My Recent Dives - March & April 2015
Posted by Michael on 01 March 2015 00:00
8 March 2015 - Shiprock
Today was supposed to be a boat dive, but huge seas yesterday meant we cancelled. Third boat dive cancelled this week. Seas dropped but at 0830 a very strong S hit, not forecast. Luckily we had cancelled as would have not been nice. At least 60 divers here today I reckon, a lot were useless, I got hit in the head at least three times by divers swimming past. Went to N first and then back normal way. Not a great deal to see, one huge squid, some small cuttlefish, a few octopus. Seven pineapplefish, lots of small yellowtail shallow. All the usual leatherjackets, a moon wrasse and the yellow goby. Nice relaxing 80 minute dive. Visibility fair.

11 March 2015 - Barrens Hut/The Split
Club boat dive, three boats and 13 divers. No wind, flat seas, but after last weekends huge seas, we decided to dive a little deeper than we normally would have. Bluish water with a slight current when we entered the water, but by the end of the dive it was quite strong. Went normal route to N end of Split and back down the outside. Below 24 m cooler at 20C and viz only 10 m, above this it was 22C and at least 20 m viz. Came back to Tunnel and Ken's anchor had come free so Corey and I put back in. Found an upsidedown pipefish above the Tunnel. Then the anchor came free again and I shoved between some rocks. Not enough rope out. Back thru Cave and a large wobbegong out the back. Back to anchor and eventually up. An excellent dive. Visibility very good.

12 March 2015 - Shiprock
Club night dive, 6 divers, low tide. Visibility okay on top but a lot worse on bottom, although it did vary a bit. Very little current. Dozens of decorator crabs, plenty of hermit crabs, a few small cuttlefish, 7 pineapplefish in normal spot, a small spotted moray eel. Very warm water, 24C on top and 23.3C min. Nice dive. Visibility very poor.
Club boat dive, 2 boats, 10 divers. Decided to dive this new spot again. 

18 March 2015 - Middle Ground North
Anchored on NE side this time. Strong current from N that got stronger as we were in, lost some air from occy as it freeflowed. Still a bit on the bottom. Viz 25 m on top but perhaps 12 m on bottom. About 3C cooler as well. Lots of wandering anemones on seawhips, first I have seen for probably 10 years. Some seapike, yellowtail, leatherjackets and lots of morwong. Did not do as long a bottom as normal due to current as took 3 mins to get to bottom. Visibility good.

19 March 2015 - Bare Island Deep Wall
Club night dive, 10 members present. Went off W point and to wall. Some small squid here. Viz quite good here, slight incoming tide. Found one sea horse where we have been seeing three. Great, we thought they were all dead as had not seen any of them for many months. A fiddler-ray near RIF Reef and apparently a RIF (I did not see). Back near SHC a RIF. Also saw a small PPH, a dwarf firefish, lots of large octopus and a couple of nice shellfish. Encountered two large groups of divers on the way back, one may have been looking at a tiny sea dragon. Viz varied a bit on the way back. Visibility good overall.

21 March 2015 - Shiprock
Club shore dive. Too windy to take boat out. Kelly's first dive since August last year when she got bent in Bali. Has had the PFO (hole in heart) fixed and got okay to restart diving! She went great, very relaxed. So much so she found a pipefish within 2 mins. There was another one here as well. Also an armina, a nudibranch that eats seapens. Lots of large octopus, Kelly almost got zapped by a numbray, 8 pineapplefish in normal spot. Saw some eggs in cardinalfish mouth, a frogfish and more. A nice cruisie dive, warm. Visibility very good. 

22 March 2015 - Shiprock
Was supposed to be Club dive day at La Perouse but too windy to take boats out. A wobbegong on top of wall. Refound the 2 pipefish, may have actually been 3 here. Saw Ron's little goby on the large bommie like yesterday. Lots of mados around. Again saw the 8 pineapplefish in normal spot and a conger eel. A bit warmer than yesterday, but viz down a lot. Visibility fair. 

26 March 2015 - Shiprock
Club night dive, 8 attending. Low tide and got in early but little current at all. Very dirty though and a lot of dead algae/weed floating around the bottom. Apart from lots of fan-bellied leatherjackets, a few small cuttlefish and some other things, not much to see. No decorator crabs at all, no eels, only 4 pineapplefish. Strange how it can be different only a few days apart or on other night dives. Visibility very poor.

28 March 2015 - Pizza Reef
What a dive! Largish seas, but not rough, W winds at first turning S. A bit surgy on bottom, but not too bad. Blue water, no current. Anchored near cave and went anti-clockwise as normal. Few fish near cave but on W side huge numbers of seapike. On S side huge numbers of one-spot pullers, seapike, yellow-finned pomfrets and silver sweep. Kelly found a PPH and there was a large cuttlefish and a couple of horned sharks. An amazing dive. Visibility very good.

29 March 2015 - The Gutter
Club shore dive and BBQ. Seas dropped dramatically from yesterday, calm here. Blue water, at least 20 m viz. Went straight down Gutter to sponge gardens. Some small cuttlefish there, also some of the exotic weed that is at Kurnell. Back along W wall, more cuttlefish, a black sea spider, a small moorish idol. Some saw sea dragon and a frogfish. Very relaxed dive. Visibility excellent. 

1 April 2015 - Marys Reef
Club boat dive. Flat seas, no wind, no current and blue water. At least 20 m viz, could easily see boat from 20 m and off at an angle. Bream and silver sweep over reef, at least 6 Gunthers butterflyfish, 3 upsidedown pipefish and another tropical fish I cannot identify. Went to E and NE and then back to anchor and W. An excellent dive. Visibility very good.

1 April 2015 - Bare Island Deep Wall Drift
Club night dive. Went in from SE corner. Dirty till wall and then good viz. No current as high was about 7:57 pm. Saw a couple of small PPH, 2 RIF on RIF Reef and another later. No sea horses on wall. Lots of small squid, some large cuttlefish, a few small flathead. Nice easy dive. Visibility good deep.

6 April 2015 - Bypass Reef
Club boat dive, 3 boats and 15 divers. After the past four days of huge seas, strong S winds and rain, this morning was great. A bit of swell still around and 10-15 kt W but bluish water. Viz was about 20 m and water 21C. Saw at least 5 upsidedown pipefish, a blue devilfish, some large octopus, lots of red morwong, some saw yellow sea spiders and other interesting things. A brilliant dive. Visibility very good.

11 April 2015 - Middle Ground
Club boat dive, three boats and 15 divers. Very large seas the past few days so changed the club dive to Middle Ground as a bit deeper and should be nicer. There was still a 3 m swell and a bit of surge with sand floating in water. Viz only 7 m. Had to move my anchor to a better spot then Phil's away from ours so our boats were a bit further apart. Lots of yellowtail, sweep and seapike. Kelly found a PPH as normal. A very nice six-spined leatherjacket as well. A very nice dive, much better than I expected considering the weather the past two days. Visibility fair. 

18 April 2015 - Xanadu
Club boat dive. This is a deep reef, 28 m on top and 35 m off the wall. Anchor was just off the wall in sand, moved it to flat reef. No current, wind from N and got stronger, no swell but a bit of chop. Blue water with some fine sand floating. Went N, lots of silver sweep over wall. A few trevally came in very quick. Back S to anchor and then further S and back to anchor. Best viz of all my dives here. Visibility good.

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