Jul

5

Conditions:

Visibility: 10m

Water Temp: ??c

Bottom Time: 140minutes

Max Depth: 5m

Details: This was going to be our last dive at Whyalla and conditions were fantastic. great vis, no current and lots of cuttlefish around engaging in all sorts of behavior. I started out the back in the deeper water and wanted to try to get some solitary cuttlefish shots with sunbursts in the background. One put on a great show for me, and i got the shot i’ve always been after, with a cuttlefish lunging at its pretty with tentacles spread and ready to devour. In shallower waters, the courting and guarding of the females was underway, with groups of eager males trying to muscles in on the dominant males action. The dominant male would spread out his mantle as a protective shield to keep the advancing competitors at bay. On one occasion, a small male got too pushy and the large male lept at it and grabbed him in his tentacles, drawing in the smaller male into its mouth. It nearly had him totally consumed, and in a last moment of desperation sent out a huge ink cloud into the large males mouth. I watched as a cloud of Cuttlefish ink arose out of the vents of the large cuttlefish and the small one made its escape from the jaws (or beak) of inevitable death. Sadly this was our last dive, but there is so much interesting behavior to observe at this unique aggregation, and i hope its preserved well into the future for greater understanding of these creatures and their breeding rituals.

Camera Details: Tokina 10-17mm 2 X Inon z240 Strobes + YS-D1

Photos:

Jul

4

Conditions:

Visibility: Night Dive

Water Temp: ??c

Bottom Time: 40minutes

Max Depth: 5m

Details: On the edge of exhaustion after the last dive in current at Black Point, we decided to get in a short night dive back at the fenceline. The Cuttlefish had mostly tucked away fro the night and there were only a few night owls on the prowl. The lights generally kept them at a distance, so not very conducive for photography.

Camera Details: Tokina 10-17mm 2 X Inon z240 Strobes + YS-D1

Photos:

Jul

4

Conditions:

Visibility: 8m

Water Temp: ??c

Bottom Time: 90minutes

Max Depth: 6m

Details: Cuttlefish Aggregation at Whyalla – We finally made it to Whyalla and with enough daylight to get in a solid first dive with the Giant Cuttlefish. We headed straight out to Point Lowly and to the fence line site at Stony Point. Initial reports were good, with all the divers in the areas reporting good numbers around. So we geared up and got straight into it. There really was no shortage of Cuttlefish, and lots of great behaviors were observed. One grouping that i stayed with a while, was a large male guarding his female with both his extended mantle used as a barrier, and his outstretched tentacles to cover her. Many new suitors approached the area and tried to muscle in on the action, but were quickly deterred by the dominant male. A great first dive, but it started getting dark quickly with overcast conditions.

Camera Details: Tokina 10-17mm 2 X Inon z240 Strobes + YS-D1

Photos:

Aug

3

Dive Number: 68 18/07/2010 10.05 Whyalla – Point Lowly

Wind: ??? Westerly aspect

Tide: 0.5hr before 2.43 high tide at Whyalla

Conditions: Still overcast, a little bit of rain…seas pretty stable though.

Bottom Type: Rocky Shoreline with flattened rock covered with green algae past the low tide line.

Visibilty: 4-5m

Water Temp: 12c

Bottom Time: 39 minutes

Max Depth: 3.9m

Air usage: 50bar/700psi

SAC: ???? litres/min

Details: I had a few camera issues with my previous dive, so i got out to sort them out and then straight back in.

Camera Details: Canon 17-40mm , single SS200 strobe

Dive Report:

Aug

3

Dive Number: 67 18/07/2010 09.05 Whyalla – Point Lowly

Wind: ??? Westerly aspect

Tide: 1.5hr before 2.43 high tide at Whyalla

Conditions: Windy and overcast..a few patches of sunlight but not a lot

Bottom Type: Rocky Shoreline with flattened rock covered with green algae past the low tide line.

Visibilty: 4-5m

Water Temp: 12c

Bottom Time: 30 minutes

Max Depth: 3.9m

Air usage: 35bar/500psi

SAC: ???? litres/min

Details: Got up nice and early (8am – thats pretty good for me ;) ) and searched for a fin a lost last night. I dont know how i lost it…i was talking cuttle shots (obviously) in near to no light and found myself without a fin. I searched for it on the night, but it was just too dark. I didn’t hold much hope in finding it..it was probably 10km away by now so gave up pretty quickly and (after seeing if any of the other visiting divers had any spares) had to just give it a go with one. It worked ok just crossing my legs, and i wasn’t covering much ground so it really didn’t matter, but it was very annoying and did affect my control underwater. After i finsihed this dive, a very nice local from Whyalla gave me his wives old fins..great bloke! Thanks a million if you ever stumble onto this blog!

Camera Details: Canon 17-40mm , single SS200 strobe

Dive Report: Some shots from a short, finless dive:

There’s nice cuttlefish in this shot.

Getting a bit frisky.

There must have been a bit of a predator in the area, or some domestic dispute going on, as the water was full of ink at one stage.

Aug

3

Dive Number: 66 17/07/2010 17.10 Whyalla – Point Lowly

Wind: ??? Westerly aspect

Tide: 1hr after 1.15 low tide at Whyalla

Conditions: A very ordinary day, raining and overcast and the sea wasn’t exactly calm with slightly onshore winds.

Bottom Type: Rocky Shoreline with flattened rock covered with green algae past the low tide line.

Visibilty: 4-5m

Water Temp: 13c

Bottom Time: 63 minutes

Max Depth: 3.3m

Air usage: 70bar/1000psi

SAC: ???? litres/min

Details: I didn’t think we’d make it up to Whyalla for a dive after driving up from Edithburgh during the day, but things just fell into place. I needed to get hold of a tank, and called Steve from Whyalla dive adventures. As fate had it he was heading up Pt Lowly Rd as we where heading down it. So we managed to catch him at the turnoff and pick up a tank, all for the bargain price of $15! Some LDS’s charge nearly that for airfills, let alone hiring a tank in a remote area. Champion Steve! Anyway, we made it down to the fenceline right on sunset and got in for a quick dive.

Camera Details: Canon 17-40mm , single SS200 strobe

Dive Report: I was suprised on arriving the number of cars around, some divers, some tourists. Either way it was good to see that this site is attracting attention which can only lead to the further protection of the area. I didn’t muck around and got into the water ASAP. Wow…cuttlefish everywhere! The stories are true. You dont need to dive this site, since you’ll be able to see 10+ cuttlefish in one view as soon as you enter the water. The cuttlefish pay little attention to divers, and you can see them engaging in natural activity.

One of the most fascinating behaviours i observed, were young cuttlefish playing with a cuttlefish bone. One cuttlefish had a bone in its mouth/tenticles/arms and 2 or 3 others were chasing him. If the cuttlefish released it, the natural bouyancy of the bone meant it would rocket to the surface with all the cuttlefish in quick pursuit. One of the cuttlefish would grab the bone from the surface and the chase would be on again. I watched this happen about 2 or 3 times, and it brought up images of seeing the squid taking the bait from the fisherman at Wool Bay. (See dive log 62). I’m thinking that this ‘play’ that the young cuttlefish engage in, prepares them for hunting in adulthood. All with the assistance of the bones of thier predecessors..perhaps even their own parents who came to these shores to breed, give birth to them, and then die off. Its possibly the most fascinating behaviour i’ve seen in the animal world, and is packed full of symbolism if you want to analyse it. Anyway, here’s some pics of the Cuttlefish playing with the cuttlefish bone.