Training at Rickett’s Point 2014

Swapping Blue Tiles for Blue Skies?

As we sort through the bureacratic maze to establishing the club as a formal entity we’ve had to put on hold our regular weekly training nights at our home pool in Melbourne.

Undeterred by this insignificant inconvenience, a few members dropped into Port Phillip Bay and gave up staring at blue tiles and black lines for an evening.

Secret spot

Meeting at the secret spot shown in the map below, we kicked off after work to take advantage of the long summer days.

Secret Spot! Don't tell anyone ok?

Secret Spot! Don’t tell anyone ok?

With the dusky grey skies littered with smoke and ash above and the water below milky from the churn of the outgoing tide, we did what all motivated members do and jumped straight in.

Rickett's Point gloom captured during our freedive session by landscape photographer Alistair Wilson. (alistairwilson.com.au)

Rickett’s Point gloom captured during our freedive session by landscape photographer Alistair Wilson. (alistairwilson.com.au)

Getting out

On the long swim out over the very shallow mushy, rocky and vegetation rich sea floor, including a well hidden urchin or three, we were careful to keep fins from disturbing anything and to maintain our calm transition towards the green marker pole a few hundred metres off shore. In high tide, it’s a lot easier to cover this section of the swim.

Swim and tread carefully! Precious elements hanging out below. Brett takes it easy on the way out at Rickett's Point, Beaumaris. Photo: MQ

Swim and tread carefully! Precious elements hanging out below. Brett takes it easy on the way out at Rickett’s Point, Beaumaris. Photo: MQ

On the swim out one member unknowingly startled an Eagle Ray and was officially welcomed by a large flathead.

Broccoli and cauliflower farm? Rickett's Point. Photo: MQ

Broccoli and cauliflower farm? Rickett’s Point. Photo: MQ

Pausing on the way out in around 2-3 metres depth we took the opportunity to get into the zone and perform some short immersions. A few minutes later we were treated much like a waiter would when providing the first round of table service.

A friendly large stingray floated by, circled around, then checked in on us, providing some highlights of the specials for tonight and then left. A couple of minutes later returning to ensure we were ready to order.

The Order

And order we did. A full load of Australian salmon, a rock flathead with garnish and in honour of the dusky grey skies above, a dusky morwong.

Rock Flathead in the lettuce leaves at Rickett's Point. Photo Credit: Scott Walker

Rock Flathead in the lettuce leaves at Rickett’s Point. Photo Credit: Scott Walker

The meal of training was satisfying. Taking turns to descend we all enjoyed our own sense of training, Brett taking the chance to perform some dynamic work at 5-6m depth whilst enduring the choppy and wavy breathe-up.

Australian Salmon swarming off Rickett's Point. Photo Credit: Scott Walker

Australian Salmon swarming off Rickett’s Point. Photo Credit: Scott Walker

Scott unleashed the strobe light and used his fish-charming ways to attract the visitors and enquirers. Marlon stared at the bottom for periods of time and in doing so identified a relic much out of place – a section of railway track.

Dusky Morwong cruising at Rickett's Point. Photo Credit: Scott Walker

Dusky Morwong cruising at Rickett’s Point. Photo Credit: Scott Walker

Sun downer

As we continued to plummet, so did the sun. After a good couple of hours bobbing around the bay in the search of experience, we called it an evening before a return to shore would be in darkness.

In it. Like a toadfish. Rickett's Point Marine Park. Photo: Marlon Quinn

In it. Like a toadfish. Rickett’s Point Marine Park. Photo: Marlon Quinn

The swim in provided just as much entertainment as on the way out. A small eagle ray bid us farewell, Maitre’d in training perhaps? And with the shallowness we all began to live the part of the life of a toadfish, practically nestling in the sand, if not swimming along next to them, kind of like strip lights that guide your way down the aisle along the floors of airplane cabins.

Graphy

On shore looking over the shenanigans of fins occasionally rising up above the waterline and disappearing like submarine periscopes was a friend of the club who makes a habit of visiting pretty much every superb freedive location in Victoria as well. Alistair Wilson, landscape photographer, was out at Rickett’s Point seeking colourful hues and moody skies to be captured for all to see. Where we descend into the waters of the Bay and Mornington Peninsula, he’s capturing the shoreline view.

After many hours the crew emerged from Rickett's Point Marine Park. Credit: Alistair Wilson (alistairwilson.com.au)

After many hours the crew emerged from Rickett’s Point Marine Park. Credit: Alistair Wilson (alistairwilson.com.au)

No More Tiles

So there it was, no blue tiles for an evening but a good couple of hours practicing everything we do in the pool, but out in the green-blue wash of Port Phillip Bay. It’s always an adventure!

Specs:

  • Air Temp: 21 – 23c
  • Water Temp: 18 – 19c
  • Freedive Duration: 2hrs (in the water)
  • Depth: 20cm in close, 5-6m out the back at the green marker pole
  • Visibility: A murky 5m
  • Difficulty: EASY
  • Distance Carpark to Shore: 30 metres
  • Drive from Melbourne: 30-45 minutes
  • Nearby Treats? Black Rock Shopping Strip on Bluff Rd, Clover Thai and Japanese Restaurant