Diving Osprey Reef in Ozzieland

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Diving Osprey Reef in Ozzieland

Post by bedlam » October 27th 2017, 11:50pm

I set off to see the outer reefs of the Barrier Reef to the north east of the Australian continent. Its an over-night journey to the Coral Sea heading out from Cairns. The story is that the bleaching and ocean acidification have been hammering the Barrier Reef and I wanted to see if before a national treasure was gone forever. Osprey Reef itself is like a series of mountain ranges under the water. It's foreboding face to face and with 1200m deep walls this is not the place to drop your torch. Its also home to an incredible range of critters.

I took the new Seiko Prospex Solar Diver SNE437P1. I loved the case on the Seiko Solar Chrono that came out a while back but was not enamoured of the extra clutter on the dial for a chrono that can't be used underwater. The Solar Diver has the same case (43mm wide, 12mm high, 50mm LTL, 20mm lugs) and a really clean dial. It also has a wart on the crystal, which I stopped seeing after a while but don't particularly think adds anything useful. That small annoyance pales to insignificance when you come to the bezel though - what an absolute corker. It reminds me of the MM300's, damped and positive. It feels terrific and is a genuine surprise on a watch costing only a couple of bills.

The other big ticks on this watch are readability and wearability. Both are perfect and this is an easy daily wear. Seiko has been doing solar movements since 1997 but Citizen is king of that hill for most people. I will see how the movement goes over time to see if it has the reliability of an Eco-drive.

I wore the Seiko on a rubber NATO from Alex Moss. These are brilliant and I can't believe it took me this long to try one. He will cut them to whatever length you need. The rubber is the right thickness to be durable but pass through between the watch head and strap pins easily. Alex sent curved pins with the strap if you need them so even if you have a watch with lug holes close to the case you should still be ok.

Water temps are around 26-27C. Possible depths are insane but we didn't go below 40m as we were on nitrox. Visibility is around 20-30m.

Now, for some pics;

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A typical wall at Osprey...35m above and 1000m below
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Barracuda
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Notice the Nautilus GPS system on my buddies tank. Great to have with the currents that were around.
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Clam
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Cuttlefish escaping at speed
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Forget sharks, this is the most fearless thing in the ocean. The Humbug is an inch square of "I do not give a shit who you think you are"
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Huge Potato Cod
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Grey Sharks...we had quite a few, and at close range!
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Caught this guy asleep...I felt like a stalker :-)
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Seeya next time!
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Last edited by bedlam on October 28th 2017, 2:29am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Diving Osprey Reef in Ozzieland

Post by bobbee » October 28th 2017, 12:32am

Wow Carl, just wow!
I love marine fish, used to keep them. I saw several in your pics I have kept, the dusky humbug damsel (like you say, sooo pugnacious!), the skunk clownfish, surgeon fish and moray, although mine was a snowflake moray.

Amazing photographs bud, I am so jealous right now.
Thanks so much for posting, best post for ages! :D
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Re: Diving Osprey Reef in Ozzieland

Post by AntFarm » October 28th 2017, 5:59am

Wow just amazing. It's a whole different, beautiful world underwater... I love the picture of the trigger? above the orange guy with the blue spots. Do you use a flash or is is just the settings on the camera? Do you also do video or is that a whole different setup?
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Re: Diving Osprey Reef in Ozzieland

Post by bedlam » October 28th 2017, 6:09am

AntFarm wrote:Wow just amazing. It's a whole different, beautiful world underwater... I love the picture of the trigger? above the orange guy with the blue spots. Do you use a flash or is is just the settings on the camera? Do you also do video or is that a whole different setup?

You have to use flash to get the full colour range. Its possible to do video, I have a camera that will shoot in 4K but I would need to lug around a video lighting system. That's way too much like work.
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Re: Diving Osprey Reef in Ozzieland

Post by 3Flushes » October 28th 2017, 10:45am

Never get tired of seeing these- spectacular as always, man.

It's sad to know that the only evidence these marvels of nature once existed will soon be solely in the memories of those who've adventured there and the documentation they've recorded. Thanks, you lucky bastard!
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Re: Diving Osprey Reef in Ozzieland

Post by Mortuus Fakeuus » October 28th 2017, 7:49pm

Once more, Carl, you've shown that you're truly a master of underwater photography, a skill that is to be envied, but still enjoyed, even by landlubbers of the highest order. I loved the hermit crab shot, as well, but fell in love with that incredible turtle! So much character and personality there, even when sleeping. As always, thanks so much for sharing this beautiful font of nature that you're so blessed to live near.

Admittedly Ignorant Question (AIG) #1: is 40m the standard cut-off for nitrox?
AIG #2: Is the main concern nitogen narcosis, or just plain suffocation?
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Re: Diving Osprey Reef in Ozzieland

Post by TemerityB » October 28th 2017, 8:12pm

Still my favorite threads on this or any other watch forum. Imagine - an actual diver wearing dive watches ... and taking amazing photos of everything he encounters!

Stunning, thrilling, incredible. Seriously, my admiration knows no bounds.
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Re: Diving Osprey Reef in Ozzieland

Post by bedlam » October 28th 2017, 10:16pm

Mortuus wrote:Admittedly Ignorant Question (AIG) #1: is 40m the standard cut-off for nitrox? AIG #2: Is the main concern nitogen narcosis, or just plain suffocation?

It's a good question Mort. Any nitrogen-oxygen gas mix can be referred to as nitrox. Air is 21% nitrox (21% oxygen, 79% nitrogen). As you descend deeper the regulator you breathe with feeds you air/gas at pressure equal to the water pressure around you (which is cool as your lungs don't collapse). Unfortunately the higher pressure gas contains more molecules of nitrogen and oxygen per cubic inch than the body is designed for.

Nitrogen becomes a narcotic at higher concentrations and that means people are less physically and mentally capable and can even start doing dumb stuff. As it builds up in your tissues it also limits the time you can spend diving. To avoid the build-up of nitrogen over multiple dives you can increase the amount of oxygen in your gas mix. This is normally referred to as nitrox - we were running up to 34% oxygen on Osprey Reef.

The limiting factor is that oxygen becomes toxic at too high a concentration, so that limits your depth. At the surface you can breathe 100% oxygen and the percentage decreases as you concentrate the number of oxygen molecules being fed to you with the increasing depth. You adjust your O2 concentration in the tank before the dive to give you the max depth you need for a dive with the benefit of less nitrogen accumulation. The hard limit for normal air is 55m, at that point the 21% O2 becomes toxic.

Below 55m people start running multiple cylinders with different gas mixes for the increasing depth. That is technical diving...which is too much like work for me.
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Re: Diving Osprey Reef in Ozzieland

Post by bedlam » October 29th 2017, 4:36pm

AJC wrote:Image

My favorite pic by far. Looks like an infant baby with those two teeth sticking out.

He looks like an extra from the Sopranos to me :D
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Re: Diving Osprey Reef in Ozzieland

Post by bedlam » October 31st 2017, 8:21pm

kevco wrote:Thank you so much for sharing.
Your photos are so excellent.
Just viewing them once this morning calmed my spinning mind.

Glad to help out any way I can :-)
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