My Recent Dives - March & April 2013
Posted by Michael on 01 March 2013 00:00
3 March 2013 - Clifton Gardens
Clean Up Australia Dive. After a few weeks of rain the viz was amazingly good. Varied between 2 and 10 m. Went out to chain and the 2 boats and then back along the other part of chain to Plunge Wharf. Then zig-zagged back across the bay to the pool and ended up on the beach. Saw a small orange anglerfish, 4 pipefish, lots of cuttlefish and an orange with black spots nudi. Collected a bit of rubbish, most of it plastic or food wrappers. Nice dive. Visibility fair.

5 March 2013 - Shiprock
Very dirty on top but about 1.8C warmer. Did usual route but when approaching W end, hit warmer water which was flowing out strongly. Did not go far and turned around. I assume it was flood water flowing out. Back normal way. Saw only 2 pineapplefish S of bubble cave and 3 at N end. Two frogfish, a large school of seapike, a wobbegong and a huge flathead. Only one nudibranch. Visibility fair on bottom.

8 March 2013 - Inscription Point
Dirty on top but a bit cleaner on the bottom, perhaps 4 m. Not many big fish, but found one PPH, a few nudibranchs, mostly purple dragons. All the exotic weed has died off. Why? Nice dive. Visibility poor.

9 March 2013 - The Gutter
Club camping trip. Was told viz was only 2 m before we went in but it was much better, at least 5 m and up to 10 m in spots. Went out to the western gutter then across to east and back again. Lots of fish, but not much else apart from some squid and cuttlefish. Visibility fair.

9 March 2013 - Blue Pool
This is a small freshwater lake up on the escarpment near Robertson. Went in and did a couple of circuits, maximum depth is about 4 m. Saw a car battery and other rubbish. Also saw a few largish tadpoles which are half way to turning into frogs. Many different bugs and insect type things swimming around. Also saw a small fish. Visibility was about 2 metres, very poor, but good enough for this dive.

21 March 2013 - Bare Island Isolated Reefs
Club night dive. Seas flat as and visibility quite good, varied from 3 to 10 m. Went in off W point and headed W. Then along N side of IRF1 to IR2. Found a RIF, angelshark and shovel-nose ray in between. Then around IR2 and back on S side. No sea dragons. Found lots of pink okenias and some other interesting nudibranchs. A few large squid, lots of octopus, some very large, two wobbegongs. Found at least 6 PPH. A very nice dive. Visibility fair overall.

24 March 2013 - Bare Island Isolated Reefs
Went SW from W point to Deep Wall. Warm and dirtier shallow then clearer but colder deep (18C). Did not go far S as a little outgoing current. Went to RIF Reef and then back normal way. No RIF or PPH deep, found 3 PPH back shallower. Not a great deal seen, but a nice dive. Visibility fair.

27 March 2013 - Barrens Hut/The Split
Club boat dive. First time have been able to take the boat out for 5 weeks. Was great, no wind, calm seas, very slight current from S and warm (22-23C) blue water, at least 20 m viz. Kelly had ear problems and took 18 mins to descend so she dived alone till we came across her near the end of our dive. Judy had lost her weight belt (hired) whern she first attempted to dive with Les and Phil R so we reattached it to the cross-overline to pull up. Did normal dive, lots of bastard trumpeters, a school of large kingfish and some six-spined l'jackets. Kelly stayed down about 5 mins after we came up. Excellent dive. Visibility very good.
27 March 2013 - Bare Island Deep Wall Drift
Club night dive. Went off SE corner and S and W to Deep Wall. Slight current from S till heading W. Then a very slight incoming tide. Three RIF seen along here, a fiddler-ray, a dwarf firefish. Viz not great but very warm, over 21C all dive. Found 3 PPH, lots of octopus, saw a large squid with a good sized seapike captured. Nice dive. Visibility poor.

29 March 2013 - The Leap
Too rough to take boat out so 10 of us dived here. Very surgy for first 1/3 of dive. Not much current at all. Saw 2 sea dragons. Very warm again, viz varied 12 to 18 m. Lots of yellowtail in shallows. Andreas was anchored at the exit. Visibility good.

30 March 2013 - SS Tuggerah
Went out on Peter Fields' boat. Moderate current from S, stronger at the bottom. Had to go in one at a time so we could get to anchor line. Hard to swim from boiler to prop. Lots of fish and large wobbegong between boiler and hull. Not a great dive due to the current. Visibility good.

31 March 2013 - Bare Island Isolated Reefs
Went in from pool and then to S side of IR1. Found a RIF along here. Went to IR2 and back on N side. Lots of yellowtail and seapike out there. A few interesting nudis, the biggest flathead I have ever seen. Saw about 4 PPH. Visiibility fair.

1 April 2013 - Middle Ground
Another failed attempt to dive the Tuggerah or Undola. Was quite choppy and wind from S rather than W as forecast. Went to Middle Ground and thought there may have been a strongish current but it was very slight. Water almost 25C above 25 m, viz at least 30 m here, but only 20 m on bottom. Lots of seapike and silver sweep and 4 large squid. Excellent dive. Visibility very good.

6 April 2013 - Barrens Hut/The Split
Was club wreck dive but Tuggerah and Undola had raging current from N. Even here there was a slight current from N. Viz at least 25 m on sand. Saw lots of one-spot pullers, bastard trumpeters and silver sweep. Also one donut nembrotha and 2 honey coloured okenias. A really great dive. Visibility excellent.

7 April 2013 - SS Hilda
Decided to dive again today as the seas were so good yesterday. Moderate current from N again, hard to get down and hard on bottom. Anchored right in middle of the wreck.  Viz 20 m, over 22C. Not much different to last dive here years ago. Very good visibility.

10 April 2013 - Pizza Reef
Club boat dive. Almost perfect conditions, flat seas, no wind and warm (20C) water. Dirty on top but at least 15 m on bottom. Huge number of seapike near cave with the bastard trumpeters. A blue devilfish just to the south of here. Went right around the reef, a few cuttlefish as well. Back near anchor (near cave), Kelly found a PPH. Excellent dive. Visibility good.

11 April 2013 - Bare Island Deep Wall
Club night dive. Went off W point to SW and Deep Wall. Went S for a bit and then back normal route. Saw a few cuttlefish, including a huge one, lots of medium sized flathead, some large prawns, small and large octopus, a couple of PPH, dwarf firefish and more. Very dirty above 5 m, at depth about 7-10 m. Nice dive. Visibility fair.

13 April 2013 - The Leap
Club shore dive. Not much current so did 70 minutes. Viz was really quite good, about 10 m. Saw three PPH, two sea horses, three sea dragons, a few great nudibranchs, octopus and cuttlefish. A really good dive. Visibility good.

14 April 2013 - Barrens Hut/The Split
Club boat dive, 5 boats. Flat as a pancake, no wind. However, water a lot dirtier than recent dives. Also a slight current from N and W, depending on where you were. Went up The Split and back to anchor which was off N end of Barrens Hut. Lots of bastard trumpeters as normal and a few cuttlefish. Nice dive. Visibility fair.

18 April 2013 - Shiprock
Club night dive. Low tide so not the best viz, virtually no current as little difference between tides. Only 3 pineapplefish, a few frogfish, lots of made-up phyllodesiums, many small cuttlefish and octopus. Heaps of hermit crabs, including 12 all bunched up. Not the best dive here, but okay. Visibility poor.

21 April 2013 - Shiprock
Poured rain yesterday and huge seas. High tide, but wanted to dive low this morning but as we started to walk down I discovered I had forgotten my mask! Probably the worst viz I have had in Sydney for almost 3 years. Only 2 metres at the best. Lots of made-up phyllodesiums, cuttlefish, octopus, one squid and a spotted eel and a moray eel. Four pineapplefish S of cave, one frogfish. Water 1.5C cooler than Thursday night. Viisbility shithouse.

24 April 2013 - Barrens Hut/The Split
Club boat dive. Still a little bit of swell running from SE and about 10 kts SW wind and very slight current from S. Despite this it was comfortable. Water back up to over 20C and viz at least 15 m. Went right around bot sites and thru Tunnel. All the bastard trumpeters were near Cave rather than normal spot. A few cuttlefish and lots of seapike also near Cave. Excellent dive. Visibility good.

25 April 2013 - Bare Island RIF Reef
Club Anzac Day dive. Went in off W point, a bit rough but not too bad. Went W to N end of Deep Wall and then to RIF Reef. No RIF. Then to 15 m Reef and Sea Horse Corner. A spiny gurnard here. Then a short way down IR1 before heading back. Only one PPH. A few cuttlefish and octopus, a squid, one fiddler-ray. Viz very bad shallow but better deep, maybe 10 m in one spot. Water warm. Visibility fair overall.

25 April 2013 - Bare Island Isolated Reefs
A second dive. Went off W point out to 12 m wall and then W to SHC and then up N side of IR1. Got quite dirty here, but still okay. Saw a very large long-snouted boarfish. Back on S side of IR2 and back normal way. No sea dragons, finally found the upsidedown pipefish at Sea Horse Rock. It hides way up the back of the low overhang. Still not a bad dive. Visibility poor.

26 April 2013 - Middle Ground
Brilliant dive. Flat seas and medium W wind, very slight current from N. Could see the bottom at 32 m almost as soon as we dropped down. Huge numbers of yellowtail, mado and seapike. Lots of red and blue morwongs. Kelly saw two wobbegong sharks and there was a very large cuttlefish. Also salvaged an anchor with stainless steel chain. Almost as good as it gets in Sydney. Visibility excellent.

27 April 2013 - SS Undola
Went on Peter Fields' boat. No wind and no current, dropped straight down to the wreck. Did 22 mins on bottom, most I have ever done on a single tank. Still came up with 75 bar. Lots of mado all over the place. Cleaned the toilet so that name was visible. Damien S was on Andreas' boat and took stacks of photos of me. Excellent dive. Very good visibility.

28 April 2013 - Pizza Reef
Club boat dive. Only our boat, but what  a dive. Viz of at least 20 m, warm water, lots of fish. Huge bullray near anchor, a couple of blue devilfish (we only saw 1), a donut nembrotha, a tiny PPH, huge numbers of seapike near cave with the bastard trumpeters and old wives. Brilliant. Visibility very good.

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