2 May 2018 - The Split
Very calm seas and little wind, best day for months. Current from N, stronger on bottom but not too bad. An eastern blue devilfish out in open near anchor and a large cuttlefish there too. Went N along Split and then N again, but no donut nembrothas. Back along sand edge to anchor. Went thru the cave here, first time for probably 10 years. Over 30 bastard trumpeters outside, with red morwong a few blue morwong. Lots of silver sweep in various spots. Saw 3 humpback whales after the dive, one huge only 100 m away. Second group saw a large turtle near The Tunnel. Visibility fair.
4 May 2018 - Bare Island Deep Wall
Millpond seas and a bit of W wind. Went in from W point and headed SW. Water a bit milky but okay. Did the normal dive, saw lots of red-lined nembrothas again on 15 Metre Reef, Dick found a RIF (apparently) on RIF Reef. Kim showed us a small white anglerfish near The Cave. Nice. The white PPH is still near the white sponge and I found a RIF at the last set of rocks. Lots of leatherjackets, but no other PPHs. Nice dive. Visibility fair.
5 May 2018 - Barrens Hut
Very sloppy sea despite W wind, must have blown S during night. Not too bad though. Saw 2 more whales, 50 m away heading S! Anchored exactly same spot as Wednesday, but no devilfish or cuttlefish. Went to The Tunnel. I found a tiny PPH and Kelly found two upsidedown pipefish near entrance to Tunnel. Then to The Cave and back via the crack. At least 30 bastard trumpeters and lots of red morwong. Kelly found a red PPH near anchor. Very nice dive. Visibility good.
9 May 2018 - Marley Point
Club boat dive. Starboard battery a little flat at start and the port one after dive, had to jump it. Later check showed water low. Flat seas although a bit of rolling swell later, ran down at 22 knots. No whales today, but heard a penguin again. Somehow my computer was on CCR and air, no idea how this happened, changed to EAN32 when I noticed. Went E thru cave and saw a small boxfish. Before this saw a school of small kingfish. Some ladder-finned pomfrets and quite a few blue gropers. Back shallower, saw two very large cuttlefish in upper cave and a Moorish idol. After Les went up, Geoff and I went W. Heaps of yellowtail, so many it got dark. Also more pomfret shallower and a large kingfish. Back to boat and up. Visibilty good but milky.¬†
19 May 2018 - Middle Ground
Light wind from W and no current. However, a long period swell (15 seconds) from SE of about 2.5 metres. This goes to over 50 metres, so at 32 we had a fair bit. However, the bottom sand was not stirred up at all. Lots of wobbegong sharks, I counted 6 in total. One was huge and two were swimming around. Also lots of yellowtail and seapike all over the reef. Kelly found some spindle cowries on a gorgonia. A nice six-spined leatherjacket in one of the cracks. Ended up in deco it was that nice, excellent. Visibility good.
31 May 2018 -¬†Shiprock
First dive for almost 2 weeks due to very strong S winds and huge seas most of the time. Over 15 months since I have dived here, must be a record. Quite cold, 16.2C, compared to 18.5 last dive. Did the usual dive, cleaned the plaque which was fairly clean on the face but getting overgrown on edges. Since viz was great, we went out on sand a fair bit, lots more bottles visible and way out, more wooden wharf piles than before. Lots of sand must have been moved (it is really shallow to east). Turned around at normal spot and came back along the wall. Saw one pineapplefish, S of normal spot, two frogfish, a small cuttlefish, three unfriendly moray eels, four long finned bannerfish and Gary saw four butterflyfish. Huge numbers of yellowtail, seapike and silver sweep along the wall. Did not see one nudibranch! Lots of leatherjackets and morwong as well as plenty of small bream and snapper. Also quite a few medium bream. At N end saw a school of a more than 100 sand whiting! A nice dive. Visibility very good.
9 June 2018 - Yellowfish Reef
After a few weeks of very strong S winds and big seas, a much better day, although it was raining and very overcast. Went to Bypass Reef but looked green (almost low tide) so went north to behind Long Bay Rifle Range. This is a new spot S of Red Flag and North of Tyre Reef. No current and little wind. Bluish water. Very spectacular bottom, lots of large boulders and a wall, some small caves/overhangs. Went N for 15 mins (22-18 m) and then back S a little shallower (17m). Found a larger cave with Moorish idol and a blue devilfish. After turning around, saw some huge schools of thousands of yellowtail, hundreds of one-spot pullers and ladder-finned pomfrets and some kingfish. Saw two more MI, Kelly saw some butterflyfish, I saw ab out 20 large blackfish. Lots of leatherjackets, some large blue morwongs, two cuttlefish, one very large. Ended up going S of anchor for a bit and abck. An excellent dive, best we have done for a few months. Visibility good.
13 June 2018 - The Split
Club boat dive. Flat seas and little NW wind, very slight current from N. Anchored in normal spot. Went N along Split and then N again. Two PJs in Split, two donut nembrothas outside and N. Quite a few black reef leatherjackets and some silver sweep. Saw lots of squid eggs and then at least half a dozen large squid. A few blue morwongs along the dive. A very good dive, water still 18.5C. Visibility very good.
16 June 2018 - The Colours
First dive out of Sydney Harbour for 9 years! NW wind, millpond seas, no current. A seal swam within a few metres of boat before we went into water. Anchored on 26 m level. Went N along reef edge. Lots of one-spot pullers and silver sweep. Saw a blue devilfish, some nice nudibranchs, plenty of other fish including some large blue gropers. A pretty good dive, need to dive more here (despite the 40 min drive). Visibilty good.
27 June 2018 - Pizza Reef
Club boat dive. A large swell running but smooth, thought it may be surgy but was not. Little wind and slight current from N and water still 17.8C. Saw some whales before and after dive, probably five. Took 5 mins to descend as had problem clearing my right ear. Anchored in canyon, so went around from here. Plenty of bastard trumpeters, yellowtail and silver sweep. Saw a male eastern king wrasse, first one I have seen in Sydney for many years. Lots of fish near cave and one donut nembrotha out from here. Back to anchor. Excellent dive. Visibility very good.