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Trip Reports

Finding the Horse

Finding the Horse

Samir Alhafith

The Peak is a popular fishing reef 4km off Sydney’s coast. For 13 years the Sydney Project has been diving the Peak; plunging to its depths under the waves and being in awe at the marine environment that lays beneath.

Encounters with minke whales and pelagic fish while on deco are always a thrill. On one occasion though I chanced upon a very unusual and extremely rare creature. For the following years I was on a quest to find this creature again and document it on film.

While diving on the Peak in 2002 with two other Sydney Project members I decided to do my fully planned bottom time. The currents were running a bit strong in the shallower depths but the visibility was excellent. The two other divers planned a shorter bottom time and started to head up. Having some time to further explore, I ran the hand reel out to take a look at some of the beautiful outcrops just off the main reef. The area off the main reef is siltier and due to it being in deeper waters, most fisherman don’t tend to use anchors leaving the reef in a more pristine condition. Although there is beautiful coral growth I did notice a lack of fish life which was a bit of a surprise.

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Bermagui - May 2011

William Dawes - Saturday 7th May 2011

The signs were worrying and all surf websites were excited, which wasn’t good news for The Sydney Project as 4-5m swells continued to roll up the NSW coast. A week out of heading down south surfers were excited about another pulse to come up from the Tasman.

With just two days to go weather reports gave some hope of the oceans calming down and by Friday 6th May 2011 forecasts predicted 2m ocean swell over the weekend rising again on Sunday. A perfect dive window for the Williams Dawes and WTF wrecks.

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Catterthun & Satara - Feb 2011

Mate, I think you better take the suit off and go for it!!

And so the weekend began with a bang, after some hassles with organising the boat and accommodation in Forster, on arrival and it was smooth sailing.

NSW was suffering a heat wave during that week, and originally the dive operator was going to book us into a motel, which we found out before leaving Sydney had broken air-conditioning.  Michael Kalman and Damian quickly jumped on the net and booked us an alternative place, which turned out to be quite good and comfortable. But with early wake up to load the boat at 6A.M, they were not in a hurry to go to sleep, with Louis yet to arrive from Brisbane.

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Bermagui - Aug 2010

After touch and go with weather, we finally did get a dive on the WTF and what a great dive it was.

The four of us that went: Dave Apperley, Craig Challen, Stephen Loneregan and I, were still rather worried about the strong winds on Friday, but decided that the only way to check this is by getting out there, and assess the conditions on open water.

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Bermagui - May 2010

After several setback with weather in 2010, we finally were ready to travel down South to Bermagui, and dive on our mystery wreck that we trying to identify.

By Friday we ended up with just 3 bottom divers, with Dave not getting his cells on time have killed his chances of any diving. Everyone arrived in Bermagui on Friday and had dinner at the pub, except for me being unsocial bastard who stayed in the bar to watch the Footy (Ed Note: Watching the Doggies loose I suspect)!!!

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