My Recent Dives - January & February 2013
Posted by Michael on 01 January 2013 00:00
5 January 2013 - Bare Island Deep Wall
First dive of the year and first for 3 weeks!! Went off W point and SW to wall. Saw at least 13 PPHs, some nudibranchs I have never seen before (Hedgpeths polycera and ?), lots of fish. Very warm shallow (23C) but a bit dirty and even 19.5C deep. Good start to the year. Visibility good.
5 January 2013 - Bare Island Isolated Reefs
Went off W point and to W. Then on S side of IR1. On IR2 found 2 juvenile sea dragons, most I have seen for a couple of years at BI I think. Really clear how much rock has been moved by the seas at the end of the reef. Lots of new anchors as well. Kelly found 5 pink okenias at the end of the reef. We found 14 PPHs, of which only 6 were ones we saw on the first dive. Again, another nice dive. Visibility good.
6 January 2013 - The Leap
Latish dive this morning due to the need to wait till after low tide. Dirty and warm on top but cleaner (10 m) on bottom. However, water 2 degrees colder than yesterday at 17.something. Found 7 PPHs near the start and Kelly found a big belly sea horse. Lots of nudis, including a couple we do not see often (sulphur Noumea and veiny okenia). Drifted along at a nice rate. Good dive. Visibility good.
10 January 2013 - Shiprock
Club night dive, 13 attending. Very dirty but very warm (22.1C min). Viz mostly 3-4 m but some btter spots. Things sen tonight included 7 pineapplefish, two firefish, lots of squid, octopus and moray eels, heaps of sand whiting, including a few large ones. Also lots of small snapper, hermit crabs and decorator crabs. Went in very early but low high tide, stopped 10 mins before it should have. Visibility poor.
12 January 2013 - Bypass Reef
A bit dirtier on top but clean on bottom (cold 17.3C). Found that where I dived the first time was a little shallower than the second dive. We did both spots today. Saw 2 sea dragons, Kelly found 2 PPH. Also saw a blue devilfish and lots of silver sweep and one-spot pullers. Very nice dive. Visibility good.
13 January 2013 - The Leap
Ten members ended up diving here. Huge 2 m tide, but the current was not all that strong. Saw 6 PPHs, 2 sea dragons, 1 with eggs, 3 sea horses (where we saw 1 last week). Lots of divers here. Cold again on bottom (17) but nice up shallow. A few rare nudibranchs, including veiny okenia and one I cannot yet identify. A very good dive. Visibility good.
17 January 2013 - Bare Island Right
Club night dive, 12 attending. Low tide so went off back left SE to sand. Then S till 20 mins and back to shore. Viz not too bad out back but only 3-4 m nearer to bridge. Found 2 PPHs as soon as hit the sand. Also a Vercos tamja. Gary P found 3 PPHs near cave on the way back, all on the 1 ascidian. Warm 21+C water. Reasonable dive. Visibility poor.
19 January 2013 - Shiprock
Cancelled boat dive due to big S change last night. Low tide, but virtually no current. Could not find the anglerfish that people saw last weekend. Lots of octopus, numbrays and a few small cuttlefish. A big school of yellowtail. The plaque is almost unreadable, need to take down a brush to clean out the letters. 7 pineapplefish, but I did not see a single nudibranch. Very warm water, 23.4C. Viz varied, best at S end. Overall, visibility fair.
20 January 2013 - Sand near SS Tuggerah
Went out on charter boat. Took 4 goes to anchor. Phil and Derek went down to secure anchor but as we hit 30 m, the anchor came free. We got to 40 m and saw that it was not hooked in. Ascended. Bugger, visibility was brilliant. That was it for the day for us. Visibility excellent.
24 January 2013 - Shiprock
Club night dive, 19 members attended - a record. Also a record I reckon for Shiprock as at least another 40 divers here from 2 shops. Got in very early (25 mins) to miss the hoardes, lowish high tide so current was very mild. Did not encounter them till half way back and just before exit. Resonable viz, but varied a bit. Lots of numbrays out swimming, Daryl got shocked by one. Heaps of hermit crabs and a few octopus. Some saw 2 mating and someone else saw a small cutlefish catch and eat a prawn. Only two tiny nudibranchs, 7 pineapplefish, lots of small bream ans snapper. Average dive. Visibility fair.
26 January 2013 - Bare Island Deep Wall
Club dive, 29 attending. Eddy dived with us, our 349th dive together but first in over 4 years with him. Went SW of W point, then S and back N. Kelly found 3 PPH out here. Quite clear, 12 m or more. Back to shore normal way. I found 2 more PPH shallower. Kelly saw a squid eating an old wife. Also a dwarf firefish. Visibility good.
26 January 2013 - Bare Island Isolated Reefs
Second club dive. Went off W point and W to sand and then W to IR1 on the N side. Slight outgoing current, easy to swim against. Lots of things seen, including 2 sea dragons on S side of IR2, a RIF on the SE corner of IR2 and the same PPHs we saw at end of first dive. Visibility even better, very good.
9 February 2013 - The Nursery, Julian Rocks
First dive for 2 weeks due to horrendous weather. Quite dirty but warm (25C). Lost Shaun within five mins. Kelly and I just did loops around the mooring. I saw a leopard shark. Saw a few eels, a nice shrimp, a school of barracuda and lots of other fish. Bottom stripped of growth because of the huge seas. Not sa great dive. Visibility poor.
10 February 2013 - The Nursery, Julian Rocks
Even dirtier today than yesterday. I had a problem with occy before dive and neglected to check tank contents. Had only 90 bar or so! Stayed very close to mooring. Saw at least 2 and maybe 3 leopard sharks (Kelly saw as well today). Lots of fish around. Not a great dive. Visibility very poor.
16 February 2013 - Barrens Hut/The Split
Club boat dive. Firs time I have been able to take boat out for over 4 weeks. Was about 12-15 kts SW blowing when we got there but this dropped to less than 10 kts when we were in water. Slight current from N on top. Did The Split and then on way back found a donut nembrotha. Found a fishing trap which had sharks, cuttlefish, bream and old wives in it. All undersized. Opened it and set free. Back to cave and then up. Lots of silver sweep and yellowtail in spots. Viz better shallower and also 2C warmer. Very nice dive. Visibility fair.
17 February 2013 - Bare Island Deep Wall
Went in off W point and went to the W. Once at sand, decided to keep going W and ended up at 16 m. Turned right. Found RIF on RIF Reef. Then to 15 m Reef (another RIF) and IR1. Back towards exit. Kelly found a few PPH opposite cave. I found another at 8 m. Some big flathead, octopus, squid and more. A very nice dive. Visibility poor.
20 February 2013 - Pizza Reef
Club boat dive. Slight current from N on top but nothing on bottom. Warm on top (19.9C) but cold (16.2C) on bottom. Lots of bastard trumpeters, yellowtail, seapike and silver sweep. Also one blue devilfish. Very nice dive. Went and looked at the trawler up on Cronulla Point near Shark Island. Well and truely stuck. Visibility good.21 February 2013 - Bare Island RIF Reef
Club night dive. Only 4 divers. A bit of timing needed to get in but was okay. Meant to go SW but ended up going W. Discovered my compass is RS, the "glass" was broken. Ended up at RIF Reef went over and around it and then across again. Found 2 RIF here. Then back normal way. Found a total of 9 PPH. Also 3 fiddler-rays, some large octopus, a few squid, lots of decorator crabs, a few interesting nudibranchs. Reasonable dive, but cold again (17C on bottom - 22C on top) and very dirty. Visibility poor.Click here to see details of dives including profiles.
For more details about these dives and other dives this year, click here