My Recent Dives - April, May & June 2019
Posted by Michael on 01 April 2019 00:00

3 April 2019 - Barrens Hut/The Split

Dive computer faulty. Anchored N of normal spot and on outer slope. Reasonable current from S. Went S to cave. Huge number of bastard trumpeters, red morwong outside cave as well as some large kingfish which took off. A couple of large cuttlefish, one in cave and another outside. Back near normal spot were a couple more trumpeters. Back to anchor. Excellent dive. Visibility very good.


Next 5 dives at Nelson Bay.


5 April 2019 - The Pipeline

Club Boys Weekend at Nelson Bay. Headed out to 10 m going N or NNE. Then drifted slowly back to Pipeline and down to about 13 m before heading back up pipe and then to exit. Saw 7 sea horses, 3 pipefish, a few large kingfish, lots of small cuttlefish and octopus, 4 spindle cowries, not that many nudibranchs, but a few interesting ones. Also some butterflyfish as well. A really good dive as always. Visibility fair.


6 April 2019 - North Rock

Went out to Broughton Island, no wind but a little bit of swell from E which made it surgy. Dived North Rock to see the grey nurse sharks. First time I have done this spot. North Rock is north of Broughton and site is on the north side. A large gutter in 18 metres, top only 4 or so. Went into gutter and to E. Sharks galore, I counted over 40 in one view, so there had to be at least 50 or 60 all up. Mostly females, with some juveniles and at least 2 large males. Quite a few had fish hooks but all looked very healthy. Also saw a small turtle. An excellent dive! Visibility good to very good.


6 April 2019 - North Rock

Dived North Rock here again. This time Ron and Aidan and I went around the point to The Amphitheatre. This is on the SE corner of the rock. On the way saw 3 eagle rays, a lot of kingfish and heaps of other fish. The Amphitheatre is an inlet that goes back into the rock a bit, with island on one side and a shallow bommie on the other. On the way back saw more kingfish, some very large bonito, seapike, sweep, bream etc. Not as many sharks seen when back in gutter. Another excellent dive! Visibility good to very good.


7 April 2019 - Fly Point

Went via normal route, drifted for about 35 minutes before turning. Two fiddler-rays, lots of bream, small snapper, some tropicals, some moray eels, lots of octopus and small cuttlefish. Back near the exit, huge numbers of stripeys, seapike, silver sweep, bream and more. Lots of divers, but really saw none till near the end. An excellent dive! Visibility fair. 


8 April 2019 - The Pipeline

Did same dive as Friday. Saw the same 7 sea horses and I found a tiny sea horse on a gorgonia, was only 15 mm or so. Similar numbers and types of nudibranchs, cuttlefish, octopus etc. Two butterflyfish, a large flathead, a spotted moray eel and a few bubble shells. Yet one more excellent dive! Visibility good to very good.


12 April 2019 - SS Tuggerah

Club deep dive on Argonaut. A bit sloppy on the way down as wind SE at about 10-12 kts. This dropped as we got closer to wreck and seas were better on way back. Very slight current from S. Clean all the way to bottom, over 15 m viz. A few kingfish when I got down, anchor in front of boilers. Went to stern and back to bow along hull bottom and then W side. Back to engine room and up. Lots of seapike, yellowtail and big eyes. A few wobbegong sharks and one moray eel. Using old computer still, so could not switch to 73% deco gas so had to stay longer than I should (43 mins all up - 1@12, 2@9, 3@6 and 12@ 4m). A great dive. Visibility very good.


13 April 2019 - Barrens Hut/The Split

Millpond seas and only slight NW wind. Anchored right at S end of The Split. Went along Split to end, then back to anchor, almost to Cave and back. One donut nembrotha near wreckage, some other nice nudibranchs. A few yellowtail, some trevally but not a huge amount of life like last dive here. Only one bastard trumpers and that was outside Split. None in normal spot, only some red morwong. Great dive, could see boat from 23 metres. Visibility very good.


15 April 2019 - Bare Island Isolated Reef

What a dive!!! Went in off W point and W to sand edge. Then to 15 Metre Reef. Saw first of three spiny gurnards here, this one tiny. Then lots of red-lined flabellinas, more than 15 all up. From here to IR1 and along N side. Plenty of fish, some large seapike, a few almost adult snapper and lots of small ones. As I was off The Cave, a seal swooped down and around me and then went over to Kim who was at Cave. It came back 8 more times, each time staying 30 to 45 seconds. It got very close to us, seemed really inquisitive. First seal I have seen at Bare Island I think. Brilliant! As well as all this, saw some opera house nudis, two upsidedown pipefish, two PPH, a few small cuttlefish, and a few rarer nudibranchs. Could not find anglerfish from the other week. An amazing dive. Visibility fair.  


17 April 2019 - Pizza Reef

Club weekday dive, 4 boats all up, 3 here and 1 at Tuggerah. Flat seas, little wind,blue water, at least 20 m visibility. Anchored on sand first go due to wind and current been opposing, second time at S end of gap. Went to cave, at least 30 bastard trumpeters at N end of gap, lots of seapike and trevally outside cave. No donut nembrothas at all. Back around reef, more seapike and yellowtail in various spots, some black reef leatherjackets. Could see MakCat from 27 metres! Fantastic dive, looking good for Easter. Visibility excellent.


19 April 2019 - Middle Ground

Club boat dive. Wind much stronger during night than forecast, up to 25kts S. Still over 10 this morning and went up to at least 15 while we were out. Very choppy and some large swells. Changed site from UW Wilderness to here as deeper and closer to port. Current from N meant we sat side onto swell making it uncomfortable. Saw a seal as we were anchoring. Anchor on sand about 15 metres off reef, had to drag over. Also moved Vic's as well, used lots of air. Then saw the seal! Not as friendly as last Monday's one. Went to E and then a little bit N and then back. Wasted about 7 mins moving anchors, so a short dive. Also did not go into deco due to the swell. Nice dive but overall not great. Visibility good.


18 April 2019 - SS Tuggerah

What a difference to yesterday. Flat seas, no wind, went at 22 kts all the way to the wreck. Anchored in front of boiler again. No current on top but reasonable one on bottom from SW (weird). Went to stern, but cleaned toilet top on way! Around prop and back up bottom of the hull to anchor. Lots and lots of fish, many species. Went to bow area, not much fishlife but a wobbegong shark on way back. Spent the rest of the time near boiler. Great dive. Visibility good. 


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