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The Two Mexican's, Diving The Wear & Bega

Two new Mexicans arrived on a cold Saturday night, 12th of May, after a very long drive to an empty holiday cabin, with no Northerners in sight. Soon after lighting a fire to warm up, people started arriving. First up we had the pleasure of meeting Andrew, who excitingly informed us of his deepest sand dive to date on the “Vicinity”. This being our first trip with the Sydney Project, we were getting somewhat concerned!!! Soon enough all were present and after some introductions, catch-ups and general banter, in amongst writing up run time slates (much to Kevin’s dismay some 12 hours pre departure) we were all set for a good feed.

 

Dinner time!! Off to town to the local Chinese, thought we would lose Stuart at this point not his favourite cuisine exactly. We were however, surprised by the bizarre mix of cuisines available in this little shop. They had all the bases covered with Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, etc. Unfortunately though Sven’s taste buds were left wanting, specifically he would have liked hotter chilli. Now Helena learnt something of Sven at this point in amongst a quiet curse or two and some burning sensations in the mouth, ears and throat!! Yes indeed Sven’s version of mild is extremely hot!!!  (Suppose no-one forced me.)

Sunday morning, and no one arose when they said they would. Kevin was impressively calm given the departure time was rapidly looming, only a slight grimace gave any hint of concern for Keith’s reaction when we all showed up late at the pier. From our last excursion to dive from the Binjarra, with another contingency of Mexicans, we figured Keith would be rather used to it all by now.

Once there as Stuart remarked “the boat was loaded with military precision”. Yes indeed everything had it’s place, a certain pre-determined position, which in fact we had been informed of through email some days earlier??? This included attaching Donal, in his T-shirt, to the exhaust pipe for the duration of the day, less the time we spent in the water during which we cannot account for his whereabouts.

So we joke here about the level of organisation. In all honesty we were left very impressed by the effort, planning and foresight that had gone into the safe storage of equipment on the boat, dive planning and the presence of extra hands on board to assist the dive team.

After the shot was deployed and the deco station sorted, five divers made their way into the water. Stuart and Helena led the way down the shot line followed by Jeff and Henry with Paul lagging behind. Eventually we hit a patch of current that dropped off close to where the shot line turned horizontal. At this point Paul turned on his scooter, streamed past us, and left us all in his turbulent wake swimming onward toward the wreck.

And was she ever majestic!!!! Finally the Bega!! Our last excursion, not having taken us this far due to extreme current, was a distant memory. She sits proud on the seabed, beautifully clad across the stern in fishing nets, casually draped and hanging. Schools of fish swimming amongst the fishing nets unhindered and soft coral growth on most of her, the Bega is a striking wreck it was pleasant to see portholes and crockery still in situ, a rarity anywhere these days. Some twenty minutes past all too soon and it was time to start ascending. At this point we noticed Paul wedged in a tight spot, scooter on the deck, trying to free himself so that he might join us on our journey upwards. Sadly enough neither of us got round to taking up the offer of a burn on the scooter, perhaps another time!!!

The ascent went by without issue, well supported by A.J aka “Mer woman” who emerged from above to assist the dive team. Thanks also to the Kevin, Frits and Donal who helped out as surface support. Many thanks to our skipper Keith who looked pleased that we had all enjoyed ourselves.

Back on the boat and soon enough a young Humpback whale guided our way back to Bermagui harbour. Playing alongside the boat the large creature had us all on the bow, evening Donal had swapped the exhaust pipe for his camera. A pleasant day spent amongst pleasant people, excellent dive and a long drive homeward.

Thanks to all for a great time, looking forward to the next trip

Helena and Stuart.

 

Images from the Trip

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