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:

Jan

16

Date: 16th January 2017

Conditions:

Visibilty: 10m

Water Temp: ??c

Bottom Time: 30minutes

Max Depth: 4m

Details: On the way back to the Indented Head Boat Ramp, i decided to drop into the Pipelines to shoot a few rays, which are pretty much a guarantee here. I first dropped in on a Banjo Shark on the sand and then proceeded over to the intake vents. A few small leatherjackets where hanging out in there, using the cage as protection. As usual a number of stingaree’s where using the pipeline structure to hide beneath, and a number of them where also burying in the surrounding sand. They don’t stick around long when approached though!

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

Photos:

Jan

16

Date: 16th January 2017

Conditions:

Visibilty: 7m

Water Temp: ??c

Bottom Time: 50minutes

Max Depth: 5m

Details: I felt an urge to dive from the boat around Indented Heads/St Leonards…just for something different. I think other times i had been out this way was in winter, so summer could potentially turn up some more interesting life out here. I decided on Price George Light. A shallowish reef rising from about 5m up to about 1-2m. Its pretty typical of the rest of the reef in the area, with sponge gardens and ascidians on the rocks, and kelp and algae on the higher, more well lit parts of the reef. Fishlife wasn’t great, and i didn’t see any rays or jellies (which was my hope), but still a nice little dive.

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

Photos:

Jan

6

Date: 6th January 2017

Conditions: South Easterly winds but nice and protected around the pier..great conditions.

Visibilty: 10m

Water Temp: ??c

Bottom Time: 80minutes

Max Depth: 5m

Details: This time of year the Weedy Seadragon males carry around the bright pink egg sacks on their tail until they incubate and hatch. My last visit to Portsea, i did see one seadragon with eggs, but that particular male had a layer of algae camouflaging its eggs. On this dive i found one carrying the bright pink eggs exposed, and it was a very happy model for photos. Happy enough to engage in feeding behaviour while i watched, sucking in the small mysid shrimp from the water column into its protruding snout.

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

Photos:

Dec

31


Date: 31st December 2016

Conditions: Southerlies picking up, surface chop.

Visibilty: 3m

Water Temp: ??c

Bottom Time: 50minutes

Max Depth: 14m

Details: With choppy conditions on the surface, i decided to not take the boat too far away from the mouth of the Barwon. I decided on a random site off Collendia in about 14m of water. It was ok, but nothing to write home about. The usual suspects, Horseshoe Leatherjacket, Moonlighters, Magpie Perch and a Blue-lined Leatherjacket that always seems to pop up around these parts.

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

Photos:

Dec

30

Date: 30th December 2016

Conditions: The winds had swung around to still southerlies, blowing out the ocean, however the swell was still low-ish.

Visibilty: 3m

Water Temp: ??c

Bottom Time: 50minutes

Max Depth: 4m

Details: Day 2 in Warrnambool and conditions had deteriorated into rather ordinary diving conditions. The only option was to dive the break wall of the harbour breakwater. The water was very cloudy, so i chucked on the macro lens. The wall is covered by curtains of kelp which you have to pull aside to see the sponge and invertebrate life growing on the wall. It was fairly uninspirational, but i did see a large pot-bellied seahorse and nudibranch, but nothing out of the ordinary.

Camera Details: Canon 100mm, 2 X YS-D1 Strobes

Photos:

Dec

29

Date: 29th December 2016

Conditions: The forecast threatened me with thunderstorms, but the swell forecast said it was flat all down with light northerly winds. Thankfully, no thunderstorms, and the overcast conditions cleared to an immaculate day.

Visibilty: 15m

Water Temp: ??c

Bottom Time: 80minutes

Max Depth: 10m

Details: Conditions were getting better as the day went on, with the tide falling to expose all the entry points and reef along the coast line. Even though i was thoroughly exhausted after the first dive, after a nap, i jumped in at Pickering Point. More lush vegetation with even more interesting overhangs and caves. The structures where generally larger here, at one point i came across a 5-6 metre tall pinnacle, rising from the bottom and breaching the surface. The top was covered in bull kelp dangling off it like a head of hair, with lots of growth all the way down to its base…an impressive structure. The sunlight was lower in the sky now creating some great lighting effects through the surface, filtered off the sea walls. A large Smooth Ray came to check me out at one stage with a bit of territorial bravado. As quick as it came though, it was gone again. I continued heading westward and found myself over near Thunder point. In one of the deeper gullies, i spotted an Eagle Ray sitting in the sand. It took off in a cloud of sand and disappeared into the blue.

Another amazing dive, that only exhaustion kept me from staying in longer.

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

Photos:

Dec

29

Date: 29th December 2016

Conditions: The forecast threatened me with thunderstorms, but the swell forecast said it was flat all down with light northerly winds. Thankfully, no thunderstorms, and the overcast conditions cleared to an immaculate day.

Visibilty: 15m

Water Temp: ??c

Bottom Time: 115minutes

Max Depth: 11m

Details: Warrnambool has been on my diving todo list for along time, but with the lack of information on the dive sites and what to expect, i’d never rated it as a high priority. However, having a bit of time off over xmas, a small window of low swell opened up that seemed to allow the better sites to be dived. So the plan was to head down and dive Thunder Point, followed by Pickering Point. On arrival i headed to the dive store, where LDS owner, Brian, ran me through some of the options and recommended the area of reef in front of the old Aquarium as a good starting dive. This site apparently provided not only one of the easier entries/exits, but also a great area of reef. So i headed down and geared up, and scrambled down the rocks to the small subtidal rock platform that provided the entry point. A giant stride was recommended, but with a largish camera, it turned it into an awkward squirm through the bull kelp and a seal-like drop off the edge of the platform. I was greeted by large kelp covered bommies, with little fish life (potentially due to the spearo hovering in the area above me). I headed around to the west (south west) and the terrain started to become really interesting, with lush fields of green, red and brown algaes. Possibly some of the lushest and richest temperate marine gardens i’d ever seen. A Sparsely Spotted Stingaree came cruising past, using the kelp beds as protection when it spotted me. I explored the caves under the rock ledge, and spotted a large Maori Octopus that looked like it had a close getaway from a spearo, with a damaged tentacle. It worked the cracks and crevices looking for prey, and i kept heading west. The terrain got more gnarled and lush, with small gullies, pinnacle bommies and a few sea caves which allowed easy access due to the lack of swell and surge. I was in heaven, and soon realised that my dive time was pushing 2 hours. So i started heading back. Under a large overhang a Port Jackson Shark hung out, but took off pretty quickly.

Generally marine life was pretty sparse, but the terrain and vegetation were world class.

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

Photos:

Dec

27

Date: 27th December 2016

Conditions:

Visibilty: 3m

Water Temp: ??c

Bottom Time: 40minutes

Max Depth: 8m

Details: Another horror dive at Whites Beach. I don’t know what it is about this site, it always has atrocious visibility, and today was no different. It was also overcast so it made conditions very uncomfortable…and sharky feeling. Once i found my first Wobbegong though i started settling in. And there was 5 more to come during a short 40 minute dive.

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

Photos:

Dec

24

Date: 24th December 2016

Conditions:

Visibilty: 7m

Water Temp: ??c

Bottom Time: 20minutes

Max Depth: 8m

Details: One the way back from The Pinnacles, i popped into The Rooms to see if any Port Jackson Sharks or Wobbegongs were home. They must have been out and about today, so i only made this a short dive. A catshark was a good consolation, but it wasn’t a very photogenic one.

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

Photos:

Dec

24

Date: 24th December 2016

Conditions:

Visibilty: 15m

Water Temp: ??c

Bottom Time: 70minutes

Max Depth: 16m

Details: Christmas was approaching and the weather gods were really turning it on. Low swell, low wind and good vis. I decided to head down to ‘The Pinnacles’ which is a shallowish site out from the Point Lonsdale Life saving club. This is a really lush area of reef, that has beautiful kelp gardens and a great array of marine life. Some dives you just can’t capture in images, actually, most dives, but this was a really enjoyable temperate reef blue water dive.

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

Photos:

Dec

18

Date: 18th December 2016

Conditions:

Visibilty: 8m

Water Temp: ??c

Bottom Time: 70minutes

Max Depth: 6m

Details: Chris and myself headed over to Portsea to see if we could find some Weedy Seadragons that were carrying eggs. I didn’t see any, but Chris saw one with the algae covering them for protection.

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

Photos:

Dec

11

Date: 11th December 2016

Conditions:

Visibilty: 5m

Water Temp: ??c

Bottom Time: 50minutes

Max Depth: 4m

Details: A new marina is under construction at Portarlington, to accommodate the new Ferry to Melbourne. A huge breakwall has been constructed to contain the marina, with only a small entrance now to the new harbour. I thought i’d snorkel the new arm of the pier where the new ferry terminal will be, then swim over to the breakwall. To be honest, it was a fairly uninteresting dive, with very little growth and marine life inhabiting the new structures. The breakwall will provide some interesting little caves, and overhangs for marine life to inhabit over time, but the kelp needs to establish itself first, and that hasn’t happened yet. Apart from a couple of Nudibranchs on the rocks, there really wasn’t a lot around.

Camera Details: Canon 100mm, 2 X YS-D1 Strobes

Photos:

Dec

4

Date: 4th December 2016

Conditions:

Visibilty: 4m

Water Temp: ??c

Bottom Time: 40minutes

Max Depth: 8m

Details: Visibility was atrocious today, but the main reason for this dive was to test out a new mask after my Oceanic Shadow mask shattered during travel back from Port Campbell (damn..i loved that mask). So between the bad vsibility, and a leaking, fogging mask that i had to flood every minute, it wasn’t a very enjoyable dive.

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

Photos:

Nov

20

Date: 20th November 2016

Conditions:

Bottom Time: 80minutes

Details: While taking some under-over shots at Point Lonsdale, I spotted a large Maori Octopus skulking through the kelp towards some overhangs. I followed it to take some photos but it was soon giving me the evil eye and telling me to back off. I stood my ground, hoping it would get use to my presence and not see me as a threat. That didn’t work…it soon extended one of its tentacles in my direction, (seemingly an infinitely long tentacle, aka a Mary Poppins tentacle), while its body stayed put against the ledge. The single probing tentacle felt around the camera housing before sending its body to join the party and it launched a full body attack! Beak first! With its arsenal of tentacles joining the single tentacle to envelop the camera housing. I’d seen octopus steal camera housings before, so i wasn’t willing to let this one go. At arms length, i held onto the housing with one arm, while trying to snap some shots at the same time. With its beak firmly against the dome port, i worried my dome port was going to be a write-off. I shook the housing (as best you can shake a housing underwater) to try to dislodge the parasite octopus, and eventually it took off back to the shelter of the ledges. With my heart beating a million times a minute, i thought i spotted it moving under a different ledge. ‘Impossible’, i thought. ‘How did it get over there so quickly?’ I soon realised there were two octopus in the area. Probably a breeding pair. The first octopus must have seen its reflection in my dome port, and considered it a competitor to its love interests. I left them too their business.

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

Photos:

Nov

12

Date: 12th November 2016

Conditions:

Visibilty: 9m

Water Temp: ??c

Bottom Time: 80minutes

Max Depth: 7m

Details: Despite wintery conditions in November, the swell was looking low, and while on a camping trip at Princetown, i thought i’d drop in to the Jetty at Port Campbell for a splash. Conditions were really good with nice clear water and low surge. Although not the most interesting structure, under the peir presented some nice vistas with anemone covered stumps, and schools of Bastard Trumpeter swimming around. The heavens opened while i was under the water and seeing the heavy rain against the surface of the water was an interesting perspective. you could see the nutrients from the land slowly settling in from the surface and a thermocline starting to form. I headed out from the pier in search of a wreck that apparently was out in the harbour. I found some old bits and pieces, but i suspect the main hull formation of the wreck is out there somewhere. All in all an interesting dive.

Camera Details: Canon 100mm, 2 X YS-D1 Strobes

Photos:

Oct

29

Date: 29th October 2016

Conditions: Horrible

Visibilty: 4m

Water Temp: ??c

Bottom Time: 30minutes

Max Depth: 3m

Details: Very ordinary conditions at St Leonards today..hardly worth getting wet.

Camera Details: Canon 100mm, 2 X YS-D1 Strobes

Photos:

Oct

13

Date: 14th October 2016

Conditions:

Visibilty: 8m

Water Temp: ??c

Bottom Time: 70minutes

Max Depth: 5m

Details: It was good to see that Blairgowrie Pier seems to be on the improve after the recent extension works.Lots of nudibranchs around today.

Camera Details: Canon 100mm, 2 X YS-D1 Strobes

Photos:

Aug

7

Date: 7th August 2016

Conditions:

Visibilty: 10m

Water Temp: ??c

Bottom Time: 45minutes

Max Depth: 22m

Details: A couple of Port Jackson Sharks hung out under a deep ledge at Ant Caves. One of them had a Clingfish on it, acting in a cleaner role. An Eastern Blue Devil staked its territory in the recesses of the overhang.

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

Photos:

Jul

31

Date: 31st July 2016

Conditions:

Visibilty: 6m

Water Temp: ??c

Bottom Time: 50minutes

Max Depth: 11m

Details: Pretty average vis and high current at Popes Eye today. I just sat on the corner and took some fish portraits. The usual suspects were around. Victorian Scaly Fin, Boarfish, Six-spined Leatherjacket, Shaws Cowfish.

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

Photos: NO PHOTOS

Jul

9

Date: 9th July 2016

Conditions:

Visibilty: 4m

Water Temp: ??c

Bottom Time: 40minutes

Max Depth: 2m

Details: I decided to jump in at Queenscliff Marina to see if i could shoot some Smooth Rays that usually hang out there. Unfortunately i didnt set up the camera properly and left the auto focus
switch off. I did have one big ray encounter, but it was generally pretty quiet.

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

Photos: NO PHOTOS

Jun

19

Date: 19th June 2016

Conditions:

Visibilty: 7m

Water Temp: ??c

Bottom Time: 90minutes

Max Depth: 10m

Details: The Spider Crab migration was on again for another year, and this time the aggregation was forming at Blairgowrie Pier to moult in the safety of numbers. A film crew was there setting up a dolly and videography equipment, plus a couple of charters dropped in while i was there. It certainly is getting more popular, despite happening mid-winter. I didnt see the numbers id seen previous years, but towards the end of the dive a large gathering started in the shallows besides the pier. Earlier in the dive i went out to the deep water in the channel and their were scattered numbers out there as well.

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

Photos: