My Recent Dives - March
Posted by Michael on 13 March 2009 21:32
Sunday 1 March 2009 - Golden Bommies - Bicheno - Tasmania
Two bommies located N of main reef. Sand at 39 m. The reef and bommies covered in the most luxurious sea whip and sponge life. Huge amount of fishlife, seapike, morwongs, bastard trumpeters all over the reef and bommies. Lots of crayfish and abalone. As we ascended, fish surrounded us. One of the best dives I have ever done. Visibility fair.

Sunday 1 March 2009 - The Steps - Bicheno - Tasmania
Starts at 8 m and then drops to E and SE in a series of steps to 33+m. Wall curves to S and then SW and finally W. A shear wall rises to 15m. Along the wall in a corner is a large cave that rises up to about 18m. Many entrances and exits. Huge crayfish inside as well as all over the place. After the cave followed the wall to NW, N and then E. Went up a crack to 8m. Lots of large kelp here. Excellent dive. Visibility very good.

Sunday 1 March 2009 - Waubs Bay Night Dive - Bicheno - Tasmania
Found 3 big belly sea horses, huge, 10 sea dragons, most with algae on eggs. Lots of cowfish, male and female. Lots of leatherjackets, some small rays. A few red flea like species. Excellent dive. Visibility fair.

Monday 2 March 2009 - Trap Reef - Bicheno - Tasmania
Dropped into crack that runs to E. Starts at 15m and drops to 30m. At the end, a few large boulders with great sponges and sea whips. These are 33m on sand. At least three of them. Went S along the wall that is at least 10m high. More sponges and whips. Reef turns to W and then some bommies. Ascended around here to top of main reef. Very good dive. Good visibility.

Monday 2 March 2009 - Castle Cove - Bicheno - Tasmania
On same reef as The Canyon but S. Dropped over wall to S from 15 m to 26m. A long low overhang here that you can enter. W of here there is an indent in wall that has a tunnel to W. This is quite large and about 35m long. Some huge crayfish inside as well as in overhang and other overhangs. Went along the wall to W and then turned to N. Some cracks and swim-throughs here. Ended up on top of reef eventually in 5 m. Very good dive. Good visibility.

Friday 6 March 2009 - The Thumbs - Eaglehawk Neck - Tasmania
Dropped into 15m and headed E. Reef slopes to 35+m. Turned to S around the island. Lots of seawhips but also heaps of kelp. Ended up at 38m. Huge amount of butterfly perch and some bastard trumpeters. Ascended from here to island and then turned backl to start. Found some very strange jelly creatures. Not a bad dive. Visibility very good.

Friday 6 March 2009 - Cape Hauy Seals - Eaglehawk Neck - Tasmania
Located in crack between the last "island" on the cape. At least 50 seals. Nice large kelp from 6m to surface. They were a bit shy at first but then came closer. Got some good photos. After I left water one came up to Kelly and others and played with them for ages. Visibility fair.

Friday 6 March 2009 - Weightbelt Recovery - Eaglehawk Neck - Tasmania
Had to go back in a collect a weightbelt that was lost by one diver as re-entering the boat. Bottom was 20m and kelp everywhere. Searched around a rock on bottom but could not find. Then looked on the top of the rock and found there.

Saturday 7 March 2009 - SS Nord - Eaglehawk Neck - Tasmania
Located down near Tasman Island, 20k south. Engine area is 35m, stern is 40m on sand. Ship is basically intact, with stern, engine area and bow best. Great photos of prop and bow. Huge wreck, 86m long. One of best wreck dives in Australia. Visibility very good.

Saturday 7 March 2009 - Cathedral Caves - Eaglehawk Neck - Tasmania
Went right through whole cave system. Did some that we did not do last time. One of the best ocean cave dives in Australia. Visibility very good.

Thursday 12 March 2009 - Bare Island Deep Wall Drift
Drifted in on tide. Huge amount of crabs, all sorts, very active. No sea dragons, two PPH, all the normal fish. Plenty of squid all thru the dive. Very dirty shallow. Visibility fair.

Saturday 14 March 2009 - SS Bombo - Wollongong
We had two boats and 11 divers. Very calm and little wind. Anchored on middle section. Went to stern via engine. Not much change here. Back to boilers. Lots of fish over prop section and engine area. Then to bow. Went into hull near bow. A very large wobbegong entered after me and had to be scared off. Exited out a small hole near bow. Then looked in W side. How different this whole section is now compared to first dive here years ago. Then look at junk on W side before ascending. A very good dive. Visibility good.

Saturday 14 March 2009 - Pig Island SE - Wollongong
Anchored in the normal spot. Followed reef wall to NE and E. A huge bullray swam right under Ian and touched his fin. Scared the hell out of him. Then went back towards W. Saw John B's crew. Huge pile of ladder-finned pomfrets and small yellowtail here. Then continued past Leon's anchor to S. Four Moorish idols seen. Back to anchor and spent rest of dive here. Kelly found a very interesting nudibranch we had seen only once before. Mike and Jason found one that I had photographed once before. Very rare. Ian had to recover anchor as it would not come out. Nice dive. Visibility good.

Sunday 15 March 2009 - Henry Head
Very dirty on top (lots of rain last night) but once down about 10 metres was at least 20 m viz. Went W and once over the wall to 15m, followed it to the N. Went through a crack/swim-through and then down to sand. Circled back past the anchor area to S and then back again. Once near anchor went around boat. Saw a very large school of bream being chased by 20 kingfish. Some octopus, lots of nudibranchs. Very good dive. Visibility very good.

Sunday 15 March 2009 - Indian Point
After a snack, did second dive on same tank. Went over wall to S and then E. Past all the inlets/cracks. Saw a big belly sea horse, two sea dragons, Mike saw a turtle. Very colourful and worth a full long dive. Very good dive. Visibility fair.

Wednesday 15 March 2009 -  The Split
Calm seas and little wind. Anchored a bit S of normal site, went along Split and back on sand edge. Kelly found a pygmy pipehorse, a great cowrie on a sponge, I then found a 3mm long PPH and perhaps another (too small to tell). So many small things to see. Ended up not even going to Barrens Hut. Great dive despite visibility only fair.

Saturday 21 March 2009 -  Underwater Wilderness
No wind and flat seas. Went N along sand edge and then headed W shallower. Found gully and headed S along it. A PJ, lots of bream and yellowtail. Ended up right in shallows (5m) and then headed back out deeper. Did not refind anchor as wind changed and boat hung back from N so we did not see anchor rope. Nice dive. Visibility poor.

Sunday 22 March 2009 -  Bare Island Deep Wall
Went in off W point and headed SW. Current was running in although it should have been heading out. Why? Went S around all the rocks and then headed back N. No PPH. Visibility out here good but very poor in shallows. An eastern blue devilfish near anchor, the first I have ever seen at Bare Island I think. Saw two sea dragons along here. No PPH at normal spot. Kept following deeper edge and then cut across to cave. No sea horses here or further on. Dirtier back shallow but also warmer. Not too bad. Excellent dive. Visibility good (overall).

Wednesday 25 March 2009 - Pizza Reef 
Largish swell from NE. Bastard trumpeters not in front of cave but in gap. Large school of trevally on S side and then at least 60 medium sized kingfish swam around us for a few minutes. Went right around. Good dive. Warmer in top 2 metres. Visibility good.

Thursday 26 March 2009 -  Bare Island Deep Wall Drift
Night Dive. Went in off back and over to Deep Wall. Strong current here. Saw 2 small PPH and then another 3 very small ones. Lots of squid, at least 20 out here. Many sea spiders. Went quite slow as lots to see. Found PPH near anchor and another one on the reef. Got a bit dirtier near Sea Horse Cave. One more PPH and 2 sea dragons. Others saw a wobbie. Dirtier shallow. Great dive. Visibility good.

Saturday 28 March 2009 -  Xanadu

Did a deeper dive for Eric and Shaun to try out ponies and also as their deepest dive yet. No wind and seas much less than forecast. Went over wall and N and then back along wall to S. Kelly found a black sea spider with yellow spots. Also a large pink nudibranch. Not a lot of fishlife but nice anyway. Visibility poor.

Sunday 29 March 2009 -  Bare Island Deep Wall Drift
Club dive and BBQ. Went in off back point. Current was outgoing out back rather than incoming. Not too strong. Kelly found a pale yellow nudibranch. No sea dragons at all. Only one PPH, the one near anchor. Had to rush the last bit as a few were low on air. Visibility poor.

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