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Dunsborough Weekender Review

Feb ’11
8:00 am

by Marc van der Poel

With the feeling of Christmas & New year already so far behind us, the beautiful weather on a roll and the school holidays coming to an end, it seemed like a great time to have a short break. The announcement of the Dunsborough weekender was the perfect opportunity to escape the city, and quickly filled up with keen divers.

Takers for all options and levels of diving made the trip – a large group opted for the Advanced Open Water course run by Instructors extraordinaire Glenn Storey & Steven Rudge. The Forjaz family were seeking rust and silt on the wreck course with me. Last but certainly not least we had a great group of fun divers, who were keen to explore and do their own thing on the HMAS Swan.

We arrived on the Friday afternoon at Woody’s surf shack (the name does the place no justice…. it’s certainly no shack!).  Glenn, Steve Carol and I set up shop and got the house sorted.   Soon after the crew of divers started to arrive. There were two hot topics, how keen everybody was to get into the water and see the wreck, and the news that a cyclone was coming our way!  I have been in Perth for a number of years now, and have seen some storms pass through, the most talked about was the hail storm last year.  But a cyclone, a cyclone in Perth and Dunsborough?

It was hard to imagine, especially when you walked outside looked at the deep blue sky, 40 degree heat and not a sign of wind.  Perhaps this was the lull before the storm?

Only one thing to do, and that was enjoy the weekend!   The students all got stuck into knowledge reviews and a pub meal, and then all to bed at a reasonable hour, before getting up in the morning and see what nature had in store.

It was a beautiful morning, and as we approached Meelup beach to catch  the boat, we were met by the skipper with a big smile.  This was a good sign!

From Meelup it is really only a short ride out to the Swan wreck.  It was a little choppy, but no more than the week before. Literally 10 minutes later were at the Swan, and 20 minutes later descending into great conditions – no current, lovely visibility and no other divers in the water.

Wreck diver students Paulo & Miguel had fun exploring and practicing laying line. The Advanced group did for their deep (and guess what!) wreck dive, all filmed under the watchful eye of Steve.

Still there was talk of Cyclone Bianca, but the sky was still blue and it was even hotter than the day before!  All boats were seeking safety from what was to come the following day, so it meant the diving was off for Sunday.

After living in the tropics for many years, this could mean only one thing: a cyclone party!

Back at the shack, everybody was satisfied & chilled after a lovely day of diving – time for a cold beer, some tall stories, game of pool and BIG Aussie BBQ.

We had a vote to see who was going to do the cooking on the BBQ, Steve drew the short straw. Now we just had to find Steve to let him know he had lost!

So many people pitched in that it didn’t take long to have dinner ready for 16 people, salads, garlic bread, copious amounts of meat and even a crumble for dessert.

The ‘shack’ is really well set up for a crowd like this, lots of space, indoor / outdoor seating, BBQ area, pool table, music, tv, and all in all, a great place to relax and have fun with a large group.

Since the diving was cancelled for the Sunday, we had a great big Full Monty cook-up for breakfast. It was just what the doctor ordered.

After packing up, a few of us went to beach to see what the ocean was like. In Geograph Bay it was blowing hard, but on the Yallingup side it was beautiful!  Offshore wind and big swell (see the pic).  It is as the old saying goes; better safe than (really) sorry.  The course dives will be finished at a later stage.

On behalf of Glenn, Steve and myself, I would like to thank you all for coming on the weekend with us and making it such a fun event. Next time we will not invite Bianca!

I really enjoyed the weekend and the dives that we managed to get in.



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