SS Alert – Monday 11th March 2013

Divers: Fred, George, Dazza, Brenden & Mark
Surface crew: Justin, Mike, Ben, Jason, Jane & Vikki

In almost perfect conditions we headed out of Western Port to start our adventure. Sounds like yesterday I know, but we did have 2 great days of diving!! The trip to the Alert is slightly further than the Coramba so we leave ½ an hour earlier; once again Ben cooks up Bacon & Egg and coffee which we enjoy before starting on out tasks. The shot line is extended, because at 76metres the Alert is 10 metres deeper than Coramba. The deco station has been setup perfectly by the dive team from yesterday and there’s nothing more to do with it. The Alert is always a dark dive & with the algae bloom in the water still our hopes for good viz are low. The Alert is a difficult wreck to shot as it sits in a ditch and is also very narrow, so we take some extra time just make sure the shot is just right. On my last dive on the Alert I had noticed some of the bottles on back deck were missing, however there were some other bottles that I hadn’t seen before, I’m hoping this is just because of the sand movement & I’m pleasantly surprised when I see the ceramic ginger ale bottle back on deck. The Alert is only a small ship and a diver can easily swim from end to end in the 25minutes we have on the bottom, however, to see all that this dive has to offer requires dozens of dives and every time I dive it I seem to be out of bottom time before I have cover everything. The viz is surprisingly good & with dozens of crayfish on the Alert, Fred decides to bag a couple for lunch. Once all divers are safely back on board the girls pop the first (of several) of the Champagne corks, the time passes quickly on our trip back to the dock as we enjoy a cold beer and cray tails for lunch sunning ourselves on the back deck of the boat  while admiring the views of Cape Shank from the water. With the water so oily flat, the sun shining and a gentle breeze blowing it is in stark comparison of the night of 28th December 1893 the night the Alert sank.