My Recent Dives - April & May
Posted by Michael on 17 April 2009 20:22
Thursday 16 April 2009 - Bare Island Deep Wall
First dive for 18 days due to bad weather and going camping at Easter. Longest period without a dive for 2 years. Went in off west point. Viz pretty good shallow and then deep, but dirtier south. Did normal dive at first. Found the two pygmy pipehorses near anchor, still there since Nov 2008. Saw a small cuttlefish eating a prawn. Lots of prawns, including a huge 175mm long. Two sea dragons and a few squid at end. Viz fair overall, but good shallow. 

Thursday 23 April 2009 - Shiprock
Despite the bad seas and rain since last week, the conditions tonight were good. Lots of "parramatta" nudis and whiting around. Also saw 6 wobbegongs. Refound the large timber pile that was off the wall to S. It appears to have moved out a bit and covered mostly with sand. Lots of small cuttlefish, a few large anemone covered hermit crabs. No sea horse or pineapplefish. Visibility fair.

Saturday 25 April 2009 - Shiprock
Big seas so cancelled Club boat dive. Were a bit late getting in so had to swim into current towards W buoy. Only 2 wobbgongs, one small bannerfish. Lots of fish along the wall. Huge numbers of yellowtail, sweep and small bream. Very nice dive. Visibility poor.

Sunday 26 April 2009 - Shiprock
Went in early and current was strong all the way past the buoy. Stayed on wall all the way. Went to boat pen and then back. Refound the bannerfish. Also, one small and one larger pineapplefish in usual location. Where were they last 2 dives? Also a medium kingfish. No wobbies. Lots of fish like yesterday. Many luderick as well. Very good dive. Visibility poor.

Saturday 2 May 2009 - Six Fathom Reef
Originally planned to dive SS Tuggerah but S winds over 17kts. Saw Rudy and Wayne at Barrens Hut and they were facing to N. Current? Went to Middle Ground but once anchored, ladder was on suface. Very strong current from N. Decided to go to Six Fathom. Went right around main reef. Huge numbers yellowtail and seapike, at least 5 6 spined-leatherjackets, 1 blue devilfish, 1 sea dragon, 1 flutemouth. 2 huge cuttlefish, 1 of which tried to attack me. They started a mating ritual. Great dive. Visibility good.

Wednesday 6 May 2009 - Barrens Hut/The Split
No current when we arrived but while the first group were in it picked up. Not as bad as Saturday. Went to N end of Split but when we came back to the S end where anchor was, it was gone. Tried to find but it was dirty on bottom 2 metres. Continued dive. Went to Tunnel and back to anchor spot. Ended up doing blue water ascent and found boat was about 400 m away. We ended up drifting almost to them before they could collect us. Visibility good except bottom 2 metres.

Thursday 7 May 2009 - Shiprock
Weekly night dive. Very mild current. Did normal dive. A few cuttlefish, octopus. At least 2 small and 1 large pineapplefish (maybe 3 small) at normal spot. Not many hermit crabs or decorator crabs. Gary found a small blue-ringed octopus near bubble cave. One parra nudibranch. Nice easy dive. Visibility very good.

Saturday 9 May 2009 - Pizza Reef
Went to cave, some bastard trumpeters here. One large boarfish inside. Went around whole reef. Huge numbers of seapike, yellowtail and silver sweep. On school of about 100 small kingfish came around at the SE side. A few male eastern king wrasse. Excellent dive. Visibility good.

Sunday 10 May 2009 - Shiprock
Club See Food and Seafood dive. 18 members present. Found one small and one large pineapplefish, 4 bannerfish. Some small cuttlefish. Lots of normal fish. In shallows saw a huge school of whiting. Visibility fair.

Thursday 14 May 2009 - Bare Island Isolated Reefs
Club night dive. Too rough to go off S or W as planned. Went in E of pool. Went to Isolated Reef 1 and then on N side. Found a red Indianfish (RIF) here. Then to IR2. No sea horses. Back on S side into a very slight current. Found another RIF here after Shaun swam right over it. Back to cave where 3 PJs. Then back to ramp. Found 3 sea dragons and back at 10 m, one pygmy pipehose. Excellent dive. Visibility fair deeper, good shallow.
Saturday 16 May 2009 - The Balcony
Strong W but flat.Warm water and huge numbers of yellowtaill, seapike, ladder-finned pomfrets, sweep, bullseyes, mackeral, mado and more. Ian and Tricia saw a dolphin but I only saw a black/grey blur. One of our best Sydney dives! Visibility excellent.

Sunday 17 May 2009 - Barrens Hut/The Split
Winds more SW than yesterday and a long rolling swell. Anchored N end Split. A seadragon here. Then to Tunnel and Cave. Lots of bastard trumpeters outside cave. Some seapike and one-spot pullers. Two cuttlefish. Nice dive, but nowhere as good as yesterday (Dave C saw a seal and 2 dolphins here). Visibility very good.

Thursday 21 May 2009 - Lilli Pilli Baths
Windy and huge seas so moved night dive to here from Oak Park. Counted 19 Whites sea horses, with at least 10 on the wharf pylons. Normally none there. Most were small and all were very active. Lots swimming in open. Also a frogfish, a bright lined bubble (Bulinia lineata), some small cuttlefish, a large octopus and many large prawns. Current was slight near wharf (unusual). Then over to moorings. Second one is almost worn through its chain links. Visibility fair but poor deeper than 15 m and shallower than 2 m (due to rain). 

Wednesday 27 May 2009 - Middle Ground
After a week of big seas pretty clean considering. Was blue but milky. Slight S wind. Lots of yellowtail, some sweep and seapike. The others saw 2 large wobbegongs but we did not. I took Peterīs D200 with wide angle, not great conditions for that. Nice dive despite Visibility poor.

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