Saturday 24th November 2001, Freemantle Oz.

We left Spearwood before Mary and Tony had surfaced. We had said all our goodbyes the previous evening, and didn’t want to disturb them as we had to be at the dive shop in Subiaco by 8.30am. Today we were doing our two shore dives for our Advanced Open Water qualification.

We piled all our kit into the van and followed our instructor, ‘John DB’, through the streets of North Fremantle to North Mole. He had said there was some ‘rock-climbing’ involved, but we thought he was joking … until we saw the entry point. Using a tethered rope as a belay, we scaled an almost vertical concrete harbour wall – in full scuba gear, it was truly a feat worthy of the Royal Marines!!

The plus side was that the water on the inside of the wall was warm and clear … and calm. For the next 40 minutes or so, we swam around under water using our compasses to navigate to and from buoys.

Then, of course, we had to haul ourselves back up the harbour wall – only our gear was heavier now, as it was wet! After a snack, and an hour or so on the surface, we were back in the water for our wreck dive.

The wreck in question is a sunken barge called the “Garenyup”. It is not nearly as big or intact as other wrecks we have dived, but has a much better established coral and fish population – and plenty of plump crayfish lurking under its broken hull. Perhaps the highlight of this dive was meeting a baby shark, only about 10” in length, but a perfect miniature of its adult relatives.

After the dive we went back to the shop to rinse out the gear, which we then had to load back into the van (dripping wet) for tomorrow’s boat dives.