Got up early again because of where my car was parked. Rather than moved it I put money in the meter - I figured half an hour to take a quick shower and get out of there. Didn't count on having to wait half an hour for the shower though and when I finally got out I was ten minutes late and I had a my first ticket (only A$ 10 - in Sydney it probably would have been A$ 95!)
After getting up so early I thought coffee sounded like a good idea. Sat at a sidewalk cafe in Salamanca Place down near the wharf and had the best latte I've had in Australia. Drove out to the Tasman Peninsula - it's a nice enough drive, but by Tamanian standards not very scenic. I stopped in Eaglehawk (just north of the Eaglehawk neck about half way dowen the Tasman Peninsula) to check out the view of Pirates Bay from the view point. While I was there I remembered reading that there is a dive club there, so I went looking. It was just down the street from where I had stopped. They had a dive going out in an hour!
It was a good dive, but not fantastic. I was a bit disapointed with the saftey (no partners, everyone went their own way, and the dive master was off on his own collecting samples). The dive was right off the shore among huge boulders with overhangs, crevases, and kelp. It's the first time in three years (except Lake Malawi) that I've had a dive that wasn't on a reef. Reminicent of diving in Laguna - rocky, lots of kelp. It was also quite chilly - almost half the temperature of the last dive I did in Bali (16°C vs. 30°C). Despite my unhapiness with the managing of the dive I'm considering going tomorrow morning agian. There are two possible dives that looked fantastic (I saw the video) - one is in a giant cave, the other is an 85 year old wreck (in 40m!) If I end up spending the night on the Tasman Peninsula I'll probably go (plus it would be alot cheaper as I was told I wouldn't have to pay the equipment rental for the second dive).
The coast is spectacular - lush green forest on rocky cliffs plunging directly into the water. Did a quick drive through the Pirates Bay State Reserve - pretty, but nothing any different from all around. In Tasman National Park I went to see the Tasman Arch and the Devil's Kitchen - both dramatic coastal rock formations.
When I finally got to Port Arthur I decided to stay the night - that way I could maybe go for another dive and definitely visit the Tasmanian Devil Park. Obviously this was the fated thing to do since I got the last bed at the YHA.
Spent the evening wandering around the ruins of Port Arthur (the high security penitentiary town of the colonial days). It was after hours and I wasn't supposed to be there, but it was fantastic - no one else and the fading light was perfect.