My Recent Dives - January & February 2019
Posted by Michael on 01 January 2019 00:00
15 January 2019 - Ilha dos Porcos (Pig Island) - Arraial do Coba, Brazil

Eastern side of Ilha dos Porcos, Pig Island. Very windy from N or NW, so here only place to dive. Quite shallow, max 10 metres. Dirty below 10 anyway. Went N along slope at 10 m or so, then turned and came back at 6-7 m. Lots of strange sponge-like fans. Saw a few nudibranchs, some large eels with stick crabs/shrimps. A few different types of boxfish. Two smallish turtles.Lots of fish in some places. At 45 mins guide took German up as low on air then came back to us. Did 62 mins. Reasonable dive. Reg made very hard banging on intake if I breathed in soon as I exhaled! Visibility fair.

15 January 2019 - Sace de Cardiero - Arraial do Coba, Brazil

Different reg, but leaked a bit. Located opposite side of channel from last dive, on mainland. Drift dive from southern point to bay. Dropped off into 10 metres. Similar to last dive.Colder and dirtier, one sea horse, quite a few large gurnards, a small fiddler-ray, a few butterflyfish, boxfish, some small eels, a couple of nudibranchs. Another reasonable dive of 60 mins. All the other divers went up well before we did. Visibility fair.

23 January 2019 - Pizza Reef

Club boat dive. Thunderstorm on the way out, lightning, heavy rain but once there it stopped. Slight chop from NE and little wind or current. Anchored on E side. Went around reef as normal. Huge schools of seapike, a bunch of bastard trumpeters, a spiny gurnard and lots of other fish. Found 5 donut nembrothas in front of cave, but none elsewhere. An excellent dive. Visibility excellent.

24 January 2019 - Shiprock

Very strong southerly blowing but calm here of course. Could see bottom from top of wall and had to be about 20 m viz. Dropped over the wall and on the first very small bommie Ron found a black anglerfish that they saw 3 weeks ago. Has grown a bit apparently. Went the usual route, a dead ray, lots of sweet ceratosoma nudibranchs, fan-bellied leatherjackets, small snapper and lots more. I cleaned the plaque, face had fine growth over it. We went out to the train track and poles. Could almost see the wall from out there. Turned at 40 mins when tide started back out. A few bream and a small school of seapike, 3 pineapplefish under the bubble cave. Back near the start, the anglerfish had moved about 5 metres towards the entrance. Went usual way back, 75 mins. Very warm at 20.0C. Visibility very good.

26 January 2019 - The Monuments

Club Australia Day dive and BBQ. Went in about 150 m to E of normal entry. Very fast drift at first. Viz was 17 m here but later dropped to perhaps 10 m. Saw a couple of moray eels, one horned shark, one white PPH. Saw a crab trap with a blind shark in it, removed it and turned the trap over. Right in front of normal dive entry. Ended dive a bit early due to buddies low on air. Nice dive and very good BBQ afterwards. Visibility good.

27 January 2019 - Bypass Reef

Club boat dive. Decided to dive a different spot to proposed site due to extremely good water conditions. Checked that there was no current when we stopped, yesterday there was strong. Very little. Anchored just off wall, huge numbers of bastard trumpeters near anchor when we went down, but gone later. Went to S along wall, further than I have been before. Lots of mado on wall and some small seapike. Also lots of other fish up high, hard to tell what they were. Could see boat clearly from 27 m. aBack to anchor and into the bay, dozens of red morwong here. Second group saw two blue devilfish. Lots of nudibranchs all over the place. A fantastic dive! Visibility very good.

30 January 2019 - Middle Ground

Club boat dive, 3 boats and 13 divers. Very big sea running from ENE, steep and sharp. Also a lot of slop. No wind, much less than forecast. Very dirty on top and dark but clean on bottom. Anchored on NE corner. Had to move anchor a bit to better spot and also further from other boats. Went around anti-clockwise as normal. No wobbegongs or blue devilfish, but lots of yellowtail and some seapike up higher. Some leatherjackets and red morwongs. Forgot torch, so hard to see a lot of things, but a very nice dive. VIisbility good.

31 January 2019 - Bare Island Isolated Reefs

Very hot, over 30C at 10 am. Went in off W point and W to sand. Very dirty above 10 m but over 15 m viz below, cold here, 16.2C! Followed the edge and then 15 Metre Reef to Isolated Reef 1. Lots of pink flabellina. Saw a small horned shark between the two reefs. Then a nice little anchor, took the chain as I need it for something. Lots of yellowtail here, all over the place. Then saw a rope which ran W. Followed it and found the best chain I have ever seen underwater with a great sand anchor. Too heavy to carry back to shore, so I spent some time at disconnecting rope from chain and hiding anchor and rope. I want to recover it as I need new chain on boat. Back via S side of reefs and normal way back. Two small upsidedown pipefish at Sea Horse Rock. No RIF or PPH, but a great dive. Visibility very good. 

2 February 2019 - Bare Island Isolated Reef 2

Weather forecast originally was not good, but when it improved I decided to take boat out with some friends to recover the anchor from Thursday. Anchored on end of IR2. Went down but filfthy on bottom, only 1-2 m. Used a rope I carried to tie to anchor and searched till I found the rope. Then used this to lead to the chain and anchor. Eventually Greg and Shelley joined me (Johnny had ear problems). Attached a rope and lift back and went up. Unfortunately the chain got caught under rocks. Visibility shithouse.

2 February 2019 - Bare Island Isolated Reef 2

Had to redive when the anchor we were trying to get got stuck. Went down and attached the lift bag direct to chain. Failed again as it moved and got caught. Dived a again straight away and this time attached to anchor. Sent it up and we got it all! Visibility very poor (was a bit better).

5 February 2019 - Fly Point, Nelson Bay

Away for the week at Nelson Bay to do some diving with Ron, Donna, Ida, Ray and Chris. Not much, very slow. Quite dirty and fairly cold for here (19.1C). Turned at 35 mins and went shallower and back. Saw a few morays, one large, some blind sharks, a small wobbegong shark, a fiddler-ray, some interesting nudibranchs and a flatworm, a butterflyfish. On the drop off on the way back, lots of bream, surgeonfish, mado and more. Quite a nice dive despite visibility. Poor visibility.

6 February 2019 - The Pipeline, Nelson Bay

Quite a bit cleaner than yesterday. Went NE at first and then slowly back to pipe, getting there after 55 mins (70 min dive). So many things seen, at least 6 pipefish, one sea horse (others saw 8-10), numerous species of rarer nudibranchs, dozens of octopus and cuttlefish, lots of eels, butterflyfish. Hard to recall all the things we saw. A brilliant dive. Visibility fair. 

7 February 2019 - Halifax Point, Nelson Bay

Dirty like Tuesday's dive at Fly Point. Sand is still covering a lot of the dive site, but still some good bits. We went NW rather than SW, turned at 20 mins and went deeper and then back. Only a few nudibranchs, a few horned sharks, some bream and similar species, a lot of butterflyfish, five small lined pipefish under a small overhang near entrance. Some large silver drummer deep, lots of blue gropers. Least interesting of the dives this week. Visibility poor.

8 February 2019 - Fly Point, Nelson Bay

Another nice day. Went in and headed N then went with current (very slight) to SW. Viz a little better than Tuesday. Saw a few small wobbegongs, a few large moray eels, some huge flathead, quite a few butterflyfish, plenty of different nudibranchs, 2 fiddler-rays, some horned sharks, lots of juvenile bream and snapper, a couple of larger ones too. A nice easy dive. Visibility fair. 

12 February 2019 - Pizza Reef

To come

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