The Barge Print

The deep, dark, home to the sharks! Imagine.. An old rubbish Barge lying on the sand in the depths of the ocean, It’s as dark as night, you’ve entered a mysterious, silent world and for the first few minutes of your dive, you are unknowingly surrounded by Sharks. This is the Barge, the most popular shark dive in the Forster/Tuncurry area because it is not uncommon to see 35 to 40 Grey Nurse Sharks in the one dive! The resident Grey Nurse Sharks at the Barge are very curious and not afraid to come close and check you out, which allows divers to get a very close look at the beautiful creatures and the perfect opportunity to take some awesome photos.

As you descend the anchor line you will often pass through huge schools of Yellowtail Bait fish and when the vis is good, you can see the silhouettes of the sharks swimming beneath you, long before you reach the bottom.

The Barge sits just on the edge of a small reef which is home to a numerous amount of different sea creatures such as Lion Fish, Dancing Mowong, Moray eels, Stingrays, Numbrays, Starfish and the list just goes on.
The Barge is also known for the very large number of different species of Nudibranch that live in and amongst the reef.

ENTRY: You can get in to the water by a giant stride from the stern then swim to the bow.

DESCENT: Descend  the anchor line holding the line all the way down and back up.

DEPTH: 24m on the top of the barge, but it gets down to 27m on the sand.

BOTTOM TIMES: 20 minutes, but we recommend 18 minutes.

SAFETY STOPS: You will need to do a safety stop at 5 metres for 5 minutes.

BACK UP STOPS: If you overstay your bottom time you will need to do a back up safety stop at 5 metres for at least 15 mins (air permitting)

DANGER: Current can be running hard, so you should hold the anchor line on your descent all the way to the bottom. Visibility can sometimes be down to 2 metres or so, but it can also be up to 25 metres+ Depth can also be a danger as you could run low or run out of air.

IF YOU: Come off the anchor line: Do a normal ascent to the safety stop at 5 metres. Do a 5-min stop, surface, establish positive buoyancy, signal the boat and deploy your safety sausage. Wave your arm if you need help or your safety sausage and we will come and get you as soon as we can.


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