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Shore diving in South Australia: Part 1 – Edithburgh Jetty

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The first in a three part series from Scubaverse regular bloggers CJ and Mike as they dive South Australia…

Mike and I got the travel bug again back in February and went off on another adventure!  This time we planned to leave the grey skies of Manchester behind and fly to the warmth of Australia, for a week’s diving in Adelaide to try and spot some Leafy Sea Dragons. So it was off to Australia!  Singapore Airlines was lovely, staff provided lots of water, the food was tasty and the seats were comfortable, but no seat will stop a very numb bum after 21hrs of flying.  Arriving in Brisbane we found it really quite warm after the UK winter, (in Australia they have sunshine and blue skies, don’t you know!).

Since our destination was Adelaide, we boarded another flight having let our backsides recover somewhat and picked up out trusty rental car.  We headed to chat with the friendly and helpful staff at Diving Adelaide, who we had been in email correspondence with prior to our trip.  On arrival we were told weather was looking bad for two days and Rapid Bay Jetty, (our main aim) was going to be blown out that day, but Edithburgh Jetty might prove to be more diveable the next day, as it’s protected from south westerlies.  Given the forecast we took a rest day (jet lag was making itself known at the point) and planned to go and check out Edithburgh the next day.  You just can’t beat local knowledge!

One of the things we were most excited about on this trip was that it was that the dive sites are all shore dives.  As great as boat diving is, I do love being able to show up somewhere with my buddy and just jump in.  Particularly, when you can jump into waters so rich in marine life in just a few metres.

Dive 1: Edithburgh Jetty

After a much needed rest, the following day the weather was nice and cool (thank goodness, as we were in drysuits) and it seemed like it’d be worth risking the 3 hour drive and hoping the conditions are ok.  Since we’d been up since 3:30am (Yay, jet-lag!) we made an early start and headed out about 6am for Edithburgh on the Yorke Peninsula, very much hoping to get a nice first dive of the trip in.

The drive went well and we saw lots of interesting local birds and lots of Aussie roadworks before arriving in Edithburgh.  Turning left at the stop sign in town we came to the jetty and see divers in the car park kitting up.  Result: It’s good to dive!  Kitting up took a while as it was our first dive of the trip, but the time was well spent and we enjoyed a fabulous 70 min dive under Edithburgh Jetty, at a max depth of 5.3m.  We saw a HUGE numbers of fish and invertebrate species we had never seen before and had a great, relaxed dive exploring, with Mike snapping away happily.

Edithburg Jetty dive details:

  • Dive level:  Easy
  • Depth: 8m
  • Type: Shore dive – Jetty, Photography, Night.
  • Vis: 10m+
  • Marine Life:  Invertebrates, macro, squid, leafy seadragons.
  • Entry:  Steps
  • Water temp:  18-21 degrees C (65-70F)
  • Facilities:  Yes, toilets, fresh water, car park, nearby food & drink, air fills at gas station.

Edithburgh Jetty is an easy dive, with good entry, shallow depth and is protected from the prevailing weather most of the year, making it very popular.  It boasts a large amount of marine life including the striped pyjama squid, often seen on night dives and is highly rated for underwater photography.

The jetty begins at the end of Edith street and points east.  It is 170m long and 11m at its widest point.  The seabed is white sand littered with discarded structure which are covered with sponges and other invertebrate life, venturing out from under the jetty you will find seagrass and other marine plants in the surrounding area.  The piles support a huge array of colourful marine life, it is very important to watch your buoyancy and fins so you do not damage the marine life on the seafloor and on the pilings.

The entry point is the steps 30m from the start of the pier, at about 2m at high tide, there is a handrail and the steps are close together making exiting the water comfortable.  The maximum depth is 8m on the north side of the jetty where boats used to moor, but most of the dive is around 5m, so a good long dive exploring the whole structure is possible.  Slow is best on this dive, air allowing, as it is shallow and you will likely see more critters if you take your time.

Visibility is often good (10m+) allowing you to see the jetty structure on both sides and navigate easily, however the vis can drop below 5m when easterly winds blow through.  Possible dive plans include a simple out and back swim of about 350m, a swim to the end of the jetty and exploration of the deeper dredged area (8m), which is popular for squid spotting on night dives or a swim of around 550m, from the jetty to the tidal pool and back along the coast.  When diving the jetty be aware of fishermen, it is best to stay fairly close to or underneath the pier.  The tidal flow crosses the jetty and so be aware of the direction of water flow as it may cause more collisions with the pier structure.

The facilities here are good.  There is car parking beside the jetty and car parks on either side of Edith street overlooking the jetty.  There is also a small toilet block with a fresh water tap and nearby changing facilities at Edithburgh Tidal Pool.  Food and drinks are available at the stores on Edith street and neighbouring streets and the BP petrol station offers air fills for AUD$10 per tank.

Next up… Rapid Bay Jetty.


For more from CJ and Mike please visit their website here.

CJ and Mike are dive instructors who have travelled all over the world pursuing their passion for the underwater world. CJ is a PADI MI and DSAT Trimix instructor with a degree in Conservation biology and ecology, who has been diving for 15 years. She loves looking for critters and pointing them out for Mike to photograph. Mike is a PADI MSDT who got back into diving in 2010. He enjoys practicing underwater photography and exploring new and exciting dive locales, occasionally with more than one tank. Follow more of their diving adventures at www.bimbleintheblue.com.

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Frontline workers honoured with free dive trip to Yap

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The remote island of Yap in the Federated States of Micronesia is among the few places in the world that remains free of Covid-19 thanks to its ocean border and a strict travel ban that has kept its residents safe.

Nonetheless, Yap has been affected, too. As one of the world’s premier, award-winning destinations for divers, this paradisiacal location in the western Pacific Ocean has had no outside visitors to its rich shores and reef for nearly a year. But while there may be no virus, the island hasn’t been cut off from the economic impact experienced around the globe.

Manta Ray Bay Resort and Yap Divers by A. Tareg

That didn’t stop Bill Acker, CEO and founder of the Manta Ray Bay Resort and Yap Divers, from doing something, though.

Last March, soon after the island went into lockdown, Bill began to realize the effect of the virus on daily life beyond the island. “Yes, we are closed, have no divers, had to send our employees home and prepare for difficult times,” he said. “But we’re lucky in that we have, for the most part, avoided the human suffering and death this pandemic has caused.”

Thinking about the problems faced by his family business, they paled when he compared them to those endured by the healthcare workers who have been fighting selflessly around the clock for months on end for the well-being and lives of others.

“One evening, while checking the news online, I saw pictures of frontline workers who were tending to desperately ill and dying people when families and friends could not be with their loved ones. It was heartbreaking,” he added.

The next day, a meeting was held with the resort’s staff and Bill invited suggestions for ways they could do something to honor healthcare workers. The result was the idea to award twenty divers who are working on the frontline to save other’s lives during this pandemic while risking their own, with a free week at the resort.

Manta ray, Manta birostris, gliding over a cleaning station in M’il Channel, Yap, Micronesia by David Fleetham

Divers around the world who had been guests at Manta Ray Bay in the past were invited to submit the names of candidates for the award by December 31, 2020. “We received nominations for 126 individuals from as far away as Germany, the U.S., Australia and Canada,” he said. “It was not easy choosing the winners but our committee of staff members took on the job and selected the 20 finalists.”

“While trying to choose the people to reward for their hard work during this Covid-19 crisis,” Bill added, “by reading the nominations we saw that every one of the nominees was doing things above and beyond the call of duty. Sadly, we don’t have the finances to offer over 100 free weeks in Yap, but we do want to recognize the contributions all of them are making to our world. So, we are offering the rest of the nominees a free week of diving in Yap which includes room, hotel tax, airport transfers, breakfast, diving and Wi-Fi.  The only requirement is that they travel with at least three other people and stay in two rooms or more.”

“We do not yet know when Yap will open its borders,” said Bill, “but when it does, we will welcome these important guests to Yap to relax and dive with the manta rays and the other beautiful denizens of the ocean surrounding our island home. They are the true heroes of this devastating, historic time and we look forward to honoring them with a well-deserved dive vacation.”

Watch out for our exclusive trip report from a healthcare worker from the UK who is one of the 20 to have been awarded this amazing dive trip!

For more information on Manta Ray Bay and Yap Divers visit their website by clicking here.

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Dive Training Blogs

Dream Dive Locker Build Out. Part I: Demolition (Watch Video)

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It’s finally here! Time to start building the greatest dive locker the world has ever seen! Part I: Demolition! #dreamdivelocker

This is the first of a series of videos showing the evolution of building out my dream dive locker. My dream dive locker needs to be dive gear drying and storage, dry storage, workshop, office, editing suite, You Tube studio and classroom. That’s a lot of functions for a small space!

The first step is planning out the space and demolishing the laminate flooring. Then I taped up the walls to get a feel for the space. We have a lot of work to do!

But finally we will have a purpose built space to house all of our dive equipment! Subscribe to our channel to follow our progress! 

Thanks for watching, Team!

James


Subscribe here: http://bit.ly/DiversReady

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Call Diverse Travel on 01473 852002 or email info@diversetravel.co.uk to book your spot!

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