My Recent Dives - January and February 2012
Posted by Michael on 01 January 2012 00:00
5 January 2012 - Oak Park
First Club dive of the year and night dive. Went off back of pool and then followed southern edge. Not too bad in close but dirtier on the sand edge. Tide was outgoing. Out to Second Reef, very dirty here. Then back along the main wall. Blue devilfish out there. Two horned sharks as well as a wobbegong and right near pool, a fiddler-ray. Not the greatest start to the year. Visibility poor.
7 January 2012 - SS Tuggerah
Club deep dive. Same start to 2011! A reasonable current running from the S. This went all the way to the bottom, but may have been a little stronger on the surface. Clean and warm on top (20C), then dirty layer from 10 to 35 m and then cold clean layer on bottom. Anchored near bow. Went to stern and then back to bow. Lots of bailer shells and eggs. Some schooling seapike and yellowtail near prop. Nice start to the year. Visibility fair.
8 January 2012 - Bare Island Deep Wall
Went in off W point, very high tide. Went to wall and then S a bit before turning around. Back via RIF Reef where we found a RIF. Then to SHC and just past here Gary found the yellow Whites sea horse that we have seen for past year. Then along IR1 a bit. Also found a Vercos tamja. No PPH. Very clean at depth but colder (15.6C) but dirty and warm above 13 m. Nice dive. Visibility good.
11 January 2012 - Barrens Hut/The Split
Club boat dive. moderate current from S. Blue water, millpond seas, no wind. Took extra weight belt to bottom with 9 lb on it. Was very difficult, and by the time I got there I was breathing very heavily. More about this later. Could see surface from sand at 26 m and boat easily from 20 m at an angle. Current was same on bottom. Went along Split to N and then along sand back S. Then behind reef to Cave. Normal fishlife everywhere. Back along sand with current to anchor. Then tried diving with extra 9 lb and then 12 lb (Kelly had another 3 lb). Was impossible without air in BCD and even with air, was ungainly. Then Kelly tried, she could not get enough air in her BCD to overcome the extra weight. I also tried turning off her air, this was achieveable and took me 7 seconds. It took the same to turn fully back on. Also looked at how far we could see eyes. Could not see eyes more than about 5 metres apart and even then only just. From 5 m Kelly could just see my eyes at 12 m with sun behind her. This was in 25 m viz. All this was done to compare theories about something that will become obvious in within a few months. Visibility excellent.
15 January 2012 - Bare Island Isolated Reefs
Too rough to dive yesterday but better today. Went in just before pool and down to SH Corner. Dwarf firefish on the way. Saw yellow Whites sea horse near here. Tried to go to RIF Reef but the incoming tide a bit too strong. Went along S side of IR1 and then IR2. A Vercos tambja here and two more later. Around and back along N side of IRs. An opera house nudi and more other more common nudibranchs. Back normal way. A very warm 21C all dive. Visibiliity poor.
18 January 2012 - Pizza Reef
Club boat dive. A biggish swell from NE but no wind. The swell had some very large waves but it was much better than I thought it would be. Only a little surge every now and then. Large numbers of seapike, trevally, silver sweep and bastard trumpeters. Visibility very good.
19 January 2012 - Bare Island Deep Wall
Club night dive. Largish NE swell over past few days but calm here. Went of W point and SW to wall. Back to NW but the outgoing current was almost totally absent. Went to RIF Reef and found a RIF, probably the same one from 8 January. Then to 15 m Reef and found yellow Whites sea horse. From here back to shore. Saw a few dwarf firefish, some nice flathead, others saw squid and prawns. Nice dive, although visibility was not the best. Visibility poor.
21 January 2012 - Barrens Hut/The Split
Club boat dive, five boats. A bit sloppy but not too bad. Great visibility, 20-25m. Did normal dive, saw lots of one-spot pullers doing mating dances/mating. Also bastard trumpeters as normal. Kelly found 3 nice honey-coloured okena. A really nice dive. Visibility very good.
21 January 2012 - Inscription Point to Monuments Drift
Special Club night dive. Right at high tide, so only a little assistance at the start. Saw 3 sea dragons, most I have seen for over 3 years I think, a blue-ringed octopus, dwarf firefish, blind shark, horned shark, a tiny tiny 3 spot dascyllus or maybe a humbug dascyllus. Lots of nudis as well. BBQ after, great night. Visibility fair.
26 January 2012 - Inscription Point to Monuments Drift
Club Australia Day dive and BBQ. Huge attendence, at least 35 I reckon. Warm and dirty on top, 10 m on bottom but 17C. Drifted in, two pygmy pipehorses, one sea dragon, two purple nembrothas, nice dive. Kelly and I also attempted to see if we could take our mask off, drop it on the sand, take out our reg and drop it, then find mask, put it on, clear of water, refind reg and do all this without taking in water. It was easy to do. Again, it will be clear in a month why we did this. Visibility fair.
28 January 2012 - Shelly Beach
Went in off left side of beach. Very clean. Lots of fish, whiting, surgeonfish, bream and more. Saw dusky whaler sharks 6 times. One time there were 4. Very few nudibranchs. Nice dive though. Warm 22-23C whole dive. Visibility good.
29 January 2012 - The Leap
Club dive. Incoming tide and reasonable swell. Drifted at a good pace. Kelly found 2 yellow and black striped sea spiders and a tiny pygmy pipehorse and then I found one. Saw the 3 big belly sea horses at 20 m. There are more here as well. No sea dragons at all, a few different nudibranchs. At 11 m Ron showed us the pygmy pipehorses, there are 4 here. Then out. Very dirty but warm shallow, 18C elsewhere. Visibility good.
4 February 2012 - Bare Island Left
Dive to remember Carol Martin who died diving with us a year ago yesterday. We went off back left and SE and S and then back N along sand edge. Kelly found a PPH and I found a tiny one. Ron then found 2 more. Not bad viz considering the rain we have had the past week. After, unveiled the plaque to Carol on W side of bridge and then a BBQ. At least 55 members present. A sad but nice day. We will always remember her. Visibility fair.
5 February 2012 - Pizza Reef
Really big sea running, too large to go between the bommie and shore. Some waves at least 4 m. Long period. Meant there was a surge at 27m, some very bad. Saw lots of seapike and normal bastard trumpeters. Also lots of silver sweep. Kelly found two PPH (I did not dive with her) near anchor. Visibility fair.
11 February 2012 - 6 Fathom Reef
A bit sloppy outside today, so decided to dive 6 Fathom Reef. When we got to bottom, viz at anchor only average. Went deeper to 20 m, very dirty, so came back to 16 m, viz opened up to 20 m! Went back to anchor, was 20 m there as well. Nice and warm in this water. Saw 10 giant boarfish at once, amazing. Very nice dive. Visibility very good above 16 m, poor below.12 February 2012 - The Leap
Much smoother than yesterday although probably the same swell. Incoming tide. Water bluish and 15 m viz at 20 m, 18C. Drifted in at perfect speed. Found one white/red PPH, two big-belly sea horses, two yellow boxfish and Ron saw one sea dragon. Water went up a degree a couple of times the closer we got to Inscription Point. Good and easy dive. Visibility good.
15 February 2012 - Pizza Reef
Club boat dive. A bit sloppy on top but not much swell. Anchor came free but hooked on rock to W of cave. Went around the whole reef, huge numbers of seapike, yellowtail, trevally and bastard trumpeters. Viz a bit better on W side than E side. We did not see a blue devilfish, but others did. Very good dive. Visibility good.
16 February 2012 - Bare Island Deep Wall
Club night dive, 6 members. Went on W point to SW. Not bad viz and no current although outgoing tide. Found 3 PPH on rock below wall. Went back to W and found 2 more PPH on rocks and main reef. Then to RIF Reef and found a RIF. Got dirty here. Back to 15 m Reef and then to where the yellow big belly sea horse has been for more than a year. Back normal way. A few squid, some pink okenias, octopus, a huge flathead, whiting, a few dwarf firefish. Best dive here for perhaps 2 years. Visibility fair deep but poor shallow.
22 February 2012 - Blue Water Quarry, Birmingham, Alabama
Kelly and I dived this quarry to see what it was like. Went in off the training platforms into the shallow 7 foot spot. Then out and down. Here there was a car. We headed roughly south and along an old road. Either side it dropped off deeper. Depth here was 22 m. Then we came to a small sailing boat with sail up and then to a school bus. This is on its left side and has a hole cut in roof. I went in back and out front door. We followed the line to NE and came to a shipping container. The bottom is rock but covered with sand and some algae. From here N to concrete pipes, 2 and then 2 more. Then W to a car. Back past entry and then past a VW beetle and shallower to a Studebaker type truck. Then back to entry, safety stop and ascent. Visibility good.
For more details about these dives and other dives this year, click here