From the Archives

By our history officer - Michael Abbott


Here is a report originally written by Clarrie Lawler, published in 1964




The April 1964 group dive was held in heavy rain at Fairlight. The weather being so foul the dive was organised from the Eastern, or pool, side of the cove to obtain shelter for clothes, gear etc. under rock ledges. In spite of these conditions about 10 divers and 3 trainees had arrived by 10am. All divers with the exception of the trainees entered the water and followed the reefs in a westerly direction towards the opposite shore. The reef here is about 25 to 30 ft. deep and honeycombed with small caves and crevices. There is a very large amount of coral, sponge and other marine growth in this area and the numbers of slate pencil sea urchins must reach the thousands. While there is a great deal of the brilliant green or light blue encrusting coral "Pleasiastria" only one growth of the brown, Tabular coral "Coscinaraea" was found.


Ata point about midway between both shores of the cove and wedged in a crevice at the foot of a steep undersea cliff was found a large, old type anchor. The length of the stock of this anchor was over 7'-6" and the distance across the flukes was all of 6ft. Traces of wire rope led form the anchor toward the north western shore, where large pieces of steel plate were discovered.


Four specimens of various sized red whelk shells were collected for Dr. D. McMichael of the Australian Museum and one unidentified Port Jackson shark was seen near the anchor.


After lunch, ditch and recovery exercises were carried out in the pool. All trainees and three group divers successfully took part in these training manoeuvres, the times needed for completion varying greatly.


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