Dive Number: 8 27/02/2010 12.57 St Leonards Pier, Victoria

Wind: 20-25knot southerlies after nightly 10-15knot northerlies

Tide: 0.32 low tide at heads (2hr past 0.82 high tide at geelong)

Conditions: A change from light northerlies at dawn to strong southerlies all morning, made conditions fairly choppy, with visible waves over st leonards sandbar. Visibility was atroscious!

Bottom Type: Sand

Visibilty: 1m increasing to 2-3m at end of dive

Water Temp: 22c

Bottom Time: 149 minutes

Max Depth: 3.7m

Air usage: 175bar/2500psi

SAC: 10.4 litres/min

Details: First dive on scuba at St Leonards. Stayed mainly under the first arm photographying a strange worm in crystalised sand casing, a hermit crab, and sand gobies.

Camera Details: 100mm macro, single SS200 strobe.

Dive Report: The proceeding three days produced northerlies making another cottage by the sea dive likely. However there was a dawn change to strong southerlies making cottage choppy as hell, so i decided to head over to St Leonards to see how that looked. It was far from good, and i knew visibility would be bad, so i change to macro. Despite bad visbility it was fun to scour the bottom and look for small critters. Lotsa of small goatfish foraging through the sand, and double the number of sand gobies, just generally blending into their surroundings.

I found a small crystalised sand cone that i’d seen once before at Portsea. I picked it up thinking it was a discarded home for some critter, but noticed there was something living within it. Something with amazingly golden fins acting as a shield to protect the entrance.

I put it down on the sand and waited to see if this critter would come out to show itself.

Eventually it did. I’m not sure how to describe what it was…some type of sand worm, that used these golden fins as diggers to dig into the sand. UPDATE: This is Pectinaria antipoda.

Another small sand critter trying to blend into the sand was a Lizardfish. It’s kind of like a small flathead with a more lizard-like head.

There are a lot of Hermit crabs at St Leonards. This one withdrew into its shell when i approached, but eventually went about its work presenting a photo opportunity.

Southern Cardinalfish are pretty morose little fish…just floating around in the shadows and rarely moving much. They have cool eye colours most fish eyes.

Leatherjackets are always pretty inquistive…these small ones anyway…the ones that cant fit on the end of a spear.

Overall a pretty good dive considering the conditions. There was a squadron of about 15 small squid when i was leaving. Too difficult to get a photo of in the low vis though.

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One Response

  1. Nice foto blog! Interesting info about diving in the South of Australia.

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