Very heavy rain on the way across Botany Bay but stopped at the site. Quite rough, very sloppy and got worse during the dives. NE wind picked up as well. Very warm on top (21C) but over 2C cooler on bottom. Viz much better above 20 m, but still good. Not a huge amount of fishlife, one PJ, one blue devilfish, some leatherjacket etc. The sponglife and gorgonias here are so colourful, that made up for the lack of fish. Reasonable dive. Visibility good.
8 March 2014 - Barrens Hut/The Split
Club boat dive, three boats. Almost as good as it gets in Sydney, flat seas, no wind, no current, blue water and 25 m viz! Dived with Les and found the donut nembrotha Kelly found a month ago. Also another one and the tiny upsidedown pipefish between The Cave and The Tunnel. All the normal seapike, red morwong and bastard trumpeters, as well as a few friendly blue gropers. Most saw a blue devilfish but we did not, even though we looked there. A brilliant dive. Visibility excellent.
20 March 2014 - Bare Island Deep Wall
Club night dive, 9 attending. Flat seas, no wind, warm water, but dirty. Was supposed to be an incoming tide but we had to swim against it the whole dive, but only very slight. Found 8 PPH, 3 sea horses, 5 dwarf firefish, octopus, PJs, horned shark, red-lined flabellina, some other rarer nudibranchs and more. No RIF, but a great dive. Visibility poor.
26 March 2014 - Pizza Reef
Club boat dive. Port Hacking chocolate brown after all the the rain of the past week. Very dark and lots of storms around, but seas better than I expected. A bit surgy on bottom and slight current from E but a current from S on top. Very warm at over 22 on top and 21.4 on bottom. Saw many bastard trumpeters, some E of cave, some over cave, some SW of cave and some at S end. Could have been the same ones moving, not sure. Apart from surge, nice relaxing dive. Visibility good.
29 March 2014 - Shiprock
Club dive. I was going out to dive SS Undola but a forecast strong S meant it was cancelled. Little wind when we started dive but very strong at end. Water amazingly clean considering it was chocolate brown here on Wednesday but the current was running out even at start of dive. Was at least 15 m. Gary found a tiger pipefish next to the bommie off the plaque and two more shallow. A small kingfish at start and a huge one near turnaround. Some octopus, a small but pregnant wobbegong, only two pineapplefish and a small spotted eel. Nice dive. Visibility very good.
30 March 2014 - Henry Head
Club dive and BBQ day, 4 boats and about 32 diving. A bit of a S blowing, about 15 kts, was supposed to be W at 8! I dived with an all girl buddy team of 4! Just after high, so the outgoing current moved the anchor from where I set it to the E. Could not find it at the end so had to ascend and see where the boat was. Looks like it moved about 30 m. Water was pretty clean, but not as good as the first group that dived. I did not see anything special apart from one blue devilfish. Visibility good.
2 April 2014 - Middle Ground
Club boat dive, 2 boats and 10 divers. Second time in probably 6 months we have had flat seas, no winds, no current and very good viz. Anchor was just sitting on reef top when I got down so had to move it in case wind came up (which it did not). Viz was about 20 m. Very slight current on bottom from W and 5C colder (17.2C) than top. A blue devilfish at NE corner in canyon. Lots of nudibranchs, two largish cuttlefish, 2 wobbegong sharks, one very large and lots of seapike and other fish. A very good dive. Visibiity very good.
5 April 2014 - Pizza Reef
Club boat dive, 3 boats. A bit sloppy and wind from W and then S, up to 15 kts or so and then dropped. Very slight current from S on surface. Water over 21C all the way to bottom. A blue devilfish in cave but only a couple of bastard trumpeters there. Gary found a tiny sea dragon on the rocks off the SW side. The fishlife near here was amazing, seapike, silver sweep, one-spot pullers and more, stretching from bottom to near the surface. Another brilliant dive. Visibility very good.
6 April 2014 - Inscription Point
Club shore dive and BBQ, about 20 present. Was supposed to be The Leap but too rough. Took Emma from WA diving, found 5 sea dragons, including one juvenile, 2 pygmy pipehorses (there was one more we did not see) as well as a butterflyfish. A bit surgy and exit was challenging. Nice dive. Visibility fair.
10 April 2014 - Bare Island Deep Wall
Club night dive. Raining and only 5 turned up. Went in off W point and to SW. Very dirty shallow but out deep was 15 m in spots. Found 2 PPH on the outer rocks and then 2 more back near the wall. Then 3 big belly sea horses, more PPH (9 in total), of which 4 were white. At least 3 firefish, some very large squid and more. Some saw a RIF as well. A very good dive despite the poor viz and rain. Visibility poor.
12 April 2014 - Shiprock
Club boat dive was cancelled due to huge seas and very strong winds. Decided to dive here at low tide. Went in 10 mins early but only a very slight current to swim into in spots. Not a great deal of interesting life, but lots of leatherjackets, especially fan-bellied and moasic. A moray eel with tail bitten off and another with fresh damage to lower jaw. No pineapplefish where they have been, but one further N and then 2 near where they were years ago and another past bubble cave. Back to top to look for sea horses but none seen. Visibility poor.
18 April 2014 - SS Tuggerah
Huge swell but W wind meant okay out in ocean. Had a good run down, anchored first go but was right on bow and wind was slight from SW. Dave ended up tangled in our anchor but miraculously it came free when second group released the anchor. No current and blue water, at least 25 m viz. This was Caroline and Nicolas's first dive on Tuggerah, so a great introduction. Lots of fishlife as well. Ended up doing just over 20 mins on single tank (80 bar left at end). Surfaced earlier than I normally would as I knew there would be problems with our boats crashing into each other once our anchor was released. Had to push off Dave's boat but all was okay. What a great dive!! Visibility excellent.
19 April 2014 - Shiprock
Cancelled boat dive due to huge seas and very strong S winds. Big crowd diving here as only place outside Sydney Harbour you could dive. Very dirty water, even though it was high tide. Not helped by a lot of bad divers stirring up the bottom. Found two moray eels, two horned sharks, five pineapplefish, some small cuttlefish and two frongfish. Not much else, did not even see one nudibranch. Visibility very poor.
20 April 2014 - SS Tuggerah
Very large swell still running but smoothish sea overall. Anchored second go near boilers, anchor was on top of a square steel box structure so had to move it to a better spot. Then took Peter Fields' anchor to a piece of wreck and tied it in. Noticed our anchor was free so then had to reattach it to a different spot. Finally okay. Went to stern and then back to in front of boilers. Used a lot of air playing with anchors so could only do 18 mins bottom time. Three huge cuttlefish and lots of fishlife. Another brilliant dive here. Visibility excellent.
21 April 2014 - Middle Ground
Swell dropped dramatically from yesterday, no wind and similar very slight current from S. Did the circle of the reef, at least 4 six-spined leatherjackets, 4 large cuttlefish, a very large wobbegong. Lots of silver sweep, yellowtail and mado. A large bunch of red morwong in gully near anchor. A very good dive, did 30 mins on bottom. Visibility very good.
23 April 2014 - Marley Point
Club boat dive. Flat seas and no wind so finally was able to go south a bit. Just before we got in we saw a shark on the surface behind the boat, not sure what type. At least 25 m viz, could see boat clearly from 21 m. Saw a large school of kingfish, some bream, lots of ladder-finned pomfrets and a wobbegong. Also a small red indianfish, first I have ever seen here and only the second one outside a bay. Lots more as well, but not as many fish in shallows as normal. A brilliant dive. Four boat dives at least 8/10 in six days. Visibility excellent.
26 April 2014 - Minmi Trench
Wind was light N and big seas of yesterday dropped. However, it was too rough outside as the choppy seas made it very uncomfortable. Came back to dive here. Very slight outgoing tide but did not even notice on the bottom. Lots of silver sweep and smaller fish. Also one blue devilfish. Very nice dive. Warm water still. Visibility very good.
For more details about these dives and other dives this year, click here.