My Recent Dives - February
Posted by Michael on 04 February 2009 22:33
Wednesday 4 February 2009 - The Balcony
Slight S wind. Vis very changeable, poor in some sports but almost blue in others. Cold clear, dirty warm. Lots of fish (yellowtail, ladder-finned pomfret) to S of Balcony and some luderick in close. Some kingfish, one large eagle ray. Nice dive. Visibility fair.

Thursday 5 February 2009 - Bare Island Deep Wall Night Dive
18 members attended. Cold deep but nice shallow. Went off W point and SW. Went S for a bit and then back to N. Found a pygmy pipehorse here. Found the two past anchor and Ron found one before. Back to cave. Gary found sea horse here, in crack on top. Found the other sea horse shallower. Not a bad dive. Visibility fair deep but very poor above 15 metres.

Saturday 7 February 2009 - Shiprock - Night Dive
Club night boat dive cancelled due to winds so organised this dive. 13 attended. Did normal dive but current was outgoing all dive (high 19:50). Three pineapplefish, one the normal one, the other two juveniles. Could not find sea horse. Decorator crabs, spider crabs, yellowtail. A huge blue groper asleep near bubble cave.  Visibility fair.

Sunday 8 February 2009 - Shiprock
Organised this dive as a club dive. 10 members. Did normal dive and current behaved as normal. Only the large pineapplefish seen. Went right past the buoy. Back along wall, found the sea horse two small walls before bubble cave. A few eels. Lots of yellowtail, silver sweep, one-spot pullers and leatherjackets. Some bream here and there. Much colder than last night (4C colder). Very good dive. Visibility fair.

Thursday 12 February 2009 - Lilli Pilli
Big seas so planned dive for here. Incoming tide, viz good shallow, fair deeper and very poor below 12 metres. Saw 13 sea horses on pool net. Lots of large fan-bellied leatherjackets all over the place. Went N to moorings and rocks. Then back to shore and back to ramp. Saw a wobbegong in cave in front of ramp and a spotted eel above this. Good dive and warm water. Visibility fair.

Thursday 19 February 2009 - Middle Ground
Seas dropped greatly from yesterday but still a decent series of swells, one from SE and another from NE. Blue water and visibility of at least 20 metres as we descended. However, a few metres from bottom the viz dropped to less than two metres. We were anchored on a small rock. Too hard to try to find main reef (we were not far off) as we would have never found our way back. Funny, to the SE of anchor the viz on bottom was over 20 metres. Visibility very poor.

Thursday 19 February 2009 - Pizza Reef
Moved to Pizza. Sounder showed bottom coming up to 15 m when it is really 22 m. Huge school of ladder-finned pomfret over reef, with hundreds of large seapike, some kingfish and bonito circling over. The bastard trumpeters were on south side mostly. One blue devilfish in cave. Saw an eagleray as we ascended. Almost as good a dive as 18 January. Visibility very good (almost 25 metres).

Thursday 19 February 2009 - Bare Island Isolated Reefs - Night Dive
Went in from Larpa Point. Took 10 mins to reach reef. A few sea dragons. Large fiddler-ray at end IR2. Went right around both reefs. Ron found three PPH. One dwarf firefish on N side IR2. Lots of ladder-finned pomfret on S side. On way back we found a tiger pipefish, the tiniest striped dumpling squid, heaps of prawns, lots of octopus, some squid, some huge flatheads. Good dive despite the 150+mm of rain over past week. Visibility fair but poor near mainland.

Saturday 21 February 2009 - SS Tuggerah
Slight S wind. Rainy and misty, could not see any marks so used GPS and sounder. Anchored first go. ProDive turned up as we were entering water and asked "is this the Tuggerah!". Doh!! Anchor was just on sand next to prop. Hooked up and went forward. Very, very dark, like a night dive as very cloudy on top. Slight current from N on bottom. Lots of nannygai. After dive anchor hooked back onto wreck or perhaps ProDive's anchor chain, took a while to get free. Excellent dive. Visibility fair.

Sunday 22 February 2009 - Blue Devil Reef
New site located to NE of Hungry Jacks. A wall that runs N-S here and then over some sand to E another wall. Some small overhangs, which had a blue devilfish in it (hence the name). Lots of sponges and sea squirts, some gorgonias. Quite a few one-spot pullers. Nice dive site, but better over near the E wall. Visibility very good.

Saturday 28 February 2009 - The Canyon - Bicheno - Tasmania
A sand gutter that runs E-W with sand at 38m. Garden gnome on sand with mask, Kelly clean it. Vertical wall on S side, Canyon narrows and then turns to south. Back further there are some swim-throughs and cracks between huge boulders. Lots of crayfish and abalone. Excellent dive. Visibility Good.

Saturday 28 February 2009 - 27B - Bicheno - Tasmania
Dropped into a valley with overhang under the rock. Headed E to wall that dropped from 12 to 18 to 20 m. Followed the wall S. Lots of sponges and sea whips. Some boulders off the wall. Lots of kelp everywhere. A large cave along wall had dozens of crays, some very large. Average dive. Visibility fair.

For more details about these dives and other dives this year, click here.