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)…
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.