My Recent Dives - January & February 2018
Posted by Michael on 01 January 2018 00:00
5 January 2018 - SS Tuggerah
Phil's boat. Very calm seas, no current on top (but some on bottom). Anchored right on boiler. Searched for the torch I dropped last year, but could not find it. Went under prop, huge wobbegong shark swam under me. Cleaned the toilet, no one has done since I last did it 10 months ago. Went a bit forward and then back to boiler. A few medium cuttlefish, a moray eel, lots of large seapike over prop area. A really nice dive. Visibility good.

6 January 2018 - Middle Ground

Very warm day, strong NE even at 8 am, but only slight chop so far. Anchored on NE corner, slight current. Warm 21.5C on top but 17.4C on bottom. Went looking for the torch I lost here 2 months ago. Did not find first go, so went right around reef. Very large schools of yellowtail, silver sweep, seapike and trevally. A few black reef leatherjackets, but no wobbegongs or blue devilfish. Came back to anchor area and did another search, Found the torch on the reef, white instead of black, paint has come off, also covered in small barnacles. Still worked when I turned it on! Anchor would not come free after dive, so Ian R had to do a second to move it. Excellent dive. Visibility very good.

7 January 2018 - Bare Island Deep Wall

Very hot day, by end of dive it was 37C. Went in off W point to wall, then back normal way. Lots of nudibranchs, pink okenia, red flabbelina and many others. One RIF, one small orange anglerfish, Kelly and Kim found a few PPHs. Water very warm (23C) shallow but dirty. Much cleaner (15-20 m viz) but 18C deeper. An excellent 71 minute dive. Visibility very good.

8 January 2018 - Bare Island Deep Wall

Another very hot day. Went in off W point and headed SW. Did similar dive to yesterday. Water heaps warmer on bottom (19.7C) but viz nowhere near as good, perhaps 12 m. Lost Chris at 50 min mark, searched for him and surfaced to find him swimming to shore. Saw lots of different nudibranchs like yesterday, no PPH or RIF, but two spiny gurnards. Also found the small orange anglerfish again and lots of "bugs" in the Gabo Island soft coral. Another nice dive.Visibility good.

8 January 2018 - Bare Island Isolated Reefs

Decided to another dive with Kim. Even hotter now. Went off W point and headed WNW to 15 Metre Reef, then to S side of IR1. Followed this to the end and back along N side of IRs. Viz a little better. Found one RIF at start of IR2. No PPH. Lots of nudibranchs and a small boxfish. The anglerfish had moved about a metre since this morning's dive. A few morays, one very large and friendly one on IR2. A blue groper also followed us for about 20 minutes on IR2. Ended up in deco for two minutes! Great dive again. VIsibility good.

11 January 2018 - SS Tuggerah

My 4,000th dive!! Club deep dive, two boats and 8 divers. No wind, current, a bit of swell from SE but glassy. Blue water to 27 m, then greener (still good). Anchored right on stern, hooked into fishing net. Moved to above rudder. Went forward to bow and then back to boilers and stern. Two huge wobbegongs, a few medium cuttlefish, a couple of moray eels (swimming). Rob went up Phil's anchor and later cut across to ours as we were close enough to be able to see on deco. Excellent dive. Visibility good.

12 January 2018 - Marley Point 

Club boat dive. Fast run down in blue water, very slight current from N. Anchored right next to cave, could see bottom as soon as we jumpe din water. Went NE along sand edge, a huge bullray swam past us. Saw it three more times in totally different locations. Thousands of one-spot pullers, all doing their mating dance. There were all over the place. Came back shallower, going through a few swim-throughs and then W of anchor. Back to cave and through it to anchor. A very nice dive, warm water (mostly 20+C but 18.8C min). Visibility very good.

13 January 2018 - Bare Island Isolated Reefs

Too rough to go in off W point, had to go in near Carol's plaque. Went down to IR1 and then along N side. Around end of IR2 and back on S side. Some current in spots. Two PPH on large white sponge near first cave, the small orange anglerfish was on adjacent rock to normal, one RIF in between IR1 and IR2. Lots of yellowtail out on IR2. Lots of nudibranchs again, heaps of different species. A really good dive, apart from the bunch of divers who passed us and made viz 2 m and then later surfaced way out on IR! Visibility good.

21 January 2018 - The Leap

Seas quite flat and water warm 21C and viz at least 10 m, amazing considering the huge seas during the week. Did the normal drift, perhaps a bit slower than normal (76 mins). Hardly swam at all as tide was enough. Saw 6 sea dragons, 2 with eggs. 7 PPH, one pale big belly sea horse, lots of nudibranchs. A very nice dive. VIsibility good.

24 January 2018 - Hungry Jacks

Club boat dive. A bit sloppy but no wind, blue water and very slight current from S. Anchored on top of reef. Judy had a problem with her inflator, kept sticking on, had to disconnect the hose. Meant we had a shorter dive than normal. Went N along reef edge, lots of silver sweep, small trevally and one-spot pullers. One very large blue groper. Others saw a blue devilfish. Nice dive except too short. Visibility good. 

5 February 2018 - Bare Island Isolated Reefs

Too rough to go in from point, went in near Carol's plaque. Only one PPH and one RIF. No anglerfish. Lots of red morwong out on IR2, plenty of leatherjackets and yellowtail. Warm, over 22C whole dive. Viz not the greatest, but considering the seas last week, pretty good. Not one of the better dives here. Visibility fair.

7 February 2018 - Osborne Shoals

Club boat dive. No wind and a little slop. However, quite surgy on bottom even though only small swell. First time here for almost four years. Went W and S. A bit sandy in spots, but towards end cleared up. Not a huge amount seen, two sea dragons and one large cuttlefish and a six spinned leatherjacket were the highlights. Visibility fair.

Next dives all at Jervis Bay

11 February 2018 - Little Egypt

Southerly hit early so could not go any further. Got stronger and moved from SW to SE while we were here. Anchored in normal spot, went SE and then back. Saw a small moray eel, a sea dragon, Kelly found a sea spider and a tiny pygmy pipehorse. We also saw a squid and a lot of smallish kingfish. Very cold in spots (16.1), although top warm and some warmer spots. Visibility very good.

11 February 2018 - The Nursery

Much windier than earlier and gone more SE to E. Used N most mooring. Went to E and then followed reef N and back. Saw a large wobbegong, a six-spined leatherjacket, a few blue gropers and maori wrasse. Not great as viz went from poor to very poor in spots but at least it was much warmer. Visibility poor. 

12 February 2018 - The Arch

A bit sloppy but not too bad. Anchored just E of Arch and boat hanging almost above the gap. Went to Arch and moved Phil's anchor to top as the rope was rubbing on rock. Then over and back thru Arch, up and down the gap, then back to top of Arch where Kelly found an upsidedown pipefish and two small pipefish. Lots of fish, very cold though, 15.3C. Great dive. Visibility excellent.

12 February 2018 - Torpedo Tubes

Anchored here for morning tea then dived to S. Quite dirty but some cold very clear spots, second divers had better viz. Went to cave and inside, then back to boat. Nothing special seen, but nice anyway. Visibility fair.

13 February 2018 - Pyramid Rock

Very choppy, so we did not go north as planned. Not too bad here. Anchored right on the site, dropped over wall, water very clear but cold, 15.0C! Went S for a bit on bottom then back along wall. Out around the rocks, found a very bright blue devilfish, lots of bastard trumpeters, one-spot pullers, mado, small trevally. Then back to wall N of this, along top to anchor and up. Next divers saw a seal. Fantastic dive. Visibility very good. 

13 February 2018 - Bowen Island Rockfall

A bit calmer than the first dive. Water temperature varied a lot, still cold, 16.6C. Went S for a bit, Kelly found a small razor pipefish, then we saw a large bullray, then back past anchor where Kelly found two blue devilfish. Then went W and thru a large swim-thru which had many exits. Back towards boat, saw a dozen huge kingfish. Lots of trevally and one-spot pullers all over the place. Also saw a few king wrasse. Very nice dive. Visibility good.

14 February 2018 - The Fence

Tried to go north again but sloppy swell and chop from NE, so decided to stop here. This is below lighthouse on Point Perpendicular and you can see a fence. Lots of boulders, goes deep. Water not so clean, but some spots were colder and clearer. Did not see a great deal apart from a small wobbegong and a large swimming one. Only an average dive. Visibility fair.

14 February 2018 - The Docks

Wind turned NW while here. Very calm. Went to big cave via the N swim-thru, then to Double Decker Cave. Kelly found a small blue devilfish. Lots of seapike in main cave, some big eyes in caves and swim-thrus, yellowtail outside. Viz varied a lot, water warm at 21.8C. A nice dive. Visibility good.

15 February 2018 - Pyramid Rock

Very sloppy and wind came up eary, so too rough to go anywhere but here. Decided to only do one dive, so did a deco dive. Did similar dive to Tuesday. Not as good viz either but over 3 degrees warmer. Kelly found a sea spider, a pygmy pipehose and an upsidedown pipefish. Also a lot of red morwong but only a couple of bastard trumpeters and also one female king wrasse. May have been as many fish, but since viz was not as good, could not tell. A very good dive. Visibility fair. 

16 February 2018 - The Bommies

Wind forecast to go from SW to SE about 10 so decided to do only one dive, a deco one. This spot about half way from Rockfall to Pyramid Rock. This is 25 m on top, dropping to 28 at bottom of wall and then over 31 out further. There are a number of large bommies, making small gullies between them and with some small overhangs. Much warmer at 20.1C. Found a large long-snouted boarfish, Kelly found another sawtooth pipefish. A few nice wrasse, and one six-spined leatherjacket. Very colourful, plenty of gorgnias and sea squirts. Excellent dive. Visibility good.

Back in Sydney

28 February 2018 - Pizza Reef

Club boat dive. The seas were smoothish but still a bit of swell running (huge on Monday). Clean down to 18 m and then very dirty, perhaps 5 m mostly, although one spot much cleaner. Mostly floating sand. Also a bit of surge and a current from N. Anchored in gully between the two parts, went to cave, a few bastard trumpters and lots of seapike. Then to S end, one donut nembrotha. Also some black reef leatherjackets. Not the greatest dive, but not the worst either. Visibility very poor.

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