My Recent Dives - January/February 2010
Posted by Michael on 03 January 2010 18:25
Sunday 3 January 2010 - Shiprock
Never seen so many divers here, but they ALL went in way too early and would have had to battle back against the current. Found 1 black anglerfish, 3 pipefish and 2 pineapplefish. Lots of yellowtail, some nice whiting, one huge flathead and lots of cuttlefish. Great dive. Visibility excellent.
Wednesday 6 January 2010 - Pizza Reef
Club dive. Southerly hit about 6:30 am but dropped off very quickly. When we got outside it was only just over 20 kts. Lots of yellowtail, some seapike, all the usual bastard trumpeters. Could see the boat from 26 m. Excellent dive. Visibility very good.
Wednesday 6 January 2010 - Shiprock
Low tide. Went looking for the anglerfish that we saw on Sunday. Could not find it. Only found one pipefish. Found a couple of moray eels and a mosaic eel. Then, Kelly found another larger black anglerfish just S of bubble cave. Also a nudibranch we had never seen before. Visibility very poor.
Thursday 7 January 2010 - Camp Cove
Club night dive. Went to block reef. Used the new LED head for Kelly's torch. Excellent. Lots of small cuttlefish. Heaps of sand moved from the S side of the reef. Quite a few fish around. When heading from block reef to N shore, found some tiny 4 mm long "things" on kelp. May have been tiny shrimp like thingos. Then found Mark R's anchor and followed chain to his yacht. Then to N shore. Very dirty around here. Back to beach, found 7 Whites sea horses on rocks. Visibility poor.
Saturday 9 January 2010 - SS Undola
Flat seas and no wind so decided to go to Undola rather than Tuggerah. Anchored first go, went straight down but cross-over line had somehow got connected to O2 rather than deco line. Stopped to fix. Cold on bottom but very clean. Lots of fish, mostly at bow. Heaps of moray eels and one conger eel in boiler. Lots of bailer shells and eggs. Lost knife on deco. Excellent dive. Visibility very good.
Sunday 10 January 2010 - Middle Ground
Club dive with 5 boats and 25 divers. No wind and no current. Quite a few seapike and yellowtail. No wobbegongs. Went right around reef, could see bottom at 32 m from 13 m. Strong S came up while we were down. Nice dive. Visibility good.
Monday 11 January 2010 - Bare Island Isolated Reefs
Twilight dive. Went in off W point and headed W. Ever shit yourself on a dive? I nearly did. A huge seal came flying out of the gloom right at me before going over my head and then to Kelly. Scared the living bejesus out of us. This happened on 15 m reef. Then saw a red indianfish. At start of IR1 found a small yellow big belly sea horse. Two sea dragons on IR2 and two more on Right side, one with eggs. Lots of small fish out IR2. A couple of eels, a bream with a fresh bite, some small cuttlefish. Excellent dive. Visibility fair.
Wednesday 13 January 2010 - Six Fathom Reef
Club dive. A very strong S came up as I arrived at the boat ramp. Well over 15 kts on water. Saw 2 long-snouted boarfish and 1 giant boarfish. Jo saw a blue devilfish, we also saw lots of seapike, sweep, etc. Some octopus, an eel, a few six-spined leatherjackets. Visibility good.
Thursday 14 January 2010 - Clifton Gardens
Club night dive, 16 divers. Went across towards Chowder Bay and hit the huge mooring chain. Found a small black anglerfish here. Followed the chain to buoy and then out along ech of the other 2 legs. Found some small octopus and moray eels. Then back the way we came to wharf. Kelly found another larger black anglerfish on the SE corner of pool. Quite a few sea horses. Found a blue-ringed octopus along the S edge of pool. Back towards beach, Kelly saw another one in mid-water. Others saw 2 separate yellow anglerfish. Good dive. Visibility poor.
Saturday 16 January 2010 - Pizza Reef
Club boat dive, 5 boats and 24 divers. Almost millpond seas, no wind. Bastard trumpeters split half near cave and rest S end of gap. Huge numbers of seapike all over the reef. Kelly found a red pygmy pipehorse just past cave. Also a blue devilfish S side. Quite cold on bottom but clearer and warmer above 10 m. Visibility good.
Sunday 17 January 2010 - The Leap
Club shore dive, 18 attending. Very slight incoming tide. Kelly found a nudibranch with a tiny 3 mm long shrimp on it. I saw 13 sea dragons, one with missing tail and another with a tail with an S in it. Heaps of purple dragons, a large school of striped catfish and all normal fish. Cold on bottom but clear, warm and dirty on top. Easy dive. Visibility good.
Saturday 23 January 2010 - One Spot Reef
Flat seas, amazing considering 6m when we went out on Wed. This site is about 130 m N of The Cutting. We have only dived here before when doing a drift S from Underwater Wilderness. Huge numbers of one spot pullers, hence the name. Lots of boulders that would be great to explore in better viz. Visibility poor.
Sunday 24 January 2010 - Bare Island Right
High tide was after 3 pm so went diving after 1pm thinking would get clean water. Wrong! Seas up from yesterday's southerly so had to swim from before pool. Viz was not too bad to start with. Saw 2 long-snouted boarfish at shark's fin. At about 11 m viz went from 5 m to about 1.5m. Found a sea dragon at 14 m. Decided to turn back as too dirty to see anything. Found a small eel, not much else. Visibility shithouse.
Monday 25 January 2010 - SS Tuggerah
No wind, no current, flat seas. Very overcast. Dark on bottom, like night. Shaun's first dive here (he found a flooded Oceanic Geo computer). We needed torch whole dive. Anchor in front of boiler. Went to prop and then along hull bottom to bow. A lot of medium cuttlefish along here. At bow a lot more showing as sand missing. Back to anchor, moved to boiler and then up. Visibility very good.
Tuesday 26 January 2010 - Inscription Point
Club Australia Day dive and BBQ. Went east with tide, very slight. Found a pygmy pipehorse, Kelly found some tiny flea type things in Gabo Island soft coral. Lots of purple dragons. Saw a blue morwong being harassed by yellowtail. Three sea dragons, but others saw more. Visibility fair.
Saturday 30 January 2010 - Kiama Point
Club weekend away at Kiama. Very strong S so could not take the boats out. Started E of pool and went N and NW to sand and then W and SW till back near wall. Then S into harbour and out at end of wall. Saw two large bullrays, lots of luderick, one-spot pullers, some bream, heaps of yellowtail, some sweep. One sea dragon on sand. Nice dive. Visibility very good.
Sunday 31 January 2010 - The Olgas
Wind dropped last night so could get out. This site is off Minnamurra, found with depth sounder. Huge boulders with smaller ones in between on sand. Some were 5 m high. Lots of sea squirts, sponges and gorgonias on the boulders. Good fishlife including one made-up phyllodesium nudibranch. An excellent new site. Visibility good.
Sunday 31 January 2010 - Blind Shark Reef
Found this when running out to dive 1. A small reef that sits on sand coming up from 16 m to 10 m. Shear on E side. Huge school of yellowtail around, a number of blind sharks, mado, lots of sweep, one sea dragon, one short-tailed ceratosoma nudibranch.Visibility good.
Thursday 4 February 2010 - Shiprock
Club night dive. Low tide, but nowhere else to dive due to big seas. Visibility okay considering tide. Very little current, in fact appeared to work as per high tide. Warmest dive I have ever done in Sydney, 24.4C. Found two pineapplefish at normal spot and someone found one near Bubble Cave. Found the two pipefish at same spot as usual. No anglerfish. One huge octopus and some smaller ones, a few small cuttlefish. Two vercos nudibranchs. Nice dive. Visibility fair.
Saturday 6 February 2010 - Shiprock
Club deep dive cancelled due to large seas. Low tide again, very similar to Thursday. The two pineapplefish and two pipefish seen. No anglerfish. Two vercos nudibranchs, one laying eggs. A huge flathead and some seapike. Nice dive. Visibility fair.
Sunday 7 February 2010 - Shiprock
Club boat dive cancelled due to seas. Low tide and same dive as last two. 8 members, saw the same things as yesterday. Looks like we will end up doing 5 dives here over the 10 days. A little more current, but less than normal nigh tide. No anglerfish. A small moasic eel and a moray eel on the bommie off plaque. Nice dive. Visibility fair.
Thursday 11 February 2010 - Shiprock
Club night dive. 13 members dived. A bit dirty at the start but much better after plaque. Two pipefish as previous dives, only one pineapplefish but John saw two there. Went out to the pylon/pile and it has moved W and is now at right angles to reef. Then to ET's boat pen. Back at 35 minutes. Saw a wobbegong, lots of small cuttlefish, another pineapplefish, a cuttlefish eating a fortescue and many whiting. Very nice dive, at least 24C. Visibility fair.
Saturday 13 February 2010 - SS Tuggerah
Club deep dive. About 10 - 12 kts SSW, rain and no current. Anchored first go near prop. Found Les's weight belt that I lost on 25 Jan. Went to bow, lots more sand than last dive. Also an anchor and chain and a very thick rope that I had not seen before. Back to boiler, engine and anchor. Lots of cuttlefish. A huge jellyfish on deco with 40 fish in it. Very nice dive. Visibility very good.
Sunday 14 February 2010 - Shiprock
Club dive, about 20 attending. Did normal dive, saw the pipefish and pineapplefish. Nick found a yellow anglerfish near N end of the last bommie. Some decorator crabs. All the normal fish. A good easy dive. Despite lots of rain last week and last night, viz about 10 m. Visibility good.
Wednesday 17 February 2010 - Shiprock
Too rough to take the boat out. Had 7 members diving. Saw the pipefish and pineapplefish, but no anglerfish. Saw the other pineapplefish near Bubble Cave. Quite a few wobbegongs and octopus. Easy dive. Very warm water again, a bit dirtier than Sunday. Visibility poor.
Saturday 20 February 2010 - Osborne Shoals
Club dive. A bit of a swell running and surgy. Kelly had ear problems and could not get down. Not many fish around, but a wobbegong almost hit me in head and then almost got Carol. Lots of fish around the W side. Visibility poor.
Sunday 21 February 2010 - SS Undola
Tried to dive Tuggerah but a current of 4 km/h meant no way! A very slight current here when we arrived but it disappeared. Anchored on bow. Ron's first dive here. Very cold on bottom, 14C. Most fish I have seen on a wreck in Sydney for at least two years. A few wobbegongs, some eels and bailer shells. Put the flooded Oceanic Geo computer Shaun found on Tuggerah on 25 January on this wreck. Excellent dive. Good visibility.
Thursday 25 February 2010 - Bare Island Right
Club night dive - 10 members present. Largish swell rolling in so had to go in off before pool. Water quite clean here. However, once we got to 10 metres near where you first see PPH, visibility dropped to less than a metre. Went on about 10 metres but got worse. Turned around and came back. A huge 18 minute dive. At least the water was warm and pizza and beer after good. Visibility very shithouse.
Saturday 27 February 2010 - SS Hilda
Raging current and decided not to dive here. However, anchor was stuck and I had to dive to free. Current all the way to the bottom. Had to pull myself along to anchor after dropping over when boat was forward from anchor. Freed anchor and took off south. Once over the wall, could let the anchor go. Took 6 minutes to ascend, in which time the boat went 380 metres. This means a current of 3.8 km/h, or about 2 knots. Visibility very good.
Saturday 27 February 2010 - Voodoo
Club boat dive, 3 boats. Supposed to be SS Hilda but too strong a current there. Quite dirty here, but at least little current. Quite cold right on bottom. Some nice nudibranchs, a few schools of fish, one small kingfish. Only a fair dive. Visibility poor.
Sunday 28 February 2010 - Shiprock
Was going to do Tuggerah but after the raging current yesterday, thought it would be a waste of time. Ended up with 10 members diving here. Forgot computer at home. Found only one pipefish, but others saw two more N of normal spot. Went to fishtrap and with Greg, we broke the trap and freed the rockcod. Took a couple of months to rust the metal through. Should not catch any more fish. On the way back I found a yellow anglerfish just near the pipefish. Great! Even though a veyr large tide, current was very slight both ways. Lots of fish around. Nice and warm. Visibility good
For more details about these dives and other dives this year, click here.