Dive Number: 13 12/03/2010 16.24 St Leonards Pier

Wind: 10 knot Southerlies

Tide: 0.27 low tide at geelong

Conditions: Beautiful evening…clear skies..25c, and smooth bay, however right on low tide so sand bars exposed.

Bottom Type: Peir pylons with scattered debris on Sand bottom.

Visibilty: 3-4m

Water Temp: 20c

Bottom Time: 77 minutes

Max Depth: 3.1m

Air usage: 80bar/1200psi

SAC: 9.8 litres/min

Details: Right on low tide which made it very shallow and very mucky. Some current flowing south to north as tide started to come in. Sun started setting making visibility difficult.

Camera Details: Canon 100mm macro, single SS200 strobe.

Dive Report: Being so shallow i walked about half the pier and snorkelled before decending. I came across a dead Mauri Octopus which the letherjackets were going nuts for. They liked nibbling on the end of the tenticles, and once one leatherjacket had the tenticle up in the air, it was a battle for position to secure the end.

Larger Horseshoe Leatherjackets joined in the action, as welll as an occassional violent grab by some wrasse.

I stayed at this octopus for about 20 minutes, photographying what came to chew on it. At one stage i felt a presence behind me, and i thought another diver was passing by. I continued photographying, but the urge to look around was too strong. So i turned slightly to see a MASSIVE Smooth Ray almost on top of me. My movement spooked it a little bit and it turned around, putting its stinger right in my face. I stayed as still as possible so it didn’t thrust its tail in defence. As soon as it was out of strike range i moved cowardly to behind a pylon…i freakin hate rays!!! They scare the crap out of me more than anything else in the sea! Anyway, the octopus was too desirable to the ray, soit quickly turned back towards it and proceeded to demolish the octopus. It was a seriously big octopus too…the ray hovered over the top of it, and flapped its wings as it devoured the octopus, sending a cloud of sand into the surrounding area, and making the leatherjackets join me on the other side of the pylon. Unfortunately you see these things when you have a macro lens, so no photos, but a hell of an adrenaline rush!

I searched for nudi’s for the rest of the dive with no success. A small goby blended in well to the sponges on the pylons.

Seastars do their best not to blend in,

A lizardfish kicked back on the sand.

As did a small flounder. Man they are a strange design…its like they you to be vertical, and turned horizontal, but their face didn’t follow.

A tiny Pygmy leatherjacket cruised amongst the weed.

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2 Responses

  1. i have seen that smooth ray there from the pier.. well it may have not been THAT smooth ray but i have seen a massive one swimming around..

  2. There’s a local ray called George that has just a stump for the tail. He’s massive too..but this one wasn’t george…i think i’ll call him spike! ; )

    Hope you had fun diving GBR!

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