My Recent Dives - May & June 2010
Posted by Michael on 05 May 2010 13:26
Wednesday 5 May 2010 - The Balcony
Club boat dive. Flat blue water and warm, probably 23C but a cooler patch of 21C. Went along sand to overhang, not as many fish here as sometimes but still lots of ladder-finned pomfrets, yellowtail, silver sweep and one-spot pullers. Also a few bastard trumpeters. Saw a small eagle ray as well as some cuttlefish. One attacked Phil. Went back via shallow sections and other overhang and then back to sand and anchor. Then spent final 10 minutes in 15-18m range. A coupe opf six-spined leatherjackets and a huge cuttlefish. Nice dive. Visibility very good overall.

Thursday 6 May 2010 - Windy Point
Club night dive. Flat seas and warm blue water (23C). Forgot to put my weights in so had to collect some sinkers and rocks. Was a bit light but manageable. Went E to sand then S and E etc. Saw a few fiddler-rays, a pineapplefish, a few squid and a couple of bunches of flutemouths. Hit some dirty water so then turned around. Came back to where we hit the sand and then N. Found an angelshark. More fiddler-rays as well as a tiny squid. Back to shore. Visibility very good overall.
Saturday 8 May 2010 - Barrens Hut/The Split
Club boat dive, 4 boats, 22 divers. Kelly had ear problems and could not get down. Went with Bram along Split and then back along wall. Went past anchor to Cave/Tunnel. Bram found a donut (rose-ringed) nembrotha nudibranch here. Normally only found at Cabbage Tree Island at Port Stephens as far as I can find. Went thru Tunnel and Cave (lots of bastard trumpeters) and back to anchor. Kelly was here as finally got down. She took us back towards N end of Split. Here there were 2 upsidedown pipefish, brilliant. Great dive. Visibility very good.

Wednesday 12 May 2010 - Middle Ground
Very strong SW change last night but only W winds at 6 am. However, very large rolling swell, at least 4m some of them. Wind turned more SW and when under, went over 20 kts S. Bluish water on top but lots of sand on bottom. Went right around reef. Not a great deal of fishlife, only a very average dive. Visibility poor.

Thursday 13 May 2010 - Shiprock
Club night dive, 9 diving. Excellent visibility as we entered the water. However, once we dropped over the wall the viz went to less than 3 metres and temperature went from about 21C to 19C. Decided to stay on the wall. Could see FA. Hoped it would clear up further along where the main tidal current is normally. No change. Saw 2 pineapplefish in normal spot. Just past here, the visibility improved as we were now shallow. Decided to turn around at 15 mins and head back on top of the  wall. Viz excellent again. Saw lots of fish (esp surgeonfish), 3 wobbies and a tiny spider. Only did 40 mins instead of usual hour. Visibility shithouse to excellent. 

Saturday 15 May 2010 - Shiprock
As expected huge seas meant we had to cancel boat dive. About 15 members attended this dive. Went in early as small high tide. Viz was a lot better on the bottom than Thursday. My first dive with new drysuit, no problems, perhaps a little less lead needed. Did normal dive. A couple of kingfish at the start. Lost Kelly within a minute and did not refind till 25 minutes! Found one of the pipefish, two pineapplefish. One more pineapplefish near The Pyramid. A wobbie near end. Nice easy dive. Visibility poor.

Sunday 16 May 2010 - Shiprock
Had to cancel today's wreck dive as well. Lots of divers here, many entered the water at least 40 minutes too late. Similar to yesterday. Took off a little lead but was a bit light. Need to be about half way between. Saw 4 pineapplefish, 1 pipefish and all the normal fish. Found a tiny boxfish and a moray. Kelly was zapped and bitten by a numbray! Funny! Easy dive. Visibility poor.

Monday 24 May 2010 - MV Semle Federsen - Port Vila, Vanuatu 
Kelly had ear problems so I went down alone. Went to bow (48 m) and took some photos and she ended up coming down at about 6 mins. Went to prop and then up starboard side. A pipefish here. Then to bridge and to top of wreck. after about 15 mins swam ENE to reef and up a gully to boat which had moved to Pango mooring. Got here at 30 mins. Spent rest of dive under the boat. Visibility excellent.

Monday 24 May 2010 - Honeybone - Port Vila, Vanuatu 
Went W from mooring over slop to wall at 20 m. Dropped over this and went SSW at 23 to 24 m for about 24 mins. Pretty dead on top but all okay. Some pipefish and nudibranchs. Then E to top of reef (like a ridge) and NNE back to mooring. More pipefish, batfish, bannerfish, nudis and shrimp in anemones. Some clownfish. Easy dive. Visibility good.

Tuesday 25 May 2010 - The Cathedral to Pango Point - Port Vila, Vanuatu 
My 500th dive with Kelly!! Dropped into crack leading to cave. Kelly took a while to come down. Went into the cave, about 40 m long. At end, you can go right to the surface but we did not. On the way out a dwarf firefish and some flashing clams. Then N along reef wall. Very nice reef, lots of coral and fish. Many nudibranchs. Ended up at a mooring about 200 m away. Visibility excellent, at least 40 m.

Tuesday 25 May 2010 - Pango Wall - Port Vila, Vanuatu 
Went W down large sand gutter to about 21 m and then S along reef edge. Lots of gutters/inlets. A clown triggerfish and a couple of titan triggerfish. Many nudibranchs. Quite good coral and fishlife. Back along the top of the reef to mooring. Visibility very good.

Wednesday 26 May 2010 - Qantas Sandringham Flying Boat - Port Vila, Vanuatu 
Kelly had severe sinus pain and could not get down. Went to tail and then along starboard side to wing. Tip broken off and the inner engine mount falling down. Then to nose, then to cockpit. From here to port wing. A milky white substance floating in from this direction. Then to fuselage and back to tail. Can see the rego number of plane VH-EBW here as well as the remains of the Qantas logo. Visibility fair.

Wednesday 26 May 2010 - MV Konanda - Port Vila, Vanuatu 
Went down the mooring to mast, then forward to the bow. From here up to main deck and looked in crew compartment in bow, then through holds to rear. Up a hatch into main deck then up again. Out through the rooms to stern. Then to prop and back to main deck and then bridge. Out bridge and across to reef. Spent rest of dive here, shallow. Visibility only fair.

Thursday 27 May 2010 - Star of Russia - Port Vila, Vanuatu 
Mooring on rear mast over port side. Went to rudder then stern. After steering post, went under main deck. Kelly found a toilet on starboard side. Strange looking. Then along sb side to bow. Under deck here to look at winch and then up to bow. Back along port side. What a magnificient old steel hulled sailing ship this must have been. Fantastic dive. Visibility good.

Thursday 27 May 2010 - Konanda Wall - Port Vila, Vanuatu 
Headed W from mooring to wall that dropped from 20 to well over 40 m. Then S along wall. Not great coral, only a couple of small gorgonias. Interesting reef. Then back along ridge past the mooring we started at to the mooring NW of MV Konanda. Quite a few eels, pipefish, dwarf firefish, clownfish and nudibranchs. Visibility very good deep, only fair shallow.

Friday 28 May 2010 - Hat Island East - Port Vila, Vanuatu
Dive trip on Golden Wing. Headed N from mooring at about 15 m and then at a gutter headed deeper. Followed this to 32 m. Huge gorgonias here, some 3-4 m wide. After a while, we headed shallower and then headed S back towards boat. Went S of boat and then back to around mooring. Lots of very nice coral, good fishlife. Visibility very excellent.

Friday 28 May 2010 - Pauls Rock - Port Vila, Vanuatu
My 2999th dive!!! Went S to wall and then around wall to W and N. Then up past the N most pinnacle. The tunnel is now almost blocked by large gorgonias. Could not get past them. Went around the N end of the main reef and back along E side. A lot of giant trevally in one spot and may red bass. Excellent dive. Visibility excellent.

Saturday 29 May 2010 - MV Semle Federsen - Port Vila, Vanuatu
My 3000th dive! Dropped to off starboard side and took photos of the side of wreck to make a panorama. Then to bow where Kelly took a photo of me. Then into holds to engine room. Up and out and then to prop. Then to stern and up. Visibility amazing, at least 40 metres (Very Excellent).

Saturday 29 May 2010 - Twin Bommies - Port Vila, Vanuatu
Headed N to wall and then followed it E at 25 m. Then it turns SE and S. Very nice wall, medium fishlife. Then up to area near Twin Bommies and to the bommies. Lots of fish here. Then to mooring area. Four cuttlefish, some nudibranchs and more. Nice last dive here. Visibility very good.

Sunday 6 June 2010 - Shiprock
Back to reality!, Raining most of last 3 weeks, raining as we dived. Visibility 2 metres as we entered the water early. However, once below the freshwater, it was not too bad, maybe 5 to 7 metres, but like night. Did normal dive, saw pipefish and 3 pineapplefish. Lots of small to medium cuttlefish, a few whiting out on the sand. Nice dive. Visibility fair.

Wednesday 9 June 2010 - Middle Ground
First time in over a month the boat has been about to get out due to weather. Did not look promising, as wave buoy showed 4 m waves. However, it was nothing like this, probably 2.5 m max, a rolling swell. A little surge on the bottom every now and then. Could see at least 12 m and could see the boat from 26 m. Lots of yellowtail, some seapike, a few small kingfish. Surprisingly good dive after such bad weather for the past 4 weeks. Visibility good.

Saturday 12 June 2010 - Middle Ground
Rougher and bigger seas than Wednesday. Probably even a bit better visibility, could see boat from 28 m. Huge schools of yellowtail over the whole reef. Also a large school of seapike and two schools of small kingfish. Very good dive. Visibility good.

Sunday 13 June 2010 - Shiprock
Went in bit early as small high tide. No problems. Could not find pipefish but Ron found a yellow Whites sea horse near pineapplefish (2). Huge numbers of yellowtail, some seapike and silver sweep. About a dozen large bream and snapper eating the remains of a numbray. Heaps of small cuttlefish and some octopus. A couple of tiny boxfish and one moray eel. I found a fish we had never seen before, a yellow emperor. This is normally found north of Port Macquarie. In shallows a dozen large whiting. A great dive. Visibility good.

Monday 14 June 2010 - Shiprock
Again went in early. No pipefish and found the sea horse (10 m past pineapplefish). Two wobbegongs, lots of fan-bellied leatherjackets, surgeonfish galore. Not as good a dive as yesterday, but good. Surprised at the lack of divers here, only place to dive south of Sydney Harbour. Our Club had more than 50% of the divers here. Visibility good.

Saturday 19 June 2010 - SS Kelloe
Club deep dive. Anchored just deeper than the wreck, about 20 metres off the bow. Dived with Jo and Bram, their first time here. Showed them the anchors and winches. Then went to west side of boiler, past engine and along the prop shaft to the prop and rudder. Back to bow. Had to move the anchor a bit to 52 metres to ensure it would come up. One of my best dives here. Visibility good.

Sunday 20 June 2010 - Shiprock
We had 7 members for the dive. Did the normal dive. No amazing things to see, just the normal pineapplefish at the end, although Kelly saw a baby one here. Lots of yellowtail, seapike, whiting, bream and small snapper. Quite cold water. Visibility good.

Thursday 24 June 2010 - Shiprock
Club night dive. Did same dive as Sunday. Saw a dwarf firefish, lots of small cuttlefish, one small wobbegong. Only two pineapplefish at the far end, one the small one Kelly saw on Sunday. Gary P found a small brown nudibranch none of us had ever seen before. he then found more than a dozen. Quite cold water. Visibility good.

Saturday 26 June 2010 - Marley Point
After a forecast for rain and strong winds, went out and found no rain, flat seas and very little wind. Water a bit cold but what a dive! Blue water, could see the boat easily from 22 metres, lots of yellowtail, seapike, one-spot pullers and ladder-finned pomfrets. About 20 kingfish came in as well. Some large cuttlefish and a couple of PJs. An excellent dive. Visibility excellent.

Sunday 27 June 2010 - Old Mans Hat
Club dive, two boats only. A lot windier than yesterday and a decent swell running as well as bad chop. Under the water was pretty good, warmer than yesterday and almost as good visibility. Lots of yellowtail, one-spot pullers. Also a couple of sea dragons, one a small specimen. Also some swim-throughs, one large moasic leatherjacket. Lots of anchors, I got one with heaps of chain and Ray got another.  Visibility very good.

Wednesday 30 June 2010 - Pizza Reef
Freezing cold morning, about 5C on water with strong W wind. Almost millpond seas. At least 30 m visibility, with huge schools of seapike as well as a dozen large squid. These were mating and laying eggs. Lots of red morwong and bastard trumpeters. Could hear whales underwater and saw a baby by itself close to boat. A brilliant dive, almost as good as it gets in Sydney. Visibility excellent.

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