Dive #63: Chowder bay at night

Place:Chowder Bay Buddy:Eithne
Weather:Showers Type:Shore
Max. depth (m):16.7 Visibility (m):3
Time down:19:27 Dive time (mins):49
Average depth (m):11.9 Water temp. (C):21.0

Notes: We went for a night dive to Chowder bay. After no night diving in ages, I thought it would be a good re-introduction since I know the site fairly well. We turned up at Plunge around 6pm, hung around for a while talking about gear and then got in the water at 7.30pm or so. The navigation went well, despite the general darkness and 3 m vis.- we descended close to the jetty and surfaced right beside it at the end. We saw some really nice wildlife, including decorator crabs, a moray eel in one of the sunken yachts, a baby port jackson shark, a pufferfish and plenty of cuttlefish. Most excitingly, we saw a ghost pipefish, beautiful and very rare in these parts, apparently. Back on shore for a friendly cup of tea and easter egg. Peter from Plunge knows something about the value of repeat business.

Equipment: All own gear. Rented steel tank, with the generous air-fill we’re used to from Plunge. Gave the new Barbolight U-04D torch a proper try. Not having made any measurements or meaningful comparisons, I can only make subjective statements about its performance. It was like the bat sign, shining it up into the rain. It was way brighter than the small Princeton Tec thing that Eithne rented. It was so bright that I had to shine it past my instruments to see them, rather than directly at them. The fish were signing up to be Ray-bans test subjects. On a more objective note, I can say that the torch came with a pouch to hold it and its other accessories. It also came with a belt pouch and a charger for the lithium ion battery that can run from a mains outlet or from a 12 V supply (with cigarette lighter connector included). Subjectively, I might add that these are all the accessories you’d want and they are beautiful. It might come across that this is my first good torch.

In other equipment-related news, we attached glow-sticks to the first-stages with cable ties, though this might be more useful if you had to identify your buddy in a group of divers. Anyway, it worked nicely and they glowed happily well into the night.

Accumulated time underwater: 1 day, 15 hours and 37 minutes

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