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Dive Review of Seasports in
Australia/Jervis Bay

Seasports, Jun, 2005,

by Ian Kennedy, California, USA . Report 1784.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 51-100 dives
Where else diving Monterey, St. John, Fiji, Cozumel, Florida, Great Barrier Reef, Channel Islands
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather windy, rainy Seas choppy, surge
Water Temp 61 to 62 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 7
Water Visibility 30 to 60 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions None
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas 1 or 2
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales None
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 2 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics 3 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 3 stars Boat Facilities 2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments [None]

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 3 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 3 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 3 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 2 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments Jervis Bay lies about 2 ½ hours by car south of Sydney along the Princes Highway, Australias main coastal route that links Sydney and Melbourne. The bay is large and provides several beautiful, sheltered, white-sand beaches. It is enclosed by two headlands: diving sites are found just within the heads and outside on the open-ocean side of the coastline. The choice of site depends on the weather conditions. Jervis Bay is claimed to offer outstanding temperate water diving. The main towns around the bay are Huskisson and Vincentia. Both are small with a limited number of shops and restaurants but with a large variety of accommodations.

We stayed at Claudis beach Retreat in Vincentia. The web site is www.jervisbaybeachhouse.com.au and the email address for Kerrie Curac who manages the property is leighc@shoal.net.au The house is about 20 yards from the beach with a view of the bay from the main bedroom. The second bedroom has a bunk bed with a double bed on the bottom and single on top. The house can accommodate 5 people. The kitchen is fully equipped and you can save money by cooking at home. The house if very nicely appointed with furniture and is an excellent choice. It cost us $140AUD (Australian dollars) per night. The house is about 5 minutes drive from the dive shop and wharf in Huskisson.

Seasports is located on the main road in Huskisson. I made arrangements for 2 days of two-tank diving by email and web prior to leaving the US. There were no problems with my reservation. I carried most of my own gear but needed to rent a two piece wet suit off them. Their boat leaves from the wharf in Huskisson. During winter they run dives only on weekends. Their boat carries up to 20 people although on the days I was on-board there were no more than 12 with enough room for everyone. The boat is rather slow (known affectionately as the sea slug). NITROX is available. The boat does not have a table or rinse bucket for cameras. The crew provide a lunch of hot dogs between dives and cakes on the way home. A dive master is in the water on all the dives.

Saturday was wet and windy thanks to a southerly wind that blew up. Normal winds in winter are westerly that help to keep the seas flat. The south wind brought up a 2 meter swell outside the heads that prevented us from accessing the best sites. We were limited to one site inside the heads that was more protected; the site is called the Nursery. The first dive was in about 50 feet on a sand bottom with rock ledges towards shore. The surge closer in was very strong, making photography challenging. In addition, the visibility was limited by the churning of material off the bottom. Nevertheless, we did see a good selection of the local wild life. Upon descent on the mooring line, we almost ran into a wobbegong, a toothless shark that inhabits the southeastern coastal waters of Australia. Later on I came across a pair of the sharks that were mating. The dive master, Brett, disappeared in pursuit of a shark and was not seen for the rest of the first dive so I teamed up with a brother and sister down from Sydney for the day. I spotted an eagle ray in the distance. An octopus was lurking under a bottle. The second dive was in slightly deeper water with less surge but not with significantly better visibility.

On Sunday, we were forced to return to the Nursery due to the weather and swell. However, the visibility was much better than on Saturday, at about 60 feet - the locals report visibility up to 100 feet in good conditions. A large group of Japanese divers were on the boat and they needed most of Bretts attention so I teamed up with Ian from the dive shop for my dives. We spotted several nudibranchs on the rocks. A large cuttlefish swam by and hid under a rock ledge. Many colorful semi tropical fish were evident, such as Moorish idols etc. The second dive was closer to the inlet to the bay, near the southern headland. Conditions on the surface were rough but the surge below was not a problem. Visibility was also good at this site. There was a rock wall along the southern edge of the site that was covered in colorful sponges. More nudibranchs, seals, and fish were in evidence. The quality of the wild life was very good. Jervis Bay is a marine sanctuary.

Jervis Bay would be an excellent dive when conditions are perfect. Unfortunately, the weather is not as predictable as the Caribbean, for example (hurricanes excepted). The operation run by SeaSport is very good and the accommodations were first rate. This would be an excellent choice for visitors to Australia who have seen the Great Barrier Reef and who would like to have a glimpse of the rest of the temperate-water life on the East coast.

Images of the dives and town can be seen at
[homepage.mac.com link] />
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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