Mammoth Island Trip   Leave a comment

Written on Friday 2nd December 2011.

Home at last after 3 nights on Pelorus Island helping to train 32 of Australian Armies finest in how to scuba dive.  It was a huge trip and started straight after confined water pool and theory sessions, which were held at the local Army base.  My first ever trip to an army base!  It was amazing training these guys in an Olympic sized swimming pool.   On Tuesday evening, once we had completed training at the base is was straight back to the Dive Centre.  Just time to load the dive gear we have used in the pool sessions.  Then a 1 1/2 hour mini bus ride north to Lucinda, followed by an exciting night-time boat trip to Pelorus Island.  The boat trip was like being in an episode of  Trawler Men.  With huge waves hitting the boat and the crew hanging on for dear life to get to the island safely.  I swear someone was in the dark randomly throwing buckets of water at us when we least expected it.

It is always satisfying training new folks to dive.  Seeing their flailing arms and legs as they attempt to get neutrally buoyant on the first few dives (despite assurances that they don’t need to wildly swing their arms in the water to dive at all).  Visibility was poor for the first day, but picked up on day two.  It was with pride that the instructor and I watched our bunch of newbies (6 of the 32 students) look like reasonably competent divers by the end of the trip.

By the evening of day 1 after diving in chlorinated water in the pool the day before, then salt water on day one and wringing with sweat moving gear around the beach in 32 degrees heat, I was dreaming of a shower.  No such luck with two more days to go.  I was smelling lovely by the end of the trip.  The shower was very welcome tonight.

What was also amazing was to sleep in a dry bed.  On the second night we had torrential rain.  Many of us slept outdoors under the communal tarp.  unfortunately I didn’t see the tear in the tarp directly above my swag (an Australian waterproof sleeping bag with a built-in mattress).  So during the downpour there I was fully zipped up in my swag caterpillar walking it down the ground sheet away from the hole in the tarp to safety dryness.

Happy days on Pelorus Island……

A selection of my favourite images from this blog are available to buy at stefanpalmer.photium.com

Stefan Palmer

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Posted 04/12/2011 by Stefan Palmer in Australia

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