My Recent Dives - September and October 2010
Posted by Michael on 12 September 2010 18:05
Sunday 12 September 2010 - Shiprock
First dive for over 5 weeks as we have been in Central Australia. It was good to have a dive. Lots of divers here, all but our Club went in early. Some exited as we went in, having fought the current for the entire second half of the dive. Soft corals all closed up, not many nudibranhs at all, no pineapplefish and the sea horse was not there. Lots of whiting, large seapike, luderick and old wives. Saw a couple of octopus, one moray eel and one frogfish. Visibility good.

Thursday 23 September 2010 - Shiprock
Terrible weather since last dive, had had to cancel 3 boat dives and one shore dive. Did normal dive, lots of seapike as we dropped over wall, lots of small cuttlefish. Went right to end and back. Very few nudibranchs. One frogfish, a pineapplefish and large moray eel back near bubble cave. Normal fishlife. Back near exit, dozens of large whiting. Visibility fair.

Thursday 23 September 2010 - Shiprock
Club night dive. Did similar dive to this morning, but current was not as strong. Did not see the moray or pineapplefish, lots of bream and some whiting and seapike. A few nudibranchs. Visibility fair (a bit less than the morning).

Saturday 25 September 2010 - Pizza Reef
Large rolling swell and a bit surgy on bottom. Reasonable current from the north on the surface. Lots of fish, especially yellowtail, seapike and bastard trumpeters. First boat dive for 9 weeks. A very good dive. Visibility good.

Sunday 26 September 2010 - MK Reef
Club dive with 4 boats and 20 divers. Swell was up like yesterday and was also a bit sloppy. Decided not to go up to the rifle range so stopped off St Michaels Golf Club. Lots of silver sweep and one-spot pullers. This is an excellent dive site. Also saw one blue devilfish, but others saw three. Saw two seals as we were pulling up anchor. Visibility good.

Wednesday 29 September 2010 - Pizza Reef
Club dive. Predicted S change came last night but this morning there was only a slight S wind. A bit choppy and seas 1-2 m when we went out. Saw 3 humpbacks as we were anchoring. Lots of bastard trumpeters as normal, a large school of seapike and one blue devilfish. Very windy and rough when we got back on the boat. Visibility good.

Friday 1 October 2010 - Bass Point Gravel Loader
On the way to Kiama for diving weekend, decided to dive here. Parked boat in carpark! Quite calm, went across to loader from ramp. A large school of trevally at the end and some seapike as well. On the way back saw over 100 pufferfish just off the east side. Not a great deal to see other than these and normal leatherjackets. Visibility good.

Saturday 2 October 2010 - The Gutter Sponge Gardens
Too rough and too wet to take the boat out so did a shore dive. Kelly could not get down due to right ear not equalising. Went right out to gardens at 22m. Saw a huge school of yellowtail here as well as a blue devilfish and three pineapplefish. Came back via eastern side. Four squid in Gutter. Visibility fair.

Sunday 3 October 2010 - Bushrangers Bay
Again weather no good so did Bushrangers. Went out towards open ocean before coming back. Not a great deal of fish. Visibility a lot better than yesterday, 15 m. Visibility good.

Saturday 9 October 2010 - The Split
Supposed to dive the Tuggerah but too rough. Very dirty on top, with slight current from north. At about 18 m water cleared up to about 8 m. Just did The Split and back to anchor. The two upsidedown pipefish are still in same spot, tried to take a photo but they hide right up the back and top of the overhang. Quite cold as well on bottom. Visibility fair.

Thursday 14 October 2010 - Bass and Flinders
Club night dive. Went looking for baby Port Jackson sharks that we saw here last year about this time. However, did not find any. Started off warm and cleaner and then got colder and dirtier. A few whiting and seapike, lots of mado. Some squid, some cuttlefish. Saw one shovel-nosed ray, a few pygmy leatherjeckets. Not a great dive. Visibility very poor.

Wednesday 20 October 2010 - Pizza Reef
Club boat dive. A lot better seas than I had thought it would be. Still a bit of swell, but rolling. Best conditions for months. Lots of bastard trumpeters, yellowtail and seapike. Another boat turned up as we went in, a newer Broadbill, never seen them before. Visibility good.

Thursday 21 October 2010 - Bare Island Deep Wall Drift
Club night dive. Went in from back left and then S and W to Deep Wall. incoming tide (8pm high) and very good visibility here, at least 15 m. Ron found two PPH. About here (22 mins) water got dirtier. No sea dragons or RIF. A few small cuttlefish, some large flathead. Good to see Bare Island back good again. Visibility fair to very good.

Saturday 23 October 2010 - Port Stephens - Halifax Park
Club dive weekend. Huge changes since last time here, sand extends out about 30 m from shore and down to 5 m at entry. Went a little E and then drifted. Not much of a current at all. Turned around and came back above 20 m. Sand comes down to 18 m near W end. Saw a blind shark, lots of bream, seapike, yellowtail, luderick and more. A couple of butterflyfish, some cuttlefish, a large friendly moral eel and a spotted eel. Great dive. Visibility good.

Saturday 23 October 2010 - Port Stephens - Little Beach
Did a second dive between tides. Despite the fact that last time I did this we had no current, this time there was a current going W when the tide was outgoing (?). Current was too strong and so ended dive after 27 mins. Lots of yellowtail, bream, small snapper, luderick under the wharf. Visibility very poor.

Sunday 24 October 2010 - Port Stephens - Fly Point
Very overcast and raining heavily. Only a very slight current. Went N out to the deep sponge garden (27 m)  and then a bit W. Then back to normal wall. Saw a couple of pineapplefish, plenty of interesting nudibranchs, decorator crabs and more. Great dive. Visibility good.

Monday 25 October 2010 - Port Stephens - Sewage Pipe
Went in 5 mins after high at Fort Denison but tide was still coming in at the end of the dive. Was quite strong for first 25 mins. Went to 15 m. Not much fishlife, but lots of interesting nudibranchs, including some I have never seen before. A large octopus, a medium shovel-nosed ray and lots of decorator crabs. Good dive. Visibility very good.

Thursday 28 October 2010 - Shiprock
Club night dive. Low tide but seas were forecast to be up so only available dive site. Viz a lot better than I thought it would be, although not so good near exit deep on the way back. Saw one pineapplefish, a number of moray eels, a frogfish, some very large fan-bellied leatherjackets. A lot more nudibranchs than recent months. Visibility good.

Saturday 30 October 2010 - Barrens Hut/The Split
No wind and very slight current. Calm seas. Gets better, visibility of close to 20 m. Lots of fish as normal, the two upsidedown pipefish were there and the male has eggs (as Kelly found last dive). Great dive. Visibility very good.

Sunday 31 October 2010 - Shiprock
Low tide again, but really nice. Better viz than Thursday night. Huge numbers of whiting and seapike in the shallows, pineapplefish still in same place, a frogfish. Eddie found a stinkfish. Good dive. Visibility good.

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