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SCUBA-L  January 2000, Week 5

SCUBA-L January 2000, Week 5

Subject:

Carlisle Castle wreck & snorkelling with sea lions - Perth, OZ

From:

Krazy Kiwi <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Scuba diving discussion list <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 1 Feb 2000 10:36:42 +0800

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (80 lines)

Last weekend Perth was frying .. literally. It was 39 degrees celcius & I
was wishing we could have atleast half of what Canada or Switzerland were
having to cool the place down. Received emails from friends from both
countries & they were -20 .. so half is fair aint it ;-)  Anyhow perfect
weather for diving. Again we were down at Rockingham. The sea breeze was
light & we decided to select another wreck we hadnt dived on before. We
ended up diving on the Carlisle Castle wreck, on Coventry Reef.

There is more to see on this wreck than the Orizaba, and the reef around it
is coated with magnificent walls of colourful gorgonians. The Carlisle
Castle sank in 1899 and all hands went down with the ship. It's quite eerie
diving on a ship where everyone perished. This one was carting a huge
shipment of railway iron that can be seen in part of the hold of the
vessel, and pieces of green and blue bottles can still be found. Like the
Orizaba, the majority of the wreck is covered in heavy marine growth and
there's lots of crays (lobster) here too!

Once everyone surface we decided to moor off Carnac Island for our surface
interval and had lunch on the  island. After scoffing down all our goodies
we strolled along the shoreline checking out all the sleeping sea lions
(males). Ann Storrie was out testing a fancy new lens that some kind,
trusting soul had loaned to her for the day. She lined 8 of us up in a row
& we then took turns looking in to the lens, which was about 2 feet away
from the line of bodies, and you could see everyone clearly in the frame...
amazing stuff! I bet if I was trying to use that UW I would be happily
clicking away forgetting that my fins were probably in the picture also if
I was standing up.

We boarded our boats again & swapped over to fresh tanks for our 2nd dive
at the northern end of Carnac Island. There are some nice overhangs there
that the fish like to zoom through. A couple of sea lions followed us
around & were happy blowing bubbles at us when we entered the water. They
were probably wondering why we didnt want to play with them. We did
eventually .. but that was after this dive as a snorkel trip. Its
nudibranch time here .. stacks of lil fellas the size of a thumbnail ..
gorgeous lil things. Would you believe it, per normal, I didnt have my
macro gear :-(( Boo hooo :-((

Once we had accounted for all our divers we moved back around the corner to
moor off Carnac Island again. This time we snorkelled with the younger sea
lions who were very energetic after their lunchtime siesta. The fastest way
to get a sea lion in the water here is to slap your fins together... um
this is before you put them on of course .. doan want you looking like a
circus seal now ;-)

5 sea lions dashed in to the water & we were off snorkelling in all
directions. The more you thrashed around in the water the more they zipped
around you. They are absolutely hilarious creatures UW. Their big eyes
appear to communicate with you. I was laughing so much at their antics that
I kept forgetting I was only on snorkel .. so swallowed quite a few
mouthsful of water! Amazing how something so ugly looking on shore can be
so sleek & swift UW. A few of the younger sea lions tested out the tips of
our fins. Im sure they had cottoned on to the idea that we needed to come
up for air being on snorkel .. and they were testing how long they could
keep us UW before we had to shoot for the surface.

Everynow and again I would glance towards the shore to see if any of the
bulls were going to come in the water. Sometimes they can be a bit testy,
but today only one came in to join in the fun & he was very curious. He
would suddenly appear in front of you. Then glide past turning his tummy
towards you looking seriously at your mask. I twigged that he was
fascinated by the bubbles that popped up around us while twisting around in
the water. Soon things quietened down as most of our snorkel group had
retreated back to their boats. I stayed in the water just a little bit
longer .. enough to see a couple of the young sea lions start following the
bull around. Soon they disappeared from sight so I headed in the direction
I thought they had gone. Found them face down in a seaweed patch .. blowing
bubbles furiously. They looked like they were entending to lie down for a
siesta .. maybe they were snoring & I mistook that for blowing bubbles ..
anyhow it was a funny sight. When I snorkelled down to take a photo of them
they immediately shot to the surface. It took a while for me to get in to
synch so I could catch them on the bottom BEFORE they shot to the surface.
Bloody buggers enjoyed spoiling my shots :-)

    Viv &     Only when the last tree has died     o  ___
    Fluffy    and the last river been poisoned     o /@  \/
   (=*_*=)     and the last fish been caught        >  )::
             will we realise we cannot eat money.    \___/\
Chief Seattle, Chief of the Swamish Native Americans

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