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 All Forums
 Dive-Oz Discussion Forums
 Dive Destinations - General
 Windara Banks
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Tony
Cape Byron Imports

Bargara
Australia
548 Posts

Posted - 22 May 2003 :  10:09:10 AM
A few of the Sundive crew just did a nice early morning dive on Windara banks offshore from Brunswick Heads (Northern NSW).

Conditions were very good with minimal current and 30m viz. The site is rarely dived and is rock reef starting in 25 metres and dropping on the sides down past 50m.

Fish life was prolific, but the highlight(for me)was the big aggregations of Mangrove Jack in the 4-5+ kg range. Schools numbered around 20 fish. We also came across some Sand Bar Whalers (according to the shark boffin) and a hammerhead about 2.5 metres. No GNS were sighted here (sorry Dave H) although there are some now at the Julian Rocks.

Tony

nl_carey
Sports KISS Pilot/Dive-Oz Supporter

Brisbane
Australia
1197 Posts

Posted - 22 May 2003 :  10:44:54 AM
What are the logistics for these sorts of dives Tony? i.e., what sorts of times and places do you board the boat from and where/when do you get back?

-------------------------
To the optimist, the glass is half full. To the pessimist, the glass is half empty. To the engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

Edited by - nl_carey on 22 May 2003 10:45:20 AM

Tony
Cape Byron Imports

Bargara
Australia
548 Posts

Posted - 22 May 2003 :  12:25:24 PM
Hi Nathan,

This is not an area that is normally dived. It is a 12 mile run from Byron Bay to the site and very much in the hands of the weather. We were on standby for a while until the conditions were right.

Also to dive these open ocean sites the crew prefer to use two boats. One anchors on the site the other drops the divers up current of the anchored boat (and therefore the descent path) and then works as a live boat for pickups. This works really well even in a bit of current but is adds to the logistics.

I mainly posted as it is an interesting spot, known sharky area (Dave H was interested in any GNS) and also because of the Mangrove Jack population. I have also found out that at one time the Australian record Mangrove Jack was caught here (around 14kgs!!!)

It is a quicker access out of Brunswick Heads, but then you throw in a river bar crossing as well.

Tony

Simon
1200+ Posts

Sydney
Australia
2303 Posts

Posted - 22 May 2003 :  12:49:46 PM
Tony,

I've heard good things about this site. What do you reckon the chances would be of organising a DiveOz trip to try dive it this winter if there is enough interest? (Would have to be a weekend thing and obviously if conditions aren't right then we would have to settle for julian rocks or something or even nothing).

Cheers,

Si.

DIR - it's 3/5ths of DIVER.

Tony
Cape Byron Imports

Bargara
Australia
548 Posts

Posted - 22 May 2003 :  1:24:02 PM
Simon,

I cannot say I speak for Sundive, but they are willing to look at any proposal seriously and make a point of catering for customer requests. A big plus is all the Diveozians who have visited Sundive have been a great bunch and diving skills are high by comparison to normal charter divers. I can certainly check.

There is talk of another Diveoz trip in maybe July to here so maybe this site could be considered? As you say Simon if it was set with an alternative site that would be a great idea.

Tony

nl_carey
Sports KISS Pilot/Dive-Oz Supporter

Brisbane
Australia
1197 Posts

Posted - 22 May 2003 :  1:40:47 PM
Hmm, sounds like something we might need to start another topic on. There are a bunch of other sites around Byron which could be done too, aren't there? I've heard you remark multiple times about mid-week trips to deeper sites around Byron :)
Considering how busy Sundive is with regular stuff on weekends, it might be worth organising a proper trip say a Monday or Friday if possible, and with a little bit of wrangling I think DDD could be co-opted into helping fill out the boat, considering DDD seems to have the highest proportion of DiveOzians/club members anywhere!

-------------------------
To the optimist, the glass is half full. To the pessimist, the glass is half empty. To the engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

Tony
Cape Byron Imports

Bargara
Australia
548 Posts

Posted - 22 May 2003 :  1:58:39 PM
Nathan,

I think a trip to the Cape Pin has already been discussed last time you were down. All that is needed is a to fill a boat. This and possibly Windara are the only 2 choices.

There are of course other places (not sites as such) but the logistics of diving there become more complex. Byron Bay basically has 3 main reef structures running parallel with the coast from down near Ballina up to Brunswick Heads and further. 4 mile reef has a shallowest depth of 55 metres, 7 mile reef is about 75 meters at the shallowest point and 9 mile is 90 metres to the shallowest point. These are named for the distances off the coast not like the Tweed where their 9 mile is the equivalent of our 4 mile. Where do you want to start?

The exploration dives done are pretty much trying to hit the top of high points on the 4 mile, or looking for wrecks. For regular deep dives we do the Cape Pin and it can be spectacular, it is 1km off shore and is a spire like rock structure coming out of 45 metres to about 25 metres.

Tony

Simon
1200+ Posts

Sydney
Australia
2303 Posts

Posted - 22 May 2003 :  2:05:01 PM
How many people are needed to fill a boat?

DIR - it's 3/5ths of DIVER.

Samir
Sydney Project member / Dive-Oz Supporter


Australia
1958 Posts

Posted - 22 May 2003 :  2:06:51 PM
That was an interesting dive on Cape Pin, never seen so much gear being droped and lost while getting back on boat! Pretty funny really! There should be a new Suunto computer, fins, and all sorts of stuff on the bottom!! You got to love Overseas visitors!

Great spot though, I was great to get so close to a huge Queensland Grouper and big Jew Fish.

If no one dived in Byron Bay, do so, it's a great place in and out of the water, wild life everyone ( in the water that is )!

Tony
Cape Byron Imports

Bargara
Australia
548 Posts

Posted - 22 May 2003 :  2:11:25 PM
Simon,
8 to 10 will do it, and who knows as Samir says you could win the lucky dip!

Tony

boxhead
30+ Posts

North Coast
Australia
40 Posts

Posted - 22 May 2003 :  5:30:42 PM
Tony, Are you taking names for a dive out there? I could walk to Brunswick boat ramp.

scub_a_holic
New To Forums


Australia
18 Posts

Posted - 22 May 2003 :  9:19:16 PM
I think there is another opertor that tries to dive from Brunswick heads as well, Blue Juice i think, can't remember. I have signed up for this dive 3 or 4 times now and have never made it out due to the weather :-( Drove from brisi 4:00AM one morning to get told it was canceled, well at least the traffic was light

Jason Blackwell
Dive Dive Dive/Dive-Oz Supporter

BRISBANE
Australia
1505 Posts

Posted - 23 May 2003 :  07:43:25 AM
Quite a few of the Tweed Heads operators have dived the area. And with all of the new boats in that area, maybe we will see some more action down there.
(It would be a great dive from "Firstlight")

Cheers Jason

www.DiveDiveDive.com.au“Wreck & Tek Centre”

davidw
150+ Posts

Brisbane
Australia
168 Posts

Posted - 23 May 2003 :  12:22:12 PM
I've also booked onto about 5 trips down to Windarra Banks and only gone once due to the weather. I gotta add great dive though. Heaps of sharks, rays, big cod etc. The shallowest point we encountered was 40 metres and we had a ripping current.

If an operator is willing to run out to this spot I'm sure they will have no problems filling the boat.

Cheers

Dave

scub_a_holic
New To Forums


Australia
18 Posts

Posted - 23 May 2003 :  1:00:28 PM
Count me in, if there is an astute operator reading this and thinking about organising it. I'd be up to stay the weekend and make two days of it :-)

Tony
Cape Byron Imports

Bargara
Australia
548 Posts

Posted - 23 May 2003 :  2:51:25 PM
Sorry, I am not taking names for a trip. Maybe one of the Gold Coast operators could do a trip - who knows? They would need to know the Brunswick Bar reasonably well and wait for the right day.

Jason B is probably right, it would be best from a liveaboard.

Tony

wizbang
Wizbangerkoff - Russian Teknical Diver

Perth
Australia
2037 Posts

Posted - 23 May 2003 :  8:34:38 PM
I am also another that has several trips cancelled due to weather being to bad for Windara Banks.

I am another keen taker for when we get this organised.

If someone wants a hand let me know off list.

I want to go diving ?
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