Michael McFadyen's Scuba Diving - The Docks
The Docks is located on the northern side of Jervis Bay, inside the actual bay itself. When I first dived here many years ago I was not overly impressed with this site. However, since then I have dived there again and again and every time I have enjoyed it more. This is a site you cannot tire of, I do not know why I disliked it so much the first time I visited, maybe it was just cold and dirty (and it was both) and I was an inexperienced diver.
|The reason why this site is called The Docks is obvious|
The dive site is from the white rock above the word Technologies to the left
Charter boats anchor very close to the shore (GPS Reading 35° 05' 01"S 150° 47' 41"E - using AUS66 datum - see my GPS Page for details) as the reef does not extend very far from the cliffline. Sometimes you will anchor on the sand rather than the reef, especially in the larger charter boats. As I have stated, the sand here is very close to the shore and the maximum depth is only about 21 metres. This site has everything you will ever want in a dive site. The Double Decker Cave (two caves, one on top of the other), The Vertical Swim-through (a vertical tunnel/cave), The Long Cave under an enormous rock, the Deco Rock Cave and Slot Cave.
In smaller boats you normally anchor very close to Deco Rock and from here you can swim through The Long Cave, Deco Rock Cave and The Vertical Swim-through. This last one is a vertical tunnel/cave that drops from the back of a large rock straight down before turning horizontal and exiting on the sand. From here you can, if it is very calm, go to the cave that extends back under the cliff to you right. Then I would suggest that you could swim to The Double Decker Cave which is located a short distance to the south-west from these sites. This site consists of two caves that extend back into the cliff. The name comes from the fact that the caves are one on top of the other and you can go into the deeper one and then into the upper cave before returning to the reef. From here you can swim out to the sand edge and follow it back to your left. This will bring you back to where the boat is anchored. On the way check under the larger rocks as there are more swim-throughs to be explored. The larger boats will anchor on the sand a bit to the south. A good dive plan would be to follow the reef edge to the east or west and then come up a bit on the return trip.
This site has excellent fishlife. You can always see eastern blue devilfish, mostly in backs of The Double Decker Caves and under the vertical wall to the east. Along the sand edge there are always common sea dragons and blue devils can be seen here sometimes. Other fish to be seen include huge bull rays (quite common), giant cuttlefish, luderick, long snout boarfish, snapper, eastern talma, wobbegong and some tropical species, even in mid-winter. Some friends have seen small grey nurse sharks here but I have not. On one night dive here I found a harlequin ghost pipefish, a very hard to find fish due to its leaf like shape. I also found a red indianfish here as well.
The fixed marine live here is also of the highest quality. The colours of the ascidians, sea squirts, gorgonias and sponges is amazing. Make sure you take a bright torch to show the colours off to their best.
The visibility can be quite varied, with poor visibility very possible in bad seas and after heavy rain. However, I have normally had quite reasonable visibility and even very good visibility a few times.
This is an excellent dive site, especially as a second dive after a deeper dive outside the bay and as a night dive. You will need to do two dives here to see all the site.