Dive 188 & 189 The HMAS Adelaide

•June 15, 2015 • Leave a Comment

I had two fun dives on the HMAS Adelaide. Surface conditions were very good, visibility was not fantastic.

The first dive we went down to the back of the ship, looked in the hangar, visibility was terrible. We came up to 27m and it was much better. We entered the wreck and swum through to the Northern side, once here we reentered and the next door and the proceeded to the front of the boat via a hallway, once near the front we went up stairs and found the captains chair. Checking air and bottom time it was time to head up. Depth 30m, Visibility okay to poor, 30 mins approx.

The second dive found deteriorated conditions. We headed to the front of the ship and the the tip and back across the deck. Heading up into the captains area and surfaced via the radar tower. Depth 30m okay vis, poor in the ship and approx 35mins.

Both these dives were on 31% Nitrox and both were a lot of fun. The life on the wreck is increasing and apparently today was a bad day in comparsion. I look forward to the next dives here,

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South West Rocks

•January 28, 2015 • Leave a Comment
Solitary island (1 of 3)-2

Grey Nurse Shark

On the way home from Coffs we stopped at South West Rocks. Conditions here were very different. Everything here was different. The seas were extremely choppy. Lots of current and waves. Our dive area was fairly limited by the sea conditions. Water was however very blue, although milky. And it was very warm 28’c in some spots. That is about 6-8 degrees warmer than North Solitary.

Dive # 186 Shark Gutters.

Solitary island (2 of 3)-3

Inside the cave

Parking on the Southern anchorage our guide dive lead us to the deep entrance to the cave. We watched the sharks for a little while before heading towards the raging current coming out of the Aquarium. We then watched the current with the hopes of hammerheads. No luck. Whilst we did see some decent sharks the dive guides pattern and time allocation didnt give us any really good encounters. I found this a pretty boring dive. 24m 55mins.

Dive # 187 Fish Rock Cave

We dropped into the deep entrance and then proceeded into the cave. The cave is fantastic. I would have spent a whole dive exploring in it. We saw a Hairy lobster, some nice corals and a huge grouper. Upon exiting we circled back around the island to the chain and waited around there. Again, without including the cave a somewhat average dive.

Solitary island (3 of 3)-2

Near the shallow exit of the cave

I feel the way the guide lead these two dives took away from what could have been really good diving. He was safe, did well, just didn’t create the experience I was after. I would have been happy watching sharks the whole dive or waiting for hammers, or exploring the cave. I however am not a typical tourist.

Dive Trip to the Solitary Islands

•January 27, 2015 • Leave a Comment
Solitary island (4 of 4)

The bubble cave with its resident Lion Fish

Ben and I finally returned to the Solitary Islands. Our trip was plagued by little issues but in such an amazing location we couldn’t complain much. We never got the 30m+ clarity that the islands are famed for, in fact we had vis under 20m on every dive for the first time since I have gone up there. Good excuse to go again.

Solitary island (3 of 4)

A juvenile Spanish Dancer

 

Dive # 182 Elbow Cave

We decided to explore the deeper gulley of the Elbow Cave looking for Mantis Shrimp. Surge was pretty considerable and made for a less comfortable dive. This was probably the least exciting dive of the Solitary’s this trip. We did see a mature spanish dancer and a cool morph of C. splendida, otherwise on typical species of nudibranchs from Sydney. 25m, 55 min, 7-10m vis.

Dive # 183 The Gutters

 

Solitary island (3 of 3)

Orang-utan Crab in Anemone

Solitary island (1 of 4)

The blanket of anemones

 

The gutters are a site i haven’t dived in a long time. This place is the anemone hotspot. The highest density in the world. This site would be fantastic on  a good day. Our highlights were some odd nudibranchs such as…… Above all the coolest find was the orang-utan crab hidden amongst an anemone. On a trip of bad photos I was very surprised to get an acceptable one under such difficult conditions. A small cave held a giant painted cray (and I now suspect my reel). This dive was the best of the days. 22m, 55 mins, average vis.

The next day was cancelled and so we went to Dorrigo NP. Awesome place.

Solitary island (1 of 3)

Chromodoris splendida (Nothern NSW Morph)

Dive # 184 Elbow Cave

This dives first drama wasa failing strobe. No Camera. No worries. This also happened to be the dive we found more new species of nudibranchs than I have seen in ages and had the best vis of the trip. Oh well. This dive posed the question that did i find more not having a camera than i would have other wise. We decided to follow the wall along the island. Our last dive suggest we would prefer that area and we certainly did. Great life. We followed the wall to the sink holes. The sinkholes had a dramatic amount of nudibranchs. The species include…. After the two sink holes we dropped over the Southern side and followed the reef back around. Whilst obviously more exposed it was an interesting site. We spend the remainder of the dive playing around the boat area. My favourite dive of the trip by far. 24m, 80mins 15m vis.

Solitary island (1 of 1)

Blue Spotted Stingray

Dive # 185 Bubble Cave

We did a large exploration on this dive. Wewanted to see the gap. Whilst we got close to it current stopped us from entering in it. We then followed the bay around and enjoyed the giant gutters. This is a great site. We finished the dive in the bubble cave. This was awesome. So much fun. Loved this dive site. 15m 80 mins 10-15m vis.Solitary island (2 of 4)

Dive # 181 Admiralty Reef

•January 4, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Today marks my third 40m dive. Out with Matt from Scubamunkies and Ben. Dive site is situated out of Barranjoey Heads and past Avalon. Site is a reef top in 38m dropping down to 45 and further out all the way to 60m. Named Admiralty Reef by Matt who found it.

Dive plan was simple, down max out bottom time, couple of safety stops and done. Upon descending we were met with different water clarity. On the bottom it was at least 20m. Really clean and still. Lots of sea whips, small coral fans. Couple of common nudibranchs, couple of fish. The terrain looks really interesting, looked like swim throughs, caves, gullies. But we stayed on top of them.

24min dive, 39.7m, freezing on the bottom. Reasonable on top. Really cool dive.

Dive 180 – Bare Island – Bombora and Northside

•January 1, 2015 • 1 Comment

Back to Bare Island. This site is amazing. We aimed to hit the Bombora and so began off to the S. East of the Northern Side. Once in we were treated to decent sponge gardens and finally found a weedy sea dragon. This creature is spectacular. We travelled almost due South and as we did the current increased. Given that the tide was receding this proved not to be the smarted time to head out to see the Bombora. We did eventually find it, a rocky outcrop that came up to 6m. Fish life had increased, unfortunately, the current made it a difficult time to appreciate the area. Heading back was a challenge with a large amount of air been used. Happily after lots of swimming we bumped into a pair of divers which suggests we were back in the vicinity of the island itself. From here we found a brilliant sponge garden. Now knowing the site I am planning to do a whole dive on that sponge garden alone. Vis here was much better, current was non-existant, great area. Nudies found include G. atromarginata, H. bennetti, A. varia, C. ameonum, C. splendida, C. Tasmanienis, N. chrisoderma, P. ianthina, Chromodoris thompsoni (finally identified) & Glossodoris angasi (new identification).

12.5m, 85mins, Warm enough water.

Weedy Sea dragon

Weedy Sea dragon

G. anglasi

G. anglasi

C. thomasi

C. thomasi

Orange box fish

Orange box fish

C. splendida

C. splendida

Odd Morph of H. bennetti

Odd Morph of H. bennetti

Dives 171+

•December 31, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Its been a while since posting and I may have missed some dives in the middle. These are a collection of dives recorded on my phone. All photos from dive 179.Adamrose (1 of 5)

  • 171 Dive manly  With mum and Ben. Nice dive. Reasonable vis. Not much out of ordinary except a fiddler ray. Did see wobbygongs, Ben saw duskys, syingerees, lots of fish. 50min 10m
  • 172 Dive bare island.  Went off south side. Awesome. Deep wall is great. took camera. Fantastic site 80min 19mAdamrose (2 of 5)
  • 173 31-10-14 The ovens.  Baby bull ray, common nudies, some fixed life. Average vis. 18m, 50mins.
  • 174 16-11-14 Harbord  With Paul. Nice vis cool scenery, lots of fish, good swim thrus. Lots to see. Nice site.12m 75minAdamrose (3 of 5)
  • 175 21-11-14 Shelly beach. With Don and Kyle. Little bit of swell and surge. Vis okay. Nothing of particular note but verypleasant. Found the site where the weedy’s live but no weedy’s. Saw a nice large fiddler ray, lots of bream and luderick. Enjoyed it. 11m 55mins
  • 176 23-11-14 Long Reef Cathedral With Jenny. Cook site. Dropped in at 9m upon a huge school on ponfriet with yellow tops. From there head along the wall in a westerly direction. Nice terrain, came back via swim thru known as cathedral. Near the entry there was a large eastern blue devil fish, spectacular. A couple more swims thru the cathedral and the fish ball and our time was up. Good vis prob 10m cool at the end. Fun dive. 20m and 55 min.Adamrose (4 of 5)
  • 177 11-12-14 Valiant Wreck, Barranjoey Finally got to do this dive. Dropped through murky water into approximately 5m visibility. The wreck looks like it once was a boat with some exposed ribs, lots of remaining structure, there is a decent amount of life surrounding the wreck and it’s fun to explore. After approx 30min bottom time I was too cold to stay down. Did stops at 12,9,6,3. A couple mins each. 27m 40min 34% nitrox.
  • 178 11-12-14 Palm Beach Sponge to Dragon Alley Quite a varied dive site. Sponge gardens is perhaps generous but it would be an interesting night dive. Followed the reef in and found vis improved to about 8m. Some interesting terrain, decent sized fish, found a large cowrie and some good nudies including one that I haven’t seen in Sydney. 21m 50 minsAdamrose (5 of 5)
  • 179 28-12-14 Bare Island Deep Wall. Great dive. Great Site. Perhaps my favourite in Sydney. Lots of Nudies including H. bennetti, A. Varia, C. ameonum, C. splendida, C. Tasmanienis, N. chrisoderma, Favorinus tsuraganus, P. ianthina & Phyllidiella pustolosa. Awesome sponge gardens, a fantastic bull ray, little dwarf lion fish and red rock cods.  75min 19m 5-7m vis

Dive # 170 – Early Morning Bare Island

•January 25, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Early morning dive at Bare Island with Paul, Karen and Duncan. Bare Island is a fantastic site. We headed to the right hand reef and explored the sponge gardens. They are amazing. Couple of nudibranchs include the Yellow Neochromis, C. Splendida, the tiny blue Chromodoris with red spots that I have had trouble IDing, blue dragons, G. atromarginata and A. varia. We found some cool fish, a small bull ray but by far the highlight of the dive was the red indian fish. Unreal. Fun dive, bad vis, 14m, 75 mins.