August 2022 Bulletin

Underwater Research Group of New South Wales


Presidents Slate


Hi all,


Welcome back to our eight members who went off galavanting in North Sulawesi and swanning around in the macro capital of the world. I'm sure we'll hear lots about their adventures while we endeavour to suppress our jealousy.


July wasn't the busiest in terms of boat activity, but that was expected due to most of the regulars being away on the overseas trip and the foul weather that persisted for most of July. That said, we did manage to get out on the boat twice. I went out on the first trip of the month while viz was at an all time low and flooded my monitor so have no documentary evidence of the pea soup we encountered. I was told that the second trip which occurred on the last weekend of July was much better and it appears the water clarity is returning. I'm convinced that with a forecast of no rain, slight swell and light offshore wind things should improve significantly for this coming weekend.


Big thanks to those who helped with the Chatswood Bunnings sausage sizzle on Sunday - Tom, Claudia, Stephen, Vishal, Joshua, John Swift, Rianti, Michael, Janet, David, Lea, Martin and myself. Special call out to Rianti, Joshua and Vishal who were involved in organising and made themselves available all day. We had a sell-out and raised around $2000 for the club. In terms of revenue for the club, that is the equivalent of a full boat going out 6 times (factoring in expenses).


We have another one in the Central Coast this weekend on Saturday and are looking for more volunteers. In case you're thinking "ah man, the Central Coast is too far!" ... spare a thought for Pablo who pretty much spends his weekends making this trip in reverse, helping out on boat maintenance and convening. These events, despite having two in a row, don't come up that often and are crucial to helping us stay a float financially. Hopefully we can get a few more peeps to help out on the day.


Saturday, 6 August 2022 at Tuggerah Bunnings

Click the this link to put your name on the google sheet


Keep an eye out for comms regarding the AGM, looking likely to be held in October. If you're interested in joining the committee, start having a think about that now and let us know if you want to put your hand up to help us run the club.


That's all the news I have for now. Hope to see as many of you as possible at Bunnings this weekend, on the boat in August, or at our next general meeting at the Oaks Hotel on Tuesday 9th August.


Cheers,

Duncan Heuer


Diving a “Weather Window”

Article by John Swift


Weekend away to Port Stephens doing Fly point on Saturday and dive to Broughton Island Sunday on 4 & 5th June.


When you arrive at the Dive Shop during a gale and the owner tells you "NO PROBLEM,

tomorrow will be a 'weather window,' with flat seas, blue skies and yes. We are going out!"

- you tend not to believe them.


But when the next morning turns out to be glassy blue, a perfect day for diving beautiful

Broughton Island, you realise there is little future in being a diving doubting Thomas.


So in near perfect sea conditions, with the sun shinning and on a half empty boat, we

headed N/E of Port Stephens and out to Broughton Island, with high expectations. As the

boat dropped anchor and drifted back I could clearly see the bottom and the 4 M. wall that

is the edge of the Shark Gutter. The GNS were at home and just cruising by, dressed in their tuxedo’s and showing off their

big teeth.


As fabulous dives go, “Looking Glass” is top of the list, narrow with tall vertical walls, both

above and below the waterline, plus an hourglass figure, what could be more enticing? But

any ocean swell here, produces a strong surge and makes the dive challenging.

But today was different, with a good 10 M. Vis. we lazily swam into the Looking Glass,

enjoying the myriad of schooling fish, just hanging in the water.


A day to remember, so come one day and dive a weather window with URG.


Looking Glass dive site, at Broughton Island (Kathy Giles)


A well dressed GNS in the Shark Gutter at Broughton Island (Kathy Giles)


History Article

Abbreviated Highlights from July 1966

Ref. CJ Lawler Hon. Secretary


During the year increase in membership has been good and attendance at extraordinary meetings has been very good.


Twelve executive Committee Meetings have been held during the year and have been reasonably well attended.


Forty seven Group Dives have been held and the attendance at these dives has improved during 1966, but the number of members attending these dives is still poor in comparison to membership figures. The only way to get the utmost from the Group is to contribute to the Group by diving regularly with other Group members. New divers should not be embarrassed and reluctant to dive at Group outings, it is only by repeated and regular diving will any degree of proficiency be reached.


A great deal of work has been done in collecting, recording and mapping at Shiprock and Glaisher Point, Port Hacking, and very much more remains to be done.


A 12 foot aluminium John boat was purchased late in 1965 for use by members. Several dives were organised using this boat which is capable of carrying four divers in relatively sheltered water.

At almost every extraordinary general meeting 16mm movie films have been shown. The President, Howard Couch supplying both films and projector.


It is hoped that in the coming year trawler dives will be reinstituted if sufficient members indicate they would support such a move.


Dive Locations


Palau


I am often asked where is the best place I have dived? The normal answer is that its too hard to pick one as dives can be so different in different locations. How do you compare Truk Lagoon to Sydney or to Manado? However if pushed my standard answer is there is one place I would go back to tomorrow if the opportunity arouse and that is Palau.

Yours in Diving Michael Abbott


Recent Events


URG in Manado 2022

By Michael Abbott


Eight members travelled to North Sulawesi in July 2022 . I am sure you will hear lots of great stories on this trip over the following months. We dived with Thalassa Resort and Dive in both locations and I can not recommend Simone and Arjens operations highly enough.

As a teaser here are some photos from Kathy Giles taken at Manado on Bunaken Walls.








And in Lembeh



Fish ID - Port Jackson Shark

By Michael Abbott


Inhabits coastal waters of Australia's southern half and grows to 1.37 meters. Easily identified by the bony crest above the head and harness like arrangement of dark stripes on the body. Ref. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia B Hutchins & R Swainston.


I have often found them along sand edges and in crevasses in large numbers in late winter and spring in Sydney. The males tend to turn up first and swim around looking for a mate. After the females arrive is when they seem to lay together in large groups and are much easier to approach.


Keep an eye out over the next few months , they have already started arriving.




Upcoming Events


Bunnings BBQ fund raisers

Saturday, 6 August 2022 at Tuggerah Bunnings

If you can help on the day please please click the this link to put your name on the google sheet


General Meeting

Tuesday 9 August

Oaks Hotel in Neutral Bay from 6pm onwards


Boat dives

Post COVID19 lockdowns the URG cat is heading out most weekends from the St George Motor Boat Club Marina in San Souci. Check https://www.urgdiveclub.org.au/dive-calendar and Facebook for dates and conveners to book onto dives.


Boat handling lessons

Pablo is willing to run more lessons in boating skills covering everything from docking to to knots. Contact him via facebook if interested.


Research

Look out for:

  1. The weedy sea-dragon research project will pick up again, with monthly boat dives to survey sea dragons, spearheaded by long standing member Kris O’Keeffe (starting this long weekend)

  2. Grey nurse shark surveys in conjunction with the Spot-a-Shark program in South Bondi and Magic Point led by Sarah Han de Beaux and Duncan Heuer

  3. Underwater drone exploration run by Jens Sommer-Knudsen

  4. Whale watching dives for northern and southern migration periods

  5. Let’s start back on regular social dinners, BBQ’s etc

Who are the Members ?


The URG Dive Club has people from all walks of life and age groups. Some are mainly interested in marine biology, others wrecks and photography. We all have one thing in common, — a strong interest in the underwater world!


Benefits of Membership

  • Enjoy our own dive boat

  • Scheduled dives every weekend

  • Weekends away up and down the coast and annual overseas trip

  • Opportunities for members to organise and run their own special interest dives

  • Dive buddies from all walks of life

  • Discount on all goods and air fills from Frog Dive Centre Willoughby

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