Michael McFadyen's Scuba Diving â€“ Lord Howe Island â€“ North Head Bommie
The south-western side of LHI contains the lagoon and the barrier reef which runs from the northern end of the island to the southern end. The lagoon has a few entrances, at least two at the southern end and one at the northern end. The western side of the island is suitable to be dived in easterly, northerly and north-easterly winds when here will be fairly protected.
The bommie is located just south of the northern head of LHI, perhaps 70 metres off the land. The site is also close to North Passage, the northern entrance to the lagoon. Its actual location is GPS 31Â°31'25.921"S 159Â°02'20.983"E using WGS84 as the datum (this is about 50 metres to the west of the bommie). The site is about 800 metres north-west of North Passage.
|The first gutter||Another of the gutters|
To do this dive the dive boat anchors off the bommie, the actual location will depend on the wind and current directions. We were anchored on the western side in about 12 metres of water. From here we circumnavigated the bommie in an anti-clockwise direction. The depth drops from 12 metres to 14 metres and then gradually to about 18 metres over the next 10 minutes.
Once you turn north-east, there are some narrow slits/canyons that run into the reef around the bommie. Along these slits are many overhangs and some small swim-throughs. I saw a few crayfish in these. As you go, you keep turning to the left and end up at the back of the bommie. Here there are some large holes or craters and between sections there are a few porthole type holes that can help you create interesting photographs. The depth here comes up to about 7 to 8 metres.
|The end of the hole behind the bommie||The swim-through from the hole at left|
The cracks and gullies continue all the way back to the boat's anchor, again with some overhangs along the way. The depth drops back to 12 metres along the way. On this dive I saw some sharks, like most other dives at LHI they were Galapagos sharks.
Once back at the anchor I spent some time shallower near the bommie doing my safety stop here. I also saw quite a few tropical fish species, including many different butterflyfish, some firefish, some leatherjackets and hundreds of one-spot pullers and some few trevally. However, I did not see any nudibranchs.
|A slipper cray above a crayfish||Kim Dinh looks through one of the port holes|
On my dive in May, I had 21.6Â°C water and at least 30 metres visibility. A pretty interesting dive site.