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Magazines : Breakaway Autumn 2011
Bay City Scuba, Geelong’s longest established dive store, is under new ownership and management. Now a unique one-stop diving boutique, the store has been completely re-designed, re-furbished, re-invented and re-stocked. Leading the way with totally different, innovative and exciting diving concepts. Bay City Scuba provides a total diving experience. We offer club events, activities, trips and travel for scuba-diving, spear-fishing, apnea-diving and snorkelling as an integral part of our services. 20 Boundary Road, Geelong East P: 03 5248 1488 F: 03 5298 1978 email@example.com Over 70% of our earth’s surface is covered by water & only 1 lifetime to explore, experience & enjoy it all! Don’t waste another minute - become a diver today! ISTRIDE off the back of the charter boat and plunge into the crisp blue sea. After signalling at the surface to my diving buddies, dad Paul and brother Luke, we steadily descend into darkness. Dipping past jellyfish and equalising the pressure in our ears, the ex-HMAS Canberra’s helicopter pad comes into view, and we’ve arrived. I glance up towards the surface, which is now only visible as a faint glimmer. That world up there, with its deadlines, bills and chores, can wait. It’s time to explore a different realm. Once a home for more than 200 sailors, the Canberra now teems with very different life as an artificial reef 30m under water. Despite having been scuttled just over a year ago, the 140m-long boat is already being inundated with soft coral, anemone, kelp and other growth. And it’ll only get better over time. Various fish dip in and out of holes in the wreck as we swim inside, winding through its maze of corridors. Once we reach the bridge, we stare in awe at the ship’s former control centre, with old seats and other artefacts still intact. A kelp garden attached to the bow ebbs and flows with the current, like a group of trees swaying in the wind. After about half an hour, we return to the surface, rising slowly and pausing to avoid decompression sickness. We rest and rehydrate briefly at the surface before our Chimney Rock Charters skipper Neale Walker takes us to our next dive spot, the spectacular Chimney Rock reef off Barwon Heads. About 20m down, another multitude of life and colour awaits. Two large blue devil fish swim into view below me; a crayfish lurks under a rock ledge; a weedy sea-dragon meanders by; and stingrays lie hidden flat beneath the sand. Biscuit sea-stars, hard and soft corals, anenome, polyps and bryozoa, to name a few, all gleam with colours unseen in land organisms. A glance at my air gauge shows I’m running low, so it’s finally time to farewell this world and make my steady ascent back to the surface. As our charter boat putts back into the Queenscliff harbour, I can’t wipe the contented grin from my face. The natural beauty I’ve seen in one morning is just a fraction of the marine wonderland that dominates this region’s backyard, and I know I’ll be back for more soon. The co-director of local dive shop and SCUBA school Dive Plus, Steve Sinclair, says Geelong is spoiled for choice when it comes to finding underwater adventure. ‘’There’s nowhere else like Port Phillip Bay in the world for diving, it’s so diverse, there are shipwrecks, scuttled submarines, drift dives, kelp forests, dolphins, seals, you can see it all,’’ he says. INFO: Chimney Rock Charters is at 25 Wiltons Rd, Ocean Grove. Phone 5256 1271 or email firstname.lastname@example.org Dive Plus is at 51 King Street, Queenscliff. Phone 0418 599 953 or go to diveplus.com.au GEELONG ADVERTISER I 13
Breakaway Summer 2010
Our Place - Geelong Region Magazine 2011