Dive Number: 176 07/08/11 10.35, Barren Island
Wind: 10 north-easterlies???
Water Temp: 18c
Bottom Time: 60minutes
Max Depth: 14m
Air usage: 200bar/3000psi
SAC: ???? litres/min
Details: After flying into Rockhampton and making absolutely no plans about where i was going to dive, i spent most of the day calling around to find some dive charters that were running trips the following day. Keppel Island was the obvious dive destination, however i could only track down two dive charters that ran dives in the area. The first (Keppel Dive) ran from Keppel Island itself, but after a phone call, it seemed the industry in central queensland goes into virtual hibernation during the winter months. (The 18c water temps is just too cold for queenslanders! Ha! Suck it up…that’s what we get in summer in Vic!) Anyway, with some apprehension he suggested trying a relatively new operation called Manta Ray dive. So i gave them a call, and luckily the owner, Dave, said he was running a trip with a few mates, and i was welcome to come along. Apparently he doesn’t run charters as such, but runs a private boat and has guests chip in for petrol etc. *nudge**wink* sort of stuff. Suited me fine, so i met up at the boat ramp the next morning and we headed out to the islands. Firt dive site was off the edge of Barren Island. We descended into about 14m and vis was nice but not spectacular. Large expanses of stag coral covered the area, with little diversity and it look fairly unhealthy. A small Wobby sat atop the coral which provided my first photographic subect. I quickly realised my autofocus wasn’t working and that i’d obviously left the lens on manual focus. God damn..i swear i checked it. Oh well..i pushed on and made do with the focus set were it was. The marine life was fairly underwhelming, as was the coral in its structure, diversity and colour. Nearer the surface in about 6m+ was much prettier. Overall a nice dive but nothing spectacular.
Camera Details: Tokina 10-17mm , Inon 2000 + Sea and Sea Ys-120 Strobe (fired optically with difficulties)