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.
20 November 2019 - Middle Ground
Club boat dive. Wind blew very strongly SE early last night but dropped off to about 10 kts this morning. A bit sloppy but got better while we were there. Anchored on SE corner, went N and then back and then W. Lots of seapike and yellowtail, especially at NE corner. A large cuttlefish, sweep, old wives and leatherjackets. Very good dive. Visibility good, almost very good.
27 November 2019 - The Split
Wind was a lot less than forecast (SW) but seas were very large, some at least 3 metres, also sloppy. Les decided to not dive due to seas. On top of the reef it was very surgy but on sand it was okay. Went up Split to N and then N again. Donut nembrothas there. Came back along sand, more donuts on rocks. Saw a total of 8. Quite a few black reef leatherjackets S of Split, an eagle ray went past. Not many fish, but some bastard trumpeters, red morwong, yellowtail and silver sweep. An okay dive despite the seas. Visibility fair.
1 December 2019 - The Monuments
Club Xmas Party dive. Flat seas and bluish water, incoming tide. Went in E of normal entry. Drifted to W. Saw two sea dragons, one with eggs. Lots of nudibranchs, including one opera house and one purple-lined nembrotha. A firefish, Ron saw two anglerfish, one Bare Island and one striped. Really nice dive. Visibility fair.
3 December 2019 - Pizza Reef
Club boat dive. A day early as I have to work tomorrow. Yesterday very, very strong W winds, forecast this morning for winds to go to 17 kts W after 0900. We got outside and very little wind, mostly smooth sea but the occasional large swell from SE. Anchored on sand on W so moved to reef about 10 m away. Just S of here a blue devilfish. No donuts at all, checked all the usual spots. On E side lots of large seapike and then some yellowtail. On N side many more as well as bastard trumpeters and red morwong. Back to anchor. A surprisingly good dive, actually excellent, considering the winds yesterday and reports from boats that dived Sunday. Visibility good.
6 December 2019 - The Monuments
Millpond seas, no wind but very smoky still. Water a warm 20.0C, low tide. Went in from normal spot, but headed NE, then E a little. Then W and back to exit. Saw a huge number of species of nudibranch, and many of each species. Three purple-lined nembrotha, at least six pink okena, plus three new species to me and a few rarer ones too. Ron found the Bare Island anglerfish he saw on Sunday, very nice. Saw a school of small squid towards end. One sea dragon but not the one I saw on Sunday. A great dive. Visibility fair.
7 December 2019 - M&K Reef
Club boat dive, two boats, eight divers. No wind but a bit sloppy from wind during night. Blue water, 20.4C on top and 19.34C on bottom, but a couple of colder patches at end, perhaps old water from shallows as tide hit low. Anchored right in front of S cave. My camera would not save photos again! Went N and saw two upsidedown pipefish, one with eggs. Then two blue devilfish together N of the other cave. Lots of nannygais around corner. Back to S and two pygmy pipehorses in separate spots. Some silver sweep and yellowtail, a large cuttlefish and a moray eel. On safety stop a lot of jellyfish and a few salmon (?). A great dive, could see boat from metres and divers on bottom at 24 m from safety stop. Visibility very good.
8 December 2019 - SS Tuggerah
Once again my camera would not record to SD card, will have to try another one, works on land though!! Wind stronger than the 7 kts forecast, perhaps 10-11 at first and then at end up to 15 kts or so NE. Made a rough trip down and especially back. Sea was very sloppy, worse than yesterday. Anchored second go in front of boiler. Blue water to 24 metres, then dirty, but cleaner on bottom. Went to stern and then to bow. At least 20 bailer shells, most laying eggs. Lots of nannygais and bulleyes. No wobbies. NIce dive. Visibility good.
10 December 2019 - Bare Island 15 Metre Reef
Very smoky, when we got out you could not see Henry Head or Port Botany. Flat as a tack, outgoing tide. Went off W point W to sand edge. Dirty and warm above 10 metres, then colder (16.7C) but clean. Then to 15 Metre Reef. Some current here and also around Sea Horse Corner. Lots of nudibranchs, including red-lined flabellinas. Saw some newer species to me that Kim knew where they lived. Most were tiny, 1 to 5 mm. A tiger pipefish under overhang on 15 MR, a pregnant upsidedown pipefish under SHR, two brown pygmy pipehorses. A great dive. Visibility good.
11 December 2019 - Inscription Point
Cancelled today's club boat dive due to very strong S winds. Good decision! NPWS are redoing stairs at top, but can still use. Just after high tide, water warm 18.9C. Eddy found a Bare Island anglerfish almost as soon as we hit sand. Orange one. Then two big belly sea horses, no sea dragons, lots of nudibranchs. Very nice cruisy dive. Visibility fair.
16 December 2019 - The Leap
Very strong S change early this morning so pretty rough at The Leap but not too bad at Steps. Submerged almost as soon as we hit the water. Had a problem with o-ring this morning, replaced it with new but when setting up it blew numerous times. Ended up loosing 70 bar, I thought it was only 20 bar as did not have glasses on. Ended up having to end dive early and head into shallows and exit at 43 mins. Before that, a really good dive. A red PPH, two sea dragons, a huge school of kingfish which circled us. On the way back another school (or same one) went past us. Apart from the air stuff up, a great dive. Visibility very good.
17 December 2019 - Middle Ground North
Club boat dive. Wind was up a little, 10 kts S and a bit sloppy. We decided to go to Middle Ground but to the little dived North Reef. Have not been there for many years. Anchored on the NW end. No current and wind dropped. Warm 19.3C water on bottom, over 20C on top. Could just make out the boat from 31 metres. Went SE along the eastern side of reef where there are lots of overhangs. Three medium cuttlefish in them, the second group saw at least one blue devilfish, we did not. Heaps of yellowtail and mado, all over the place, some leatherjackets, seapike and sweep. A really easy dive, excellent time. Visibility very good.
21 December 2019 - Pistol Crack
Club boat dive, 3 boats and 14 divers. Wind was a bit stronger than forecast (NNE 13 kts) and seas a little bit sloppy. Slight current from north on top, water here 20+C. However, on bottom water was 16.4C! Clean though, could see boat from 23 metres. First time here for probably 10 years. Anchored on S corner of crack. Went N across mouth of crack, then back S around a sort of point. Much better here, lots of small overhangs. Saw a fiddler-ray, a very large cuttlefish. Second group saw a blue devilfish but we did not. Some yellowtail and other reef fish, but not a huge number. Huge number of jellyfish shallow. A nice dive. Visibility very good.
24 December 2019 - Middle Ground North
Little wind but a long swell from NE. Blue 19.6C water on top but 16.7C on bottom and dirty. Also very surgy. Ahmad seasick so he stayed on the boat. Anchored near last dive, went along E side a bit but then cut back to anchor and Les went up. We then explored a little of W side, not as good. Lots of yellowtail, many leatherjackets. Nothing special. Could see boat clearly from 26 metres. Reasonable dive. Visibility fair.
27 December 2019 - Bypass Reef
Ended up with three boats diving on a Friday! A bit of a current from the N, only really on the top. Les lost his mask as he rolled in but caught it. He went down to 12 m and I held him so he did not float away while he put it back on. Not bad work for an 80 year old. Bluish to 20 m then a bit dirtier, not too bad though. Anchored about 15 m off wall. Had to move anchor a bit, hard work. A bit of fibreglass wreckage near here as well as a moray eel. Kelly found two upsidedown pipefish on the wall. All the red morwong in caves, some blue morwong and bastard trumpeters too. Back up a bit early so that I could get out first and helpl Les back on. All went okay. Visibility good.
28 December 2019 - Barrens Hut/The Split
Boat dive, NE wind dropped from yesterday afternoon and night but picked up again while we were out there. Went from RMYC for the first time, very crowded too. Anchored in normal spot. Very cold on bottom, 15.2C, about 16.5 on safety bit 20.8C on surface. Went up Split to N. Outside Kelly and Judy saw a turtle but we did not. There were 13 donut nembrothas on the various rocks off wall, most on the flat bommie near the exit from Split. Went back past anchor to Cave and then back to anchor, lots of bastard trumpeters and red morwong. Visibility was a bit better back here for some reason. Veyr nice dive. Saw a shark when we were back on boat! Visibility good.
30 December 2019 - Henry Head
Well, lucky to be able to dive as I broke ladder on Saturday when I tried to reverse trailer with it down! Luckily found a welder who repaired it yesterday. Works as good as new. Quite sloppy with NE wind blowing. Decided to dive here. Incoming tide. Very dirty on top but clean 10 m on bottom, increased to 20 m near end of the dive. However, very cold 16.0C. Had to move anchor about 5 m, hard work. Went S into reasonable current, lots of nudibranchs, including some on the pink okenia sponges, may have been red-lined flabbelina, but never seen before on these. One sea dragon, a huge octopus, plenty of black reef leatherjackets and other leatherjackets. Very nice, but cold dive. Visibilty good then very good.
31 December 2019 - Henry Head
Quite sloppy like yesterday, but no NE wind blowing. Largish NE swell though. Again decided to dive here. Incoming tide. Very, very dirty on top but clean 10 m on bottom. However, even colder than yesterday, 15.5C. Had to move anchor about 10 m. Went S into reasonable current, lots of nudibranchs, including those on the pink okenia sponges, Kim reckons they are may Trinchesia species. Kelly found a large sea spider. Also saw,a small moray eel, one sea dragon (different to yesterday), a large octopus, plenty of black reef leatherjackets and other leatherjackets and a large school of yellowtail. Excellent dive, but cold! Visibilty good.
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