My Recent Dives - November & December 2013
Posted by Michael on 02 December 2013 00:00
2 November 2013 - SS Tuggerah
Club deep dive. Only three on boat as someone forgot it was on today! Calm seas and warmish blue water, very slight current from N and NNW wind. Anchored first go. Was on prop so went to bow and back. Gary found a RIF at bow, first I have ever seen here. Used new Sony and took some nice panoromic photos, works great. Almost as good as it gets on the Tuggerah. Visibility excellent.

7 November 2013 - Shiprock
Half day so went diving! Very high tide but not that much current. Blue water and at least 10 m viz. Saw three large kingfish, lots of luderick and small bream and snapper. One huge flathead. Four pineapplefish before bubble cave. Lots of opera house nudis and a few octopus and small cuttlefish. Nice dive. Visibility good.

7 November 2013 - Bare Island Deep Wall
Club night dive, 8 attending. Flat as so went off W point to SW. Just after low tide but viz was at least 10 m out there. Back normal way. Saw one RIF on RIF Reef and two more on 15 m Reef. Lots of small squid, opera house nudis and purple dragons. Someone saw one PPH. A bit dirtier back about 13 m and then clean again. Very good dive. Water warm again at almost 20C. Visibility good.

9 November 2013 - Pizza Reef
Club boat dive. Much better conditions than forecast, with no wind and a small NE swell. Blue water again, could see boat from over 20 m, but 19C on top and only 15.5C on bottom. Not as many bastard trumpters as normal. Very easy and nice dive, but nothing special except for the viz. Visibility very good.

10 November 2013 - Inscription Point
Yesterday 33C air and 15.6C water. Today, 15C air and 19.5C water, amazing changes. Jason found a yellow Bare Island anglerfish that looked like a small sponge. Amazing camoflage. No sea dragons or PPH, lots of nudibranchs, including a few rarer ones. Very easy dive. Visibility fair.

14 November 2013 - Bare Island Deep Wall
Club night dive. Went in off W point and SW to wall. Very dirty so we did not go S. Three firefish, lots of small squid, a huge flounder, lots of opera house nudis. That is about it. We all ended up separated at about 13 m on the way back. Some ended up at W point. Would have been better off not diving. Visibility poor.

16 November 2013 - Inscription Point
Poured rain last night with thunder, lightning and hail so cancelled boat dive. A bit of swell but not too bad. Kelly found a PPH but I could not refind the anglerfish from last week. Viz better than expected. Outgoing current was not too bad. Okay dive. Visibility fair.

17 November 2013 - Shiprock
Club dive. Awful weather continues, rain. However, water a blue colour and pretty clean. Did the normal dive and found a wobbegong, a dead numbray, 5 pineapplefish, moray eels, octopus, seapike and more. Very easy and nice dive. Visibility good.

20 November 2013 - Bare Island Deep Wall
Very dirty on top after the 160+ mm rain in the past week. However, below about 4 m it cleared up and on the bottom was at least 7 m. Dived at the top of the tide. Kelly found 2 PPHs and then a RIF. Some nudis as normal and a very friendly blue groper that followed us for a while. A few large octopus as well. A much better dive than I though it would be. Visibility fair.

21 November 2013 - Bare Island Deep Wall
Club night dive, 8 divers. Went off W point and to wall. Then S and around rocks. Could not find PPH from yesterday. Lots of dwarf firefish though, at least 5. Found another RIF near where the one was seen yesterday and then another at 13 m. Lots of nudis again, including a type I do not think I have seen before. Very dirty when we got in and above 6 metres on the way back, but elsewhere nice. Good dive. Visibility fair.

23 November 2013 - M&K Reef
Club boat dive, 4 boats. However strong surface current so rest dived Minmi Trench. The current only went down to 5 m and then was very mild. Cold on bottom (16.2C) but very clear. Had Mike from California with us doing his first Aussie dive. Showed him sea dragon, pygmy pipehorse and 2 blue devilfish. An excellent dive. Funnily, the current disappeared totally by the time second group came back to safety stop. Visibility very good.

24 November 2013 - Shiprock
High tide dive, on top you could see very clean water from ocean but dirty water from river. Under, it was not too bad even in the shallows considering the rain over past 2 weeks. Kelly found a small pipefish and then a small octopus that acted like a blue-ring (but was not). Lots of small cuttlefish, 3 pineapplefish, schooling catfish and one frogfish. Best dive here this year I think. Kelly and I were the only divers here! Visibility good.

28 November 2013 - Bare Island Isolated Reef 1
Club night dive, 12 attending. Went in from W point and headed W to 15 m Reef. Then to IR1. Near the join with IR2 there was one RIF, but Maxine said she saw 4 by then! Went between the 2 reefs to S side and along IR2 for a bit. Found another RIF here. Then back to IR1 and 3 more seen in the gap (some saw 4). On the way back saw some squid and dwarf firefish. Also a large prawn next to a moray eel, I would have liked to wait to see if it got eaten. Then back normal way. One more RIF back near 44 gallon drum. I saw 6 RIF, but there must have been about 10 seen all up. Most we have ever seen. A good dive, with viz reasonable considering outgoing tide. Visibility fair overall, but some spots quite good.

1 December 2013 - The Monuments
Club Xmas Party. Over 30 diving, conditions looked good as we entered water, but got dirtier as we went out to the wall. A bit better there, turned left and headed west against the tide. Soon it was terrible, viz dropping to less than 2 metres. We went on for a while but it did not get better, so we turned left and went shallower. Not much better. Here Kelly found a yellow big belly sea horse. Then went left again and eventually we decided to end the dive and swim into shallows. A terrible dive. Visibility shithouse.

4 December 2013 - Bare Island Deep Wall Drift
Half day in the morning so went for a dive with Kelly. Went off SE corner and around to the Deep Wall. Blue water and almost 20 m viz in parts. Got a bit worse as we moved in, but was still good. Kelly found 2 PPH. No RIF at all, but a few different nudis. I found a PJ egg that was open. Inside was a tiny 50 mm long PJ still attached to the egg yolk. It was swimming around. Closed it back up. Amazing sight, hope my photos come out. Nice dive. Visibility good.

7 December 2013 - Shiprock
Cancelled boat dive due to big seas - was not too bad apparently but awful viz so made right call in the end. About 13 members dived, 3 from a boat! At the first bommie I found a 30 mm long black anglerfish, very cute. Current was very weird, it was a 1.9 m tide from a 0.3 low, tide was running from wall out to last bommie instead of to SW. Past this it behaved better. Saw a few octopus, some moray eels, 5 pineapplefish, a few large whiting. A fair dive. Visibility fair.

14 December 2013 - Inscription Point
My 800th dive with Kelly!. Once again cancelled the club boat dive due to weather. Very strong S winds. Visibility was at least 15 metres, amazing as Thursday night at Bare Island they had 1-2m. Outgoing tide, not too strong. Jason found a BI anglerfish and Nicolas a tiny velvetfish. All the normal nudis, lots of ladder-finned pomfrets and luderick in shallows. Nice relaxing dive. Visibility very good.

15 December 2013 - Shiprock
About 12 members and friends present. Very clean water like yesterday, at least 15 m, about as good as it gets here. The anglerfish could not be found. A few moray eels, including one on the last bommie with a big bit missing from its lower jaw. Current was very slight so did not end up going as far as normal. Four pineapplefish, a frogfish (normal one), a spotted moray, Eddie's yellow tropical fish and more. Very nice dive. Visibility very good.

18 December 2013 - Pizza Reef
Club boat dive. What a dive! Flat seas, little wind and no current. Warm water, viz of more than 20 metres and lots to see. Yellowtail, seapike all over the place, one spot pullers, bastard trumpeters and more. Then on our safety stop, a large seal came up to is and spent almost 10 minutes with us. It came so close to me I could have touched its face. It was surfacing within a foot of the back of the boat as well. Amazing experience. A brilliant dive. Visibility excellent.

19 December 2013 - Bare Island Deep Wall Drift
Club night dive, 11 attending. Went in off SE corner and S and W to Deep Wall. Drifted back in on the tide. Found a RIF soon after start. Another past the "bubbles" and then a PPH on the rock off the wall. A dwarf firefish, then a sea horse. Others saw 1 and then 3 more sea horses on the ledge above. On 15 m Reef one more RIF. Lots more seen, including lots of squid and a few large flounder. Very nice dive to end the night diving for the year. Visibility very good deep. 

21 December 2013 - The Leap
Another Saturday, another day of too strong winds and rough seas, so shore diving only. Nice incoming tide meant we did not have to swim hardly at all. I found a sea horse and then another next to it. Kelly found some fine-lined tamjas, have not seen any for a long time. Another sea horse, a sea dragon and a tiny yellow boxfish. Some also saw two upsidedown pipefish (one with eggs) and the Bare Island anglerfish near exit. A very good dive, with at least 15 m viz. Visibility very good.

22 December 2013 - The Leap
Another dive here after yesterday's great dive. Viz not as good but even more seen. Refound the 2 sea horses and then another 2. Kelly found 3 PPH and fine-lined tampjas. I saw 4 sea dragons, one a small one from yesterday. I also found the Bare Island anglerfish, easy to find once you know the spot. Some others also saw some painted anglerfish. A great dive. Visibility good.

23 December 2013 - Bare Island Deep Wall Drift
Five dives in six days, all excellent. Today went in off SE corner like Thursday night. Good incoming current for all the deep section of the dive. Found a RIF out deep, Kelly had already found a PPH. Another found E of bubbles. Back near where we found the five sea horses, there were only two. One was a very pregnant male and when photos were later examined, it was giving birth. Brilliant! Another RIF on RIF Reef and one more on the 15 m Reef. This is the one with the damaged head-dress we saw a few times in November. It is repairing itself. A huge bullray in about 8 m, more PPH, lots of different nudibranchs, dwarf firefish and more. We are so lucky to dive in Sydney. Visibility very good.

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