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Shore diving in South Australia: Part 2 – Rapid Bay Jetty

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CJ and Mike continue their South Australia shore diving adventures…

Rapid Bay Jetty

The next day the weather forecast was looking a bit better and it was time to check out Rapid Bay Jetty to see if we could find some leafy seadragons!  Rapid Bay is an excellent spot for anyone wishing to see leafy seadragons, they seem to thrive here and the dive is shallow and access easy.

We enjoyed the drive and got to see a kangaroo bounding across the road in front of us, having just passed the sign warning us of such.  We managed to get a parking space not too far from the jetty and kitted up.  The walk was not for the fainthearted, but the return dive route to the ‘Tee’ and right was fantastic.  The conditions were good and aside from numerous fish and nudibranchs we got to see two leafy seadragons!  We enjoyed it so much we went in for a second dive, to revisit the second leafy and get some more photos.

Rapid Bay Jetty dive details:

  • Dive level:  Easy.
  • Depth: 12m
  • Type: Shore dive – Jetty, Photography, Night.
  • Vis: 10m
  • Marine Life:  Invertebrates, schools of fish, rays, leafy seadragons.
  • Entry:  Steps
  • Water temp:  18-21 degrees C (65-70F)
  • Facilities:  Car park, toilets at nearby campground.

Rapid Bay Jetty is about 1hr 20mins from Adelaide on the Fleurieu Peninsula and has a 450m pier, extending 360m north from shore, then angling to the right for a further 80m and ending in a 200m wharf that used to support ships coming to load up with crushed limestone from the quarry.

The old pier is now in a state of disrepair and is closed to public access, but a new jetty has been built for pedestrians, fishermen and access for divers, 50m away from the original, running parallel for 240m.  The new pier has a dedicated entry point for divers at the end, with stairs down to an entry platform and ladder.  The stairs have been designed with divers in mind, with nice shallow steps, so its easy to climb them after a dive.

The Jetty is very popular, being a relatively shallow shore dive, protected from prevailing weather for most directions and host to a large variety of fish including the iconic leafy seadragon. The site is very highly regarded for underwater photography and night dives.

Maximum depth at the end of the old jetty is 12 m at high tide while an average depth at the end of the old jetty of 8m.  The maximum depth at end of the new jetty is about 5-6m and you can surface swim or descend and swim west across to the old pier, which is better for diving and spotting Leafy Seadragons,.

Vehicles can be parked by the new jetty, but the parking area is long and narrow, so you may have a longer walk if the car park is busy.  Public toilets are located in the District Council of Yankalilla campground about 650m to the east.  This is a rural area, so it’s best to get food and drink in one of the towns on the way.  There is no air filling station, so come with enough tanks for the days diving and a spares kit is useful.  The car park is dusty so a ground sheet is useful for setting up equipment in the car park in order to keep equipment clean.

The walk to the entry point is about 240m so some divers like to use a handcart to transport their gear to beside the entry point to kit up.  Keep an eye on your air if you want to dive the ‘Tee’ where big schools of fish are known to gather, as the swimming distance is quite long.  The old pier is covered in life and so dives can be on any section, depending on your air consumption and fitness. If driving south after your dive, do be aware that the road exceeds 300m in altitude and must be taken into account when considering increased DCI risk after diving.

Next up… Noarlunga Reef.


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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Jump on board the latest addition to the Emperor fleet and enjoy diving the famous sites of the Red Sea with this fantastic special offer. This itinerary takes in the wonderful South & St Johns from 26 February – 05 March 2021.  

Subject to availability – limited flight seats at this price so don't delay!

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

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