My Recent Dives - September & October 2016
Posted by Michael on 01 September 2016 00:00
3 September - Shiprock
Too windy to take boat out, so 12 of us did this dive. Viz really good considering the amount of rain the past 2 days. Saw lots of moray eels, cuttlefish, an octopus in a glass jar, 2 huge flathead, 2 long-finned bannerfish, frogfish, shrimp, seapike and more. Only one nudibranch! No pineapplefish, but an easy dive. Visibility good.

4 September - The Leap
Really big sea running, but oaky here, although a bit of surge for first 10 mins. Went NE and then along edge. Lots of damage from the huge seas in May. Saw one sea dragon, 4 PPH, yellow boxfish, lots of PJs and horn sharks, heaps purple dragons, lots of opera house nudibranchs and huge bullray. The feral weed has taken over a lot more area since last dive, probably because of the storm. Visibility fair.

10 September - Bare Island 15 Metre Reef
Cancelled boat dive due to very strong N winds. Really blowing, so glad we did. Went off W point and W to 15 Metre Reef, then back normal way. Saw a spiny gurnard, the two small orange anglerfish, the strange sea horse but no RIF or PPH. Was not a long dive as one diver was a novice and not great yet on air. Cool 16C deeper and 17.6 shallow. Nice dive. Visibility good deep, but fair shallower.

25 September - M & K Reef
First dive since we sailed Catlypso to Queensland. Kelly was not feeling the best so watched the boat. Flat seas, NW wind, very slight current from N. Viz at least 15 m. Not a great deal of exciting marine life, but one six-spined leatherjacket, 2 huge black leatherjackets, some one-spot pullers and a nice spindle cowrie on a harp fan. Despite this, a nice dive. Visibility very good. 

27 September - SS Bombo
Diving from Aidan's RIB, no wind or current, at least 20 m viz. Anchor was just off wreck on a small piece of wreckage, dragged over to engine. Went to stern, then to bow. The bow section is now very low and virtually impossible to penetrate. Back on W side to boiler and into this section from W side. Back around engine and stern and rudder. Lots of yellowtail at bow. Excellent dive. Visibility very good. 

28 September - Barrens Hut/The Split
Club boat dive. Wind was from S rather than W and at 15 to 20 kts, too strong to go further S as planned. Reasonable current from N at first but dropped right away. Water 20.9 on top and 19.6 on bottom, viz 20 m. Anchored out on rock to E of S end of Split. Two donut nembrothas on the rock. Went to Split and then N. Once outside, went N again. Another 10 donuts there. Saw one more later. Three times the most we have seen before! Back to Cave and then to anchor. Lots of bastard trumpeters and red morwongs in normal spot. An amazing dive for this time of the year. Visibility very good.

29 September - Shiprock
Club night dive. First night dive for a while due to weather and other things. Viz not as good as expected, but okay. Not a huge amount of things to see, a few moray eels, 2 juvenile long-finned bannerfish, 4 frogfish, a tiny dwarf firefish, quite a few decorator crabs, many different species of nudibranch, some whiting and bream and the normal leatherjackets. No pineapplefish again. Visibility fair.

1 October - Barrens Hut/The Split
Went out again to same spot as Wednesday but water 3 degrees cooler at 16.6 on the bottom. Still 15 to 20 m viz though. Strong NW wind which got gale force by the time we finished. Kelly dived with Les as I dived with new member George. Saw 5 donut nembrothas, a large orange boxfish, lots of PJs and bastard trumpeters, one blue morwong, a huge school of small striped catfish in the cave and more. A very nice dive. Visibility very good.

2 October - Tupia Point
Much better conditions today, very slight NW wind. First time we have dived here for perhaps 10 years. Anchored right on GPS co-ords. Viz about 20 m and temp 17.7 compared to 16.6 yesterday. Apparently there was a round ball item, perhaps the remains of a wave bouy. Went NE and then back to anchor and a bit SW. Lots of PJs, some blackfish, about a dozen kingfish and thousands of ladder-finned pomfrets. A few swim-throughs, lots of large boulders and overhangs. A really nice site. Visibility very good.

6 October - Bare Island Deep Wall
Club night dive, 8 attending, most this year I think. Flat seas but a bit of surge for most of the dive and some waves when getting in. Went from W point to Wall, first time here since early May. Very clean shallow but dirty deeper than 10 m. Saw 3 RIF, a dwarf firefish, a few squid, some red-lined flabilina, opera house nudis, squat lobsters, A tagged PJ (but could not read it), a huge flathead, the sea horse near first cave and the orange anglerfish at 13 m. A great dive. Visibility poor. 

9 October - Middle Ground
Very large swell, but no wind or current. Blue water with whale snot, but surgy on bottom and in spots only 2m. Probably averaged 5 m. Went around, saw a large wobbegong, some yellowtail, but not too much else. Not a great dive, but better than sitting at home. Visibility poor. 

12 October - Pizza Reef
Club boat dive. Swell down a bit but still significant, a bit surgy as well. Whale snot top to bottom and very slight current from S. Slight W wind. No bastard trumpeters at cave, but about a dozen at S end. Also a donut nembrotha there. Lots of silver sweep and yellowtail on S and E sides. Quite a few black reef leatherjackets as well. Whales heard all dive like last few dives. Nice dive. Visibility fair.

15 October - M & K Reef
Club boat dive. Large rolling swell so could not dive Cape Banks Cavern, tried Yellow Rock but swell here, then back to M&K and seems to be a bit protected by Cape Banks. Despite rolling swell, only a bit of surge on bottom intermittantly. Two blue devilfish in cave and Kelly found two pigmy pipehorse (PPH) outside cave. Some nice leatherjackets, a few cuttlefish, but not a great deal more. Nice dive. Appears we had the best dive of the three boats from club. Visibility fair.

18 October - Marley Point
Club boat dive. Slight swell and little NW wind so went all the way to Marley Point. A bit cleaner than Saturday. Went thru cave and did normal route. Saw an eagle ray, a big school of luderick, thousands of yellowtail, some nice black reef leatherjackets. Back on boat, a baby humpback whale surfaced 20 m from us and headed right at us. It must have went under or in front of us as surfaced the other side with mother. Very nice dive. Visibility good.

20 October - Bare Island Deep Wall
Club night dive. Went in from W point and WSW (compass is not working good). Visibility varied a lot over the dive, sometimes 10 m, mostly 5 m. Saw some opera house nudibranchs, lots of squid, three dwarf firefish, a spiny gurnard, one RIF, no PPH, 1 frogfish and the orange anglerfish. Could not find the tropical sea horse. A few other interesting nudibranchs as well. Another nice dive. Visibility poor. 

29 October - Henry Head
Club boat dive. Quite sloppy so we stayed inside Botany Bay, Kelly decided to not dive so she dropped us E of site and we did a drift dive. First vice with new OSTC 2 computer. Saw 8 sea dragons, all on the N-S section. Water very warm (20+C) at first but cooled off as tide changed. All the normal fish for here, but no sea horses. Saw the Victorian divers underwater as they drifted out. Nice dive. Visibility fair.

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