My Recent Dives - November and December 2010
Posted by Michael on 10 November 2010 13:00
Wednesday 10 November 2010 - Barrens Hut/The Split
Club boat dive. No wind and very flat seas, best conditions for 3 months or more. Slight current from N. Upsidedown pipefish still there, male still has eggs. Lots of nudibranchs, heaps of bastard trumpeters and one-spot pullers in crack behind Barrens wall. Cool on bottom. A great dive. Visibility good.

Thursday 11 November 2010 - Bare Island Left
Important day, 35th Anniversary of Gough being sacked! Club night dive. Low tide and water cold, 16C. Went off back left and SE. Followed sand edge S. Found 5 fine-lined tamjas, lots of small hermit crabs, quite a few small squid. Turned around at 20 mins. Ron found a PPH and there were a few octopus and lots of other nudibranchs. Quite a nice dive, 65 mins. Visibility good except last couple of minutes when very poor.

Saturday 13 November 2010 - SS Tuggerah
Club deep dive. A bit of NE wind and a decent NE swell running. Anchored first go on bridge. Dirty on top but clear and cold (14.4C) from about 10 m or so. Slight current from N. Lots of seapike and yellowtail on wreck. One pineapplefish and a few bailer shells. Only did 16 mins as quite bumpy on top and did not want to do too much deco. Excellent dive. Visibility very good.

Thursday 18 November 2010 - Lilli Pilli
Took Judy M for her first dive in 15 years. It was as if she had not stopped diving. Saw a dwarf firefish on a mooring, a sole, lots of seapike and whiting. Did not see a single sea horse on the net. Visibility good, even at 18 m.

Thursday 18 November 2010 - Bare Island Isolated Reefs
Club night dive. Flat seas so went off W point. Dirty water all the way, cold as well (16C). Lots of small cuttlefish and squid. Ron found a PPH on N side IR2, I found a Okenia on S side. A few large flathead. Still an enjoyable dive, despite conditions. Visibility very poor.

Saturday 20 November 2010 - Shiprock
Quite a few people here. Did normal dive. Lots of nudibranchs, some Vercos tamja, the frogfish, pineapplefish in normal spot. Lots of whiting in shallows, as well as yellowtail, seapike. Good dive, quite warm. Visibility fair.

Sunday 21 November 2010 - SS Tuggerah
Flat seas, virtually no current or wind. Anchored on SE side forward of boiler. A bit dirtier on bottom than top. Saw Jess and Phil on the bottom (they were on Aquatic Explorers). Went to prop and then to bow. Found a pineapplefish there. Back to anchor and boiler and up from here. Very nice dive. Visibility good.

Wednesday 24 November 2010 - Hungry Jacks
Club boat dive. NE wind blowing which got mush stronger. Lots of seapike, one-spot pullers, yellowtail and red morwong. A blind shark and a dead octopus. Visibility very good but some jellyfish in spots. Great dive.

Thursday 25 November 2010 - Bare Island Left
Club night dive. Very strong NE winds but flat here. An hour after low tide so went off back left and SE. Very cold water (15.2C) but clear. Only went SW and S for 17 mins due to cold. A large pregnant wobbegong, Simon found a 40 mm long sea dragon. Many cowries in Gabo Island soft coral. Lots of small quid, including one 10 mm long. Visibility very good.

Thursday 25 November 2010 - Bare Island Deep Wall Drift
Went in off SE corner. Had o-ring problem and thought I might not be able to dive. Went S and then W to Deep Wall. Very cold, 14.4C. Back near exit, Kelly found a tiny blue-ring octopus, was forming itself into a flatworm type of animal. Good dive. Visibility very good.

Sunday 28 November 2010 - Bare Island Deep Wall
My 300th dive at Bare Island. Went in off W point. Headed almost S and then once at bottom of wall went SE for a bit. Very clean but very cold (14.4C). Kelly found a few yellow sea spiders here. Past anchor went further along the deeper reef than normal and I found 2 red indianfish. Back to corner and normal route. Very good dive. Very good visibility.

Thursday 2 December 2010 - Bare Island Isolated Reefs
Club night dive. Went from Larpa Pt across. Medium outgoing tide. Lots of jellyfish on way, passed wrecked boat. Hit IR1 near main reef. Found 2 dwarf firefish on start of IR2. Went back from join of IR1 and IR2, Adam and I both had no compass, guessed direction. Saw a fiddler-ray. Refound the others after 2 minutes on way back. A lot of squid, including 3 tiny ones. Nice dive. Visibility fair.

Saturday 4 December 2010 - SS Tuggerah
Club wreck dive. My 600th wreck dive and 98th dive on Tuggerah. Anchored on prop but Dave's anchor line fouled ours. Had to move on bottom, used heaps of air. Very dirty on top and even dirtier on way down. Opened up at about 20m to be very cold (14.0C) and clean but like a night dive. Went to just in front of boiler and back. Took anchor to SW to avoid Dave but we only just missed his boat. Visibility very good.

Wednesday 8 December 2010 - Pizza Reef
Club boat dive. Strong NE winds when we went out and a bit of swell. Very dirty layer on way down, bottom viz varied from 10 m to 3 m, but mostly 5 m. Lots of fish, especially silver sweep, yellowtail, seapike and one-spot pullers. Bastard trumpeters behind cave. Nice dive. Anchor rope came free when we were about to ascend, but Les was on boat. Visibility poor.

Thursday 9 December 2010 - Bare Island Deep Wall
Club night dive. Went off W point and SSW. Dirty water in shallows but much better deeper. Still cold, about 15C. Went S for a bit but current was runnning S when it should have been coming in to N. Found a spiny gurnard here and a number of dwarf firefish a bit further N. Went to the deeper reef past anchor and refound one RIF. Lots of large flathead, some squid and small cuttlefish, one nice moray eel. Good dive. Visibility fair.

Saturday 11 December 2010 - Middle Ground
Club boat dive, 4 boats and 21 members. Very dirty on top and slight current from S. A bit clearer on bottom but thousands of jellyfish and very cold (14.8C). Went right around the reef. Huge numbers of yellowtail, trevally, seapike and silver sweep. Lots of nudis, especially purple dragons. Carol's 1000th dive. Visibility poor.

Sunday 12 December 2010 - The Colours
Club boat dive. Very dirty so went to The Colours rather than shallower Blue Fish Point. Very drity on top but a little better on the bottom. Did not stray too far from the anchor. Very colourful as usual, lots of one-spot pullers and purple dragons. Nice dive. Visibility poor.

Wednesday 15 December 2010 - The Balcony
Club boat dive, 2 boats. Flat as and no wind. A lot of red algae on surface and down to 5 m but much wamer and cleaner than recent dives (17C). Not as many fish as normal, but a lot of one-spot pullers, a few moray eels and cuttlefish. Very relaxing dive. Visibility fair.

Thursday 16 December 2010 - Windy Point
Club night dive. Water was warm, 20C and quite clean in spots, 20 m at times. Went out normal way but a new section of "reef". Probably sand held together with worms and kelp growing on top. Came to a dead end and then had to swim across sand to S and SW till we refound reef. A large fiddler-ray here and a smaller one after. Lots of kelp growing everywhere. A sea dragon on way back, lots of flathead, some very large. A few squid, one large. Lots of whiting to N and normal fish. Visibility good.

Saturday 18 December 2010 - SS Tuggerah
My 99th dive here. Absolutely flat seas and NW winds. Anchored between engine and prop. No current. Rudy and Wayne turned up and later Max G. Went to bow, saw pineapplefish again. Lots of bailer shells (volutes) laying eggs. Dark on bottom as very overcast, but a cracker of a dive. Visibility very good.

Sunday 19 December 2010 - Shiprock
Tide ran in for about 35 mins instead of normal 20 mins. Was not too hard to swim against. Kelly had sinus problems so limited where we could go. A few moray eels, two mating Verco tamja, pineapplefish near Bubble Cave, frogfish near end, some whiting, a large kingfish, lots of bream. Good dive. Visibility fair.

Wednesday 22 December 2010 - Six Fathom Reef
Club boat dive, 2 boats. Very strong SE winds and seas coming up. Used scooters for first time for over 3 years. Went right to NW end of main reef, then to S, then to NE end and back over to W side. Saw 2 long-nosed boarfish, one sea dragon and one giant boarfish. Water warm. Visibility poor.

Friday 24 December 2010 - Shiprock
Dived with Kelly, Ian and Gary D. Current ran in for 35 mins. A lot of bream and small snapper as well as fan-bellied leatherjackets and other leatherjackets. Not much real special, one pineapplefish near Bubble Cave, some octopus and morays. Visibility fair.