My Recent Dives - July and August 2011
Posted by Michael on 01 July 2011 00:00

1 July 2011 - Shiprock
Went diving with Kelly and John D. Entered the water early as small high tide , no problems. Saw a dwarf firefish, a wobbegong, huge flathead and eagle ray near exit, lots of "opera house" nudibranchs,  a small pipefish, some other frilled nudis we have never seen before (reddish flabelinas), some moray eels and lots of fish on the wall. Excellent dive. Visibility very good.

2 July 2011 - M & K Reef
Supposed to dive SS Kelloe, but very strong current. Phil and Jessica went down to retrieve anchor, but had a hard time. Moved to M & K Reef. Nice dive. Saw two eastern blue devilfish, sea dragon, a PJ, one-spot pullers, yellowtail and more. Nice dive. Visibility very good.

3 July 2011 - Bare Island Isolated Reefs 
Club dive and BBQ. Not a great start, we found the body of a bloke who jumped or fell from the road to right of bridge. Landed on his head. Poor bastard. Had to go from Larpa Point as Police closed the area. Crossed over 3 electricity cables, not yet buried. One goes to 10 m off IR2 W end. Found 2 sea dragons, the yellow Whites sea horse, lots of made-up phyllodosmium, purple dragons and more. Nice dive. Visibility good. 

6 July 2011 - The Split/Barrens Hut Drift South
Club boat dive. Tried to do Pizza Reef but raging current. Phil retrieved anchor that was well and truly stuck. Then Les, Phil and Jess did a drift from The Split south. They saw a turtle and lots of Port Jackson sharks. After this, we did the same. At least 20 m viz, warm water, a couple of big bullrays and more PJs. Excellent dive, not too windy either. Back in the drysuit as well. Visibility very good. 

7 July 2011 - Shiprock
Club night dive. Very cold water in shallows (14C) but 16C deeper. Found lots of "opera house" nudibranchs and the frilled nudis we first found last week (reddish flabelinas). Also a larger pipefish up near the W end near where Kelly found the small one last week. A moray and a spotted eel, lots of whiting and some octopus. Visibility poor.
10 July 2011 - Shiprock
Had to cancel yesterday's and today's boat dives due to huge seas. 10 members dived here at low tide. I forgot to put weight pockets in so had to walk back up and get them. Very cold water, only 14.4C for most of the dive. Lots of nudis, whiting, leatherjackets, a moray. Not a bad dive. Met for coffee after with 6 members who dived Lilli Pilli. Visibility fair.

27 July 2011 - HMAS Adelaide
Club day trip. Very dark overcast, rough seas. Very dirty and cool top layer. Once below about 10 metres a lot clearer and wamer but like a night dive. Went down without seeing buoy on tower and then found top deck. Went to stern along the top and then dropped off top of helicopter hangar. Then over stern to hole in back. Followed this all the way to before bridge. Saw entrances to engine room, the war room (a safe here) and then exited out the sb side and up to main deck. Then up and over to port and forward to bridge. Sat in chair, used phone. Another safe here. Then to Captain's cabin, shower and basin here. Then back up and out to radar tower and up. Lots of growth already, especially barnacles higher. Visibility poor.

27 July 2011 - HMAS 
Conditions the same as last dive but raining. Again could not see wreck till I hit 20 m. Then had to figure out where I was. Lost my buddies, then found them, then they headed to stern rather than the bow that we agreed on. I headed to bow on the outside of the boat. Dropped to the area below bridge and saw missile launch hole. Then over other areas to bow. Back to bridge, then to funnel. Some cracks in deck near here, both sides. Into funnel and out top. Back to radar and up. Visibility poor.

30 July 2011 - Oak Park
Perfect weather, pity we could not take boat out as we have a party to prepare for tonight. Good to get a dive in after the terrible weather of the past 2 weeks.  Went out to second reef, then back along wall. A blue devilfish, a couple of very large and battered cuttlefish, one PJ. Other than that, a normal Oak Park dive. Warmish water, 17-18C. Visibility fair.

3 August 2011 - The Balcony
First time in 4 weeks we have been able to take boat out. Flat as a tack, bluish water. Did the normal dive, medium bullray, others saw a green turtle. Huge amount of yellowtail and ladder-finned pomfret in the shallows. Very nice dive. Visibility good.

4 August 2011 - Shark Point
Club night dive. Went SE from point. Very good viz shallower, perhaps 20 m. A bit dirtier deep, 15 m and colder 16C. Found some red "fleas". A few Port Jackson sharks, Could hear a mother and baby humpback whale singing through the whole dive. Went a bit further north than normal but still ended up coming back up the crack. Very easy exit. Visibility good.

6 August 2011 - Tupia Point
Seas not as flat as Wednesday and viz not as good. Rocky bottom has clear rocks, not much sponge life at all. Quite a few small swim-throughs. Lots of golf balls. Only a reasonable dive. Visibility fair. 

7 August 2011 - SS Kelloe
Club deep wreck dive. Anchored first go. Very slight current on top but none on bottom. Just before I got to the bottom the anchor moved. Stuck it in a crack. Very silty after I stirred it all up. We were deeper than wreck so headed W. Found wreck after 20 m and then the engine. Tied off reel here. Then to bow, anchors, winches etc. Then back to boiler and engine. Left Peter F here and went back to anchor. Others came down and crossed over. Very dark on bottom but 20 m viz above 45 m! Bugger. Visibility poor.

10 August 2011 - Pizza Reef
Club boat dive. Wind a lot stronger SW than forecast and seas bigger. Quite surgy on bottom. Lots of seapike but not as many bastard trumpters as normal. A PJ and long-snouted boarfish. Saw 3 humpbacks before we went in, heading S (?). Found a really nice new sand anchor with about 5 m of chain and 20 m of good rope. Salvaged it. Visibility fair.

11 August 2011 - Shiprock
Club night dive. 9 of us diving. 7 dwarf firefish, plenty of eels and cuttlefish. Small pipefish that looked almost dead and a small bluish parrotfish. Nice dive. Visibility fair.

13 August 2011 - Lilli Pilli
Seas big today forecast so decided not to take boat out. 5 members, went along pool. New net, must have been installed this week. No sea horses. Old net dropped onto seabed. A lot of small cuttlefish, some small numbrays, lots of yellowtail and luderick shallow. Very cold in shallows, but 16C most of dive. Visibility fair.

14 August 2011 - Shiprock
Club shore dive, 7 dived and 3 non-divers. Better viz than Thursday, a few dwarf firefish, could not find the pipefish we found on Thursday but Gary P found 2 off second rock and then a black anglerfish on the slope below buoy. Lots of small cuttlefish. Nice dive. Visibility good. 

17 August 2011 - Middle Ground
What a brilliant club boat dive today at Middle Ground! A seal that continually buzzed us on the bottom and deco, huge numbers of yellowtail, sweep and seapike as well as dozens of PJs and a huge wobbie. Could see boat from 32 m but dark due to rain. Almost best dive here ever. Visibility very good.

18 August 2011 - Shiprock
Late planned dive at low tide. Went looking for the black anglerfish that Nancy found last Sunday. Ended up finding it at 11 m below the marker buoy's mooring. Then went looking for pipefish near third bommie but could not find. Saw a frogfish, a nice flathead and lots of cuttlefish. Also some opera house nudis. Visibility fair.

20 August 2011 - Parsley Bay
Huge seas and gale force winds, so Club boat dive cancelled. Decided to dive here as have not been here for many years. Pool net not there, removed for winter. Three sea horses under wharf, went out of bay on right side. Saw all the normal wreckage (crane) and a large Admiralty anchor that I have never seen before. Saw some cuttlefish, a kingfish, a large bullray and two juvenile painted sweetlips. Visibility good.

21 August 2011 - Lilli Pilli
Went around net. Kelly found a tiny Whites sea horse on the NW pylon. Then out across sand to moorings. Went NE and further than we had ever been before. Found some new bits of reef here. Gary P found a small pipefish here. Lots of luderick and seapike near cauldron. Near here a cormorant swam past, scaring all the small fish. Funny to see a bird swimming past! Visibility fair.

26 August 2011 - Cod  Hole, Julian Rocks - Byron Bay
Dived with St George Scuba Club Northern Division, Shaun and Eric. Huge seas past few days but very nice today. Drifted from The Nursery to Cod Hole and back again. Huge snappers, kingfish, jewfish all through dive. At least 7 grey nurse sharks, including one huge pregnant female. Also a school of about 20 eagle rays plus individual ones. Plenty of wobbgeongs, long-finned bannerfish, butterflyfish and more. One huge turtle and a couple of small ones. Excellent dive. A little current from S but okay. Visibility very good.
26 August 2011 - The Needles to Hugos Trench, Julian Rocks - Byron Bay
No current so drifted from The Needles to Hugos Trench. Not as much fishlife as first dive, but some huge kingfish, a huge turtle, a few smaller ones, a clown triggerfish, butterflyfish, long-finned bannerfish, a couple of eagle rays. Visibility good.
27 August 2011 - The Nursery to Cod Hole to Hugos Trench, Julian Rocks - Byron Bay
Went out wide but saw less GNS. Current similar to yesterday. Saw one near mooring and a couple at Cod Hole, including the huge pregnant female. Saw a bunch of eagle rays, but not many jewfish, kingfish or snapper. Then went around N end of Julian Rocks and along east side. Saw the tiny seal we saw yesterday from the boat, so cute. Then ascended near SE corner. Visibliity good.
27 August 2011 - The Nursery to Hugos Trench, Julian Rocks - Byron Bay
Similar dive to yesterday's second dive. Lots of nudibranchs, a Spanish dancer, spindle cowries, lots of pufferfish, heaps of turtles including a couple of huge ones. Visibility varied a lot, from fair to very good. Mostly was good, especially on E side. Visibility good. 
31 August 2011 - Hungry Jacks
Flat seas, sunny, dolphins swimming past, cannot get much better than this. Brilliant visibility, large schools of yellowtail and silver sweep. A sea dragon, lots of other fish as well. Great dive. Visibility excellent.

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