FAQ

Welcome to FUUC’s FAQ – click on the links below to jump to the answer. Trip guides are at the bottom. If you have questions that are not answered below please contact us.

Q: How do I start diving with FUUC?

Q: What if I can’t make a Thursday night club opening?

Q: I’m not a student, so can I still join your Club?

Q: I’m not a certified SCUBA diver, so can I still join FUUC and can I hire SCUBA gear?

Q: How do I join in on club dives?

Q: I’d like to learn to SCUBA dive. Where do I start?

Q: I don’t have much experience, can I still dive with FUUC?

Q: It’s been a while since I’ve been diving, should I do a refresher course?

Q: When is the club open?

Q: How do I find the FUUC clubrooms?

Q: What is the cost of joining FUUC, and how much does it cost to go diving?

Q: I can’t find my dive certification card – can I join FUUC and hire gear and/or come diving?

Q: Do you dive all year round?

Q: What is the cost of club trips?

Q:How many trips away do you do every year?

Q: I don’t have a car, so can I still go diving with FUUC?

Q: Where do you go diving?

Q: When do you go diving?

Q: How do you decide whether to do a boat dive or a shore dive?

Q: What is the water temperature, and what sort of exposure suit will I need?

Q: I’m coming from overseas and can’t bring all my dive gear. What gear should I bring?

Q: The gear hire and boat dive prices are really good! Why is it cheaper than a dive shop?

Q: I’m interested in learning about how the club runs and the committee. Who do I speak to?

Q: Does the club have a Member Protection Policy?

Q: Does the club dive the exHMAS Hobart?

Q: I’m interested in the Easter trip to Marion Bay and surrounding areas. Can you tell me more?

Q: I’m interested in the trip to see the Giant Cuttlefish near Whyalla. Can you tell me more?

Q: How do I start diving with FUUC?

Come along to a club opening on a Thursday night, from 6.30pm to 7.30pm. A map to our club is available here. On at Thursday night we finalise dive plans for the weekend, hire out gear, and take care of membership applications. You are most welcome to call by and check out the facilities and have a chat with fellow divers.

There is no pressure to join, but if you think you might like to join on the night, please bring your dive certification card, student card if applicable. Memberships are processed through our website using VISA or MasterCard while gear hire is handled on the Thursday night with cash. Pricing for membership and gear hire can be found here.

We dive most weekends, as per our club calendar. Final details for the weekend’s diving are sent out via the clubs Facebook group, which we encourage you to add your name to. To sign up for a dive (if you’re a certified diver and club member), please add your name to the signup sheet available at the club on a Thursday night opening.

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Q: What if I can’t make a Thursday night club opening?

If you usually have commitments on a Thursday night (i.e. work / sports training etc.), and are unable to make a Thursday night club opening, then we will do our best to work something out for you. We’re often at the club later than 7.30pm on a Thursday night, but ask that all gear hire etc. be finalised by then. Please contact us if you intend to arrive after 7.30 pm to ensure that we’ll be there, or to arrange meeting at the club on another day.

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Q: I’m not a student, so can I still join your Club?

Yes! Anyone can join our club. We have a broad range of members from the university and general public alike.

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Q: I’m not a certified SCUBA diver, so can I still join FUUC and can I hire SCUBA gear?

We can only hire SCUBA diving equipment to certified divers, however non-certified social members can still hire snorkeling equipment, attend club trips and go out on the club boats.

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Q: How do I join in on club dives?

Club members may sign up for club dives by adding their name the signup sheet which is available at the club on a Thursday night club opening. If you cannot attend the club on Thursday keep a eye on our Facebook group or get a fellow club member to place you on the list.

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Q: I’d like to learn to SCUBA dive. Where do I start?

Firstly, it is a good idea to have a diving medical examination even in good health. If you suffer from health condition(s) that are potentially contradictory to diving a medical examination will, in most cases, be mandated by the diving shop you choose to do your Open Water certificate with. Diving medicals are free through the Royal Adelaide Hospital Hyperbaric Unit, but there is often a waiting list of around 3 months or so, and (as of the time of writing) they do not perform medicals around Christmas time. Dive medicals can also be obtained via some private medical practices. For a list of private providers please visit spums.org.au

Once cleared medically the fun begins. You will need to find a dive shop that your comfortable with. At FUUC we don’t teach people to dive but can point you in the direction of some dive shops. Please feel free to contact us for a list of preferred dive shops, or pop into a Thursday night club opening for a chat.

A standard Open Water course will typically consist of 2 full weekends of instruction (in and out of the water), and also requires some home study. The course will usually provide all the gear you need, but people are usually asked to buy their own mask, snorkel & fins, which is not a bad thing as they need to fit well.

At the end of the course, you’ll be a certified Open Water diver. Once certified you can join FUUC as a full club member and gain access to competitive pricing on scuba gear hire and boat dives as well as fun away trips.

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Q: I don’t have much experience, can I still dive with FUUC?

Yes. We cater for all experience levels. Please talk to the dive organiser at a club opening so that they are aware that you’re new to diving. Normally we can adjust our dive plans to make sure that less experienced divers dive ‘easier’ dive sites. If you haven’t dived in non-tropical waters, you may consider doing a refresher course. Diving in South Australia typically requires a thicker wetsuit and corresponding heavier weight belt and a hood in the cooler months, which can take a little getting used to.

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Q: It’s been a while since I’ve been diving, should I do a refresher course?

That’s really up to you. An instructor is the right person to ensure that you can dive safely, and we’re happy to point you in the direction of some good dive shops (we generally don’t have instructors available to teach at our club). For club dives, we always try to buddy up divers who are inexperienced or haven’t dived in a while with experienced divers, but of course we cannot guarantee this on any given weekend – it just depends on who signs up for the dive. The best thing to do is to talk to a committee member at a club opening, so we can get a better idea of your experience level and any concerns you may have.

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Q: When is the club open?

The club is open every Thursday night from 6:30pm to 7:30pm. Around Easter and Christmas these times can change depending on club trips and where the public holidays fall. Please check the clubs Facebook page for any changes.

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Q: How do I find the FUUC clubrooms?

See this link for a printable map, Google map and general directions.

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Q: What is the cost of joining FUUC, and how much does it cost to go diving?

See this link for pricing.

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Q: I can’t find my dive certification card – can I join FUUC and hire gear and/or come diving?

We cannot hire gear to club members unless they are certified divers. We do require that divers present their diver certification card when joining and renewing club membership. If you have lost your dive certification card, we suggest you contact the shop you did your course through, or the certification body directly i.e. PADI, SSI etc. to arrange for your card to be replaced.

SSI contact for lost cards can be found here
PADI contact for lost cards can be found here

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Q: Do you dive all year round?

Yes. We dive all year round. More so in summer, but also in the cooler months.

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Q: What is the cost of club trips?

This depends on the cost to the Club, which is shared between all divers evenly & fairly. The Easter Marion Bay trip typically costs between $150-$200 per person, which includes boat dives, air fills and camping ground fees. It does not include gear hire, food or transportation to/from Marion Bay, but we can arrange car pooling.

The fixed costs are divided evenly per diver (e.g. towing the boats to Marion Bay), regardless of how many dives you do. The variable costs are divided on a per use basis e.g. if you stay for 2 nights at the camping ground, then you only pay for 2 nights. If you do 2 dives, then you cover the cost of boat fuel for those dives.

For the Whyalla Cuttlefish trip in June/July of every year, the cost is just for accommodation at the rate the club is charged plus a small sundry fee to cover firewood etc.). It does not include food, gear hire, air fills or transportation to Whyalla (Pt Lowly).

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Q: How many trips away do you do every year?

A minimum of two trips (Marion Bay and Pt Lowly/Cuttlefish trip), and often trips to either Victor Harbor, Pt Victoria (Wardang Island), Beachport or even interstate.

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Q: I don’t have a car, so can I still go diving with FUUC?

We encourage car pooling to help the environment and save money. For those living on-campus, the club rooms are only a short walk away. We usually meet at the club rooms on the morning of a dive, so you can grab a lift with someone who has a car. Equipment that has been hired on a Thursday night club opening may be left at the club (labelled with the member’s name), so that it doesn’t have to be carried on public transport etc.. We also arrange car pooling for our trips away, such as the Easter Trip to Marion Bay and the June/July Whyalla trip to see the Cuttlefish mating/spawning.

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Q: Where do you go diving?

Mostly in the metropolitan waters near Adelaide, but we also do an annual trip at Easter to Marion Bay (Althorpe Island etc.) and Pt Lowly near Whyalla to see the Cuttlefish mating/spawning. Most years we also arrange a club trip to either Victor Harbor, Pt Victoria (Wardang Island etc.) or Beachport where some like to catch Southern Rock Lobster. Some years, we also arrange club trips to interstate destinations such as the Great Barrier Reef.

See the club calendar for details, and also the club photo gallery for photos taken on club dives. Announcements of trips are made via the club list server (mailing list), so be sure to add your name to the list.

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Q: When do you go diving?

We dive primarily on the weekend, but weekday dives are possible. There are plenty of good shore dives close by, and we’re happy to point you in the right direction. If we have a club boat handler, someone to tow the boat and at least 4 divers, then a mid-week boat dive is also possible.

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Q: How do you decide whether to do a boat dive or a shore dive?

In order to do a boat dive (whether mid-week or on weekends), there must be a club boat handler, someone to tow the boat and at least 4 divers. Otherwise a boat dive is not possible, and we will arrange a shore dive instead. Sometimes we will arrange a nice shore dive regardless.

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Q: What is the water temperature, and what sort of exposure suit will I need?

The water temperature varies from a peak of 22’C in December/January, to a minimum of 12’C in June/July.

Most people dive in a 5/7mm wetsuit or semi-dry suit most of the year. However, some choose to dive in a thinner 3-5mm suit in the summer months and some choose to dive in a drysuit in the winter months.

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Q: I’m coming from overseas and can’t bring all my dive gear. What gear should I bring?

If you’re limited by weight etc. when travelling, we suggest you bring ‘personal’ gear i.e. mask, snorkel, fins, boots, gloves and wet/drysuit (see above), hood and a dive computer if you have one. We have a good range of BCDs, regs, tanks and basic weight belts, but our range of other gear is limited. Our reg sets have a digital bottom timer & depth gauge, but they do not include a dive computer.

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Q: The gear hire and boat dive prices are really good! Why is it cheaper than a dive shop?

A: FUUC is run by an unpaid volunteer committee. We also get in-kind support from the University, and apply to the State Government and University for grants. Dive shops, on the other hand, have shop overheads and staff wages to pay. Shops are open most days, whereas FUUC only opens for gear hire Thursday night, hence gear hire is for a week at a time. Shops will have a dedicated boat handler who is paid to sit around while customers go for a dive, whereas in our case a pair of divers delay their dive and wait on the boat until the first pair of divers return (a ‘split’ dive), hence the diving takes a bit longer. We also ask divers to help wash & put away the boat.

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Q: I’m interested in learning about how the club runs and the committee. Who do I speak to?

Please contact us, or speak to a committee member at a club opening. The committee is elected at the Annual General Meeting (usually around March), but there are sometimes vacant committee positions available during the year.

Being on the committee of FUUC is a great way to learn more about boats, dive gear and some of the more commercial aspects of running a dive club/operation. You can also have your say on how club funds are spent, where club trips go and how local dives are run.

Being on a committee of an incorporated association (such as FUUC) looks great on a resume and will give you experience that is valuable when job hunting after uni.

The only way the club survives is through the help of volunteers, so if you’re interested we encourage you to come and have a chat with us about joining the committee.

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Q: Does the club have a Member Protection Policy?

Yes we do. It it available for download via this link. All members must read and comply with this policy. The policy is a requirement for the club’s affiliation with Flinders Campus Community Services (FlindersOne).

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Q: Does the club dive the exHMAS Hobart?

Yes, we do. The exHMAS Hobart is subject to strong tidal currents, so generally we only dive the wreck when there is minimal tidal movement – i.e. near or during a ‘dodge’ tide event. We add any ‘good’ days for diving the ex HMAS Hobart to the club calendar that fall on a Saturday or Sunday. Sometimes, there may only be a few weekends per year when the tide is ‘right’ to dive the wreck.

The exHMAS Hobart is in 30M of water, but for those who are less qualified/experienced, the deck is at around 15M, and there is still plenty to see at that the deck level. We launch from Wirrina boat ramp, which is about 1 hr 15 min drive from the club rooms. It’s around 8km out to the dive site from shore, so on a calm day it will only be around a 20 min boat ride to the site.

We usually do a double dive, and each diver will require a SCUBA cylinder (tank) per dive. Each diver is also required to have a safety sausage. The cost is as per our pricing page (double dive) plus a $5 towing fee. A double dive will usually take most of the day. This dive is quite popular, so it is advisable to get your name on the dive booking sheet early, which will be available at the club meeting on the Thursday before the dive.

A briefing will be given before the dive. The briefing is available for download, and we suggest pre-reading it before the day of the dive. Top and side views of the ship and dive site are also available for download. A buoy allocation map is also available.

Those on-board the club boat(s) (diving or not) will require a permit, as the site is a marine protected area. Permits are available on-line for free at http://www.environment.sa.gov.au/marineparks/enjoy/diving/diving-the-hmas-hobart

Permits are not available at the boat ramp and must be arranged before your depart. Divers will need a printed copy of their permit along with their dive certification card (PADI, SSI etc.). The permits MUST be taken on board the club boat(s) when heading out to the site. No permit, no dive. Those attending must adhere to both club policies and the terms and conditions agreed to when applying for the permit.

More info on diving the exHMAS Hobart may be found at the SA Govt website’s http://www.exhmashobart.com.au and http://www.environment.sa.gov.au/marineparks/enjoy/diving/diving-the-hmas-hobart

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Q: I’m interested in the Easter trip to Marion Bay and surrounding areas. Can you tell me more?

The Easter trip to Marion Bay is one of the diving highlights for the club every year. The diving around Marion Bay near the tip of Yorke Peninsula is some of the best diving in this State. Accommodation is in tents, and must be supplied by those attending, although sometimes people have a spare spot available in their tent.

For those who have not been to Marion Bay before, the trip offers some of the best diving in South Australia, BUT it can also present some conditions that are very challenging. The sites we dive are all along exposed areas of coastline hard up against cliffs and islands where there can be considerable underwater surge generated by the large swell that rolls through the area (something we don’t get for local metro dives).

Divers need to be familiar with the operation of their gear, diving from club boats and be very comfortable in the water if they are to have an enjoyable trip. Divers must have been diving with the club recently so that we can be confident that they will be able to handle the possibly challenging conditions. The trip organisers will have the final say on whether the club dives on a given day, and who is diving based on experience level and proficiency. The weather does tend to be somewhat unpredictable around that time of the year.

The trip typically costs between $150-$200 per person, which includes boat dives, air fills and camp ground fees (staying at the Marion Bay Caravan Park, powered tent sites). It does not include gear hire, food or transportation to/from Marion Bay, but we can arrange car pooling. The fixed costs are divided evenly per diver (e.g. towing the boats to Marion Bay), regardless of how many dives you do. The variable costs are divided on a per use basis e.g. if you stay for 2 nights at the camping ground, then you only pay for 2 nights. If you do 2 dives, then you cover the cost of boat fuel for those dives.

Places on the trip are limited, and we typically have a sign-up sheet available a month or so before the trip (Easter). A $100 deposit is required to secure your place on the trip, and is deducted from the final amount payable, which is due the Thursday club opening after the trip. A break-down of the trip costs will be available after the trip in case there are any queries regarding the individual’s trip costs.

We typically leave on the Thursday evening before Good Friday, in time to set up camp, and be ready for diving first thing Friday. It’s around 280km away – about 3 to 4 hours drive. We typically do around 6 dives (weather dependent) and return on the Easter Monday afternoon (note that we will return Tuesday afternoon in 2011 due to Anzac Day falling on the Monday).

The compressor runs most of the day to keep up with refilling the empty tanks. All participants are expected to fill tanks! It’s easy and we’ll show you how.

A compulsory briefing will be held before the trip, and will be advertised via the weekly club e-mail.

A ‘survival guide’ (checklist) for the trip is available here Easter Survival Guide.

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Q: I’m interested in the trip to see the Giant Cuttlefish near Whyalla. Can you tell me more?

Every year, around June-July (as per the club calendar), FUUC venture to Pt Lowly, near Whyalla to observe the mating of the Giant Cuttlefish. It’s a truly amazing spectacle to see the mating rituals of these creatures and the displays of colour.

Diving is in shallow water, 3-5m depth, and entry is from the shore. The Cuttlefish can also be seen whilst snorkeling. The water is around 12-13’C, so a good wetsuit and a hood (or drysuit for the fortunate), is required.

Accommodation is typically at the Pt Lowly Lighthouse Cottages which provide lodgings at a reasonable cost. The actual rate will be advertised via the club mailing list before the trip. You can stay whichever night(s) you like. There is an additional $5-10 fee per person to cover sundries, firewood and the hire of the hall/table tennis room. There will also be a cleaning fee of $5 for people who leave before the final day (Monday).

If you’d like to join us on this trip, please call by the club to reserve your spot. A $10 deposit it required to secure your place on this trip.

The FUUC Cuttlefish Trip Guide has some more details including what to bring and how to get there. The brochure from the renting agent has additional information. Please note that pricing may be a little out of date.

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