Club night dive, 7 attending. A big swell running so had to go in near plaque. A bit surgy shallow, but very good visibility. Deeper not so good. Went to Cave and then to IR1. One RIF here and then a fiddler-ray. Also a wobbegong earlier and some octopus. Later, 3 more RIF and one tiny PPH. Near where IR1 joins main reef, there is a huge amount of sand that has covered a lot of the reef. Four large flathead. Very good dive. Visibility very good except deep.
3 May 2014 - Burrell Rocks Caves
Very strong W winds did not come up so we were lucky to get here. Warm, blue water, flat seas meant a great dive. Saw a wobbegong, sea dragon and a blue devilfish. Lots of mado, sweep, red morwong and more. Also very friendly maori wrasses. Visibility very good.
3 May 2014 -Ulladulla Lighthouse Wall Drift
Wind still had not come up so did a drift from in front of lighthouse to S. Not as many fish as last dive, but still very interesting. Saw a medium size bullray as well. Very good dive. Visibility very good.
9 May 2014 - Shiprock
Low tide so viz was not great, especially near start. No current at all except last 5 mins. A few large octopus, the moray with damaged mouth from near Bubble Cave was on last main bommie. Four pineapplefish, two in normal cave and two further S. Two frogfish. Again, I did not see any nudibranchs. Lots of fan-bellied leatherjackets and sweep, yellowtail and small trevally shallow. Only a reasonable dive. Visibility fair.
10 May 2014 - The Wanderers
Club deep dive, five boats and 19 divers. Largish swell but calm, wind from NW. Anchored on the rocks just off the main wall. At least 40 m viz above 30 m but only 7 m on bottom, all the huge seas seem to have stirred up the sand. Went E and N along wall. Some nice blue morwong and six-spined leatherjackets. Nice dive, but would have been brilliant if viz went all the way to the bottom. Visibility fair.
14 May 2014 - Middle Ground
Club boat dive, went on Phil's boat. What perfect conditions, flat seas, slight wind, no current, warm blue water and at least 25 m viz. Does not get much better than that. Port Hacking Divers were also diving here. Huge schools of yellowtail, lots of seapike, others saw kingfish, at least 10 huge squid, six-spined leatherjackets and a butterflyfish. There was a buoy on the site and this was attached to a large fishtrap. We assume it has been dragged from somewhere else as the buoy had huge amount of growth on it. The trap had two reasonable size blind sharks in it as well as three or four other large fish. Greg and I spent a long time opening it up and freeing them. No name or number on buoy so it was illegal. A brilliant dive. Visibility excellent.
15 May 2014 - Bare Island Deep Wall Drift
Club night dive. Went in off SE corner and around to the Deep Wall. A bit of a swim till we started dropping to the wall. A horned shark and then PPH. Viz was 20 m or so till we got to 16 m. Two sea horses at same spot as recent dives. Two dwarf firefish near cave. A large flathead near 15 m Reef and a RIF back at 10 m. Cleaner again back shallow. Nice dive. Visibility very good deep, fair shallow.
19 May 2014 - Bare Island Deep Wall
First dive of my retirement, first dive for my brother Stephen since my wedding 7 years ago! He was a bit underweighted so used a lot of air. I had to give him one of my pockets when we got shallower. Water still warm and blue, probably 15 m viz. Did the normal dive but did not see any PPH, RIF or sea horses, even the ones we saw last Thursday night. A very large flathead and lots of fish shallower. Nice easy dive. Visibility good.
21 May 2014 - Six Fathom Reef
Club boat dive. Little wind till we got past Jibbon Bombora and then quite strong S. Very choppy here. Went back to Six Fathom where it was calm and little wind. Viz was great could easily see boat from 17 m. Went W to the sand edge and then NW. A lot of small seapike out here and one small long-snouted boarfish. Back along this wall to S and then E to main wall. Another larger boarfish here. Then N to near end, lots of ladder-finned pomfrets. A couple of large cuttlefish and some smaller ones, plenty of combfish and blue groper. Very nice dive. Visibility very good.
24 May 2014 - Gold Coast Seaway
Over an hour after low tide. Looked reasonable before we geared up, but when we got in it was filthy. Went to 14 m thinking it might have been cleaner, but it was just darker. Decided to abort the dive as visibility was only a metre or so. Terrible dive for a great site. Should have waited till 3 pm or so and might have had nice water. Visibility very shithouse.
31 May 2014 - Shiprock
Club shore dive with seafood lunch after. Entered about 10 mins early as not a very big tidal change, was perfect. Lots of octopus, some very large. Heaps of leatherjackets and large bream and lots of seapike on the wall. On top of wall near exit plenty of large sand whiting. Four pineapplefish in normal spot, a large wobbegong and a horned shark. Only saw one nudibranch and Kelly saw one small moray. Visibility very good.
1 June 2014 - Bare Island Isolated Reefs
Too rough to go in off W point so went in before the pool. Incoming tide so drifted along the S side of IR1. Kelly found a small sea horse here and further along I found a RIF and a boarfish. Water warm and bluish, but a bit milky. Back along N side to exit. Another RIF and one PPH. All the normal fish, including a couple of very friendly blue gropers. Two upsidedownpipefish under Sea Horse Rock. Really nice dive. Visibility fair to good.
2 June 2014 - Bare Island Deep Wall
Went in from pool and swam around before descending. To SW to Deep Wall. Very clean out here. Back normal way, but very slowly. Found 2 of the big belly sea horses (not the yellow one). No RIF or PPH, a few octopus, lots of normal fish. Dirtier from 14 m to about 8 m. Found the upsidedownpipefish again. A really nice dive. Visibility good to very good.
3 June 2014 - SS Tuggerah
Went out in Peter Fields' boat as could not get a crew together for mine. A reasonable current from N running so Peter stayed on boat. Peter T had rebreather trouble so he also did not dive. Current went to at least 30 m where there was a dirtier and colder (17.7C) layer. Saw at least 6 wobbegongs, most I have seen here for almost 10 years I reckon. Two were huge pregnant females. Lots of seapike over wreck as well. A really nice dive. On surface saw a seal and humpback whale. Visibility good.
7 June 2014 - The Leap
Very strong S winds and large seas so could not take boat out. Very calm here though. Four sea horses, four sea dragons, an angelshark, one PPH, a few opera house nudibranchs and one soft coral nudibranch. A small boxfish, lots of pygmy leatherjackets, a few small cuttlefish and more. A very nice dive. Visibility good.
8 June 2014 - The Leap
Did same dive as yesterday but seas much bigger and more surge. Also got pushed along by incoming tide faster. Saw 3 of 4 sea horses, 4 sea dragons, one white PPH, 5 soft coral nudibranchs (on same rock as yesterday). Not as clean but still okay. Very nice dive again. Visibility fair.
11 June 2014 - Lilli Pilli
Dive with Tong so he could try out his new drysuit. He went well, was perhaps a bit bit light as he could not put much air in drysuit. Also needed a thicker top. Lots of small seapike, a few nice sand whiting, a few larger octopus. No sea horses. Visibility was fair shallow but very poor deeper than 14 m.
12 June 2014 - Shiprock
Club night dive. Very high tide but tide was already outgoing when we got to the split spot. Gary D was with me but blew an o-ring so had to ascend. I checked that he got to the surface okay. Joined up then with Caroline and Nicolas. Just to N of second bommie was a yellow striped anglerfish. Later Caroline found a tiny firefish, only 7-10 mm at the most. I have never seen one so small. On the way back 3 pineapplefish, moray eel, lots of cuttlefish. Back on wall near exit, she then found what we think was the yellow painted anglerfish from earlier in the year. Was NE of last spot, perhaps 15 or 20 m. Very nice dive. Visibility fair.
14 June 2014 - Barrens Hut/The Split
Raining and very dark, but flat seas and no current. A bit surgy on bottom as swell was about 12 seconds interval. A large school of kingfish, the Cave was full of bastard trumpeters. Lots of red and blue morwong as well. A great dive. Visibility very good.
For more details about these dives and other dives this year, click here.