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Perth Scuba

Diving BoyinaBoat “Bermuda” Reef

written by Ryan Bradley – Perth Scuba PADI Instructor

On Sunday 27/10/2013 in the morning, 20! Manta Club members assembled in the back carpark of AqWA at Hillarys Boat Harbour to kit up and dive Boyinaboat Reef, on the most gorgeous day we’ve had this spring – but not before a seal (or was it a 4m white shark? Whatever. So hard to tell these days) put on a five-minute show, playing with its food. It was totally adorable, unless of course you were the fish, in which case, it was just a very poor start to the day. The wind, what little there was, blew from the south east, perfect conditions to dive this magnificent and underrated local dive site.0

Perth Scuba Manta Club Sunday Free Shore Dive

But, nothing magnificent, comes without hard work. So, off we went on a 250m walk up the breakwater, then a rock climb to get onto the west side of it, and then a tricky descent to the water’s edge for a very welcomed[1] entry into the 19 degree water.

With much appreciated, professional help from superstars Joe, Luan and James, Perth Scuba’s resident sherpas, the group found themselves safely on the correct side of Mount GetminthewaterNOWplease. With one minor issue of a lost mask on entry, and moments before being happily engulfed in that refreshing water, I removed my gear and headed back to the car to get my spare. Now, in the heat, the semi-dry was starting to kick my @#$%! A quick dip on the harbour side to stop me coming to the boil, got to the car, retrieved the mask and made my way back, over the rocks and…. what the hell?! Where has everyone gone? They’d just up and vanished. The lot of them. Bermuda Reef 1, Ryan 0… (I guess they found the mask)

I took a bearing for the reef and finned out to enjoy my dive, and recover from all that hard work. Note to self, less pies. Almost at the reef, I descended and followed my bearing… for a really long time. Bottom composition changing… should be there by now… Hmmm. Up periscope. I had performed, quite likely, the most flawless semi-circle, taking me away from the reef and back towards the breakwater. I looked at my compass in disgust and decided to fin until I was right on top of the reef. Bermuda Reef 2, Ryan 0.

Descending to 3m, I made my way around the Rottnest Island shaped reef moving from group to group. With the amount of fingers waggled and cameras pointed in every direction, it appeared that the reef was living up to expectations. Boyinaboat Reef has lots of crevices and swim-throughs (most are on the south side but there are plenty all over the reef), and venturing into the inviting holes of light, often reveal a small cul-de-sac to explore. These small en suites were exploding with fish. Throughout the dive, I found myself spending some quiet time in them, perhaps others didn’t even know they were there, and as the fish slowly began to ignore you and go about their business – made me feel like that little diver in the bottom of the fish tank.

As the dive time got towards 45 minutes, and lots of thumbs ups and ‘OK’s were thrown my way, I thought I’d head back and help get everyone out of the water.

Compass? Check.

Reciprocal bearing? Check.

I followed my bearing… again. For a really long time… again. Bottom composition changing … again. Should be there by now… “wai-what? There isn’t another reef between Boyinaboat and the breakwater.” Hmmm. Up periscope. Urgh. I had now, somehow managed to swim South (whilst heading East) to a small outcrop further back down the breakwater. A quick review – nice to bump into, but I wouldn’t make a special trip :) Bermuda Reef 3, Ryan 0.

I eventually arrived back at the entry point, climbed up the rocks to help the remaining divers, and headed back to the car.

I am pleased to say, that all ‘vanished’ divers had found their way back, and were accounted for :)

Although it was agreed that getting out there was a total *$#@!#%$#!, the dive site is also one of the best shore dives in Perth – if the conditions are right.

If the wind is offshore from the west, and there is a swell, it can be quite terrible. A nice, calm easterly is your best bet. Kinda like this coming weekend as it happens :)

Bermuda Reef 3 – Ryan (and Manta Club) 20. That’s a win people!

1) 75% of divers polled said the best part of the dive was getting in the water after the rock climb. (We only got three responses)

Thank you SO much to everyone for coming out. It is a lot of hard work to get out there, and I really hope you found it worthwhile. I certainly did.

Thanks to Joe, Luan and James. You guys REALLY made the morning run very smoothly. I owe you all a beer!

And thanks of course to all you Manta Clubbers, for just being awesome.

See you on the next one!


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