6 January 2018 - Middle Ground
Very warm day, strong NE even at 8 am, but only slight chop so far. Anchored on NE corner, slight current. Warm 21.5C on top but 17.4C on bottom. Went looking for the torch I lost here 2 months ago. Did not find first go, so went right around reef. Very large schools of yellowtail, silver sweep, seapike and trevally. A few black reef leatherjackets, but no wobbegongs or blue devilfish. Came back to anchor area and did another search, Found the torch on the reef, white instead of black, paint has come off, also covered in small barnacles. Still worked when I turned it on! Anchor would not come free after dive, so Ian R had to do a second to move it. Excellent dive. Visibility very good.
7 January 2018 - Bare Island Deep Wall
Very hot day, by end of dive it was 37C. Went in off W point to wall, then back normal way. Lots of nudibranchs, pink okenia, red flabbelina and many others. One RIF, one small orange anglerfish, Kelly and Kim found a few PPHs. Water very warm (23C) shallow but dirty. Much cleaner (15-20 m viz) but 18C deeper. An excellent 71 minute dive. Visibility very good.
8 January 2018 - Bare Island Deep Wall
Another very hot day. Went in off W point and headed SW. Did similar dive to yesterday. Water heaps warmer on bottom (19.7C) but viz nowhere near as good, perhaps 12 m. Lost Chris at 50 min mark, searched for him and surfaced to find him swimming to shore. Saw lots of different nudibranchs like yesterday, no PPH or RIF, but two spiny gurnards. Also found the small orange anglerfish again and lots of "bugs" in the Gabo Island soft coral. Another nice dive.Visibility good.
8 January 2018 - Bare Island Isolated Reefs
Decided to another dive with Kim. Even hotter now. Went off W point and headed WNW to 15 Metre Reef, then to S side of IR1. Followed this to the end and back along N side of IRs. Viz a little better. Found one RIF at start of IR2. No PPH. Lots of nudibranchs and a small boxfish. The anglerfish had moved about a metre since this morning's dive. A few morays, one very large and friendly one on IR2. A blue groper also followed us for about 20 minutes on IR2. Ended up in deco for two minutes! Great dive again. VIsibility good.
11 January 2018 - SS Tuggerah
My 4,000th dive!! Club deep dive, two boats and 8 divers. No wind, current, a bit of swell from SE but glassy. Blue water to 27 m, then greener (still good). Anchored right on stern, hooked into fishing net. Moved to above rudder. Went forward to bow and then back to boilers and stern. Two huge wobbegongs, a few medium cuttlefish, a couple of moray eels (swimming). Rob went up Phil's anchor and later cut across to ours as we were close enough to be able to see on deco. Excellent dive. Visibility good.
12 January 2018 - Marley Point
Club boat dive. Fast run down in blue water, very slight current from N. Anchored right next to cave, could see bottom as soon as we jumpe din water. Went NE along sand edge, a huge bullray swam past us. Saw it three more times in totally different locations. Thousands of one-spot pullers, all doing their mating dance. There were all over the place. Came back shallower, going through a few swim-throughs and then W of anchor. Back to cave and through it to anchor. A very nice dive, warm water (mostly 20+C but 18.8C min). Visibility very good.
13 January 2018 - Bare Island Isolated Reefs
Too rough to go in off W point, had to go in near Carol's plaque. Went down to IR1 and then along N side. Around end of IR2 and back on S side. Some current in spots. Two PPH on large white sponge near first cave, the small orange anglerfish was on adjacent rock to normal, one RIF in between IR1 and IR2. Lots of yellowtail out on IR2. Lots of nudibranchs again, heaps of different species. A really good dive, apart from the bunch of divers who passed us and made viz 2 m and then later surfaced way out on IR! Visibility good.