It was just the two of us today on the BHP Jetty Night Dive, but what the rest of you missed was probably the best visibility we have had for the past couple of months. The conditions were pretty close to perfect with a light current running north to south and virtually no swell.
With a maximum depth of around 8.3m we were down for 67 minutes which at 15 deg C did start to get a bit cold, but we were rewarded by some great things to see. No Great Whites or Manta rays that we had been promised, but the number of Seahorses and colourful Nudibranch were fantastic.
Having experimented with video last week, I took a few more snippets today along with a lot of photos so I will share a few:
Firstly, for those of you who haven’t been on a night dive, this is Aaron ahead of me:
The legs of the Jetty are covered in soft corals, feather anemone and there were a lot of starfish and these Nudibranch crawling around:
The Seahorses were out in force:
Including this beautiful orange seahorse!
Shortly before the turn, Aaron spotted a Cuttlefish hiding under some rocks:
And then further on we met another one swimming in the open water:
And then a small Stingray next to a shoal of juvenile Catfish.
On the way up to the beach, we stayed under and scanned the sand for other interesting life. As always there where quite a number of Blue Swimmer Crabs and small fish, and then we came across this Sand Eel trying to hide from our lights.
And this which has now been identified as a Horrowed Sole.
Next week, the Perth Scuba Manta Club have pencilled in a dive on the coast North of the river, but that will be weather dependant. The wind and swell are dropping after the weekend, so fingers crossed…
Not letting a little bit of rain put us off, we met in the car park to gear up for a night dive at Ammo Jetty.
We had a varied crew. A couple of seasoned locals, two fairly new divers and three recently qualified PADI Open Water Scuba Instructors.
I haven’t been out on a night dive for a long lime and I soon remembered how much I do love it. The underwater world comes alive at night and it gives you a completely different perspective on the dive site. Sandy bottoms that in the day are empty, in the night are peppered with crabs and shrimps. In your torch, the jellyfish shimmer and cuttlefish swim past your mask at close quarter.
We also saw quite a few other things including quite a large Stingray that had been hooked by one of the fishermen on the jetty overhead.
My buddy was kind enough to liberate it and it didn’t hang around after that. The other things we saw were Frog fish, lots of Starfish, a small Port Jackson Shark and a Rock Fish hiding in the soft corals on one of the pylons.
I can’t wait to go out again next week. The current plan is to go out from South Mole (Freemantle)…
Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th June 2015 – Perth PADI Instructor Exam (IE) in Perth WA
Following the past four weeks of study, confined water practice, open water practice and classroom instruction, this weekend the PADI Instructor Exam (IE) is finally upon us.
Saturday was taken up with the written exams, confined water skills, and teaching presentations with Sunday dedicated to the open water. With the West Australian reporting a warning of big waves over the weekend we were thinking we would be in the river, but with the benefit of the shelter of Garden Island, we were able to go to the Rockingham Wreck trail (a local favourite).
Once we got in, the conditions for the open water section were cool at 17 deg C, but at least we didn’t have the rain and hail of last weekend! The visibility wasn’t great but none of us let that get in the way of showing off our stuff. A bit of chop for the rescue exercise just makes it all a bit more realistic!
Ten candidates, all from the IDC at Perth Scuba on the beach afterwards with our instructor, Brandon and the IE (Steve).
A fantastic result as we all passed, so soon we will all be taking PADI Open Water Scuba classes.
Saturday 6th June to Friday 26th June (Part Time) – PADI IDC (Instructor Development Course) at Perth Scuba
I guess it was always going to happen one day, but this week I decided to enrol on the course to upgrade my PADI DiveMaster card to one that would make me an instructor.
Having had a look around, most places only do the PADI IDC in summer, but as luck would have it, Perth Scuba were running a part time PADI IDC starting on the 6th June.
The IDC is broken down into sections much the same as a PADI Open Water course. Online course materials and assessments from PADI were followed by classroom review and confined water training.
After lots of practice, exams and assessments of our ability to do the 24 skills from the PADI Open Water course, we got the chance to try them all out in Open Water on the last weekend down at the Rockingham Wreck trail. The conditions were poor on the surface with wind, rain and the odd bit of hail, but once we got down the only real problem was that it was a little cold at 15 deg C. The visibility was actually quite good for this site at about 5m which meant Brandon could see all the things we got wrong!
Sunday 31st May 2015 –North Coogee Marina Wall Dive
Today, it seemed like a good idea to go out on a club dive with Perth Scuba as I have signed up with them to do my PADI Instructor Development Course (IDC) with them next month. Club dives are a great way to get back into diving if you haven’t been for a while or if you just want to keep up your skills and meet new people. Best of all they are free (apart from air and equipment if you need it). Being free, however they are always going to be a shore dive and site choice is going to be largely dependent on weather, the group and the lead Dive Master’s personal preference.
The site of choice today was North Coogee Marina Wall. The conditions were a lot better than the last time I came here with almost flat sea and water at 18 deg C. The max depth on the dive was 8.4m with a bottom time of 58 minutes. I used the GPS in my BlackBerry Z10 inside a Cressi Dry Box which from the track I think did remarkably well considering at times there was 8m of water between me and the sky!
At some point I need to correlate the GPS timestamps with the dive profile readings from my computer to work at what depth it does actually loose signal, but given that it shows us quite nicely going around the end of the wall, I think it is probably at around the 8m mark, as most of the dive time was spent below 6m.
In terms of things to see, there are lots of shoals of smaller fish using the rocks for protection. Lots of Toadfish on the sand and a good variety of different puffers. If you look into the holes you can often see Octopus eyes peering back at you.
Sunday 24th May 2015 – Mindarie Keys Marina Boat Dive
After last weeks aborted mission, we couldn’t have asked for better conditions today. For quite a few of the divers going on the boat with Western Blue Dive Charters, the mission was to catch Crayfish. For me, I had my camera.
First stop was a deeper dive (23.6m) at “The Wall”. As you can see from the Google Earth track, this site is on the edge of the limestone shelf which presents lots of crevices, caves and hiding places for Crayfish. The water was 20 deg C which is great with a 5mm wetsuit.
We were down for 33 minutes, so I got to take a few pictures of fish and a few bubbles.
We then moved on to “Caverns” which as you can see is a piece of reef which breaks the surface a bit closer in to the shore due west of Mindarie Keys. This dive was 14m for 45 minutes after spending 1hr15 on the surface.
With all the swim throughs and caves at this site and better visibility being a bit closer to the surface, the Crayfish were easier to spot.
These guys managed to escape the hoop for today, as did this big one!
This is intended to be a general interest blog for those who go scuba dive in Perth Australia and the surrounding area. My plan is to post up photos, dive profiles, maps, equipment reviews and other items that may be of interest to divers wherever they may be, and hopefully you will one day come and discover the delights that the underwater world has to offer here in Western Australia.
What I love about scuba diving is it gives you a great excuse to go to some of the most amazing and beautiful places around the world.
As it happens, this week I will have been diving for 16 years having done my original PADI Open Water course off Palm Beach in Sydney back in 1999. A couple of years later I did the PADI Advanced Open Water at Sharm El Sheikh, Eqypt, followed by Rescue Diver and PADI Dive Master in Jamaica in the Caribbean. As you can probably tell, I am a warm water diver! Having lived most of my life in the UK, I still haven’t ever dived there, although I have been diving in the Mediterranean and that was pretty cold when we got below the thermocline at 10m!
Now, however I have started again to scuba dive in Perth Australia.
Sunday May 17th 2017
Today was supposed to be the first dive to record in my blog, however the weather conspired against us and a lovely storm rolled in from the Indian Ocean.
Watching it for the few days before, it was supposed to have improved by Sunday, but on the day the rain rolled in.