My Recent Dives - October, November December 2022
Posted by Michael on 01 October 2022 00:00

22 October 2022 - Bare Island Right

First dive in 7 weeks after hurting my ear. Overcast and strong N wind, but calm here. Went in at Carol's Plaque (need to clean it!). Only got down to near First Cave. No problems with ear at all. Drysuit leaked again, this time through a repair. Some current near Cave and also very dirty for about 20 metres before there. Viz reasonable considering the rain of past few weeks, 4 metres or so. The tiny painted anglerfish is still in the same place as early August when it was found. Now about 40 mm long. A pineapplefish under SHR, four moray eels, two crested horn sharks, one wobbie, one frogfish. Still no RIF or PPH. Quite a few nice nudibranchs. Good dive. Visibility fair.

23 October 2022 - Bare Island 15 Metre Reef

Similar conditions to yesterday but far less wind and cooler water. Went in before Carol's Plaque and then via Shortcut to above Deep Wall. Then back via sand and 15 Metre Reef. Quite a few PJs out here on sand. More nice nudibranchs too, including red-lined flabellina. Two tiger pipefish and a small ornate ghost pipefish under small overhang at SHC. A bit of a current against us on 15 Metre but then behind us going back. Saw the same things as yesterday except for the frogfish. Another very nice dive. Visibility fair.

29 October 2022 - Tumbledowns

Lots of rain in past week and also huge seas in middle of the week. Water very green and dirty, 4-5 metres at the best. Calm when we got out there but wind went SW instead of W and over 20 kts, got very sloppy. Went to S and then back past anchor to N a bit and back. A few small schools of yellowtail, some nudibranchs and Kelly found a large purple/silver pygmy pipehorse. Only tiny bit of water in drysuit. Not the best dive. Visibility poor.

3 November 2022 - The Monuments

Dive with Donna, Ron recovering from more skin cancer removals. W wind blowing which dropped off during dive, millpond seas, low tide 1045, no current at all till last 35 mins. Dirty on top but 4-5 m below. Went E for 23 mins and then back past entry and back again. No sea dragons, sea horses or anglerfish. A few interesting nudibranchs, a friendly blue groper and at the end a tiny orange bug of some sort. Got very wet again, think it is the neck seal that is leaking, will glue up and see next dive. Nice easy dive. 

5 November 2022 - SS Tuggerah

Club deep wreck dive for Bill Rowland memorial, 4 boats but one went to Undola. Flat seas, little wind, very slight current from S. Had to wait till Abyss left, but their anchor stuck so I had to free it. Kelly did not dive as she broke the insert on tank valve! My anchor was on sand E of boiler so hooked into a small piece of wreckage. Went to bow to release the anchor and then realised I had lost my torch. Maxine found it. Back to stern and then to anchor. Lost Maxine, she went up Phil's anchor. Not a great dive due to very dirty water on way down, dirty on bottom and no torch. Visibility poor.

8 November 2022 - Inscription Point

Went in just after high tide. Little wind and calm seas. Back to wetsuit, was not too cold even though I forgot my undergarment. At least 10 metre visibility. Went E for 40 minutes, very little current the whole dive. Saw five sea dragons, none on sand. One had new eggs and another the remnants of eggs. Two volutes, a large crayfish, two big belly sea horses, a few interesting nudibranchs and a small very colourful cuttlefish. Also a school of salmon. Very nice dive. Visibility good. 

9 November 2022 - Barrens Hut/The Split

Calm seas, no wind and no current, dirty on top but cleaner on bottom. Anchored right on S end of Split. Went N along Split and then once outside to the donuts area. Found five all up. On the way lots of silver sweep, one-spot pullers and some yellowtail. Back along the outside. I swear one of the huge boulders has moved closer to the reef! Back through Cave and bastard trumpeters and red morwong in normal spot. Very nice dive. Visibility fair.

15 November 2022 - Mackeral Run

Couldn't dive yesterday as too windy. No wind today and calm seas. Started at outer Anemone Bay mooring. Lots of fish, but quite dirty water. Current was strong for first 15 minutes or so, then slightly against and then none. Saw a grey nurse shark as we rounded the point and Ron saw another. He also saw 4 turtles but we saw none. A nice porcelain crab in anemone, a yellow and red spotted nudibranch, some other nice nudibranchs. Good dive though. Visibility fair.

15 November 2022 - Fish Soup

Same conditions as last dive. Went through gap, very surgy. Also very dirty. Lots of fish as we got to the other side. Also a large eagle ray. Some kingfish, plenty of bream and surgeonfish. Back to western side. Went south and found a small turtle that did not move and I got shots of Shelley with it. Then back to boat. Not the best dive here, possibly the worst. Visibility poor.

16 November 2022 - Bubble Cave

Much calmer this morning, but wind came up after. Better visibility, 10 metres. Went to west over gullies. Saw a few interesting nudibranchs, a porcelain crab, not much else other than normal tropicals. Back to mooring and around there for a bit. Nice easy dive. Visibility good.

16 November 2022 - Anemone Bay

Southerly hit and had to dive here. Much cleaner water also much warmer at 21C. At least 15 m viz. Went around to outer mooring from inner one. Saw a very large grey nurse shark on the way. Also some large kingfish, some large black cod. Back to mooring and west and south. Saw another grey nurse shark, much smaller. Also another one when doing safety stop. Then saw a turtle and some eaglerays, one eating coral. After leaving there saw a huge shovel-nose ray a couple of times. Back to mooring and a leaf fish there. Very good dive. Visibility very good.  

17 November 2022 - Anemone Bay

What a dive! Very rough on the way out as southerly blew all night and got stronger while we were out there. A bit rough here, no current today. Went in from inner mooring and swam to outer mooring. On the way saw a large bronze whaler shark which we saw a number of times in first 20 minutes. Also saw a large turtle and an eagle ray. Headed back and saw a grey nurse shark with humpback and damage on there. Back across bay and saw a medium shovel-nose ray and then the very large one we saw yesterday. Also another smaller one later. A couple of large bullrays one with no tail. Then in the dead end gully, saw another four bullrays, from small to medium. Then perhaps another one. Also another eagle ray. An egg cowrie too. All the normal fish including kigfish, bream etc. A brilliant dive. Visibility very good.

17 November 2022 - Anemone Bay

Not as good a dive as the first one, visibility and temperature down, but still great. Again from inner mooring and swam to outer mooring. At the mooring saw the large bronze whaler shark once. Also a bullray. Headed back via the back gutter and then across the bay. Saw a medium shovel-nose ray and some bullrays. Back the same way as first dive, saw two egg cowries. All the normal fish including kigfish, bream etc. A very good dive. Visibility good.

25 November 2022 - Shiprock

Very high tide but not much water movement. Did usual route, only got to past last bommie. Saw a huge bullray before first bommie, some large flathead, two pineapplefish under Bubble Cave, lots of moray eels, a few nudibranchs, some octopus. Once again, a disappointing dive really. Visibility poor.

26 November 2022 - Inscription Point

Dive was planned for Bare Island and we went there. However, too much swell and wind (much stronger than forecast), so went to Kurnell. Lots of people here. Very dirty in the water, lots of dead algae/weed floating around and some surge. Incoming tide was not too strong, water colder than yesterday, 18.3C v 19.0C. Saw two sea dragons and one big belly sea horse, a few nudibranchs. Had to cut dive early as one buddy only had a 185 bar fill. Shortest shore dive for a long time. Visibility poor.

27 November 2022 - Henry Head

Club boat dive, one boat. Was going to try Bypass Reef but very rough there. Wind blowing a little out there, so went towards Whale Watching but same. Henry Head flat. Little current on surface but down a few metres very strong from E and from S on bottom. I did not hold onto the line so hit the sand and had to swim across. Kelly and Shelley had to move anchor from sand to reef. Used a lot of air. Viz at least 10 m but cold 17.3C. Headed S. Hard going in spots, also some surge. Not a great deal seen, some pink okenias, other nudibranchs, a moray eel, an octopus, some blue groper. Kelly saw some sea spiders but she was back a bit from me. Flew back from turn around spot, 22 mins there, 8 back. Nice dive though, the sponges are in excellent condition. Visibility good.

30 November 2022 - Inscription Point

Shore dive as not enough interested in boat dive this week. Went in mid-incoming tide. Was slight till past Little Big Rock and then much stronger. Heaps of the dead algae stuff floating again, very annoying, viz only 3-4 m. It was 2C warmer than Sunday! Saw five big belly sea horses, one was a small one. Saw the same one as Saturday and two of the ones seen 8 November. No BIA. Two sea dragons as well. A few nudibranchs, friendly groper and more. Very nice dive. Visibility poor. 

3 December 2022 - Middle Ground

Anchor located off SE corner of main reef. Clean on top and then dirty till about 20 m and then cleaner. A bit of current from S on bottom but E on top. Cool 17.4C and dark. Went over to main reef and then N. Back from there to S and W a little. Back to anchor area and then up. Not a huge amount of fishlife, a few large seapike, a six-spined leatherjackets, a spiny gurnard. No wobbegong sharks. A nice dive. Visibility fair. 

9 December 2022 - Shiprock

Went to Kurnell first but Inscription Point and The Monuments were both way too rough, as was Bare Island. Came here instead. Visibility about 4 m and very slight incoming tide. Did the normal route. Nothing special till we got to S end and Donna found a pipefish on sand. On the way back there were moray eels, 10 pineapplefish, most I have seen here since 2015! Saw an eagle ray early, some moray eels, bream and luderick shallow as well as some whiting. No nudibranchs at all! Nice 81 minute dive. Visibility poor. 

10 December 2022 - Lilli Pilli

Interesting dive! Had to cancel club boat dive due to swell. Came here instead. Went in at boat ramp and found a small plastic container that had 31 .303 bullets in it. Then did pool net, no sea horses but Ron and Donna saw two very small ones off the net. Saw a small pipefish here too. Then went deeper, but below 11 to 12 m it was very dirty/milky. Lots of numbrays. Back via the house wharves. Saw a wobbegong, some nudibranchs, Ron apparently found a very small black anglerfish. There is also a large steel pipe deeper than the Caldron. Back to the net area. Then to the bullets. I suspected that there may be a gun somewhere so I went SE towards the end of the net. Sure enough I found a rotting plastic bag an in it was a .303 gun mechanism, missing the barrel and stock, both cut off. I took them both and left the water. The gun actually worked and would fire, so had not been in the water too long. Took to the Sutherland Police Station and later, three police came and took a statement from me at home. Next day Police Divers went there searching for more bits, presumably the barrel. Strange. Visibility poor.

11 December 2022 - The Monuments

Swell finally dropped a lot. Easy to get in. Went E first then W with incoming tide. Visibility varied from 4-5 to 3 metres. No sea dragons or sea horses. A few nudibranchs. Donna found a tiny colourful anglerfish along the last wall. I saw an eagle ray in the shallows. A small moray eel, lots of bream and seapike in spots. A nice dive despite not much seen. Visibility poor.

13 December 2022 - Bare Island Right

Flat seas, little wind. Forgot my weight pockets, but Leon had some larger weights. Went in with three buddies but lost them after about 5 minutes. Waited for another 15 minutes but they did not come along so I dived solo. Only found them again after 60 minutes. Went reasonably quick from Sea Tulip Rocks to SHC. Looked for the grey BI anglerfish that Vikki found, Carole told me near concrete block, but after a bit of searching I found on the opposite side of the large rock here. Then went to 15 Metre Reef for a bit and back normal way. Saw a small squid, a large octopus, three moray eels, one red pygmy pipehorse, lots of nudibranchs. A very nice dive. Visibility poor but better at SHC.

14 December 2022 - Bare Island 15 Metre Reef

Flat seas, but W wind started early and got very strong, over 25kts. Went in via The Shortcut to the wall and then back via 15 Metre Reef. Lots of interesting nudibranchs. Quite a few moray eels too. Refound the grey BI anglerfish, it has a pile of eggs behind it. Did not notice them yesterday. It was fanning water over them. Also saw a large octopus, the red pygmy pipehorse (on SHR), and had a very friendly blue groper follow us from start of 15 MR to Cave. A bit choppy when we got out. Another very nice dive. Visibility poor but better deeper.

22 December 2022 - Inscription Point

Four members in our group but a couple of others diving with the usual crowd. Went in just after high, 10 metres viz but dropped towards end. Slight current, warm 19.6C, small waves but a bit of surge, not too bad though. Found Donna the BBSH, six sea dragons, one small. Others saw one with new eggs. Two BIA, one small, one large. Others saw a grey one. Another BBSH, lots of nudibranchs. A very nice relaxing dive. Visibility fair.

23 December 2022 - Bare Island 15 Metre Reef

Flat seas but due to extremely high tide, there were some waves coming around the western point making it too hard to get there. Water 19.3C and 7-8 m viz deep and perhaps 4-5 m shallower. Went in close to Boat Ramp. Went via The Shortcut to Almost Deep Reef and then to 15 Metre Reef. Met the other four at SHC. Saw some interesting nudibranchs, a spiny gurnard, lots of feeding silver sweep, a huge wobbegong near SHC, a PPH, pineapplefish and a few moray eels. The grey anglerfish with eggs is gone, was there yesterday apparently. Near here an interesting orange nudibranch I have never seen before. Back normal way. Cleaned Carol's plaque after dive. Very good dive. Visibility fair.


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