Mar

1

Date: 1st March 2017

Conditions:

Visibilty:

Water Temp: 17c

Bottom Time: 40minutes

Max Depth:

Details: An eerie fog hung over the bay and was filtering through the rip when i arrived at Point Lonsdale. I just potted around the shallows near the rock shelf and did some under overs and shot some thornfish sitting on the kelp.

Camera Details: Tokina 10-17mm, 2 X YS-D1 Strobes

Photos:

Feb

28

Date: 28th February 2017

Conditions:

Visibilty:

Water Temp: 17c

Bottom Time: 40minutes

Max Depth: 22m

Details: This dive was at a different part of the Labyrinth..some structure to the west of the main area i usually dive. Not a heap around, but there were some really interesting deeper water sponges in this area. The purple hue in the first photo has to be seen to be believed…i think it would look great under UV on a night dive.

Camera Details: Tokina 10-17mm, 2 X YS-D1 Strobes

Photos:

Feb

26

Date: 26th February 2017

Conditions:

Visibilty:

Water Temp: 18c

Bottom Time: 70minutes

Max Depth: 8m

Details: The spider crabs were gathering at blairgowrie again, but this time at the highly unseasonal time of late February. I dropped in for a quick look to see what type of behaviour they were engaged in at this time of the year. I noted one large crab, carrying in its claws a smaller pre-moult crab by the legs. I’m not sure what was going on here….foreplay? The larger aggregations of crabs were underneath the moorings, and creating a black out with the amount of sediment they were stirring up. I assume they were engaged in some type of feeding behaviour and clawing at the sand, but i didn’t venture into the zero vis to find out. The other oddity at Blairgowrie at the moment, is the almost grotesque sponge transplant operation that is underway. Since the replacement of parts of the jetty a group has attempted to reattach the sponge growth with bungee cord, making a bizaar display akin to a marine taxidermists workshop. A Gurnard Perch sat sadly beneath the display, clearly trying to recover from being tossed back after being caught from a fisherman.

Camera Details: Tokina 10-17mm, 2 X YS-D1 Strobes

Photos:

Feb

26

Date: 26th February 2017

Conditions:

Visibilty:

Water Temp: 18c

Bottom Time: 70minutes

Max Depth: 8m

Details: I’d heard rumours that lots of Seahorses where being seen around Rye Pier. So i took the boat over in an attempt to get a few seahorse shots. The Pot-bellied Seahorse is that awkward size that is too big for a 60mm macro and too small to make shooting with a the tokina 10-17mm easy. So i decided to chuck a teleconveter on the tokina to make it a bit easier to light. This proved to be a pretty good combo and i could shoot lareg nudibranchs, the seahorses and even a large smooth ray. Other critters around where mosiac leatherjackets, hermit crabs and a squadron of calamari squid.

Camera Details: Tokina 10-17mm + 2X, 2 X YS-D1 Strobes

Photos:

Feb

22

Date: 22nh February 2017

Conditions:

Visibilty:

Water Temp: 18c

Bottom Time: 40minutes

Max Depth: 3m

Details: A quick splash just to get wet…surgey and bad vis..

Camera Details: Tokina 10-17mm, 2 X YS-D1 Strobes

Photos:

Feb

18

Date: 18th February 2017

Conditions:

Visibilty: Night Dive

Water Temp: 18c

Bottom Time: 60minutes

Max Depth: 3m

Details: A good night dive at Portarlington. This area always suffers from cloudy vis, making photography difficult, but some good subjects around. A couple of blue-ringed Octopus, my first Tamja Verconis nudibranch i’d ever seen at this site (laying eggs too), and the usual dumpling squid. An unusual site was a Crested Weedfish swimming up into the water column to feed. Watching anemones munching on polycaete worms was another interesting thing to observe.

Camera Details: Canon 60mm, 2 X YS-D1 Strobes

Photos:

Feb

11

Date: 11th February 2017

Conditions:

Visibilty: 8m

Water Temp: 18c

Bottom Time: 60minutes

Max Depth: 6m

Details: After getting back from a weeks trip photographing Leafy Seadragons, i couldnt resist dropping into Flinders on route to Melbourne, to shoot a few Weedy Seadragons. The vis was pretty cloudy, but good numbers of seadragons around including one with eggs. As usual, the big stumpy tailed Smooth Ray circled around the pylons. Not a bad dive, but would have been better without the tourist divers clouding up the water.

Camera Details: Tokina 17-70mm, 2 X YS-D1 Strobes

Photos:

Feb

10

Date: 10th February 2017

Conditions:

Visibilty: 8m

Water Temp: 20c

Bottom Time: 50minutes

Max Depth: 16m

Details: An exploration dive off Collendina/Point Lonsdale. A Blue Grouper spotted along with the usual suspects, Blue Devils, Zooanthids etc. Nice, but probably not a site i’d be rushing back to.

Camera Details: Tokina 17-70mm, 2 X YS-D1 Strobes

Photos:

Feb

4

Date: 4th February 2017

Conditions:

Visibilty: 8m

Water Temp: 20c

Bottom Time: 80minutes

Max Depth: 7m

Details: Sadly this was going to be the last dive of the trip before along drive home. Port Hughes was somewhat on the way home, and since we only dived it at night with ordinary conditions, i decided to try it again at daytime. There were lots of pipefish in the seagrass right under the main entry platform, and plenty of blennies hiding behind the soft corals on the pylons. Some very cute baby cowfish also skirted around the pylons, while the adult cowfish satyed a little further out on the sand. Plenty of both Ornate and Shaws Cowfish around. Port Hughes is a long jetty and it was fairly similar all the way out…that is until you hit the end where it was deeper, darker and much more interesting. A big school of fish was swirling around the end, and cowfish and toadfish were going nuts over some fish carcasses disposed of by fishermen. I wish i had of got out here sooner, but time was the enemy and i had to make my way back. A good dive to finish off the trip.

Camera Details: Tokina 17-70mm, 2 X YS-D1 Strobes

Photos:

Feb

3

Date: 3rd February 2017

Conditions:

Visibilty: 8m

Water Temp: 20c

Bottom Time: 70minutes

Max Depth: 3m

Details: Another evening of onshore winds, but i suspected this might be to my benefit, since the Leafy Seadragon i found the previous evening may have been ‘sheltering’ under the Wool Bay Jetty again. So i went back to Wool Bay in hope that it was still there. Success! Another amazing shallow dive with a beautiful Leafy Seadragon. I couldn’t believe my luck when a short-headed Seahorse swam in mid-water past the seadragon as i was photographing it. Two species from the same family in one shot! I had a chuckle when a weed whiting approached the seadragon, and gave it the “what the hell are you” stare down.

Camera Details: Tokina 17-70mm, 2 X YS-D1 Strobes

Photos:

Feb

3

Date: 3rd February 2017

Conditions:

Visibilty: 8m

Water Temp: 20c

Bottom Time: 70minutes

Max Depth: 7m

Details: Back into Edithburgh Jetty with the wide angle lens on to capture some of the sponge life that grows on the pylons. I was also secretly hoping for some Leafies here too, but wasn’t too active trying to look for them. Especially since a group of snorkellers had been scouring the area for the last hour looking for them with no luck. Apart form the pylons, there isnt really any great wide angle subjects at Edithburgh from my experience…unless you get lucky with a seal or Great White. : ) I was ocntent having a relaxing dive shooting bullseyes and starfish.

Camera Details: Tokine 17-70mm, 2 X YS-D1 Strobes

Photos:

Feb

2

Date: 2nd February 2017

Conditions:

Visibilty: Night Dive

Water Temp: 20c

Bottom Time: 90minutes

Max Depth: 8m

Details: A trip to Edithburgh is not complete without a night dive. The target species was Striped Pyjama Squid which i missed last time, but this time around they were everywhere. I even photographed two locked in a territorial grapple before the defeated one departed from the area. A cute little clingfish was another highlight, as well as a sand octopus.

Camera Details: Canon 60mm, 2 X YS-D1 Strobes

Photos:

Feb

2

Date: 2nd February 2017

Conditions: Strong Onshore winds

Visibilty: 8m

Water Temp: 20c

Bottom Time: 50minutes

Max Depth: 3m

Details: This is the third dive i’ve done at Wool Bay over the years and i hadn’t had much luck with finding Leafy Seadrgaons here. However, this place holds a certain charm over me and i think the prospect of seeing a Leafy Seadragon in such a tranquil place made me want to do another dive here. However, this evening was far from tranquil on land. A stiff onshore breeze really chopped up the surface yet the water still looked reasonably clear. So i braved the conditions and used the last of my near empty tank. After 20 minutes of not much and photographing the local Old Wives, sitting quietly in the weeds i came across a beautiful Leafy Seadragon. The late afternoon light being filtered through the jetty above and then the shallow water set up a dramatic and dream like encounter of this leafy. It had no fear of my presence and we both floated motionlessly above the shallow sun-drenched eel grass with no reason for either of us to change locations. I’d found my dream leafy! BUT..i was nearly out of air..like..empty! I had another tank with about 10-20bar remaining – that would give me another 10-15minutes…so i dashed back to the car and swapped tanks. I relocated it in the same position, and got a few more snaps. A great encounter..

Camera Details: Tokina 10-17mm, 2 X YS-D1 Strobes

Photos:

Feb

2

Date: 2nd February 2017

Conditions:

Visibilty: 8m

Water Temp: 20c

Bottom Time: 80minutes

Max Depth: 5m

Details: Point Turton was a bit of an unknown but sounded like a cool little dive from all accounts. Its a small jetty, and well protected by the surrounding headlands, and some reef along the point promised some alternate habitat if the pier wasn’t any good. Conditions were great, and as soon as we got in, we were greeted by big schools of Black Drummer. This was soon followed by a massive school of Australian Salmon, that formed swirling schools around the pylons. Remaining still, the school would approach close and circle around us. A very impressive sight. There were a couple of nudibranchs around and it seemed like it would be a great spot for a night dive. NO rays as promised from some we reports but the schooling fish was worth the visit.

Camera Details: Tokina 10-17mm, 2 X YS-D1 Strobes

Photos:

Feb

1

Date: 1st February 2017

Conditions:

Visibilty: 8m

Water Temp: 20c

Bottom Time: 80minutes

Max Depth: 8m

Details: After staying on the Fleurieu Peninsula for a few days, the next journey was down to the Yorke Peninsula to dive the many jetties. We based ourselves at Edithburgh and after setting up camp, we did our first dive at Edithburgh Jetty. I put the macro lens on for this dive. Plenty of small subjects around including nudibranchs, gobies, cowrie shells, wavy grubfish and flatworms. We spotted a Blue Grouper, which i always try to get a record shot when i seen them. This was more a warm up dive to familiarise ourselves with the jetty again so we could night dive it to find Striped Pyjama Squid.

Camera Details: Canon 60mm, 2 X YS-D1 Strobes

Photos:

Jan

31

Date: 31st January 2017

Conditions:

Visibilty: 8m

Water Temp: 20c

Bottom Time: 80minutes

Max Depth: 11m

Details: Before the dive, we ran into a couple of dive tour operators that gave us some tip off’s on where the Leafy Seadragons had been seen. So we entered with confidence that we would see some Leafies on this dive. However after about 30mins of swimming around and still not finding any, our confidence was flailing. Luckily, a group of divers turned up and their guide pointed out to the divers two Leafy Seadragon’s tucked away behind some structure. These little fellas seemed like they were hiding away from the constant stream of divers, and even had some algae on them attempting to add additional camouflage to their armory. It made me appreciate my dive at Victor Harbour even more now, seeing Leafies in a more natural, less harassed environment.

Camera Details: Tokina 10-17mm, 2 X YS-D1 Strobes

Photos:

Jan

31

Date: 31st January 2017

Conditions:

Visibilty: 8m

Water Temp: 20c

Bottom Time: 30minutes

Max Depth: 4m

Details: I really wanted to explore the sea caves at Second Valley after finding them on my last trip over this way. I only had about 50bar left in my tank from the previous day, so i thought i’d do a mixed snorkel/dive just to check out the caves. After snorkelling into the the third bay, i couldn’t resist dropping in on a cuttlefish. As i descended i noticed an Eagle Ray buried in the sand, so instead of the cuttlefish, i focused on the Eagle Ray. These critters always know when your watching them though, and it took off in a flash.

I continued on to the sea caves, enjoying the lighting affects. It wasn’t long before i was out of air, so i still have a nice long dive to put on the todo list here.

Camera Details: Tokina 10-17mm, 2 X YS-D1 Strobes

Photos:

Jan

30

Date: 30th January 2017

Conditions: Overcast, getting dark and plenty of current

Visibilty: 10m+

Water Temp: 20c

Bottom Time: 60minutes

Max Depth: 11m

Details: After arriving at Rapid Bay, and setting up camp it was straight into our first dive. Conditions weren’t great with onshore winds earlier in the day. A strong current moved through the site making it fairly uncomfortable. No Leafy Seadragons were found on this dive, so we just explored the jetty and enjoyed the fishlife. A couple of Kingfish were an interesting sighting. Apart from that it was the usual suspects….Western Talma, Spiny-tailed Leatherjackets, Dusky Morwong and old wives in the ‘cathedral’.

Camera Details: Tokina 10-17mm, 2 X YS-D1 Strobes

Photos:

Jan

30


Date: 30th January 2017

Conditions: NW winds meant flat seas, but very cloudy water

Visibilty: 5m+

Water Temp: 20c

Bottom Time: 60minutes

Max Depth: 10m

Details: Our diving safari in South Australia started at Victor Harbour with a dive at ‘The Bluff’ in Encounter Bay. I wanted to dive this site last time i was over but conditions weren’t good. Although conditions weren’t ideal today, it was the only day on the 5 day forecast with winds from the north, so today was the day, despite the fairly average topside overcast skies.

After about 20 minutes in, i thought the search amongst the kelp covered granite boulders was futile, with not a single Leafy Seadragon to be seen. But after i spotted my first one (with algae covered eggs), they started popping up everywhere. All up i saw six, including one that was missing its tail, possibly a fishing line amputation. Another interesting sighting was a leafy with wrinkly/indented tail. I presume this was a male that was ready to take on eggs, and this was shaped this way to accommodate the eggs.

If it hadn’t been for the Leafies, this would have been a fairly average dive. Very surgey, and cloudy vis with not much fish life to speak of. I wasn’t overly adventurous though, staying close to the granite boulder wall under the jetty, so perhaps further around on the seaward side, it would be better.

Camera Details: Tokina 10-17mm, 2 X YS-D1 Strobes

Photos:

Jan

29

Date: 29th January 2017

Conditions:

Visibilty: 30m+

Water Temp: 16c

Bottom Time: 70minutes

Max Depth: 10m

Details: Ewens pond is a busy little place in Summer…the local swimming pool. And despite the signs saying no flotation or water craft, there were kids with boogie boards, lilo’s, floaties etc..you name it. At one stage while i was doing under over shots, a kayaker even paddled passed. Now, kids with their boogie boards don’t bother me, but kayaking through these little channels while there is scuba divers below is pretty daft. Anyway, it did give me a nice under over subject so i shouldn’t complain.

I always seem to spend too much time in the first pond when i dive Ewens and am either too cold or run out of air by the time i hit the last. So i spent most of this dive in the last little pond, exploring the small limestone cave where a few bream and fresh water crays hang out. Always a fun dive.

Camera Details: Tokina 10-17mm, 2 X YS-D1 Strobes

Photos:

Jan

28

Date: 28th January 2017

Conditions:

Visibilty: 40m+

Water Temp: 16c

Bottom Time: 50minutes

Max Depth: 30m

Details: A big part of getting my CDAA Deep cavern certification was to dive the amazing Kilsby’s Sinkhole. A crystal clear sinkhole with near unlimited vis. However, over 2016, the access arrangements have been contentious with the land owners opening the site up to Open Water divers(much to the displeasure of many CDAA authorities in a clear breach of the organisation protocols).

However, during the transition period, it was agreed that CDAA members could dive under the new arrangements together with Open Water divers, so i jumped at the chance and booked a spot with Scubafiend. I hired a nitrox tank, which was unfortunately a 300bar steel tank which over weighted me without any dumpable weight. So the first half of the dive had me floundering around making photography very difficult, and fairly unenjoyable. I didn’t nail any of the shots i wanted but got some keepers, so another visit is definitely on the cards. Photography was a lot harder than i expected, with dramatic changes in ambient light as you move around the sinkhole.

Camera Details: Tokina 10-17mm, 2 X YS-D1 Strobes

Photos:

Jan

27

Date: 27th January 2017

Conditions: Southerlies

Visibilty: 4m

Water Temp: ??c

Bottom Time: 40minutes

Max Depth: 3m

Details: This site is usually crystal clear vis, but today it was a hazy murky mess. A lot of dredging work for the new boat ramp has been happening lately, but i think this was storm water or something. Regardless, i had a quick dive and found an isolated stand of brown algae, that pipefish and leatherjackets called home. Aftyer a few pylon shots i called it quits early.

Camera Details: Tokina 10-17mm, 2 X YS-D1 Strobes

Photos:

Jan

22

Date: 22nd January 2017

Conditions:

Visibilty: 10m

Water Temp: ??c

Bottom Time: 40minutes

Max Depth: 3m

Details: Just to waste some air, i popped under Sorrento Pier to see what its like. I thought i had dived here before, but not according to my blog….it must have been in my snorkelling days. The current was significant, which i expected, but what i didn’t expect was how untouched some of the soft corals and sponge life seemed here. It was flourishing in the shallow, but darkish high current waters under the pier. Although not a huge amount of fishlife, it was fun just shooting the light filtering through the pier.

Camera Details: Tokina 10-17mm, 2 X YS-D1 Strobes

Photos:

Jan

22

Date: 22nd January 2017

Conditions:

Visibilty: 10m

Water Temp: ??c

Bottom Time: 70minutes

Max Depth: 5m

Details: After the seals, it was over to Portsea Pier. The lighting effects filtering through the pier where impressive and provided an interesting backdrop for a thornfish sitting on one of the pylon sponges. A small wrasse darted from weed clump to weed clump and i’m yet to identify what species it is. I took a few shots of a Weedy Seadragon with algae covered eggs, as a contrast to the exposed pink eggs carried by the one i shot a couple of weeks earlier.

Camera Details: Tokina 10-17mm, 2 X YS-D1 Strobes

Photos:

Jan

22

Date: 22nd January 2017

Conditions:

Visibilty: 10m

Water Temp: ??c

Bottom Time: 50minutes

Max Depth: 5m

Details: The Australian Fur Seals at Chinamans hat are always fun to play with. It was a busy day out there today, and i always prefer to dive this in winter when there’s less traffic around. However, it was a great day with nice vis on flood slack so i couldn’t resist. Plenty of action, with young pups darting past frantically, old cruisers passing by and lots of play between the teenagers. A swimmer crab took a journey mid-water and was lucky not to be crunched up by one inquisitive seal.

Camera Details: Tokina 10-17mm, 2 X YS-D1 Strobes

Photos: