My Recent Dives - March & April 2010
Posted by Michael on 03 March 2010 15:41
Wednesday 3 March 2010 - Barrens Hut/The Split
Club boat dive. Water warm and clear on top but dropped off on bottom. Big seas over past few days stirred up sand. Went along The Split and then south to the tunnel. Very hard to get through as at least a metre more of sand in there than normal. Lots of bastard trumpeters and seapike. Nice dive. Visibility fair but poor in spots.

Thursday 4 March 2010 - Oak Park to Bass and Flinders
Club night dive - 8 attending. Clean at first but then a lot dirtier. Went SE from back of pool to sand and then W. Ron found a small pygmy pipehorse (PPH) near start. A lot of small rays, some large cuttlefish, heaps of large squid. I found another larger PPH near channel marker. More fish at bass and Flinders. Quite a few large whiting near end and viz a lot better here. Visibility poor.

Saturday 6 March 2010 - Kiama Point
Club dive and camping weekend. Went in off pool, a bit rough, but okay. Did same dive as before. An eagle ray at start, lots of butterfish, yellowtail and some seapike. One fiddlerray out on sand, Kelly saw a moray eel, another eagle ray out here. Lots more small yellowtail in this area. Ended up going right into harbour and near wharf. Back to bay exit. Visibility good.

Saturday 6 March 2010 - Blue Pool
Club diving and camp weekend. This is a freshwater pool in Budderoo NP near Carrington Falls. Set up tents etc, had lunch and then geared up. Walked the short distance from campsite to pool. Pool is about 40 x 30 m and 4 m deep. Small yabbies all over the place, some "ladybug" things, other spider type species and more. No fish seen. A yabby trap, battery, bollard and some other junk, including a full beer bottle that Andrew later drank. Interesting and unique dive in NSW. Visibility poor.

Thursday 11 March 2010 - Shiprock
Club night dive. Raining as we entered the water. Very small high tide so little water movement. Moray eel on last outer rock as normal, one pipefish only. We did not see any anglerfish but Abyss divers saw two (black and hairy) off plaque rock. Lots of octopus and heaps of dead things: numbray, ray, large fish, a tiny baby wobbegong and even an octopus. I have never seen so many dead things. Two pineapplefish at end, one high S of Bubble Cave and one low off BC. We all got cold as little swimming, even though water warm. Visibility poor.

Saturday 13 March 2010 - Middle Ground
Was supposed to be Tuggerah, but seas way too rough. Very clean on top but got a bit dirtier at 29 metres. Kelly and I had to move Ian's anchor about 20 m to Was it had crossed over ours. Went right around the reef, lots of small yellowtail. A few leatherjackets, no wobbegongs. Visibility good.

Sunday 14 March 2010 - Bare Island Right
Club dive and BBQ. Too big to go off W end. Had a few problems at start as one diver was underweighted and Ian and I had to donate lead. When we got to 11 metres, ran into a group going the other way. After this, lost Ian and picked up someone else who was following me. Then realised Ian was not with us, not the other two. Went looking for them but only found Brian and Bob. Went to cave and then back. No sea dragons seen, a lot of blue dragons. Visibility fair till about 14 m and then poor.

Wednesday 17 March 2010 - SS Tuggerah
Made it here, first time in last 3 attempts! Millpond seas and slight current from N. Clean to 12 m (22C), then 3m of very dirty water, then clean but cold water (14.8C). Anchored right on stern. Went to bow and back. Quite a few cuttlefish, only one moray eel, not wobbegongs, lots of nannygai and small yellowtail and some large seapike. Jessica's first dive here so showed her all the bits including tools. Thousands of small purplish jellyfish on deco, everyone got stung except me. An excellent dive. Visibility very good.

Thursday 18 March 2010 - Bare Island Deep Wall
Club night dive. First dive here since December 2009. Visibility best we have had at Bare Island since then. Went of W point and headed SW to wall. Then S for a bit and back on incoming tide. Saw a small dwarf firefish on wall. Saw a few octopus, a squid, some large flathead, some saw a large wobbegong. Saw the concrete block and chain dumped by Energy Australia outside the cave (vandals!). Ron found a PPH back at 7 m. Visibility very good shallow, down to fair and poor rest of dive.

Sunday 21 March 2010 - SS Tuggerah
A bit more swell than Wednesday but no current at all. Very dirty from 12 to 17 m and dark as night on bottom. Lots of yellowtail all over the wreck. A few cuttlefish. Anchored in front of boiler. Went to prop and then to bow. Tried taking some photos, but I do not think they will come out as too dark. Very nice and easy dive. Visibility very good.

Thursday 25 March 2010 - Bare Island Left
Club night dive. Went in off the back left of island and then SE till sand. Followed this S. A bit dirty out here, maybe 3 m. Found one sea dragon and a few small pygmy leatherjackets. On the way back found a few yellow spiders and one fiddler-ray. Back level with the island the viz increased to at least 7 m and perhaps 10 m. The growth here does not appear to have been affected by the dredging as it is all luxurious. Exited near bridge. Visibility fair overall.

Sunday 28 March 2010 - Shiprock
Winds too strong yesterday to boat dive so decided to do Shiprock today. Did normal dive but did not get as far as normal as tide changed. Found the two pipefish as normal, two pineapplefish and then another one back near Bubble Cave. Lots of octopus and the moray eel on last bommie. Really nice dive. Visibility good.

Saturday 10 April 2010 - SS Tuggerah
Great to get back in the water after almost two weeks absence (due to poor weather and going 4WDriving over Easter). Very slight NW wind and slight current from S. Anchored first go about 15 m in front of boiler. Current right to bottom. Very clean and warm till 43 m and then dropped 2C and viz from 20 m to 12 m. Went to stern and then to bow and back to anchor. A few cuttlefish, some very inquisitive (almost breeding season). Excellent dive. Visibility good.

Sunday 11 April 2010 - Whale Watching Platform
Club dive day and BBQ. Did two runs out. Lots of large giant cuttlefish, most starting to look aggressive, mating season is coming. Two blue devilfish, a small Moorish idol and a butterflyfish. In sand, saw some tiny silver fish that darted up out and ate tiny shrimp or fish and then back into sand. So quick! A really great dive. Visibility excellent.

Thursday 15 April 2010 - Bare Island Deep Wall Drift
Club night dive. Very high incoming tide and a few waves. Went in off SE corner and headed S and then W to Deep Wall. Viz was at least 20 metres. Drifted back in. Thousands of prawns on whole dive, including 8 super large tiger prawns. A few squid. Lots of fish mating. After 23 mins water got dirty as we hit a backeddy. Much colder here too. Viz down to 5 m or so. Continue on. Some saw a pineapplefish on the sand, I saw a dwarf firefish but some saw up to 5. Also 4 sea dragons in normal spot. Started off as one of the best dives but dirty water made it less so. Visibility poor to very good. 

Saturday 17 April 2010 - SS Kelloe
My 400th dive over 40 metres. Took three goes to anchor as did not grip. Slight SW wind and no current on top but a slight current from NW on bottom. Anchored near rudder post. Went to prop, then along hull to engine, boiler, 2 winches, next winch and anchors. Then back via E side of wreck. Spent last few minutes near anchor. Could see surface from 50m! Best dive on Kelloe ever! Visibility very good.

Saturday 17 April 2010 - Inscription Point
Special Club night dive. Strongish incoming current. Went E for 30 mins. No sea dragons at all. One whites sea horse, 2 dwarf firefish, a new nudibranch, cuttlefish. Only took 22 mins to drift back. Visibility very good.

Friday 23 April 2010 - Fish and Chips - SWR
Strong current that changed direction a lot. Also warm 24C. Went to deep entrance gutter then out to Fish & Chips. Lots of bullseyes and ladder-finned pomfrets. Quite a few grey nurse sharks (GNS) here. A lot of small jewfish and a huge school of large kingfish. This came around a few times. Cross over to main shark gutter and more GNS. Strong current to swim back along gutter. Spent end of dive on wall of rock and near mooring. Excellent dive. Visibility very good.

Friday 23 April 2010 - Fish Rock Cave - SWR
Went over to deep entrance gutter and into cave. Medium ray at the end. Lots of crayfish, also a turtle eating stuff inside the cave. Lots of fish inside cave entrance. Went down gutter and got very strong current at drop-off. Ended up lost grip and went back over the ridge. Went to turtle hole and a tiny clown-trigger fish. Also another turtle. Back to mooring. Visibility very good.

Saturday 24 April 2010 - Fish and Chips - SWR
Little current. Went from 3rd mooring to deep entrance gutter and then to Fish and Chips. Huge amount of fishlife. Lots of jewfish on wall, silver sweep, yellowtail and ladder-finned pomfrets. An enormous school of large kingfish circled around us for ages. Lots of GNS, including a hunchbacked one. Visibility very good, but not as good as yesterday.

Saturday 24 April 2010 - Fish and Chips - SWR
Dropped right into the deep entrance gutter and then looked for John's weight pocket but could not find. Then to main gutter and to Turtle Hole. Baby clown triggerfish would not come out. Saw the 3 saw-toothed pipefish and firefish. Back to mooring. Visibility very good.

Sunday 25 April 2010 - Fish and Chips - SWR
Again went to Fish and Chips before crossing over to the southern blind gutter. As many fish as yesterday but less kingfish. In blind gutter at least 10 GNS. Also saw some of the saw-toothed pipefish in the crack at the end of the gutter. Then to mooring. Visibility very good.

Sunday 25 April 2010 - The Aquarium - SWR
Went over to the wall SW of moorings and then to Aquarium. Very strong current here, lots of fish. Had to hit a wobbegong that was getting too close. Lots of wobbies out here. Back to Turtle Hole and got some great shots of the baby clown-triggerfish. Then back to mooring. Visibility very good.

Thursday 29 April 2010 - Bare Island Deep Wall Drift
Club night dive. Went in off back left and to S and W till hit the sand. Visibility here at least 25 m. Drifted in. Ron found a pygmy pipehorse and there were a couple of dwarf firefish. Near the swim-through hit colder and dirty water. Water temp before was 24C and dropped to about 19C. Viz now only 5 m. Once back near 15 m reef improved to 7 m. Here we found a large mooring block and another pile of chain. Must be for the cable dredging. At sea horse corner viz now 10 m and outside cave went to 25+ m. As good viz as you will ever get. However, a strong current coming from bridge area. Quite a few squid, some huge tiger prawns and more. Nice dive. Visibility excellent overall.

For more details about these dives and other dives this year, click here.