3 March 2018 - The Split
Wind turned NW while here. Very calm. Went to big cave via the N swim-thru, then to Double Decker Cave. Kelly found a small blue devilfish. Lots of seapike in main cave, some big eyes in caves and swim-thrus, yellowtail outside. Viz varied a lot, water warm at 21.8C. A nice dive. Visibility good.
Next dives at North Solitary Island, NSW.
12 March 2018 - The Circuit
No wind but a bit sloppy as seas from all directions. Camera flooded about 5 minutes into the dive! Totally gone within a few minutes. Went from mooring outside gap between parts to N to The Canyons. Saw a leopard shark there and a turtle on the way back. Spent the rest of the dive cleaning the interpretative blocks. Very nice dive. Visibility excellent.
12 March 2018 - Anemone Bay
Wind from S but still bit sloppy here. Went from inside mooring around the reef "edge" to the outside mooring and then further E. Lots and lots of fish all over the place here. Bream, drummer and many other species. Headed back across shallower reef, saw a shark or perhaps banjo shark. Back to main part and then up. Very good dive. Visibility very good.
13 March 2018 - Anemone Bay
Calmer than yesterday, moored on outer mooring. Went SE and E, huge numbers of silver sweep, trevally, surgeonfish and bream in the area around the mooring. Saw the large black cod we saw yesterday. Then N out along ridge, saw a turtle that only used left flipper to swim. Back around end to mooring. Saw two more cod (one black and one white) under mooring. Then another turtle. Also a wobbegong. Spent rest of dive near mooring. Lots of Moorish idols, blue tangs, butterflyfish, bannerfish and wrasse as well. Very good dive. Visibility very good.
13 March 2018 - Elbow Cave
Went thru Elbow Cave, two crays here. Then over the W side of gully, two more crays and two large wobbegongs under the overhangs. Then S and SE to island. Saw three eagle rays along the way. Into the sinkholes, nothing of real interest in either. Back to NW around the W side of the shallower reef to N and then back to mooring. Saw another couple of large turtles. Spent rest of dive near mooring. Lots of Moorish idols, butterflyfish, wrasse and plenty of small trevally. Good dive. Visibility excellent.
14 March 2018 - The Canyons
Were supposed to go to Pimpernel Rock, but wind was up mush higher than forecast and seas much bigger, so went to North Solitary. Hairy coming out bar, had to wait five minutes to get out. Couple of waves broke but okay. Went N from mooring into a slight current so turned around. Saw a largish turtle. Later saw two very large eagle rays S of mooring. Then back towards mooring. Lots of fish around, plenty of silver sweep, mado, trevally, a few medium sized kingfish. A really nice dive. Visibility very good.
14 March 2018 - Bubble Cave
Went to Bubble Cave, very surgy and ears had to be equalised every 20 seconds. A turtle came out when we were inside. Then W over a couple of ridges. Lots of wrasse eating eggs, very hectic. They were everywhere. Then found a very small clown triggerfish, black with white spots, yellow on top and near mouth, little bit near tail. Very cute. Back to E near mooring, found four tiny yellow boxfish all in one spot. Lots of fish again, tropical and otherwise. Another really nice dive. Visibility very good.
15 March 2018 - Mackerel Rum
Much calmer than yesterday, even though forecast a few days ago was awful. Started off NW point. Saw a turtle, then a large school of tuna, then six large barracuda. Soon we saw a leopard shark, came past us a number of times. In the end saw three separate leopards, all quite friendly. Also saw a guitar shark and a smallish bullray. Plenty of other fish, sweep, mado, surgeonfish and various wrasse. Fantastic dive, best of the trip. Visibility excellent.
15 March 2018 - Elbow Cave
Went thru Elbow Cave, still two crayfish in there. Then to the other cave, a very large turtle in there on top of a wobbegong (two there). It came out and within a metre of us. Two more crays in there too. Then to sinkholes, two Spanish dancers outside. Went into the Window, got shot back out! Then across to W and saw anothe turtle, some more tuna, some saw a leopard shark too. Then back to mooring. Lots of fish again all along this wall. Also saw an octopus, aq magniificent chrom nudi. Very good dive. Visibility very good.
Back in Sydney
17 March 2018 - M & K Reef
Tried to do By Pass Reef but current was over 3 knots. Large powerful swell meant here it was quite surgy. Visibility was better than expected, 10 m. Saw two blue devilfish, two six-spined leatherjackets, three PPH, a large cuttlefish that hassled Kelly, two sea dragons and more. A very nice dive, better than expected. Visibility fair.
18 March 2018 - The Leap
After yesterday's powerful and large swell, today was almost millpond. Quite cold (18.8C) and dirty, especially deeper than 20 metres. Also a huge amount of kelp on the sand edge in this area, hard to see where the edge was in spots. Not a great deal seen, two sea dragons and quite a few species of nudibranch. Some yellowtail and garfish at the exit. Average dive. Visibility fair but poor deeper than 20 metres.