My Recent Dives - October, November & December 2019
Posted by Michael on 06 October 2019 14:00

6 October 2019 - Bare Island 15 Metre Reef

Cancelled yesterday and tomorrow's club boat dives due to bad weather. Today perfect!! Flat seas so went off W point W to 15 Metre Reef. Then back from there. Lots of nudibranchs, I photographed at least 16 different species. One PPH and perhaps a tiny, tiny baby on the back of a small nudi. Looks like it in photo but hard to tell for sure. No RIF, one firefish, two moray eels, the blue groper followed us for 30 mins as usual. Lots of divers here but we only saw a couple near the end of the dive. Water warmed up near end, obviously warm water off the coast coming in on the tide. Great dive. Visibility fair.

8 October 2019 - Bare Island Right

Too windy yesterday to take boat out, so shore dive today. A bit too much wave action off W point so went in at Carol's plaque. Quite dirty shallow but okay deeper, a bit of surge made it hard to take photos. Went gradually to almost 16 m then back. Lots of nudis like Sunday, some I had not seen before or for a long time. Also 3 PPH, 2 of which I found. Very nice cruisy dive. Visbility fair.

13 October 2019 - Shiprock

Was going to take MakCat out but yesterday the starboard engine would not start, battery or starter motor problem. Today it started! Anyway, we decided to dive Shiprock. Did usual route but only got past second buoy. Not many nudibranchs, none on outward trip at all. Only two species. Three pineapplefish, a moray eel on last bommie as usual, one small cuttlefish. All the normal surgeonfish, leatherjackets etc. In shallows thousands of small snapper and a small school of large whiting. Easy dive, but not the most interesting. Visibility fair. 

19 October 2019 - M&K Reef

Club deep dive but there was a 1 to 1.5 knot current on surface when we pulled up to anchor. Dived here instead. A bit sloppy and some large swells from SE too. Cold on bottom, 15.8C and a bit cleaner than top (7 m viz). Anchored just off N end of the wall, went S. Two blue devilfish two medium cuttlefish, lots of large seapike, silver sweep and one-spot pullers over the wall. Went right to end and then back. Nice dive. Visibility fair. 

22 October 2019 - Middle Ground

Club boat dive. Was only going to dive tomorrow but so many wanted to dive and I could not get another club boat, I decided to dive today as well. No wind and a smooth sea but a large long swell from SE. Went to Middle Ground to minimise surge, but there was a bit on bottom at 30+ metres. Also a reasonable current on surface, 18.7C, but only went to 5 metres or so. Had to untangle crossover line on the way down, took 2 mins. Anchored on W side, tried to move anchor to N but current too strong, went back a bit and found a spot. Used a lot of air. Then we went around S side of reef to E side and back. Dark due to dirty water above. One large wobbegong and three PJs, but second group saw three wobbies. As mentioned, quite surgy so hard to take photos (saw a pink okenia). Not the greatest dive but a brilliant day on the water. Visibility poor.

23 October 2019 - Pizza Reef

Club boat dive. Swell less than yesterday and no wind at all. Anchored on N side of E section of reef. Much cleaner than yesterday and less surge. Also less current. Went around W reef, three donut nembrothas, some bastard trumpeters on N end of gap and outside cave. A couple of six-spined leatherjackets, a blue devilfish near anchor (we did not see), plenty of yellowtail and seapike. A really nice dive. Visibility fair. 

26 October 2019 - Henry Head

Forecast was for under 8 kts NW with not much stronger during the night. At 0330 it started to rain and the wind went up to 30 kts NNW. By 0530 it had dropped back to 12-15 kts NNW. Decided to go as the wind was not supposed to really get up till 1100. Bit of swell outside and worried that wind might go SW, we decided to dive here inside Botany Bay. Anchored on W wall. Slight current from NW on top but nothing on bottom, but cold again at 15.9C. Went S, lots of different species of nudibranch, including pink okena. Others saw a sea dragon but I did not. One horned shark, but not many fish unlike last time. A good dive though. After the dive the wind gusts came up at 0900 to 30 kts and stayed that way or more all day. Only two seals on port wall. Rough trip back across N side of bay and then down W side. Visibility fair.   

27 October 2019 - Bare Island Right

Seas up a lot from yesterday but wind far less. Could only get in at Carol's plaque. Surgy all dive, hard to take photos of very small things! Went down to 15 metres and then back, took 45 mins to get there (81 mins total dive). Saw some fin-lined tamja, first I have seen for years, but they were very hard to photograph as under small overhang. Lots of other nudibranchs, including some doto about 2 mm long and another rarer species that I cannot identify. Also a large flounder on way back. Very good dive. Visibility poor.

3 November 2019 - Henry Head

Club boat dive, only my boat as it seems the other one pulled out. Forecast early yesterday was strong NE but then changed to about 12 kt NE. Decided to dive Henry Head rather than Whale Watching Platform in case it came up strong. Anchored N of previous dives, warm 19C on top but 15.1C on bottom! Clean though. Went S into a slight current. Lots of nudibranchs but little fishlife. Came back past anchor to N and saw a sea dragon although Michael saw two more. About 30 m N there were huge numbers of yellowtail and ladder-finned pomfrets. Came back and found a strange pink anemone. Camera decided not to work, would not save to card. Very nice dive. Visibility good.

10 November 2019 - Shiprock

Had to cancel club boat dive and BBQ due to very strong W-SW winds. Was light when we went in but very windy later. Good decision. Followed Eddie to N first. Some nudibranchs and a moray, but not much else. Then went S but I lost him and Kevin. More nudibranchs, but only 4 species. The usual moray eel on last bommie. Refound them here but lost again! Then continued SW to second buoy. Back along wall, three pineapplefish in usual spot. Also a large octopus and a medium cuttlefish. Convict gobbies on slope, lots of seapike in shallows. Not the greatest dive but better than nothing. Visibility poor.

16 November 2019 - Six Fathom Reef

Wind 15 kts SE when should have been under 10, very sloppy. Decided to dive here but even then a bit rough. Also surgy on bottom away from main wall. Anchored on top of wall. Back in wetsuit, 6kg weights. ent deeper and to NW but got very dirty, so came back to anchor and then N. A few small schools of yellowtail, a large wobbegong N. After Les went up, we went S and some red morwong and a couple of bastard trumpeters. A few species of nudibranch. Second group saw some moray eels. Not the greatest dive. Camera and strobe now working good for wide angle. Now have magnet in Inon strobe and this seems to work. Visibility fair mostly. 

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