My Recent Dives - November & December 2017
Posted by Michael on 01 November 2017 00:00
3 November 2017 - The Split 
First dive after sailing trip, two months since last dive. Mak Cat went good, but steering was frozen yesterday and took some work to free up. A bit of swell running but rolling. Anchored second go a S end of The Split. Les and I went N along Split and then outside to N a short distance. A large donut nembrotha here and just S another one and a sea dragon with eggs. Lots of large leatherjackets all over the place and a few PJs. Kelly dived with Cody who was doing his first boat dive with the club. Two other boats did SS Tuggerah and had a great dive. A really good dive to get back into Sydney diving. Visibility very good.

9 November 2017 - Middle Ground
Club boat dive. BIg rolling swell, some at least 3 metres. Anchored on NW corner, huge amount of fishlife, especially yellowtail. Went almost right around, cut W and E sides a bit due to sand floating there. A bit of surge, but much better than expected. A medium sized bullray, a six-spined leatherjacket, plenty of blue groper and morwong. A really good dive, Cody's deepest to date. Visibility very good.

11 November 2017 - Pizza Reef
Club boat dive. The swell had dropped a bit but still long rolling. A bit of surge on bottom, but okay. Anchored on S side, three donut nembrothas on flat rock here. Went around the reef, a medium wobbegong and cuttlefish on NE corner. About 20 bastard trumpeters outside cave, a large school of seapike to N of here. A really nice dive, the wave period was about 11 seconds rather than the predicted 15 seconds, so surge was manageable. A very good dive. Visibility good.

13 November 2017 - Barrens Hut
Went out on Phil's boat, a bit sloppier than recent trips and also not as clean and colder (17.9C). Anchored near Cave, went N to bastard trumpeters, then outside to S. Went out on sand a bit. Then to Tunnel and back to Cave. Ended up on shallower section to W under boat. Lots of trumpeters, red morwongs and also some blue morwongs. A couple of mirror leatherjackets and a medium sized cuttlefish. Down in holes between boulders about 1 to 1.5 degrees warmer. A good dive. Visibility good. 

18 November 2017 - Bare Island Deep Wall
First dive here for over 7 months. Cancelled boat dive due to strong NE winds. Five members attending. Went in off W point. Right on high tide, no current. Kelly found 2 pygmy pipe horses on deep wall and a big belly sea horse. A RIF on RIF Reef, another 2 at 12 m. Lots of nudibranchs, heaps of purple dragons and an orange/black spot one. A couple of horned sharks. A really good dive. Visibility good.

19 November 2017 - Henry Head
Club dive day at La Perouse, 3 boats and about 25 divers. Wind was suppsoed to be NE but was SE, got a bit sloppy. Anchored on W side, went S into slight current. Saw 4 sea dragons, Kelly found lots of colouorful sea spiders. Plenty of black reef leatherjackets. Very cold again like yesterday, but clear water. The sponge life here is better than ever. Great dive and day. Visibility good.

20 November 2017 - Bare Island Right
Went in from Carol's plaque. Two small orange anglerfish, one on Sea Tulip Rock, the other the other just past Sea Horse Rock. A PPH near the first one. Lots and lots of nudibranchs, many species, including some tamjas, flabellinas and more. Two RIF on way back as well. A huge bullray in 6 metres. Cold again, but a bit warmer than last few days (16.6C). Did 76 mins, lot warmer shallower than 10 m. Very good dive. Visibility good deep, poor shallow.

22 November 2017 - JD Reef 1 - Northern
Club boat dive. We decided to have a look at the new artificial reefs located SE from Barrens Hut. The GPS co-ordinates given on Fisheries web site are not real accurate. It seems the reef has been made up of 3 and 4 structures set out in a cross pattern. We were on the western set of 3 on the northern reef. A bit of growth already on the concrete. Some flathead and a few other fish around. We will need to link them up with rope if we are to dive here as I could not find any more. They are said to be in a 100 x 100 m area, so it must be about 40 m from one set to the nearest one. It was very dirty on top and also to the E. Will dive again once we have found some old rope. Visibility good.

24 November 2017 - Bare Island Deep Wall
Went in from W point, then SW as normal. Went around the bit off here and then back. Saw lots of different species of nudibranchs, especially blue dragons and red-lined flabellina, dozens of them, all on their host hydroid. Three RIF, two on RIF Reef, 2 tiny orange anglerfish and 1 tiny hairy orange anglerfish. A PPH (a strange colour, very white), 3 spiny gurnards, an eastern blue devilfish with guarding eggs laid yesterday. A great dive. Visibility good everywhere but shallow.

25 November 2017 - Tupia Point
Tried to dive behind Long Bay Rifle Range but too slppoy due to waves coming back from rock platform. Water cold again, 16.3C. Went NE along sand and then back a bit shallower. Then once back at anchor, to SW for a bit and looped back via shallows. Lots of swim thoughs and small gullies shallower. Not a great deal of life, saw three kingfish, a cuttlefish, quite a few black reef leatherjackets, some small schools of yellowtail and one-spot pullers. Found a sea dragon just as we started to ascend. Only a reasonable dive. Visibility fair.

1 December 2017 - Bare Island Isolated Reef 1
Went in off W point and NNW to 15 m Reef. Talk about a jellyfish dive! So many on IR1 that we could not see the seafloor or each other, even though viz was generally 10 m. Too many jellies to go around IR2, so we cut over to S side (outgoing tide). Jellies dropped off over there though we encountered them again back on main reef for about 30 m. Saw lots of nice rarer nudibranchs, the three orange anglerfish, including the hairy one, a RIF and more. A nice dive, despite the 16.4C water deeper (18.5C above 12 m). Visibility good.

2 December 2017 - Bare Island Deep Wall
Club dive was not organised but ended up very strong NE. Went off W point to SW. A bit of a current here so did not go further S as normal. Kelly refound the big belly sea horse and 3 PPH she found a few weeks back. On RIF Reef quite strong outgoing current. Lots of nudibranchs, especially red-lined flabellinas. Found the 3 small anglerfish like yesterday. No RIF though. The eggs are still being guarded by eastern blue devilfish. Strange current behind us all the way back from first cave to exit, never had this before in almost 500 dives here. Cold again, 15.9C. Great dive. Visibility good. 

13 December 2017 - Pizza Reef
Club boat dive. A small swell from NE but no wind. Dirty on top but up to 20 m viz on bottom. A few bastard trumpeters and red morwong NE of cave, a donut nembrothra just S of cave. Three more at S end on flat rock. A lot of silver sweep at S end and SE corner had hundreds of good sized seapike. A few black reef leatherjackets and one medium sized cuttlefish. A very nice dive considering the weather the past 10 days or so. Visibility very good.

16 December 2017 - Barrens Hut/The Split
Club boat dive. Very sloppy seas, with largish NE swell and SE and E seas. Blue water, at least 20 m viz. Went along Split to N and then back on reef edge. Found 5 donut nembrothas on flat rock just S of the end. Another one near S end of Split. A lot of black reef leatherjackets and some six-spined leatherjackets. Quite a few bastard trumpeters in normal spot, a few blue gropers, one asleep. Excellent dive. Visibility very good.

20 December 2017 - Barrens Hut/The Split
Much calmer than Saturday but a slight current from N on the surface and a little also on bottom. Water warmer but only 10-12 m viz. Anchored only a metre from Saturday. Went along The Split to N end but no donut nembrothas where we found 5. None anywhere else, where the hell can they go in only a few days? Went right down to The Tunnel and then The Cave. A few black reef leatherjackets and the normal bastard trumpeters near anchor, with red morwong and a six-spined leatherjacket mixed in with them. Visibility good.

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