1 January 2022 - Bare Island Isolated Reef 1
Millpond seas and high tide, in water 7:42 am. Below 12 m temperature dropped to 17.3C, other computer said 16C. Viz 10 to 12 m. Swam to start of IR1 and looked for the grey BI anglerfish. Found it, same one I looked for about 2 months ago. Then to N side of IR1 for a bit and slowly back. Four PPH, including red ones, could not find the small orange BIA, moved again. Two RIF, some whiting in shallows, lots of nudibranchs. Really nice dive. Visibility good.
4 January 2022 - Bare Island Isolated Reef 1
Could not dive two days ago as had crooks stomach, much better today. Others only went to grey anglerfish. Extremely high 2.1 m tide today and large swelled from ex-cyclone which came in while we were underwater. Lots of water all over the rock platform at the end, would have been worse later. The Monuments huge waves. Swam straight to start of IR1 (only two short stops to look for other anglers, see later). The grey BI anglerfish in same place as NY Day. Then we went along S side of IR1 looking for the two sea horses but no luck. Ron and Donna lost me here (Flocked me) but I did not loose them as I was behind around the reef and along first section of N side. Then they lost me! I went back to grey BIA and it had moved 2 m to main rock. Then back and refound Ron and Donna off First Cave. After a lot of looking the huge painted angerfish they found yesterday was spotted, what a fat pig. Then a few more PPH, some already see, another RIF, back via SHR where two upsidedown pipefish, the small orange painted anglerfish and back. A really good dive, but cold 17.3C. Visibility fair deep, rest poor.
7 January 2022 - Bare Island Isolated Reef 1
Dirty and warm on top, but very cold 16.4C on bottom. Viz deeper 10 m. Went straight to SHC, could not find the small orange painted anglerfish on the way down. Could not find the grey BIA from last dive. Then went around IR1 and also could not find the sea horses which I especially looked for. Back on the sand edge and outer rocks. Could not find the huge painted anglerfish either! The two red PPH were there, also two upsidedown pipefish under SHR. Some nudibranchs, lots of yellowtail at start of IR1. Finally found the small anglerfish hidden under a grey sponge. Good dive, but cold. Visibility fair.
8 January 2022 - Henry Head
Club boat dive, two boats, 9 divers, was supposed to be Shark Pt but NE wind forecast and huge seas past few days put paid to that. Here little wind and no swell. Incoming tide but even that was not strong. Less that a metre viz on top, but 10 m on bottom but very cold, one computer said 14C! Went S as normal. Saw one sea dragon with eggs, lots of nudibranchs, not much else as I forgot my torch. A few black reef leatherjackets. Back to anchor and others went up as they were cold. I stayed about 7 mins more. Saw another two sea dragons. A good but bloody cold dive. Visibility fair.
11 January 2022 - Pizza Reef
A bit sloppy as NE blew last night, little wind now and no swell. No current. Anchored on N middle section. Very dirty at about 10 m, then a little clearer but cold 15.7C. Some bastard trumpters between anchor and Cave. No donut nembrothas anywhere. Went right around reef and down the middle. Some black reef leatherjackets, a lot of one-spot pullers on W side. Not the greatest dive. Visibility poor.
13 January 2022 - Bare Island Isolated Reef 1
Rained over 55 mm last night. Overcast now. Went in off W point, very dirty at all depths, cold again on bottom, 17.1C. Went to 15 Metre Reef then to start of IR1 to look for grey BIA. No luck. Got lost here coming back to main reef, no idea how, ended up halfway along IR1. Had to use compass to find way back to off SHC. Then okay. No PPH at all, even the ones we have seen regularly. One RIF, one spiny gurnard, two tiny yellow boxfish, one small cuttlefish, two large octopus, some nudibranchs. The small orange painted anglerfish is still there, about 40 mm long now. Not a great dive. Visibility very poor.
21 January 2022 - Shiprock
No diving for 8 days as weather awful, strong winds, big seas and dirty water. Still not the best weather today (or coming weekend as cancelled boat dives). Went in a few minutes early but current okay. Viz about 4-5 m, far better than 1-2 m of last dive. Temp back up to 21.6C! Did the normal dive, did not see any moray eels, frogfish, pineapplefish or cuttlefish. Did not see any nudibranchs till 55 mins and then saw quite a few, although only two species. Saw a few small kingfish, a few large seapike, lots of whiting in shallows. Eddie's gobies are still there. Not as many fish as normal either. Donna saw a pineapplefish and Ron saw a couple of morays. Once again a disappointing dive, only did it because I was dry! Visibility poor.
22 January 2022 - Inscription Point to The Monuments
Late organised shore dive when we cancelled Henry Head dive. Ended up forecast wrong, could have done it easily. A bit too rough to get out at Inscription Point so did a drift from here to beach at The Monuments. Easy getting in when calm. Viz was at least 10 m for first 45 mins then 3-4 m. Saw 7 sea dragons before reaching the eastern end of The Monuments, at least 10 all up, one was way up towards end of dive. Ron saw two more. Donna found an orange BIA, another group saw five! A tiny yellow boxfish, a smaller firefish, lots of seapike and trevally in shallows. A really good dive, better than expected. Visibility good.
23 January 2022 - The Leap
Large number people at The Leap, Inscription Point carpark full. Not as good viz as yesterday, but still good. Saw 13 sea dragons, four PPH, four big belly sea horses, one firefish, one pineapplefish, one fiddler-ray, one dead shovel-nosed ray, two horned sharks, some octopus and much more. Ran into lots of dives around 13 m mark. Bit hard getting out, but okay. Probably my best dive here for at least 3 or 4 years. Visibility good.
25 January 2022 - The Split
Bigger swell from NE and longer period, so very surgy. Bottom two metres very sandy, in spots only a metre or so viz. Better above. Tried to go along Split but too dirty, stayed on top except for the last 20 m when it was a bit better. Outside to N, 2 m viz in spots, no donuts, others saw one sea dragon here. Back to anchor and hung around here, better 7-8 m viz. Pretty awful dive. Visibility very poor generally.
26 January 2022 - The Monuments
Club Australia Day dive. Tim Rigg's first dive in Sydney for probably 22 years and first for about 10. Used a bit of air, but otherwise went okay. A bit of wave action knocked me and others over getting in, but not too bad. Low tide so viz not great, 4 m probably max, still surgy. Went E and then W and then back to exit. Saw two sea dragons, one PPH, two BIA. A few interesting nudibranchs. A good dive considering. Visibility poor.
27 January 2022 - Middle Ground
Club boat dive. After the surge from two days ago, decided to go deeper to Middle Ground. No wind, no current, no surge. Blue 25 m viz to 13 metres, then dirtier, then clean on bottom, at least 12 m viz, but cold 16.7C. Anchored off E side on rocks. About 20 juvenile PJs on northern side, one donut nembrotha. Thousands of yellowtail and hundreds of seapike all over the reef. No wobbegongs, lots of old wives and small leatherjackets. A really great dive. Visibility good.
28 January 2022 - 15 Metre Reef
Millpond seas, outgoing tide. Went in off W point, warm 21C above 10 m and a bit dirty, below this viz 10 or so m and 18.3C. Went to Shallow Wall, then on sand off it, to 15 Metre Reef and then back. Two RIF, no PPH at all, one BIA, the smaller one past SHR, now on rock off SHR. Lots of small rarer nudibranch, a few box-type fish, a large flathead, lots of ladder-finned pomfret in shallows. Quite a few octopus too. Ron saw upsidedown pipefish. Skeleton shrimp, small sea spider and more. Very nice dive. Visibility fair.
29 January 2022 - Henry Head
Originally was going out of Port Hacking but NE wind forecast to be stronger. So Botany Bay a better option, wind was stronger than the forecast. Anchored a bit SE than normal as Wayne was in the spot I wanted. Warm 21.6C on top but freezing 14-15C on bottom, depending on computer. Went S and saw two sea dragons. No current at all, surprising as outgoing tide. Not so many fish as normal probably frozen! Back to anchor and then N a bit. New member Jon low on air so he went up. I stayed a bit longer but my hands were freezing. Went up about 7 minutes before plan. A very nice dive, but fucking cold! Visibility good.
Next five dives at Nelson Bay
31 January 2022 - Fly Point
Week trip to Nelson Bay with Ron, Donna, Kim, Carole and Leon. A foggy start to the morning. Quite cold, one computer 18C, the other 19C. Very high tide, almost 2.0 m, but little current which changed at 50 mins. Viz 6-7 m at most. Not much really in way of nudibranchs, although a nice one with tiny shrimp on it. Two moray eels, two blind sharks, lots of swimming numbrays, plenty of seapike, yellowtail, old wives, stripeys and red morwong. A nice but unexciting dive. Visibility poor.
1 February 2022 - The Pipeline
Went in just after high tide, 40 mins strongish incoming, more than yesterday, still running at 60 mins, then nothing. Did not flow out. Only 0.4C more than yesterday (19.4) but felt much warmer. Viz about the same. Went to the three sea horse hotels, I did not see any but others saw three. Then back to Pipeline, did not go past it. Three very small wobbegong sharks, one fiddler-ray, two pipefish, some cowries, spindle, tiger, platypus and another. Quite a few interesting nudibranchs, a flatworm, a frogfish, some butterflyfish, lots of pygmy leatherjackets, cuttlefish, octopus and more. A very nice dive. Visibility poor.¬† ¬† ¬†
2 February 2022 - The Pipeline
Went in 5 mins after high tide, 40 mins strongish incoming, stopped at 60 mins. Colder than last two days, 18.6C. Viz worse, about 4 m. Went to find the two robust ghost pipefish the others found yesterday, Ron found one, could not find the other. Then went a bit deeper and slowly towards Pipeline, then deeper to 13.5 m. Saw one sea horse, a few small cuttlefish, octopus, a frogfish, three moray eels, one very friendly. Some rarer nudibranchs. A blind shark in a tyre, a small wobbegong, no cowries, a tiny pygmy leatherjacket, a very cute yellow boxfish (with black spots), some squid and more. Not as good a dive as yesterday, but good anyway. Visibility poor.¬† ¬† ¬†
3 February 2022 - Fly Point
Raining since after yesterday's dive but stopped as we geared up. Felt colder than the 19.8C on computer. Very high tide again, almost 2.0 m, but little current, we went in 8 mins late. Viz 4-5 m at most. Still not much really in way of nudibranchs. A couple of cowries, one pineapplefish, an upsidedown pipefish, a large moray eel, two wobbegong sharks, a blind shark. Plenty of luderick, bream, old wives, stripeys and red morwong. A better dive than Monday. Visibility poor.
4 February 2022 - Fly Point
Rained again before dive and during it. Some sun as well. Much warmer today, 20.4C, but viz worse in some spots. Very high tide again, over 1.9 m, but little current, we went in right on high. Again not many nudibranchs. A couple of cowries, the pineapplefish from yesterday, a few moray eels, a few wobbegong sharks. Plenty of luderick, bream and old wives. Of course all the usual stripeys, scorpionfish and red morwong. A tiny saw-toothed pipefish, Ron saw another and one red pipefish. Best dive here this week. Visibility poor.
10 February 2022 - Middle Ground North
Club boat dive. Pretty calm but a bit of swell, some surge on the bottom and very slight current from N. 24C on top and 21.3C on bottom at 33 m. Viz about 8-10 m. Anchored on SW side, went over to NE side and then head SE along wall, cut across to the SW side and back to anchor. Lots of silver sweep, leatherjackets, some kingfish. Thousands of tiger anemones on sea whips on the top of reef. A really good dive considering the awful weather the past week in Sydney. Visibility fair.
13 February 2022 - Bare Island Isolated Reef 1
Large NE swell from cyclone but fairly protected here. Wind down on yesterday when Carol's dive was cancelled, even though we could have dived. A bit of care needed to get in, out okay. Just after high, viz was perhaps 8 m, warm 23C top to bottom, slight outgoing tide, a little surge but okay. Went around IR1 via N side. No sea horses, RIF, PPH or anglerfish. However, large schools of yellowtail, seapike and silver sweep. Quite a few nudibranchs, but nothing special. Really surprised by the dive. Visibility fair.
15 February 2022 - Middle Ground North
Decided to dive here again since Greg and Shelley did not see much last time. Anchored almost in same spot. Viz about 10 m on bottom, 19.0C, 22+C on top, no wind or current. Thousands of seapike and yellowtail, some thread-finned leatherjackets, one six-spined leatherjackets. I think there are two species of swimming anemone, tiger and something else. John saw three spiny gurnards. A really nice dive. Visibility fair.¬†
17 February 2022 - Barrens Hut/The Split
Fatal shark attack yesterday afternoon at Little Bay, so made sur we went S. Extras from Tuesday's planned dive. Flat seas and little wind and very little current. Much colder, 18.2C (one computer 17C) and 8 m viz. Went up Split and then N. One donut nembrotha outside Split. Lots of PJs in Split, one wobbegong shark in Cave. Only a few bastard trumpeters but lots of red morwongs. Plenty of yellowtail in spots. A free swimming moray eel N of Split which had multiple fishhook scars bit me twice! A nice dive. Visibility fair.
19 February 2022 - The Gutter - Shellharbour
Forecast bad for this morning so we cancelled Frenchmans Bay dive day. As it turned out, wind was not too bad but seas were very sloppy and a lot of surge and also some rain. Tammy suggested a dive here so went to Bass Point. Not the best viz, varied from 4 to 7 m. Went out to Beauty Point which is to N of Gutter. Went via the gully on west side. While there a seal came down twice and I got some photos. Not a great deal seen except for that. Afterwards to Tammy and Thorne's place for sausages. Nice day anyway. Visibility poor.
20 February 2022 - Pizza Reef
Little wind when we anchored although it picked up a bit from NE by the time we left. Very cold water on bottom, 16.7C. Clear on top but dirty on bottom, perhaps 5 m. Thousands of yellowtail and seapike all over the reef. No donuts at all. One six-spined leatherjacket. Some red morwong, only a few bastard trumpeters, a few blue morwong, old wives and silver sweep. Despite cold, a very good dive. Visibility poor.
Next dives at Ulladulla
22 February 2022 - Sponge Gardens to Home Bommie
Club trip to Ulladulla. Too windy and large seas to go south. Drift dive from Sponge Gardens. Cold 18.2C, viz only 4-5 m. Nice wall that runs from Lighthouse Reef to Home Bommie. Some overhangs, a few swim-throughs. Saw two eastern blue devilfish, some yellowtail and seapike. Got to HB about 30 mins. Seal with ball still there, whale bones (?) and behind the cave a large Admiralty anchor. A nice enough dive. Visibility poor.
22 February 2022 - North Bommie
Similar surface conditions to last dive but wind went more SW. Warmer at 19.8C, viz only 4-5 m at most but a lot surgier. Some overhangs, a few swim-throughs. Lots of one-spot pullers, some seapike, one kingfish. Not a great dive. Visibility poor.
23 February 2022 - Burrill Rocks Arch to Caves
Much bigger swell this morning but also much better viz, 12 m perhaps. Went in at The Arch which I have dived before as a non-drift dive. Went S and then W towards the Caves. Three bullrays, one large and one huge (at end). Some kingfish, lots of wrasse, including a male king wrasse. Plenty of one-spot pullers, yellowtail and seapike. A very nice dive. Visibility good.
23 February 2022 - Sponge Gardens to Home Bommie
Decided not to go south due to time constraints. Did same dive as yesterday morning. Much better viz, 7-8 m, but still cold, 18.6C. Saw one blue devilfish but others saw two. Lots of fish as per yesterday. Had a bad fill (my fault) so shorter dive. Nice dive. Visibility fair.¬†¬†
24 February 2022 - Burrill Rocks Caves
Seas much lower than past two days. Water also bluer. Anchored right behind Caves. I thought I had dived here before but now not sure. I did not recognise it at all. I suspect that the site that I had been told was BR Caves back in the early 1990s was what is now called BR Arch. Anyway, there is a huge boulder that rests against the reef wall which runs N-S in this spot. This creates a series of caves, one of which is larger than the others. If you anchor just E of the top (9 m), you are in the canyon behind the main Cave. Drop to 16m and then into the gutter and the Cave is seen. We went thru, then to S a bit. Another Cave 10 m away. Did a bit of a circle and came back to Cave then to E and found the huge bullray from yesterday morning. Back to anchor and more time here. Very nice dive. Visibility very good in spots.
24 February 2022 - Burrill Rocks¬†Caves to¬†Arch¬†
Did this dive in the reverse direction. Similar conditions to this morning but viz a little less. Went looking for the large anchor that is stuck in a hole, but did not find it, I think Ian took us the wrong way. Then to where the huge bullray was, still there. Then E along the wall. I was only using air this dive and got low on NDL, 2 mins at one stage. We ended up at the Arch but did not see it as would have had to go deeper. We saw the three bullrays again, a large school of kingfish, all the normal fish for here as well as a Moorish idol. Another good dive. Visibility good.
17 March 2022 - Middle Ground
First dive for three weeks due to floods, over 463 mm has fallen at my place since I last dived and 740 since 1 Feb. Floods everywhere. Not much rain the past week so tried to see what it was like. Large rolling swell, so did Middle Ground. Very dirty on top, then perhaps 3 m till 16 m, then 4-5 m to 27 m but then less than a metre. Moved anchor to a better spot to extract from, tried to see if better away from anchor chain, but no. Aborted dive and came back up. Worst viz for a long time, also surgy and reasonable current from N after we anchored. At least another week before I will try again. Shithouse dive and visibility.¬†¬†
27 March 2022 - Bare Island Right
Conditions seemed to be getting a little better and yesterday two divers at Bare Island told me they had 3-4 m viz. Emailed club and only got one person wanting to be a crash test dummy! Kim was also there too with someone not from club. No rain, a little wind but some swell coming around the western side of the island. We went in at Carol's plaque (remarkably clean considering the rain and no-one cleaning it) but care was required as lots of black slippery slime everywhere. Viz was 3-4 m once you get below 4 m. Filthy above this, could not see more than 0.5 m. I was very surprised that there was not as much silt covering the sponges as I expected. No PPH or RIF seen but lots of nudibranchs, including some rarer species. Heaps of yellowtail and seapike near the First Cave. One eagle ray, a huge flathead, a frogfish, some octopus and a tiny yellow¬†boxfish. The min temp was 22C. Bit surgy in spots, especially near First Cave where viz dropped a bit. Sea Horse Corner cleaner. Well worth the 80 minutes we spent in the water. An excellent dive considering the past five weeks weather. Visibility poor.
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