My Recent Dives - November & December 2018
Posted by Michael on 01 November 2018 00:00

1 November 2018 - SS Tuggerah

A bit calmer than yesterday and hardly any wind. Still sloppy but a good run down to wreck. Took three goes to anchor as a bit of a current from N. Blue water down to 18 m, then dirty, then clean on bottom, probably almost 15 m. Went round to prop, spent some time there, then back to boilers and then towards bow. Only 17 mins on bottom due to having to do decompression in current. Was not fun, hanging onto deco line at 30 degrees to vertical, at 3 m I was holding the 6 m spot on line! Great dive, could hear humpback whales the whole time. Visibility good. 

3 November 2018 - M & K Reef

Wind from W at about 10 to 15 kts but later was 20 to 30 kts as we came across the bay, hard going. Flat seas due to wind but colder water on top (17.3C) and very cold on bottom (14.9C). Had to move anchor once down as only held by kelp, used a lot of air pulling into the wind. We were just off the wall, so went W and then N. Passed the two caves (the other group saw a blue devilfish in one), Kelly found a small red PPH at the end. Went around the back heere, never done this before, a small cave there too. Lots of one-spot pullers and silver sweep here. Then back to S where Kelly found a white PPH. I found a sea dragon nearer to anchor in the kelp. A very nice, if somewhat cold, dive. Visibility good. 

4 November 2018 - Henry Head

Tried to go outside but lot rougher than yesterday, even though there was no wind. Swell from SE and NE and slop as well. Came back into the bay and dived here. Swell from SE only and jsut after high tide. Anchored a bit to W of normal spot due to waves. Found a sea dragon near anchor, then went S. Kelly found two red and yellow sea spiders, then another walking around. A few Port Jackson sharks, another sea dragon, lots of yellowtail in spots. Very colourful as normal. Little current on bottom, only to S, but a reasonable surge at times and cold again (15.3C). Very nice dive. Visibility fair. 

7 November 2018 - Middle Ground

Forecasts a bit mixed for the morning, possibility of strong S winds, so did not want to go far. Little wind when we went out, but soon was 10 kts and by the end 15 kts. Seas calm but got a little sloppy at anchor. Very dirty on top down to at least 18 m. Bottom better, about 7 -10 m but very dark due to overcast and dirty water. Cold again (15.4C). Went right around reef, large seapike on SE corner, some turmpeters and red morwong NE corner. A gurnard and some maroon sea spiders near anchor SW corner. Still a very nice dive. Visibility fair.

11 November 2018 - Bypass Reef

Club dive day, 6 boats doing 2 dives each. No wind, no current on surface and flat seas. Anchored a bit W of wall in 30 m. Headed W and hit wall, then S. Saw lots of divers from the other boats. Quite wamr on bottom compared to recently, 18.0C. As usual, fantastic fixed marine life. Lots and lots of Port Jackson sharks, some small. Kelly foudn two pygmy pipehorses (PPH). Quite a few leatherjackets too. A really good dive and also a great day, great BBQ! Visibility good.

14 November 2018 - Hungry Jacks

Club boat dive. Very strong NE wind yesterday and last night but calm when we went out. Still a bit sloppy but it got better while we were out. Water cold on bottom (15.6C) but clear. Went N into a moderate current. Found 3 donut nembrothas, first time here. Lots of silver sweep and small trevally, as well as some yellowtail. Black reef leatherjackets, red morwong and some mado as well. One cuttlefish under a ledge. A really nice dive, most fish we have ever seen here I reckon. Visibility good.

19 November 2018 - SS Tuggerah

Diving on Phil's boat. No wind at all but a bit sloppy. Very, very slight current from S. Anchored in front of boiler. Saw a very large seal while gearing up and saw him on bottom too. Made all the fish cling to wreck! Clear and warmer (18.6C) to 15 m and then dirty but clean on bottom and cold, 15.9C. At least 15 m on bottom! Huge amount of fishlife, most seen for ages. One wobbegong. The seal came near us at prop. Back on deco there was a second seal, much smaller. Both of them played around us the whole time apart from when they went to bottom to see Phil and Aaron. A fantastic dive! Visibility very good.

21 November 2018 - Pizza Reef 

Club boat dive. Wind was less than predicted, calm, but later came up about 7 kts from N. Calm seas. Dirty warm layer on top but cold (15.4C) clean 15 m on bottom. Also a slight current from N on bottom only. My nephew Scott drove boat and watched while we dived. One donut nembrotha out from cave and two more at S end. A spiny gurnard on reef. No bastard trumpeters at all! Some large seapike over cave and a huge wobbegong inside. Others saw a blue devilfish at S end. Nice dive but not as good as most dives here. Visibility very good.

1 December 2018 - Barrens Hut/The Split

A beautiful day after a week of awful weather and rain. A bit sloppy but okay. A samll shark was near boat before and afer dive, perhaps a hammerhead. Very clear and warm on top, 19.7C, very very slight current from N. Anchored S end of Split, hooked onto a shell! Saw a medium cuttlefish near anchor. Went N and saw 3 donut nembrothas. Lots of silver sweep around as well. Back along reef edge, one more donut. After Cave, in back channel, lots of bastard trumpeters, red morwong and also one blue morwong and some black reef leatherjackets. A really nice dive. Visibility good. PS. others dived Tuggerah and saw sunfish on bottom. Jealous.

2 December 2018 - The Monuments

Club Xmas Party. A small wave every now and then at entry, but easy. Went W into tide but really nothing at all. Later the tide was behind us but should not have been. A bit dirty at first but then about 8 m viz. Saw lots of different nudibranchs, including pink okena. One frogfish, two moray eels, a very large octopus, some silver sweep and yellowtail. No PPH, sea horses or sea dragons! Nice dive, with excellent lunch afterwards. Visibility fair.

5 December 2018 - Pizza Reef

Club boat dive. A lot rougher than expected, with wind from the S but only 8 kts or so. Some very large swells and quite surgy even at 27 metres. Anchored on S end, went right around as normal. Dark on bottom due to heavy overcast and dirty water (viz perhaps 7 m) but 19.2C on bottom and 21C on top. A large blue devilfish on N side. Saw about 12 bastard trumpeters in gully, also on SE corner. Probably same ones as they moved as we watched. Thousands of yellowtail, seapike, silver sweep all over the reef. Some seapike were very large. Also lots of old wives. One donut nembrotha. The sand is starting to cover the low reef where they live on S side. Will soon disappear I reckon. A very nice dive despite visibility. 

8 December 2018 - Bare Island Deep Wall

Cancelled club deep wreck dive due to very strong N winds. Very calm here. Went in off W point and out to wall. Dirty on the way but on sand viz was at least 15 m. Did the usual route back. No PPH, others saw 2 RIF. One Blue devilfish near first cave. Lots of nudibranchs, but nothing special. Despite this, a very nice dive. Visibility very good.

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For more details about these dives and other dives this year, click here.