My Recent Dives - January, February and March 2021
Posted by Michael on 02 January 2021 12:00
2 January 2021 - The Leap
Large number of divers here and at Inscrirption Point. Also more fishers here than I have ever seen. Blue water, 30 m viz for first 25 mins, then gradually dropped to about 15 m at exit, 20.8C. Quite a string current for first 40 mins. Saw 5 sea dragons, 5 big belly sea horses, 3 PPH (Paul saw 4 more), a black painted anglerfish, a purple-lined nembrotha and much more. A fantastic dive!. Visibility excellent.
  
3 January 2021 - Henry Head
Too rough outside, wind from NE stronger than the forecast and also some rain around. Over 2 degrees colder than yesterday but almost as good viz, 25 m. Strongish incoming tide. Went S, two sea dragons, one with eggs (second group saw two more). Some small kingfish, lots of black reef-leatherjackets, some nice nudibranchs, a few small crab like species in sponges. Another great dive. Visibility very good.

4 January 2021 - M & K Reef
Tried to dive Bypass Reef but there was current there. Even here there was some on the surface. Blue water, 20.4C, about 20 m viz. Dropped to bottom rather than fight the current and went to anchor. Could see boat from here. Straight off S cave, a blue devilfish in there (second group again saw two). Went N and around end, a large wobbegong shark in the cave there. Probably 20 to 30 medium sized kingfish circling this spot as thousands of yellowtail here. Back to main reef and S. Could not find the sea dragon from last week, but Ian found it out wider later. Back to anchor and up. Another great dive. Visibility very good.

5 January 2021 - Bare Island Isolated Reefs
Went in off W point, slipped and hit my left thigh, hurt a lot but no bruise after the dive. Went WNW to near SHC, then on S side of IR1. Viz out here about 10 m, but in spots on N side, less than 4 m, 19.2C here but warmer 20.4C shallower. Lots of yellowtail on IR2, some large kingfish as well. All up 6 RIF seen, no PPH, a few moray eels, the pineapplefish and small painted anglerfish on way back but no sea horses. A dozen medium sized squid too. Quite a few interesting nudibranchs, including pink okenia and red-lined flabellina. A nice, relaxed dive. Visibility good.

6 January 2021 - The Monuments
Calm seas, bluish milky water, about 10 m at best, 20.4C. Went NE to edge then E and then W and back to exit. Saw two PPH (others saw two more), four sea dragons, one with eggs. One Bare Island anglerfish, quite a few rarer nudibranchs, a spindle cowrie. A really nice relaxing 78 mins. Visibility fair.

10 January 2021 - The Split
Cancelled yesterday's Tuggerah dive due to wind. Today no wind, smooth seas. Anchored in normal spot, went up Split to N end, then N along wall to the Donut Rock. Saw 10 donut nembrothas here, plus another 4 seen on way back to boat. A PPH, two pipefish and an upsidedown pipefish, a dozen large squid, black reef and a very friendly six-spined leatherjacket and lots more. A really good dive. Visibility good.

12 January 2021 - Bare Island Isolated Reef 1
A total of 11 members on dive, most went this way. Quite good viz below 12m, over 10 m. However, very cold at 16.8C. Off W point to reef edge, then to SHC and over to N side of IR1. Reasonable outgoing tide before SHC, but then little on IR1 except when coming back on S side. No PPH, one RIF, one small wobbegong, no sea hroses or the small pineapplefish and painted anglerfish. They seem to have moved away. Some interesting nudibranchs, especially Trinchesia (orange, black and white) and Elyssia species. Lots of yellowtail on IR1, a large sole and a tiny flathead on way back. One person saw a leopard shark. Much warmer back shallower. Another very good dive. Visibility good.

13 January 2021 - Yellow Rock
Tried to dive Bypass again but current from N. Went to Yellow Rock and anchored and discovered there was a reasonable current here too. Dived anyway, not too hard to get down, slight current on bottom too. Went N a bit off wall and then came back along wall. Not much on the way N, but on the way back lots of yellowtail, luderick, some large blackfish, a large wobbegong shark, a few squid, leatherjackets and one-spot pullers. Some interesting nudibranchs too. There are a few large overhangs, some swim-throughs and bays along the rock platform. Back past anchor and then back to anchor. Then E a bit deeper to 23 m, a large cuttlefish here, but much colder, dropped at least a degree to 17.2C or even lower. Not the best dive I have had here. Visibility good.

14 January 2021 - Bare Island Right
Club night dive, 13 divers. First one I have really done for perhaps 5 years. Big S change came hours early, so had to go in past Carol's plaque. Went to Cave and back. Dirty above 8 m but warm, cold (18.1C) and cleaner below, perhaps 7 m. Lots seen, including two mating octopus plus others, a small fiddler-ray, two RIF, a wobbegong shark, some flathead and sole, two squid, one of which had caught a king prawn, nudibranchs, a tiny boxfish and a larger one. Some also saw two PPH. BBQ afterwards. A great night out. Visibility fair.

17 January 2021 - The Colours
Chaos at the boat ramp before and after, so many people have no idea about protocol or how to launch or retrieve their boat. Packed parking area, but I got a spot when a boat came back in. Large swell from SE, surgy even on bottom. Quite cold but some warm patches. A boarfish, 8 frogfish, one PPH, two sawtooth pipefish, lots of yellowtail, one-spot pullers and small trevallies. A cuttlefish too. A nice dive, but not the best we have had here. Visibility fair.

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