I struggled out of bed at 6:45 and made it to the dive shop for 7:30, even though we didn’t set off to the boat until gone 8:00. There was only a small group going to Rottnest today: myself, a local guy originally from South Africa and a Swiss couple.
The journey over wasn’t too bed, probably partially aided by the motion sickness tablet I’d gulped with breakfast. Once on the island, we kitted up and returned to the boat.
A very short sail got us to our dive site – Little Armstrong Bay and down we went. I was buddied with John, the local, who’d been here before and had two rubbish dives. Afterwards, so many people had told him he’d caught it on a bad day, he elected to have another shot.
He wishes he hadn’t. I wish I’d not bothered as well. And the Swiss people didn’t fare any better.
The “dive” was only to a maximum of 4.9m – more of a snorkle than a dive, frankly – which means that all the water movement stirred up silt from the bottom and made visibility lousy. There was a lot of vegitation down there, but otherwise very little obvious marine life.
We managed 45 minutes or so of zipping around trying to find things and then gave up. The swiss were already aboard when we got there, and all of us decided we simply couldn’t be bothered with the afternoon dive.
Thing is, the shop didn’t have a refund policy. Now, OK, you can’t predict weather or conditions. But on the other hand, even a nominal refund down to the value of a single-dive trip would have been good customer relations. Instead, all we were offered were $80 vouchers good for another dive within a month. Naff all use to three of us who will all be elsewhere in Oz (or in Europe) by the end of the week.
So Malibu Diving – not recommended. And if that’s the best choice dive site around Rottness (and there are about 12, looking at a map) then don’t bother going there to dive anyway.
Other than that, the island’s lovely! And my underwater camera housing works a treat. Shame the vis was so poor that I didn’t get any photos worth bothering with.
Back on the mainland, our divemaster Simon very kindly took me for a beer. He even located a pub selling Brown Ale! It was on tap, so I settled for a half. Still, nice to have had my first taste of Newkie in Australia after almost 3 months over various visits.