Dive Number: 341 11/08/12 ??.??, Portarlington Pier

Wind: ???

Tide: ???

Conditions: ???

Visibilty: 6m

Water Temp: 10.4c

Bottom Time: 67minutes

Max Depth: 3.5m

Air usage:

SAC: ???? litres/min

Details: Lewis in his Shore dives of Victoria book states that Portarlington Pier was the best pier dives in Port Phillip Bay. I’ve always thought he was off his head, but i’m starting to realise where he is coming from. Before Blairgowrie Pier came along (which is a relatively new construction and may not have existed at the time of his publication), portarlington pier is definently muck if muck critters are your thing, this dive would go near the top of your list. The species niche diversity is very similar to Blairgowrie. It always has a good array of nudi’s; Its one of the only place other than blairgowrie that i regularly see Ringed Pipefish; and is a great spot of for seahorses, stinkfish and at night a dead cert for snake eel. Its one of those spots that you never know what you’ll see…an aspect that i dislike about St leonards which seems to be failry predictable(as predictable as the ocean can be).

On this dive, i found a..”thing” that intrigued me. The patterning on it looks like a fabric print, but it is definently organic…even a fractal generator couldn’t come up with such random dimensions in the patterning of the stars/flowers on the skin. The centre of these stars/flowers was raised(not obvious in the photos) like some type of gland. My best guess is this is a bit of a sponge or ascidian, but i certainly haven’t seen anything like this before. Anyone got any ideas??

Camera Details: Canon 60mm , SS200 Strobe