They say a good story will write itself, this is more a pamphlet you find in a waiting room when you need something tender looking at. Everyone looked fit and chipper, except some old bloke, who shuffled and hobbled with an enormous bag along the jetty. After giving him something appropriate to wear for the voyage we made sure he was comfortable and several cuddles were ordered to cheer him up. Everyone was there on time and our own tender was loaded up in short-order. We are an honest and sometimes honourable group and those who read the advertised dive, will have no complaints about the destination. Whisky Bay, it gives nothing away in the name, but those in the know wince at the mere mention of the name….
Before the diving there was an excellent briefing and waves and buddies were allocated. This brought about one of the greatest reunions of the year when Mr Smith was reunited with the creaking gent in the custom tee shirt. Additional jobs were given to the crew and before long there were decorations and some of Mr B’s favourite tunes blasting out. If you are feeling at deaths door, Mikes music selection will pull you through. Or as he likes to say, “it's a cheerful earful”. We were set for a fantastic dive, all we needed was some mud… Not the band, that would be “dynamite”. But some ooze and silt.
Wave one set off for the dive of the year… Some even found “The Wall”. This wasn’t on the play list however. It did have “look for the hero inside yourself” (M People), which was more to do with birthday boy “accidentally” sitting on a spider-man toy in his youth. There were some feats of navigational skill and the additional use of feet’s for those who were positionally challenged on surfacing. We had reports of seeing a ray and a smattering of fish. The site is largely in a bay with a 2-3 metre wall/slope with broken and struggling pieces of coral. This is around the 8 metre mark. Below the wall is brown Windsor soup and gloopy mud with some holes in it. Closer to shore and very shallow there were apparently some fish and visibility, but this was a desperate attempt to improve on a scientifically selected “stinker” of a site.
The second wave headed off in various directions, some finding the wall after 30 minutes of dynamite mud and visibility between 1 metre and 30 centimetres. The wall was luckily covered in mud also and the fish were too clever to hang about, so there was the occasional glimpse of fish butt as they swan into the murk. The first wave of divers had been discussing a possible move of the boat, contrary to the advertised brief and a proper stab at the worst dive of the year. There are two words for the mutiny bor-ing. It was immediately vetoed as any time wasting to find another site would seriously effect drinking time.
Wave two, it did not improve one bit, in fact the tide had changed… and the visibility was even worse. Stupendous, a memorable dive was only matched by a memorable birthday. Back to the play-list and “grandad” – we love you. “Its raining men” – A scaffolding accident he witnessed by our coffin dodger. Ichycoo park – diving with crabs. The hits just kept coming. Unfortunately two of our female divers tried some body popping but managed to pop back the shoulder and still dive.
It was time for a few drinks and a change of clothes for Mr B – Or Mr Birthday. Karma Chameleon, and the pet lizard that came to a sticky end. Kidney Creole and his coconuts. The corks started to fly and the music got louder. We finished by 1430 in the water, so there was plenty of time to tidy up kit, wash and have a few refreshers following a truly shocking dive. We had a few new divers on the boat, one only hopes the dive and activities were not horrendously off putting and we might see them again.
The boat headed back to the pier and after a short walk a group assembled at Momentai. Beers started to flow and the volume increased. Mr and Mrs Rob Vader turned up later and insisted on seeing Mr B’s evening wear. The “party dog” went back on. For some, a series of escapes were made, other commitments at home, driving sober or the arrival of vans. For others there was no let up in the pace. After a few pizzas and a further beer the party departed home at 11pm.
The diving was a deliberate stinker, but the party boat was a definite winner on Saturday. Happy Birthday Mike. Thanks to the crew who turned up to dive and socialize. It will go down as a good day even though the DM tried his best to make it the worst diving of the year. A challenge that may stand for some time. Thanks all for making it a good one.