1 July 2018 - Henry Head
Club boat dive, two boats. Took new member and new diver Paul diving. For only 18 dives, very good. Incoming tide and visibility 15 m, 17.0C. Drifted in on tide, saw 2 sea dragons, 2 PPH (1 tiny), a few nice nudibranchs, a butterflyfish. Lots of yellowtail in spots. Nice dive. Visibility very good.
4 July 2018 - Barrens Hut/The Split
Club boat dive, two boats. Very large swell, average 2.4 m with 4.2 m highest. Had to go right around bommie as breaking right between there and mainland. Westerly wind and some surge on bottom but not too bad. Anchored at S end of Split. Went to Tunnel and then Cave. Back to anchor and Paul and I went up Split and back. Lots of bastard trumpeters, some red and blue morwong, lots of black reef leatherjackets. Also some PJs. Pretty good dive considering the swell. Saw a few humpback whales, one surfaced only 50 m from us. Visibility good.
7 July 2018 - Bare Island Deep Wall
Cancelled club boat dive due to forecast very strong W winds but they came late and we could have dived. Went in off W point to wall and back normal way. Lots of PJs, Kelly found two very small PPH. We saw 5 RIF, all over the place. Some pink okenias and pink flabellinas. Plenty of bream and some small snapper. A small wobbegong, a very friendly blue groper and more. Despite it being low tide, visibility was good.
11 July 2018 - Pizza Reef
Club boat dive, 2 boats, 9 divers. Huge seas two days ago (9+m) but average today less than 2. Little wind and no current. Stacks of whales seen and could hear them all through the dive, very loudly at times. First dive with drysuit since 2014, new neoprene seals. No leaks! A bit surgy on bottom, but better than expected as was visibility (8 m). Went right around, lots of bastard trumpeters outside cave, hundreds of seapike, one-spot pullers and silver sweep at southern end. Quite a few yellow-finned leatherjackets and the usual black reef leatherjackets. Half expected to see a whale! A really nice dive. Visibility fair.
14 July 2018 - Shiprock
Club shore dive. Seas too big to take boat out. Quite dirty considering how clean the water in Port Hacking has been. Did not see a single nudibranch! Saw one pineapplefish and also a frogfish. Lots of leatherjackets, one small butterflyfish, some small surgeonfish (and big ones) and many bream. At the north end dozens of large sand whiting. Only a reasonable dive, no water in suit so looks like it is all okay. Visibility poor.
25 July 2018 - Fish Rock Cave - Fish and Chips
No wind, flat seas and only a slight current. Went out to F&C, saw at least 10 GNS on the way there and back, mostly in the main gutter. Two were very large pregnant females, one with a white mark on right side of body. Also a shovel-nose ray. Plenty of yellowtail, silver sweep and bream near F&C. Then went towards the shallow entrance to cave. Saw about another 8 GNS. Back to mooring area before ascending. Great dive. Visibility very good.
25 July 2018 - Fish Rock Cave - Shallow Entrance
Saw more humpback whales in surface interval and after the dive. This time went to the shallow entrance to cave. Saw at least 30 GNS on the way and in the gutter and cave. Found two teeth as well. Spent a little time in mouth of cave before heading deeper again and then drifting back with current to mooring. Used a bit more air as had to fight current a few times. Back around mooring area before ascending. Fantastic dive. Visibility very good.
26 July 2018 - Fish Rock Cave - Fish and Chips
First part of dive similar to yesterday, then cut across towards Black Forest and then towards Shallow Entrance and back to mooring. Less sharks than yesterday in main gutter, but a couple in blind gutter and on the outside. Also some long-finned bannerfish, Moorish idols and one small clownfish. Not as many fish out at F&C. A few very inquisitive blue gropers as well. Water a bit colder (16.2 v 16.9) and also cleaner in spots. Nice dive. Visibility very good.
26 July 2018 - Fish Rock Cave - Western Drift
Very little current. Started at The Pinnacle and went S into Colorado Passage. No sharks there but a few kingfish and other fish. Came back to The Pinnacle and then went around it on the south and east side then south along the western slope. So many fish. Baitfish and lots of other species, all being harassed by hundreds of large kingfish and a seal. Seal came down past us twice. Back towards Shallow Entrance a huge school of bannerfish and then plenty of GNS (some along the way as well). Also quite a few bullrays, including one huge one. Two eagle rays early on and then another three near cave. Then back to mooring and more GNS. Brilliant dive. Visibility good to very good and excellent near mooring.
27 July 2018 - Fish Rock Cave - Western Drift
Calm as last two days. We went in again at The Pinnacle and after swimming around it, headed S. Not as many fish or kingfish today, no seal, but five Queensland gropers, altogether. One was huge. Quite a few GNS and over a hundred wobbegong sharks. A medium sized bullray and heaps of long-finned bannerfish like yesterday. In the Shallow Entrance Gutter, heaps of sharks, at least 30. Then back to S mooring. Another fantastic dive. Visibility very good, but darker as a bit cloudy.
27 July 2018 - Fish Rock Cave - Black Forest
Went from mooring to SW to wall, then followed this SE to near Black Forest. Lots of black coral trees, far more than the last time I went out here. Then went over the ridge to NE and into the Blind Gutter, amazed that we were only at the end of it! Saw the loggerhead turtle again. Then to Main Gutter and over to Fish & Chips. Little fish action here at all. Came back via the Deep Entrance Gutter and Main Gutter. No GNS seen at all. Then towards Shallow Entrance, some GNS seen, batfish and more. Very good dive. Visibility very good.
8 August 2018 - Bare Island Deep Wall
Boat out of action due to longer than expected repairs to steering so did a shore dive with Jason. Millpond seas and little wind at start, but stronger W later. Forgot my weight pockets first go, so had to get out and go and get them, idiot! Went from W point to wall and then back normal way. No RIF, PPH and hardly any nudibranchs. Lots of PJ and horned sharks, a few small cuttlefish, some cowfish but that is about all. If not for the visibility, would have been a rotten dive. No idea where everything has gone, but much colder than last ocean or near ocean dive in Sydney 3 weeks ago, 14.8C v 16.6C. Visibility very good.
14 August 2018 - Inscription Point
Flat seas and little wind. Went in a bit after high tide, very clean and warmer than last week (15.4C). Not a lot seen really, one sea dragon, one purple-lined nembrotha, a few other species of nudibranch. Did not seen any of the grey nurse sharks that have been seen here over the past month. Despite this, better than staying at home! Visibility very good.
15 August 2018 - The Balcony
Club boat dive. Strong NW wind but flat here. First dive here for over 4 years. Went along sand edge to NE and then across to main wall and into The Cutting area. Back to the main part of dive. Thousands of yellowtail, one spot pullers and lots of ladder-finned pomfrets. A few horned and Port Jackson sharks as well. A few blackfish up high near breaking water. Back to anchor and still lots of fish, including a large school of old wives. Water cold (14.6C) but still a great dive. Visibility very good.