3/6/94 leave Sydney in Ambivalence and drive for 12 hours to Sandon River. Stopping only every 2 hours or 200 kms which ever came first to fill the tank as 5.8 litre V8s like their petrol. Late PM meet with others and watch some members pitch tents in the dark and rain. I slept in the ambulance on the stretcher.
4/6/94 Awake to a beautiful day to discover the bar has not enough water to get the boat across. Talk to fishos who advise to wait for tide & give lots of advice on the best way to get across the bar. Out to sea finally where Mathew & Simon use a GPS (new gadget) to locate a spot from Co-ordinates that they had worked out off a map. Drop anchor in 7 meters right on Pimpernel Rock. I was sea sick so did not dive.
5/6/94 8.50 am I dive with Tim Cashman & Grahame Burns @ Pimpernel Rock Depth 39, Viz 15+, sea half meter & glassy. 6-7 big grey nurse, fish in the thousands 100s of red morwongs, & tropical fish, & excellent corals WOW. 11.58am I dive Buchanan’s Reef. Depth 10, Viz 10, sea half meter & glassy. Lots of small juvenile fish & nice corals.
6/6/94 awake to overcast & big choppy seas so debate then drive to Coffs Harbour. 12.25 PM I dive with Duncan Leadbitter at South Solitary Island South Point. Depth 24, Viz 8, sea big & choppy. Clown fish and lots of tropical fish, & nice corals. 2.20 PM I dive with Grahame at South Solitary Island South East Buoy. Depth 14M Viz 5M, 1 grey nurse, Moorish idol, & raccoon face butterfly fish. Late PM move to SW Rocks.
7/6/94 weather washout
8/6/94 11.20 AM I dive with Tim Cashman on the N Pinnacle at Fish Rock Depth 24M, Viz 22+M, sea 2M. 18 big grey nurse sharks, 8 wobbe’s, 3 lion fish & fish in the thousands, 200 Kingfish, & tropical fish, I write in my log “equal to best dive ever”. 1.30 PM ditto last dive but viz down to 12 m and only 8 grey nurse?
9/6/94 we move again to North Haven. 10.25 AM I am diving with Tim Cashman on the wreck of the Titan an uninspiring upside down crane. Depth 35.5M, Viz 6M, sea 2 M with a strong southerly wind and a roaring current.
10/6/94 we move again to Forster. 10.25 AM I am diving with Matthew Stanton at Spot A on Latitude rock. This was after looking for the Pinnacle for a long time. Depth 15M, Viz 4.5M, This was a sheltered location with only a 3M swell and southerly sea chop with a strong southerly wind. A very nice dive lots of small southern species of fish.
11/6/94 we ring the others joining us for the weekend and cancel. We pack up and head home tired but more experienced only having lasted part of the planned safari. Hi to all my old buddies who where there.
Michael Abbott - History Officer.