Rottnest Island, home of my first open water dives

Perth Travel Blog

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Waiting to go back onto the boat

Last winter I decided to do my PADI open water diving certification, taking a course in Calgary. Seeing as Calgary isn't known for it's large bodies of water, most people do the open water dives in a tropical location. I had planned on doing my dives in Europe but I soon realized it was going to be too much of a hassle and not quite worth it.

Seeing as I'm leaving for Cairns next weekend, I thought it would be a good idea to get my dives done in Perth and then be certified for next weekend. I called around to all the dive shops I could find until one of them had an opening. I ended up going with Diving Frontiers, which seemed good enough to me.

I needed a car for the weekend to get to and from the dive sites and Brenda was super awesome to lend me her car.

Bright blue fishy
She asked me if I would mind taking their little mazda two seater convertible. Seeing as the temperature was supposed to be 30 on Saturday and 35 on Sunday, I said I wouldn't mind at all :)

Our first two dives were on Saturday in the Swan River at Blackwell Reach (somewhere on the south side of the river). For being a river, the water was quite salty. We had to demonstrate the skills we learned during the pool training including filling your mask with water while being 10m down and then cleaning it, removing our regulators (regulators ... mount up!!) and then putting them back in our mouths and clearing the water of them, etc. The pool water didn't bother me when I did these things but the salty water was not as fun. The visibility on the the first dive was about a foot and a half and the second dive about 6 inches.

After the second dive
At one point I was standing on the bottom, holding onto the guide rope and couldn't see anyone around me. It was quite freaky and all I could think was "is anybody out there? anybody?? guys??!?". When we were at the surface after dive number 1, we saw two dolphins swimming side by side about 10 metres from us. Seeing them from the shore is cool, but seeing them while in the water is even better!  

Sunday was a early morning wake up, getting down to Freo for 7:30am. After having a hard time finding the right parking lot and wharf (but at the same time getting to see lots of the Freo wharves) we loaded on our gear and headed out towards Rottnest Island. The sail out was fine at first but then started to get quite choppy. Everyone but the gear shop guys were feeling a bit queasy by the time we got to dive site number 1.

lots of fishies
All I could think about was how happy I was going to be to get off the boat. Once we got in the water, the waves were rocking us up and down and then along the bottom there was sea grass that swayed with the current that made it look like the bottom was moving. None of this was helping me not feel like I was going to puke haha

Dive number one was ok. Much better than the river dive but there wasn't much to see. We could see out about 15 metres so lots of time to see a shark coming at us if one decided to come our way!

Dive number two was much more fun. Having finished all of our training, this dive was strictly just swimming around and exploring. We were down for about 45 minutes and swam through reefs and saw quite a few fish. The coral wasn't as brightly coloured as I was hoping, nor were the fish.

Hi there
In any case, it was still a really exciting experience. I brought my underwater Olympus camera so I have lots of shots from under the water.

Once we got back to shore, I realized how hot it was. From what I was told, the heat was as high as 38 degrees today. If you've never been in that kind of heat the only thing I can say is that it's friggen hot! We had our housewarming party today / tonight and it was so hot outside people had their bare feet in buckets of water to stay cool. Hey, whatever works! I'm also a firm believer in cooling down with multiple beerskis :)

Horus380 says:
Rockingham about an hour south of Freo has many dolphins, I once went out and had 20 dolphins swimming around me.
Posted on: Jan 15, 2009
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Waiting to go back onto the boat
Waiting to go back onto the boat
Bright blue fishy
Bright blue fishy
After the second dive
After the second dive
lots of fishies
lots of fishies
Hi there
Hi there
the view into one of the swim thro…
the view into one of the swim thr…
The fish werent very scared of us
The fish weren't very scared of us
star fish
star fish
crawfish hiding in a little cave. …
crawfish hiding in a little cave.…
Waiting to go down for dive number…
Waiting to go down for dive numbe…
View heading towards Rottnest
View heading towards Rottnest
After river dive number 2
After river dive number 2
Perth
photo by: cimtech