My Recent Dives - August and September
Posted by Michael on 01 August 2009 19:02
Saturday 1 August 2009 - Middle Ground
Once again did not make it to the SS Tuggerah. Despite a forecast of 8 kt W and seas below 1 m, it was 15+kt SW and 2 to 4 m swell. Had to trun around 1/3 of the way there. Viz was 15m till 24 m and then about 5 m. Lots of seapike and sweep, a few Port Jackson sharks and some nice leatherjackets, a one-spined. Not a great dive. Visibility poor.
Sunday 2 August 2009 - SS Undola
What a difference a day makes. Seas only 1 to 2 m, no wind. Ran to Undola full power. Yves and Leisure Coast Dive already there, but LCD not hooked in. Anchored first go. Went down and anchored on engine. Huge amount of fishlife. Went to bow, cleaned toilet, then back to prop and anchor. Nice dive. Visibility good.
Wednesday 5 August 2009 - Osbourne Shoals South West
Flat seas, bluish water, sunny, a great day. Heard many humpback whales throughout the whole dive, very loud. Went to E, found an old propeller shaft from a small boat buried in sand. Also some sections of a fibreglass boat. Some leatherjackets, a sea dragon. Not all that many fish. Visibility fair to good.
Wednesday 5 August 2009 - Shiprock Night Dive
Club night dive moved from Thursday to match tides. 10 attended. Very clean water, thousands of sea pens, no decorator crabs. One dwarf firefish, some interesting nudibranches, one a tiny orange frilly one, another a tiny green and black striped one. Lots of fish shallower, many medium cuttlefish, two wobbegongs. Someone saw a pipefish, no sea horse. Very nice but cold dive. Visibility very good.
Saturday 8 August 2009 - Shiprock
Cancelled Club boat dive due to winds and seas. 8 of us dived here. Found the yellow pipe fish that Brian found last dive, also a pineapplefish. Lots of seapike and luderick. Easier dive than Wednesday as less current. Very cold, 14.2C. Visibility good.
Sunday 9 August 2009 - Whale Watching Platform
Large rolling swell but smooth. Some PJs, about 20 small kingfish, one sea dragon with eggs. Other saw another one. They also saw 2 blue devilfish. Went deeper first, about three walls there. Then to the main wall and caves. Nice dive. Visibility good.
Saturday 15 August 2009 - Barrens Hut/The Split
Medium rolling swell and NW wind which dropped while here. My tank was empty (leaked) so I used the remains of Tricia's (93 bar) and did a 17.5 min bottom time. Lots of Port Jackson sharks in tunnel and elsewhere, bastard trumpeters in cave and wobbegong at end of tunnel. Nice dive. Visibility good.
Sunday 16 August 2009 - SS Tuggerah
First time we have been able to dive Tuggerah in about 5 goes. Very slight current. Saw a seal on the surface. Took 3 goes to anchor. A huge wobbegong under engine and another forward. Took Phil to show him the tools in engine room. Mike had to go up early as his occy was leaking badly. Went from prop to bow along hull bottom. Two pineapplefish here. Back to anchor in front of boiler. Not as many fish as normal. Visibility good.
Wednesday 19 August 2009 - SS Tuggerah
Very slight current and flat seas. Anchored first go next to boiler. Three wobbegongs, but Paul reckons 9. Not many fish, no pineapplefish. Went to tools, stern (wish I had my camera to take a photo of prop) and then to bow. One bailer shell. Back to boiler and engine. Great dive. Visibility very good.
Thursday 20 August 2009 - Shark Point
Club night dive. Only 5 on dive but what a great dive. Very high tide so hard to get in as small waves coming over the top of point. Easy to get out. Went SE as normal to 21m. Two sea dragons on way. Then along sand edge N and E to 26+m. Found an angelshark on sand. Ron found 2 pygmy pipehorses. There were about 4 more sea dragons, 2 with eggs. Back to shallows by heading W. Excellent dive. Very good visibility.
Sunday 30 August 2009 - Shiprock
Had to cancel todays Club boat dive due to wind. Kelly and I decided to dive Shiprock but I stuffed up high tide time and we went in an hour early. Was not too hard to swim against the current. Saw one pineapplefish, one wobbegong, many Parra nudibranchs (Verco's tamja) and some Fine-lined tamja (green striped ones). Nice dive. Visibility good.
Wednesday 2 September 2009 - Barrens Hut/The Split
No wind and mirror seas. Went along Split, one sea dragon here. A few tiny boxfish and then back to Tunnel. More boxfish. Lots of PJs all over the place. A few bastard trumpeters. Nice dive. Noodles in water shallow. Visibility good.
Thursday 3 September 2009 - Shiprock
Club night dive and my 100th dive of the year. Many Parra nudibranchs (Verco's tamja) and some Fine-lined tamja (green striped ones) and one white/yellow/black. Found two Whites sea horses on the second last rock on eastern side on finger sponge. May have been another here. Two wobbegongs, numerous octopus and small cuttlefish, decorator crabs all over the place. One tiny dwarf firefish on last rock. The moray eel on this rock bit my right index finger, drawing blood! Bastard! Visibility good but only fair towards W.
Saturday 5 September 2009 - SS Tuggerah
Took two goes to anchor as SW-S wind of about 15 kts and current from N. Anchor was still on wreck when I left boat but it appears it came off when about 1/3 way down. Reached bottom to find nothing but sand. Went back up. At safety stop saw a dolphin swimming away from us. Visibility very good.
Saturday 5 September 2009 - Barrens Hut
Went back to Barrens as now too windy for others to dive and due to less air. Still a current from N and wind from S, but less strong. Lots of PJs. A very friendly blue groper near cave and also a long-snouted boarfish here. Visibility good.
Sunday 6 September 2009 - Shiprock
Club dive. Found one sea horse, also one of the pipefish between last bommie and plaque. No firefish. Went right to buoy. Only a few Vercos and fine lined tamjas. Lots of seapike and sweep. Nice dive, but a lot of divers here. Visibility good.
Thursday 10 September 2009 - Bare Island Right
Club night dive. First dive here for 77 days, longest period since 2003. Still crap conditions, with less than 3 metres viz and silt over everything. Went in from pool and then to start of IR1. Saw 1 sea dragon on the way. A few octopus, cuttlefish, squid, a spiny gurnard. Saw 6 dea dragons on the way back, making 7 all up. 3 had eggs. Dredging for Port Botany and the desalination plant is certainly killing this dive site. Imagine what Energy Australia's work will do! Visibility very poor.
Saturday 12 September 2009 - SS Tuggerah
Millpond seas and little wind. Very dirty on way down and very dark on bottom. Anchored near boiler (others saw pineapplefish here). Went to tools and then prop and back to engine room and boiler. Cleaned toilet again. Les went up and I went to bow and back. Nice dive. Visibility good.
18 September 2009 - HMNZS Moa - Solomon Islands - Tulagi
Mooring near bow. Went to stern along sb side. Prop nice photo. Then to stern where 2 depth charge racks. Two in port rack and one under. Then to engine room, mess, boiler in front. Then to gun and bow, bow buried in sand as broken behind gun. Visibility good.
18 September 2009 - Kanawishi Mavis Flying Boat - Solomon Islands - Tulagi
Mooring on nose. Went to port wing, engines intact. Then to cockpit and around to sb side. Starboard wing now broken before engine which is hanging down. Then to tail. Back to wing and then up. Nice dive. Visibility fair.
19 September 2009 - USS Kanawha - Solomon Islands - Tulagi
Moored behind forecastle starboard side. Anchor on deck here. Then to bow, very crumpled down 55 m. No anchor this side but on port yes. Up to deck. Then down thru forecastle to port exit. Then to bridge along sb side. Collapsed. Then to bow gun platform, collapsed a bit, no gun. Then Kel and Jessica up. Stayed about 5 mins more. Visibility very good.
19 September 2009 - USS Minneapolis - Solomon Islands - Tulagi
Bow only as cut off during repair work. Upsidedown facing out from shore. Huge amount of damage on port side. Can get inside bits, lots of china and things like lights and more. Heaps of junk around, incuding a landing craft, huge tyres, steel buoy, boats, 100s 44 gallon drums, porthole glass and more. Visibility fair.
20 September 2009 - USS Kanawha - Solomon Islands - Tulagi
Quite strong current from bow on bottom. Mooring just in front of stern deck. Went wrong way forward to false deck and then back along port side to stern. Then over to deck and past rear guns to bridge area. Then back to deck and Kel and Jessica went up. I when went down thru funnel hole out salvage cut. Then up. Visibility very good.
20 September 2009 - Twin Tunnels - Solomon Islands - Tulagi
Very windy and rough. Strong current and could not get to mooring line. Dropped down to side of reef and then over to mooring. Kel´s fin strap came free so she did on one fin. Went down the skinny tunnel (right one) and than out and up to reef. Very strong current from E. Could not go far. Hard dive. Very hard on safety stop due to seas and current. Visibility excellent.
21 September 2009 - USS Kanawha - Solomon Islands - Tulagi
Moored at bow. Went to look at port anchor and then past AA gun to main deck. Then into port hatch to L2 where huge rope reel and ropes. Then across to sb side and out that hatch. More here. Then to port side of bridge and behind. Across bridge back to sb and then in sb door to forecastle. Out deck and to AA gun again and then up. Visibility very good.
21 September 2009 - Vanita Reef - Solomon Islands - Tulagi
Went in from wharf and headed NE to reef edge. Drops to over 22 m here. Headed N and then to E when reef turned. Lots of dead coral and some sponges like funnels. Gets deeper around here, to about 30 m. Turned back. Saw a nemo in this area, some nudibranchs, other clownfish, titan triggerfish followed us for a long time. Near exit some razorfish. Visibility good to very good deeper.
22 September 2009 - USS Aaron Ward - Solomon Islands - Tulagi
Slight current on bottom. Went to torpedo tubes, then along sb side past AA gun and bofors guns. Then to first stern gun. Back to bridge and then in front. Up then. Visibility excellent.
22 September 2009 - SML Base No 2 Reef - Solomon Islands - Tulagi
Went to right from wharf. Sloping reef, sand with some bommies. Lots of junk in front of the slipway. Some nice nudibranchs and clownfish. Thousands of beer cans, plastic bottles, some drums, lots of steel and wooden structures, wreckage everywhere. Visibility fair.
23 September 2009 - USS Aaron Ward - Solomon Islands - Tulagi
Went to bow along sb side. Sb AA gun collapsed inwards. Back along port side to AA gun and telegraph. Over to torpedoes, all full, port one shifted forward and next 3 in place. Sb one head fallen off and below. Fantastic dive. Visibility excellent.
23 September 2009 - HMNZS Moa - Solomon Islands - Tulagi
Went to gun, then to bow AA gun. Behind crack there is a small structure with two doors. One goes down. Behind is funnel which is fallen to port. Behind engine room there is another structure. In port depth charge rack there are 4 charges, back 2 almost rusted away, next okay, front one mostly gone. Visibility good.
24 September 2009 - USS Aaron Ward - Solomon Islands - Tulagi
Went to prop. Then to stern and depth charge racks. Then to break in deck where chair and supposedly beds. Then past guns along starboard to between searchlight and 3 gun where 2 x 5 toilets. Then to torpedo tubes and up. Visibility excellent.
24 September 2009 - USS Kanawha - Solomon Islands - Tulagi
Went from stern mooring across to starboard then forward to mid AA gun. The railing on starboard side has collapsed inwards. Then across to the other AA gun and back along port side. Then past AA gun and large gun to name on the hull. This is on port side KA AWHA. Then back to mooring and up. Visibility very good.
25 September 2009 - USS Aaron Ward - Solomon Islands - TulagiWent along starboard side to crease in deck at bow. Inside the hatch there are some bunk beds, can see the springs. A toaster on deck here. Went back along port side taking panoramic photos till rear funnel. Took photos of front AA gun and at torpedo launcher, took shots of the controls. Then to bridge for a quick look and then up. Visibility excellent.
27 September 2009 - Hirokawa Maru (Bonegi 1) - Solomon Islands - HoniaraSwam from shore down to stern at 53 m. Prop missing and damaged when salvaged. Then back to rear deck, can see steering quadrant. Then into rear two holds, past kingpost then another hold. Then to bridge area which is collapsed everywhere. Funnel is lying on sand. More holds forward and some "ailes" created by fallen wreck. Huge fishlife. Still much the same as I last dived it in 1992. Visibility Very good.
27 September 2009 - Kinugawa Maru (Bonegi 2)- Solomon Islands - Honiara
Wreck lies at 45 degrees on port side at stern but almost upright shallower. At 6m a bulkhead and the engine sticks out of water behind this. Can go thru part of wreck inside past holds. Exit near the stern. Stern deck very broken up, can get in the compartment under. Prop missing, little salvage damage. Boiler (?) about 40 m off wreck and funnel here. Mast also lying on sand. Visibility fair.
28 September 2009 - Kyusyu Maru (Ruinu) - Solomon Islands - Honiara
Went to stern. Lies on port side at about 45 degrees. Starboard prop fairing and shaft out in open but port one buried. Rudder in between. Rear deck missing gun platform. Can enter here. In front some holds but very messy. Can get in quite deep. One small and one huge engine, strange. Above engine a tank or container of some sort. Fishlife excellent. Visibility fair.
28 September 2009 - Hirokawa Maru (Bonegi 1) - Solomon Islands - Honiara
Went only to rear holds, higher up section. Then gradually worked our way shallower. Came back to centre where hull bottom is split. Top of the hull here is about 12m. Many passages and swim-throughs. As yesterday, fishlife brilliant. Visibility fair.
For more details about these dives and other dives this year, click here.