When a regional dive trip completely fills up within one hour of becoming available for bookings, one must ask the question ‘what makes this trip so worthwhile’? First of all I must apologize sincerely to the Scuba World divers who missed out on diving Julian Rocks in May 2014, not only for the absolutely amazing diving that was on offer, the incredible food, good company and ease of access to the facilities Byron Bay had to offer; but for the lack of opportunity to book on to this experience. To that end, Brad Hale and myself will both take part in running another trip later in 2014, allowing twice the original number I had allowed space for with such short notice. If the following interests you, be sure to make it to the next social event at Scuba World to find out more information on what we have prepared for next time and how to obtain a priority booking before the trip plan has even been completed.
Sun Dive in Byron Bay run an operation which every diver along the Eastern Coast of Australia must give a shot at some point in their diving career. From a skippers point of view, they were incredible at navigating the pass from the beach launch right through to dodging surfers right in the middle of the navigable passage. From a dive leaders point of view, they knew the entire reef system like the back of their hand- which is what everyone is after when they are exploring unfamiliar territory. In all fairness, most would ask the question ‘how hard could it be to show everyone a great time having the magnificent Julian Rocks at your door step?’ With due respect, the answer is ‘it’s not as easy as they make it look”.
With the awe inspiring 25m+ of visibility for the trip, everywhere you looked you could find a different species out of the 1000 or more species that Julian Rocks Marine Park has to offer. A few of the species sighted on the trip include: grey nurse sharks, bull sharks, manta rays, bull rays, blue ringed octopus, blue grouper, frog fish, nudibranchs, logger head turtles and so many wobbegong sharks that you wouldn’t be able to put a foot down without stepping on one- thank goodness for that SSI perfect buoyancy course!
To accompany the diving, the after-hours activities had that relaxed atmosphere that Byron Bay has to offer (without the herbal remedies), including a night with great live music, the right beers on tap, a perfect chicken parmigiana and a great group of fellow divers who couldn’t have been in higher spirits. Brad Hale’s improvised jokes and Brenton Mansfield’s acoustics certainly didn’t go astray in making a fantastic experience, just to name a couple.
The thing about trips like these is that people have a habit of turning 25m of visibility in to 35, 2 metre sharks in to 4 metres, and 15 minutes of steaming in to 5. If you would like to know the whole run down of the trip from the beers to the bull sharks, come to the Scuba World socials to hear about the whole experience and talk to some of the divers who were lucky enough to see ‘the bees knees’ of reef diving in northern New South Wales.