunch for brekkie at a pub. drink beer, drink more beer. hmmmm beeer.

*sunday morning arrives. berocca and red-bull. don't feel like walking today. give cute chicky bad advice about making web pages on her laptop. (the only good advice i'll ever give is simple. don't use microsuck frontpage. it just sucks. when it comes to sucking, it sucks a lot. suck suck suck) and then we go for a dive at halifax point. run into a few people i know from their trips down our way. as usual, they give me good advice for the dive site. it must be zen timing. i just turn up for the day to go diving, they turn up and tell me where to dive. i'm only 6 hours from home, and they still manage to get here every time i dive here and tell me what to do. legends. great fucking dive. see heaps.

*sunday arvo. drive home

*the end

friday lunchtime-ish finds me running around like a blue arsed fly. brekkie business shit, surf, organise self, ring friend, shower salt off so i don't stink out the car with sweat... and then we're on our way. fortunately the lift was late.

we arrive in port stephens in the daytime. which is a first for us. so we also find the accomodation without the normal screwups that are associated with me and navigation. ok, we did a few u-turns in sydney. well i'm good at getting lost. usually i manage a few u-turns anytime i go through sydney. but i've never done a 360. that's when you do a u-turn, then decide you had it right the first time, and just keep going round. so i take charge of the sydney directory thingy, and get us back on the express-way. i amaze myself sometimes. but we've made up for it earlier at a mcdonalds. we'd decided it was time for a junk-food meal. and i was outvoted. so we went to mc-crap. we were going to eat in. but we screw up driving through the shitty car park and the driver (not me and not me for the 360) end up going through the drive through. this is a first for me. i've done some stupid stuff, but i've never gone through the drive through without ordering. then we go in and order...

drink. sleep

saturday morning and i'm trying to sleep in. when you dive the shore dives at port stephens, you dive at high tide. the tidal current is too strong otherwise, and if you dive at low tide, the viz is crap from the outgoing tide. high tide on saturday is 10:38. so we get in at 10:15. and yet again, we are too early. same thing last year. we got in even earlier and had a great time going with the tide, but a crap time coming back. this year is not so bad, but still too early. stupid tide charts... great dive though, lotsa life. nudibranchs. a big fat numb ray (electric ray) asleep in the sand. wobbegongs, sponges, anemones, bream, flathead. you aren't allowed to fish here. but i loved telling one of my crew mates from the boat, who is here with his diving missus, about the size of this flathead. awesome. but not for you dude hehehe

next we head off for a counter lunch brekkie at the pub. (ok, it's 1:00pm, but it's time for brekkie) and after i have one beer. i want to drink all the beers. we drop off cute chicky at the beach for sunburning, and go shopping for bbq dinner. early nite due to early start. oops.

sunday morning and i give up trying to sleep at around 8:30. get up. sort out camera for dive and stuff around heaps. at the dive site i discover i've forgotten my fucking boots. great. gonna uncomfortable feet for the whole dive. fortunately one of my friend's kids isn't diving, and his feet are bigger than mine. steal booties, go diving. i run into a guy i know in the carpark. deja vu. exact same thing last year. for some unknown reason my friends' dive plan is simple, they're all going to follow me. damn. so this dude gives me a dive brief and i'm saved (2 years in a row, hope he's here next year). and we have the coolest, most awesome shore dive. there is stuff everywhere.

at the start there are these little rocky cairns that some twisted individual has built, complete with stop sign. presumably to prevent divers going back to sure... anyway, we continue. we get to the bommie, sponges, anemones, fishies, nudis. then we turn west for a lil bit. and we get to the coolest bommie. there are schools of fish stacked up over each other. juvenile stripeys, bream, bullseyes, adult stripeys, wrasse. a big fat blue groper cruising in and out whenever he feels like it. the biggest mother fucking drummer i've ever seen doing the same. usually shy in my experience, but this dude was not. estuary cod. life everywhere. you cannot sit on the bottom hardly anywhere as there is so many soft corals, anemones and other fragile thingies. a free swimming numb ray or electric eel. i had to take a photo of it. but i'm trying not to get too close in case the little bastard zaps me.

so me, being the most experienced diver, chooses when we turn back to shore (and i'm running out of fucking air. diving with two girls, and guy with a larger tank than me, and i'm going off my brain and breathing like and air pig cause of all the cool stuff) (and girls use lots less air than guys by the way. want to know the perfect diver, girlies. use less air, carry smaller tanks, more agile and able to look after themselves, and usually a whole lot more interesting to look at in a swimsuit. gibber gibber) so we turn to shore and start swimming in. and there's more stuff to look at. spotted moray, wobbegongs, flatheadd. stuff everywhere. if you're a diver or a snorkeler and you want to see a lot of life. go to port stephens. but be careful.

i know lots of fishermen. most of them are just normal, nice, good guys. they love you telling them what you see underwater. makes them smarter fishermen. but there's some dumb cunts that just naturally have a chip on their shoulder. in nsw at least the law on the water is simple. if you see a dive flag, you slow down and proceed with caution. we're at the southen most end of a channel marked by buoys. the channel is one fucking kilometer wide. we're diving around the port marker, where there is also a sign saying 4-knots. walking pace you fuckwits. out of all the ocean, this particular boat load of mother fuckers choose to come as close as possible to the port marker, too close to the dive flag, moving at about 15-20 knots in a 4 knot zone. maybe they've got a chip on their shoulder. maybe a diver dived in their burley trail once. so they take it out on the people diving no-where near where they fish, on a shore dive. stupid mother fucking sons of a bitchs. if they have licences they got then out of a packets of corn-flakes obviously. glossed over the bit where you are responsible for your vessel. and the fucking rules of the road. i'm a professional boat driver and deckhand. they embarrass me. if i worked for them i'd shove a boat hook up their arses and jump overboard. i hope your chickens turn into emus and kick your mother fucking dunny door down.

**disclaimer** this is just a cute chicky. nice to look at and talk to. not the same as the gorgeous chicky with the blue eyes that makes my brain stop and who i'm totally in denial about. i figure with my track record. i'm better just fantasizing about her and not actually getting involved and screwing her life up for the short period it takes her to work out how screwed up i am...

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