My Recent Dives - January, February and March 2024
Posted by Michael on 02 January 2024 13:00
2 January 2024 - Bare Island Deep Wall
Millpond seas and fine for once. Went off W point and headed SW, saw a fiddler-ray right at the start. Over the wall and found the first BBSH, the lighter one. Then to the rocks to the yellow one. Went over the rocks and Ron found a tiny, PPH, could not get it in focus. Tide should have been running in but was still running out here. Two upsidedown pipefish (USDP) under the bottom of the next wall. Another PPH I think. Ron went over RIF Reef but nothing of interest. A spiny gurnard at the Deep Block. Then to 15M Reef. I found a tiny yellow nudi with red rhinopores, not sure I have seen before. Then to SHC, no USDP. The white PPH is still there and the dark BBSH still on same rock nearby. Back via outer edge, a dozen squid, a flathead, some sole, a tiny PPH on OHR and the RIF is back on Long Rock. Could not find the sea dragon (others are seeing) nor the black striped anglerfish seen yesterday and this morning by Vicki. A really nice dive. Visibility good deep and fair shallow.

3 January 2024 - Bushrangers Bay (Shellharbour)

Club dive organised a few days ago. Had 11 members diving and two non-members and sausage sizzle after. Carpark full by 0715. Went slowly to 9 metres, viz really good there, less shallower. Lots of sharks, at least 20 I reckon, maybe even 30. Got some great photos and also used GoPro to get timelapse video. Came out really good. Maybe two large females, rest juveniles. A couple of the juveniles had hooks. Great dive. Visibility very good.

3 January 2024 - The Gutter (Shellharbour)

Second dive of the day, lots of parking spots in small carpark. Very strong NE wind blowing but entry and exit easy. Below 15 metres visibility went up to 18 to 20 metres and cool at 18C. Went out to Beauty Point which is to N of Gutter. Went via the gully on west side. Not a huge amount seen. No photos as camera lens fogged up. Back by compass and hit wall W of Gutter and then followed back to exit. Only an average dive. Visibility very good. 

4 January 2024 - Bare Island Deep Wall

Went in off W wall as millpond seas and just after low tide. Incoming current unlike Tuesday. As I went in a weight pocket must have fallen out as when I descended, I was too light. Went back and got rolled around a bit and then Ron found it about 3 metres from where I went in. Headed SW to Wall. Cold here but 10 m viz. My computers said 16 and 18C, but I reckon closer to 16C. Found the two BBSH and then another that Vicki found yesterday. Then back normal way, no PPH except the white one at Block Rock. No upsidedown pipefish, including the ones seen on Tuesday. There was a blue devilfish under Smaller Deep Wall. On Block Rock there were some fine-lined tambjas and a small Parramatta nudi. Then to 15MR where I found a couple of interesting nudibranchs, including a pink ceretesoma. Then to the other BBSH and back via the RIF. Ron found the sea dragon at Sea Tulip Rocks, on the S side near main reef. Then he found the black striated anglerfish that Vicki told us about on Tuesday. In kelp near the second orange sponge. Then back to exit. A really great dive. Visibility good deep but poor shallower.

6 January 2024 - Inscription Point

Reasonable S wind and swell, some wave action at entry/exit. Only two other divers in the water and no more till we got back. Very dirty shallow and not much better deeper, surgy too. Outgoing tide but not strong. Went to just past LBR. Saw one sea dragon with eggs, two BBSHs, the white BIA, only a couple of small PPH. At turnaround Erick found the miamira nudibranch, not in a good spot to get a photo. On the way back did not see the other BBSHs as we turned a bit before them. Erick found another BIA, yellow. I think it is Little George. Then back to exit. Not the greatest dive but okay. Visibility very poor.

7 January 2024 - Bare Island Not So Deep Wall

Went in off W point and W to NSDW. Then followed wall and 15MR to SHC and back normal way. Very dirty shallow but reasonable at NSDW. Cold though. Found two PPH there, a few interesting nudis. Went down to Deep Block but the Parramatta nudi was gone. Lots of fine-lined though (plenty on OHR and STR). Back to 15MR and then to SHC. A nice blue devilfish in the cave. Then to white PPH, dark BBSH. Then looked for the tiny orange painted anglerfish we saw 19 December. It has moved from where it was to the main cave, but we could not find it. Also didn't see the BIA that is near here. Then back, RIF in same spot as is the sea dragon. Could not find the black striated anglerfish near orange sponge though. A nice dive. Visibility fair deep but very poor shallow.

9 January 2024 - Bare Island Not So Deep Wall

Went in off W point just after high tide. A bit of outgoing current at times. Very very cold, 15C almost the whole dive. Viz a reasonable 7-8 metres. Found a few interesting nudibranchs again, but not the two PPHs on NSDW. Went to Deep Block but again, no Parramatta nudi. Then to 15MR and over to main reef about half way along. Went up a little on the reef behind some of the big boulders looking for BBSH, none. No blue devilfish at SHC and looks like the upsidedown pipefish have left here for good. The white PPH is still there and searched for the tiny orange painted anglerfish. I found it between Block Rock and Main Cave! Then to BBSH and then looking for the yellow and green nudibranch people saw in recent days, no luck. Across to some of the rocks towards Anglerfish Rock and I found a beautiful pink PPH. Then back via OHR, SHR and LR. RIF gone but the sea dragon was nearly at SHR. Then looked for things at STR but only fine-lined tambjas. No striated anglerfish again. Saw a few very large flathead deeper, some large octopus, a few small cuttlefish and all the usual fish. A very nice but cold dive. Visibility fair.  

10 January 2024 - Inscription Point

Got in near high tide, not the easiest exit as very high and a bit of swell. Also surge most of the dive. Water about 6-7 metres but very cold at 15C (despite what my computer says). Went past LBR and then back. Looks like upsidedown pipefish are gone but the small pipefish is there, also another one further on. Only saw the first two BBSHs and not many PPHs. Two sea dragons, one with eggs. Finally refound the grey BIA anglerfish near the white one which has started to go a bit yellow. Also saw George, the little yellow BIA, but not on the same spot as Saturday. Hard swim back as the current had picked up a bit. Warmer and dirtier shallower. Very good dive. Visibility fair.

13 January 2024 - The Leap

Club dive, seven divers. Very busy at both car parks. Very dirty shallow and also dark on the sand. Only lightened up about halfway through the dive, viz 3-4 metres. Really strong current, so ripped along and did not really see much small stuff. About 7 sea dragons, 2 with eggs. Missed the BIAs but Ron saw them. Saw the two BBSHs on Split Rock, a couple of small cuttlefish, a flathead, half a dozen squid. Saw a large mirror leatherjacket and a six-spined leatherjacket. Not really much else. Only average dive. Visibility very poor. 

14 January 2024 - Bare Island Right

Very strong SE wind and swell more S than NE like forecast. Easy in but very high tide meant wave action over exit, not too bad though. Not many divers when we went in but dozens seen near end and on island. Visibility worse than past few days, 3 metres at the most. Still cold 17C deeper and some spots I swear were colder. Found a new black striated anglerfish in outboard motor, looked for a tiny red painted anglerfish just past here but not seen. Sea dragon in same spot as last Sunday. No RIF and only two PPH. The tiny orange painted anglerfish is still in same spot as Tuesday. The dark BBSH there. Also saw a small fiddler-ray near STR and a Parramatta nudi on the largest one STR. Mandy showed me some allied cowries on cauliflower soft corals. Could not get great photos as camera housing fogged up due to the high humidity yesterday. Despite conditions, a nice dive. Visibility very poor.

18 January 2024 - Bare Island Deep Wall

Conditions much better than the forecast. Went in off the W point and to wall. About 8 metres viz at least, cold 17C. A fiddler-ray in kelp on the way. Could only find one light BBSH and the yellow one. Back normal way, no upsidedown pipefish and no nudis on the Deep Concrete Block. Along 15MR and then to SHC. The blue devilfish was there again. Then to white PPH and also the golden one. Tiny orange painted anglerfish on same rock as well as the dark BBSH. Then to rock near Anglerfish Rock, a red PPH. Back normal way, not RIF but found the sea dragon in same spot, the Parramatta and punk nudis as well as a few FLT. Then near here a largish black striated anglerfish. Nothing else seen from here on. A few horned sharks seen, some moray eels, a large octopus and an eagle ray near STR. Viz not as good from SHC, perhaps 6 m. A good dive. Visibility fair.

20 January 2024 - Inscription Point

Club dive, eight divers in all. Just after high tide, very slight current. Viz was about 5-6 metres but warmer at 19C. A large octopus in the place where the upsidedown pipefish used to be. Missed the first two sea horses somehow, but saw them on the way back. Saw four sea dragons, one with newish eggs and one with old remains. Some interesting nudibranchs, including honey coloured okenia, a couple of yellow ones. Also four moray eels, a few PPHs, the other two sea horses, a yellow boxfish and a very colourful small cuttlefish. Despite lots of divers here, only saw two others underwater. Good dive. Visibility poor.

21 January 2024 - Bare Island Right
Very early dive as hot day and yesterday carpark full very early. Viz 7-8 m and very cold at 16C, a bit of surge and strong current near Cave. Went very slowly down, over 33 minutes to SHR. Found a few interesting nudibranchs on the way, looked for the black striated anglerfish without luck. The sea dragon was there but not on the way back. The Parramatta nudi is growing quickly but the punk nudi is gone. A red blood nudibranch near Long Rock. A new very small PPH on NW end of OHR. Then went quicker to Cave and the orange painted anglerfish was in a spot where I could not take a photo. Back from here most direct way. A few more nudibranchs on the way back too, about five very good ones seen today. A few moray eels, various sizes, a lionfish, a couple of large octopus and all the usual things. Very good dive. Visibility fair.

23 January 2024 - Bare Island Right
Seas much better than the forecast and little wind. Very high tide early so went four hours after high. Viz only 3-4 metres but got even worse on way back, 2-3 m, quite surgy. Warm though, 21C! Went slow again. Could not find the black angler but I found a weedfish in the kelp. Then it disappeared so Mandy couldn't get a photo. Parramatta still on STR. No sea dragon or RIF. Two PPH before OHR, could not find the one on there. Then to Orange Anglerfish Rock where the red PPH is. Across to Cave and found the tiny orange anglerfish and then to the white and gold PPHs. Back via dark BBSH and most direct way. Viz got bad back near the Cave. Found three UDPF in two overhangs. Looked again for sea dragon, black anglerfish and weedfish, no luck. Mandy found the small orange painted anglerfish before outboard. Not exactly where I was told it was. Also saw a few large flathead, some moray eels and octopus, cardinalfish with eggs. Good dive despite the viz. Visibility very poor.

24 January 2024 - Bare Island Right
Better conditions than yesterday, viz 4-5 metres but colder at 18C. Did similar dive, found the first orange painted anglerfish, moved a little. No weedfish or black striated but other divers said near 44 Gallon Drum. Parramatta nudi there, no sea dragon or RIF but Ron was later shown one hidden at STR. Saw all the PPHs we saw yesterday and four upsidedown pipefish, one extra. Went to the other painted angler and Ron found another tiny one near it. Back via the shallow reef above the Cave. No cowries there. On the way back I found a cauliflower soft coral with three squat lobsters in it. Other things seen included a few flathead, a small cuttlefish, some octopus and a large wobbegong shark at OHR. Good dive. Visibility poor.

25 January 2024 - Inscription Point
Overcast and a bit of swell every now and then. Easy in but a little harder out. Viz about 4-5 metres and cool 18C for most of the dive. Very strong outgoing tide and lots of surge. Saw two sea dragons, four BBSHs, one of which had given birth, perhaps this morning. Heaps of PPH, 11 seen in total, all over the place but most shallower. Saw three BIA, one of which was Little George (last seen 10 January but in a totally different location) near the white and grey ones. One miramara nudibranch, a small lime green one and a spiky red one as well as a purple-lined nembrotha. A few pink okenias as well. Hard swim back into the current. Saw a small eagle ray on the way. Nice dive despite the cold, current, surge and exit. Visibility poor.

26 January 2024 - The Monuments
Club Australia Day dive and BBQ. Nine divers. Went in next to whales and exited there too, high was 9:40 am or so, but tide actually turned about 9:10 am, but it was weak. Little surge. Water cold at 16-17C, viz at least 15 metres for most of the dive. Went to E first, two PPH and a smallish sea dragon. Then a BBSH. Went this way till 18 mins and then headed W. Another large sea dragon and later one with eggs. Ron saw two more BBSH. Some interesting nudibranchs and all the usual ones. Some lionfish, a few small moray eels, an eastern frogfish, a white crab on a sea urchin and more. Very nice dive with a great BBQ afterwards. Visibility good.

28 January 2024 - Bare Island Isolated Reef 1
SE wind which picked up while we were down. Some surge, but not bad. Viz was 5-6 metres but warm 19C (mostly 20C). Headed down normal way, saw the first orange painted anglerfish and then a RIF on STR. No Parramatta nudi though. Then via OHR and way down past here we saw the sea dragon, has moved a lot. First time seen in 10 days. A few dwarf lionfish, the red PPH near AFR. Out to IR1 and the W edge of IR2. A frogfish and another RIF on the way. Two pineapplefish there as well as a blind shark, a small horned shark and also a fiddler-ray. Back via Block Rock, the two PPH are there, found the second orange PA but not the third or forth ones. Back along the main reef, two of the upsidedown pipefish I have seen recently there. Lots of yellowtail around different parts of the site. A very nice dive. Visibility poor.

30 January 2024 - Bare Island Deep Wall
Flat seas, very overcast, some light drizzle around. Went off W point to wall, perhaps 8-10 metres there and cold 17C (and dark) but warmer and dirtier above 13 m, still okay. Found the yellow BBSH on rock and after a bit of searching, the two light coloured BBSHs on wall. Then back normal way. Looked for RIF on RIF Reef (some seen there last week) but none seen. Some interesting nudibranchs, including a short-tailed ceratosoma on 15MR. The three PPHs seen recently are still there and found the two tiny orange painted anglerfish near cave. Two upsidedown piepfish seen but no sea dragon or RIF on the way back. A Parramatta nudi on STR and the third painted anglerfish is still near Fin, has grown a bit. Very good dive. Visibility fair.

31 January 2024 - Bare Island Right
Much windier today and swell coming around corner a little. Went in before Carol's Plaque. Visibility mostly 3-4 metres, some bits better. Warmer at 20C! Went very slowly down. Found the painted angler near Fin then a black striated anglerfish near rocks at 44 gallon drum. Not the same one we first saw 4 January and two other times since in different spots. There were two Parramatta nudis on STR and the sea dragon was back at its normal spot SW of the rocks. No RIF but Mandy found four PPHs on a rock I have never looked at just past SHR. Then to OHR and to the red PPH past AFR. Jumped from outcrop to outcrop and then to dark BBSH. Then to the two orange painted anglerfish. Back slowly from there. An orphan cowrie on a small cauliflower soft coral, a wobbegong shallower, two fiddler-rays nearer to Fin, two large octopus, three dwarf lionfish and some moray eels. A very good dive. Visibility very poor.

1 February 2024 - Inscription Point
A little bit of swell but easy in and out. No wind compared to last two days. Much better conditions, viz was 15 metres at least and 22C all dive. Swam into slight incoming tide, little surge. Mandy found a new BIA, sort of lemon colour. This was before LBR. She later found a grey one closer to exit. The white one is still in exactly the same spot where I first saw it on 3 November 2023. The grey one that has been on the same rock has moved to a nearby rock. Only three BBSHs, the first two and then another. Not that many PPH, I think we saw about six. Two honey-coloured okenia and a large short-tailed ceratasome. On the way back we saw a small wobbegong which had a fish hook in its mouth. I cut the sinker part off while Mandy held the line. Later a very active blind shark. No sea dragons but Mandy saw one near the end. A few lionfish, moray eels and small cuttlefish. A very good dive. Visibility good.

2 February 2024 - Bushrangers Bay, Shellharbour
Seven of us went to Shellharbour to dive the grey nurse sharks and then have lunch. Parking gone by 8:30 am but later some left. Went out to 6 metres and spent a lot of time there, plenty of sharks, but viz not great, perhaps 3-4 metres at the most, sometimes less. After 20 minutes went to 8 metres and then to 16 metres. Cleaner here but no sharks. Back to 6 metres and stayed there for 25 minutes before heading back. I counted at least 35 sharks, all juveniles with a few large females. Only one with a hook. Also saw half a dozen squid. Very nice dive again and good lunch at Waterfront Hotel. Visibility very poor on average.

6 February 2024 - Bare Island Right
Very heavy rain this morning, over 30 mm at my place and similar here. Wind had not come up much when we went in but was over 30 kts S at end. Still not hard to get in or out. Not too bad viz considering how large the seas were on Saturday when we had to cancel dive here for Carol's Anniversary. Did the normal dive, the three painted anglerfish are still in their relevant spots, although the one nearest the Cave has moved to the adjacent rock. Two Parramatta nudis, the sea dragon near STR, no RIF, some more PPHs, at least 7 all up, but a couple missing from last dive including Goldie. Four upsidedown pipefish, the ones I have seen recently. One small wobbegong, a nice nudibranch, the BBSH and an orphan cowrie. A nice dive despite conditions. Visibility poor. 

7 February 2024 - Lilli Pilli
Wind and seas up for quite a few days so no much choice in diving, got desperate. First dive since December 2022 when I found the gun and ammunition. Went around net which is brand new. Not a single bit of growth on it and no sea horses there or anywhere else. Went around wharf, found about 10 knives on the sand! Then back to corner pylon and then N-W. At 12 metres I found a large, 2 metre long stature of a diver. Has a real scuba tank on back on sand and a mask on forehead. I have never seen it before despite diving here numerous times and mostly going past this spot. From here to N to ledges and then NE and E to shallows. Then back at this depth to pool. Not much seen apart from a large whiting, a flathead, a few small bream near the pool and some other fish. Very boring! Will be a while before I come here again. Visibility very poor at depth but poor overall. 

8 February 2024 - Clifton Gardens
Wind and seas too big for most places so ventured over to the northside of Sydney Harbour. Went in from beach and out to net. Then along the net and through one of the 12 holes I saw big enough for a diver (and of course, a shark). Then under the wharf to end. Found a nice yellow striated anglerfish walking fast, then a gobby in a bottle. Lots of fish, bream, whiting and leatherjackets under the wharf. Plenty of large octopus too. A black striated anglerfish off SW side of the end of the wharf. Back under the wharf and got hooked by a bait catching line, twice! Cut the line both times. Then a Whites sea horse on a pylon and two more striated anglerfish, one yellow and one pale orange. Both these look a lot different to the normal ones we see. Then headed out to the newish concrete block reef. There is a statue of a diver here and then closer to net an Easter Island statue. Back to wharf, then along net to SW. A large pipefish. Then to the sea horse hotels, most have fallen totally apart. One sea horse on a newer one that has not collapsed. Then to net and back inside to the beach. Nice dive. Visibility poor and very poor in a couple of spots. 

9 February 2024 - Shiprock
Went in a little after we should have, very big difference between tides either side of high, 0.3 to 1.8 to 0.1. A bit of tide against us at first, but once at the large rock, it was with us but much diminished. Flooded my housing again, operator error. Camera okay. A dead starfish (maybe, eaten anyway) and a very dead stingray. Then to plaque, I used stainless steel wool to clean the graffiti on it that someone put there a bit over a week ago (JAYNE). Got rid of all but A. Tide stopped about 20 mins into the dive and restarted about 15 mins later, but very slight. Took some timelapse video with GoPro, moray eels, hermit crab, pineapplefish, catfish and sabretooth blenny. Back along the wall, five pineapplefish. Other than a lot of bream, whiting, leatherjackets and some schooling catfish, not a great deal there. Very easy dive. Visibility fair. 

25 February 2024 - Inscription Point
Club shore dive. First dive in 15 days as away in Victorian High Country. Almost high tide, easy in and out. Little current at all, some on the way back running in, but a fair bit of surge. Viz about 8 metres, 22C. Only had 170 bar to start, exited with 30 bar. Saw three big belly sea horses, six pygmy pipehorses, one Bare Island anglerfish. This was the grey one past Little Big Rock which has now taken up the spot the white one was living in for many months, although recently was on a nearby rock. Quite a few dwarf lionfish, at least 8 I think. Also saw an eagle ray at the start, one sea dragon (most seem to be in kelp now). A very nice dive. Visibility fair.

28 February 2024 - Barrens Hut/The Split
Boat dive on Phil's boat, MakCat still out of action and may never be used again. A bit sloppy and wind was not up till after the dive. A very slight current from the north. Lots of surge and also much sand floating, especially near the reef edge. Could see the boat very clearly from well over 20 metres. Anchored on flat area south of The Split southern end. Went thru Split to N and tried to find donut nembrothas, Only one, all the purple ascidians are gone, did not see any apart from the one the donut was on. Quite a few kingfish, lots of seapike, two wobbegongs and two PJs. The bastard trumpeters were not in usual spot as there was a large wobbie there. A good dive. Visibility generally good, but very poor in a couple of spots.

29 February 2024 - Bare Island Deep Wall
Flat as a tack, cannot get any better surface conditions. Just after low tide, so not much incoming current. Viz was at least 20 metres on the wall. Found two of the three BBSHs on the wall. Back normal way. No RIF, sea dragons, upsidedown pipefish or anglerfish. They all seem to have moved since my last dive here three weeks ago. The white PPH is still in same spot as it has been for months, but could not find any of the other ones I have seen recently. Lots of yellowtail, especially in the very shallow water. Two fiddler-rays, quite a few octopus and a couple of moray eels. One very large Parramatta nudi on main Sea Tulip Rock, a few fine-lined tambjas here and there. A jorunna nudi and a few more nice ones. Visibility very good deep but only fair shallower. 

2 March 2024 - Bare Island 15 Metre Reef
Last minute dive organised by me. No camera as housing has a small leak somewhere. Extremely flat but too many fishers at W point. Went in past Carol's Plaque. Went down via outside of reef and back via the wall and edge. Viz was 4-5 m shallow but 10 m at least near 15MR, only a little surge. Colder at 18C there too, 20C elsewhere. Could not find the three orange painted anglerfish but Jasmine found another E of Cave. No sea dragon or RIF either. Two fiddler-rays, a few dwarf lionfish, many octopus, a couple of moray eels. No Parramatta nudi at STR either. Some yellowtail out deeper. A really nice relaxing dive. Visibility fair. 

3 March 2024 - Inscription Point
Easy in and out, right at low tide. Viz about 8 m or so. Very slight incoming current on the way back. Found the black BIA that was at Exit Rock. It is now S of the two BBSHs which were actually on the rock next door to normal spot. Another yellow one on this rock too, but did not know that till after the dive. Five PPHs, the mirmara was on a rock on sand line. The grey BIA is in same spot as last time. Another BBSH in normal spot shallower. A few dwarf lionfish, octopus and moray eels. On the way back heaps of other divers, we were the first ones in. A very good dive. Visibility fair. 

8 March 2024 - Bare Island Isolated Reef 1
Went in from before Carol's plaque. Clean shallow, 5 m or so down to IR1 when dropped to less than 3 metres. A little surge. Went right around the sand edge to IR1 and then around it and back via the main reef. The sea dragon was in the normal spot, first time I have seen in a month or more. No RIF, only a couple of PPH. A couple of fiddler-rays, a large wobbegong, some moray eels and octopus. One octopus grabbed my arm when I went to pick up an old bottle! Re-found the orange painted anglerfish from Saturday on same rock. I checked photos, I first saw it in June 23 on OHR, then in July and August, then this year in January near Cave. The white PPH is gone after over four months. Only saw the gold one on top of the rock. A huge crayfish near the angler, biggest I have ever seen in Sydney. Back to exit, no sea dragon this time. Nice easy dive. Visibility poor and very poor on IR1.

9 March 2024 - Henry Head
Club dive day and BBQ. Two boats, 19 divers, I was on Greg and Shelly's new boat. Beautiful day but filthy water, despite reasonably flat seas. Anchored a bit to N of normal spot. Dirty all way down but far worse on bottom, lots of sand floating from big swell earlier in the week. Went SE then back, Didn't really see anything worth commenting on. At least the BBQ and socialising was good. Visibility very poor.

12 March 2024 - Bare Island Deep Wall
Very flat seas, went in off W point and headed S to wall. Came back along the wall, only one sea horse on rocks off the wall. Back to Nearly Deep Wall, a couple of very small pipefish in with a small moray eel. Went right around the outside of RIF Reef and then N to the end of 15 Metre Reef. Then across to SHC. The two PPH (gold/yellow) are on top of Block Rock, but the white one is definitely gone. Then back along wall. Two upsidedown pipefish and then another two. The orange painted anglerfish from last week is gone, not seen by others since Saturday. Lots of octopus, a few moray eels, a PJ and a horned shark, plenty of yellowtail. Also a few dwarf lionfish. Visibility fair but poor shallow.

14 March 2024 - Bare Island Isolated Reef 1
Very flat seas at entry but changed while down, swell up and W point was impossible then. Very surgy, even below 15 metres. Also very bad visibility, 2-3 metres at the most and cold 18C all the dive. Went around the sand edge. Three PPH on OHR, a horned shark, sea dragon in STR, quite a few yellowtail in places. The yellow and gold PPH on Block Rock were out of their hole. BBSH is still on its sponge. A few upsidedown pipefish seen as well. Other than that, not a very nice dive. Visbility very poor.

16 March 2024 - Clifton Gardens
Second trip here this year, wow! $10 an hour parking, $15 tolls, great value, NOT. Anyway, only ones here, relatively clean, 4 m or so. Went into pool and there is still one hole in the net large enough to swim through. Went through to the outside and then to wharf. Mistakenly went around the corner and realised was getting shallow. Turned around and went to the wharf. Zig-zagged to the end. Saw three striated anglerfish, two were next to each other, a small one and a very fat large one. There was another one I did not see. No sea horses. Went back from the end and then W and then to the net. Then followed the litter trail to the sea horse hotels. No sea horses on them, but saw a small yellow Whites near. Also a large tiger pipefish. Back to net and then inside and to E and then back W and followed the net and then back to shore. A nice dive, anglerfish the highlight. Visibility poor. 

23 March 2024 - Inscription Point
Club shore dive. Six members but one had reg free flow and left shortly after start. High tide and outgoing current, viz about 4-5 metre and 19C but then 20C after 30 minss. Quite surgy and exit had to be timed. Went to normal turnaround point. The two BBSH are still in same spot, a small grey BIA on rock next to where the white one was for months. Quite a few PPH, octopus, a small moray eel, a few dwarf lionfish, a half dozen squid. No sea dragons but a small school of yellowtail. Easy swim back into the current. Nice easy dive. Visibility fair. 

24 March 2024 - Bare Island Isolated Reef 1
High tide and some waves over the W point so could not go in there. Went in before Carol's Plaque. Dirty shallow, 3-4 m at most, but near IR1 was 10 -12 metres. Also in some spots on the way back. Mostly 20C but 19C in clearer water. Four PPH, one RIF, no sea dragon (was near orange sponges near Shortcut apparently) and no anglers. The brown BBSH is gone! Went around IR1 clockwise, little current if any. All through the dive there were large schools of yellowtail. Some small cuttlefish, moray eels and lots of octopus, including one in the cairn I have been building near exit. Also four upsidedown pipefish as we have seen on recent dives here. Nice easy dive, lots of divers despite rain. Visibility fair deep but poor elsewhere.

26 March 2024 - Shiprock
Forecast was for long period in ocean, but only small swell. Entered right on high tide, no current at all till the tide changed. Went from Pool down and over the Pyramid to last bommie. Then to Plaque and along the sand off wall. Found a black striated anglerfish past last small bommie. Then right along the wall to the wharf. One pineapplefish and a frogfish here. Back along wall, another two frogfish, a yellow spotted boxfish and two more pineapplefish, up higher than normal. Another one in the normal place. Back to exit but forgot I had set up my GoPro to do timelapse on a hermit crab. Had to go back into the current. Turned out it was boring footage. Then straight up to Pool, safety stop there. One of the better dives here in the past 10 years. Visibility fair. 

28 March 2024 - Inscription Point
Was supposed to dive SS Tuggerah on Peter Fields' boat but wind was 15-19 kts rather than the forecast 7 kts. Decided to solo dive here. Calm when I went in but a bit rougher exiting. Before high tide but no current at all. Viz around 8 metres, no surge and 20C. Found the black and pink BIA near the two BBSHs. Forgot to look last dive. A few squid near here, the BBSH and the other one later. No PPH at all. The grey BIA moved back to where the white one was before. A few nice nudibranchs, including a punk one. Also a large six-spined leatherjacket. Came back shallower and then went W a bit around the kelp islands. Found one sea dragon here. Then out. A nice easy dive. Visibility fair.

30 March 2024 - Bare Island Right
Club dive I organised on Thursday, 9 members. Went in before Carols Plaque and went normal way down. Visibility was only 3-4 metres, but warm 21C and no surge. Heaps of octopus out in the open. Found the RIF same place as last Sunday. Saw three PPH, including the yellow and gold ones on Block Rock. No sea horse but Gits found a yellow striated anglerfish just near BR. Saw five upsidedown pipefish and two tiny pipefish. Lots of yellowtail out near SHC. A few small cuttlefish, a horned shark but not many nudibranchs. Nice dive. Visibility poor.

31 March 2024 - Inscription Point
Not many divers around considering perfect weather and seas, only three others and later a few more. Viz was 4-5 metres and a bit of surge. Could not find the black/pink BIA near the two BBSHs, looked everywhere. Was there yesterday apparently. Also could not find the yellow/orange BIA on Little Big Rock but found the grey one past there, has moved from last Thursday to its original location on the other side of the rock. A few PPHs, some dwarf lionfish, the other BBSH but could not find the miramara nudibranch that was also said to be still around. Some yellowtail and had a numbray almost hit me in the head! Nice relaxing dive. Visibility poor.

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