Dive Number: 72 29/07/2010 20.50 Portarlington Pier

Wind: 10 knot N.

Tide: 3hr after 1.11 high tide at the Geelong

Conditions: Suprisingly good for onshore winds….protected by the break.

Bottom Type: Muddy bottom with lots of fanworm clusters.

Visibilty: 4-5m

Water Temp: 11c

Bottom Time: 49 minutes

Max Depth: 2.9m

Air usage: 70bar/1000psi

SAC: ???? litres/min

Details: The conditions weren’t perfect for night diving but i thought the winds might move around to westerlies if they picked up. I drove down to St Leonards, but Northerlies came out of nowhere and totally blew out St Leonards. Instead of wasting the drive i thought i’d wander past Portarlington on my way home..i wasn’t expecting it to be diveable there since northerlies are straight onshore, but to my surprise there was only gentle norterlies there, and the break wall at the end of the pier made conditions very nice. Nice enough for seagulls to be just sitting on the surface of the water, so i thought i’d join them.

Camera Details: Sigma 17-70mm , single SS200 strobe

Dive Report: This was actually a much better night dive than it is a day dive. During the day you usually have mussell boat filling the water column with sediment and the muddy bottom has a much greater potential for being stirred up. At night the bottom was stable and the water column clean, and all the fanworms were out in full force. This fanworms ‘stem’ was covered in anenome’s and you can see the tiny plankton that were attracted to my light (and would have glowed if i turned my light off).

A closeup of an anemone:

A fanworm doing its thing without the anemones cramping its style.

A nudibranch on one of the pylons feeding:

A seacumber amongst the fanworms:

A seabiscuit making its way across the mud.

I came across two Snake Eels on this dive. I think they are are blind and ‘feel’ their way around the bottom searching for prey. I had one come straight towards seemingly oblivious of my presence. I think it might of been on its way home though down and heading for its hole in the sand. They are awesome burrowers!

There were lots of Globefish around, but very few other species of fish. I was hoping to see a velvetfish or at least some cobblers and stinkfish, but it was very quiet.

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