9 September 2014 - Bare Island Deep Wall
After about three weeks of heavy rain I thought that the water would be dirty. However, apart from the top three metres, the visibility was amazing. Went off W point and out on the wall it was about 15 m. Back near SHC it was at least 20 m, as good as I have ever seen! Tide was running out and it was quite strong on the wall. Found one sea horse but John saw two. The third one is missing. Lots of sand moved by the big seas, deeper in spots and shallower elsewhere. One RIF and one upsidedown pipefish. No PPH. Very nice dive, especially considering what I was expecting. Visibility very good.
11 September 2014 - Bare Island Deep Wall
Club night dive. Went off W point and to wall. Much dirtier than Tuesday, viz only 7 m at best. I had plenty of problems with my mask, it kept fogging up no matter how many times I cleaned it, very annoying. Found 1 RIF on wall, 3 on RIF Reef, another before SHR and one more after that, making 6 in all, a record I think. A huge bullray near cave, quite a few squid at the start of the dive. Very average dive considering the viz and my mask problems. Visibility poor.
13 September 2014 - Xanadu
Club boat dive, two boats. Flat seas and no wind but raining. Anchored a bit too far to W of wall, so a bit of a swim over. Lots of one-spot pullers around and a few Port Jackson sharks. Did not go too far N or S of where we met the wall. A nice site we need to dive more, have not dived here for many years. Visibility good.
15 September 2014 - SS Annie M Miller
Went out on Peter Field's boat. Slight current from N, could see wreck at 42 m from 28 m. Went to bow and then back to stern. Lots of seapike and yellowtail over the wreck. A small wobbegong and a few moray eels. Nice dive. Visibility very good.
15 September 2014 - Shark Island Concrete Block
A dive to check out one of Scott Willan's wreck possibilities. This was about half way from N end of Shark Island to Neilsen Park. It was a concrete block about 2.5 m square and perhaps 1.5 m high. On one side was a steel arm lying on bottom and on top coils of electrical cable. Some cable ran off over sand in loops. Visibility fair.
15 September 2014 - Vaucluse Bay
Another dive to check out one of Scott's targets. This was probably a boat, but it was right near a moored yacht. I went down the mooring line but viz on bottom was about 1 m. Could not see a thing dispite a search pattern in front of the mooring. Visibility very shithouse.
23 September 2014 - SS Tuggerah
A bit of swell but long and rolling. A medium current from N all the way to the bottom. Anchored near prop. Ray took a long time to come down so only ended up diving to the front of the boiler. A couple of large wobbegongs, lots of nannygai and a blue morwong. Showed Ray the tools. Not the best dive here but a lot nicer than some others. Visibility fair.
24 September 2014 - Barrens Hut/The Split
Club boat dive, two boats and 9 divers. Calm seas and little wind, no current. Went along Split to north end and then back along sand edge. No donut nembrothas at all. Back near cave there was a large fishing net caught on rocks. This had heaps of horn sharks caught in it. I freed two small ones, Ian four larger ones. We thought the rest were dead. Phil and Jane from the other boat attached a lift bag to it and raised it after the dive. There was one more live shark their freed. Back near anchor there was a cuttlefish and a blue devilfish. Really nice dive. Visibility good.
25 September 2014 - Shiprock
Peter B was up from Melbourne so wanted a dive. Went in a little early so had a slight incoming current after we turned around. First dive here for 2.5 months. A lot of sand moved from shallower end and heaps deposited near the last couple of bommies. Lots of bream, luderick and small snapper as well as leatherjackets and seapike. Five pineapplefish, one boxfish. Heaps of small cuttlefish all over the place. Leak in drysuit right seal even worse now! Visibility good.
27 September 2014 - Pizza Reef
Club boat dive, three boats with 15 divers. Did not go where we planned as S wind too strong and seas very choppy. What a dive, viz over 25 m, water 18.5C, no current and so many fish. Seapike and yellowtail in schools of thousands all over the reef. Also two blue devilfish. Visibility excellent.
28 September 2014 - SS Tuggerah
Much better conditions than yesterday, but wind came up from 10 kt W to over 15 kts but then dropped back later. Very little current on surface, none on bottom. Saw two seals before we got in but not during the dive. Could see the wreck from 25 m. Blue water, lots of fish (yellowtail and nannygai) and two very large wobbegong sharks. Went to bow, then stern, then boiler and then showed Peter and Maryanne the tools. Did just over 21 mins on bottom. A brilliant dive. Visibility excellent.
1 October 2014 - The Leap
Very strong SW winds and seas rising. Very blue water and quite flat here. Drifted quite quickly, hence shortish bottom time of 46 mins. Saw one sea dragon with heaps of eggs, one yellow big belly sea horse, one dead small eagle ray, one large fiddler ray and a large bullray near exit. Nice dive with up to 20 m viz in spots. Visibility very good.
2 October 2014 - Bare Island Isolated Reefs
Club night dive. A bit of SE swell running so had to go in before the pool. Viz good shallow, then poor and then fair the rest of the way out. Saw 2 RIF before we got to IR1. Then saw 2 more on IR1 and IR2. Another on the way back. The others saw another 2, making 7 in all, a new record! Two big belly sea horses together at start of IR2 (N side). Some squid, a free swimming conger eel, some octopus, a Verco's tamja and more. A really nice dive. Visibility fair.
8 October 2014 - Shiprock
Very overcast and a bit of drizzle. Pushed along quickly till about 20 mins and then eased off. Not much around, only a few nudibranchs. Lots of small cuttlefish, some large octopus, a small wobbegong, a large school of whiting. Six pineapplefish, one well S of the rest. Two are small. Not the greatest dive here. Visibility fair.
9 October 2014 - Marys Reef
Club boat dive, 2 boats 9 divers. Anchored on S side of reef in 20 m. Went to E and then NE. There is a large overhang along the way with lots of one-spot pullers. A blind shark was also seen. Lots of blue groper and leatherjackets. At 16 mins we turned around. There are lots of gutters/gullies here created by large boulders and cracks in the main reef. The depths is 24 m. Went back to anchor and then W. It shallows on sand to 18 m. Another large overhang about 30 m W of anchor with more pullers. Back to anchor and up. A great dive dispite viz been not so good. Visibility poor.
9 October 2014 - Bare Island Deep Wall
Club night dive, 7 attending. Too rough to go in from W point so went through pool. Ended up a bit N of normal spot on wall and a bit of incoming current so did not go too far S. One PPH here. Back normal way, did not see any sea horses, but did not really look. I saw no RIF, but some saw one. Another PPH at Sea Horse Corner, but Ron saw two. A lot of small squid, some cuttlefish, a few large PJs. Only a reasonable dive. Visibility poor.
11 October 2014 - Pizza Reef
A bit of swell from NE but very smooth and slight current from N. Blue water but cold, only 15.4C!!! This is colder than any dive since winter 2013. Visibility much better than Thursday, over 15 m. Saw a seal and some humpbacks on the surface, could hear the whales when underwater. Not so many bastard trumpeters as normal and only a couple near cave. A really good dive. Visibility very good.
12 October 2014 - Whale Watching Platform
Club dive day and BBQ, 4 boats, about 35 divers. A bit choppier than yesterday and a strong NE by the time we exited water. Anchored right in front of cave, two blue devilfish here. Went N and also a bit deeper. A huge bullray up here. Came back to cave. Tong saw another two devilfish. Quite dirty above 18 m but below this at least 15 m viz. Visibility generally good.
23 October 2014 - Bare Island Deep Wall
Club Night dive, 7 attending. First dive for 11 days due to bad weather and sailing. Headed out SW from W point, very dirty shallow. A large fiddler-ray on sand and some large squid. Found the three sea horses, two are very dark crimson, almost black. Yellow one is very pregnant. There is also a Bare Island anglerfish about 15 m past them near sand. Ron saw a RIF near concrete block. Strong outgoing current on 15 m Reef and SH Corner. Some saw 2 more RIF and a couple of PPH. Headed back to shallow area and saw three tiny squid. Reasonable dive. Visibility fair.
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