Jun

2

Date: 2nd June 2017

Conditions:

Visibilty:

Water Temp: 15c

Bottom Time: 30minutes

Max Depth: 5m

Details: I went over to South channel Fort to get some aerial photos of it, and couldnt resist jumping in just before slack water for a dive. It was cold and dark, but nice to be in at a site i hadn’t dived for years.

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

Photos:

Jun

2

Date: 2nd June 2017

Conditions:

Visibilty:

Water Temp: 15c

Bottom Time: 30minutes

Max Depth: 5m

Details: Another spin around the bay looking for whales with no success. A quick dive at Portsea Pier was nice and clear, but not much going on. The usual aggregation of Globefish were under the L shaped junction of the pier.

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

Photos:

May

21

Date: 21st May 2017

Conditions:

Visibilty:

Water Temp: 15c

Bottom Time: 30minutes

Max Depth: 10m

Details: Whale Season was close, and some Orcas had been popping up along the coast. So with the flat conditions and low wind i couldnt resist going for a spin from the Ocean Grove boat ramp down towards Port Phillip Heads, to see what might rear its head from the water. No luck today, so i dropped in on “The Rooms” to see if any Port Jackson Sharks were around. No luck with those either, but you have to be in it to win it!

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

Photos:

Apr

17

Date: 17th April 2017

Conditions:

Visibilty:

Water Temp: 16c

Bottom Time: 50minutes

Max Depth: 6m

Details: Dive have been sparse for me this year, so after potting around the bay, taking topside photos, i dropped into Blairgowrie for a quick dive. Not much of note. I always enjoy seeing the happy faces of Globefish when they allow you to get close enough.

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

Photos:

Mar

5

Date: 5th March 2017

Conditions:

Visibilty:

Water Temp: 16c

Bottom Time: 50minutes

Max Depth: 12m

Details: A macro dive at Popes eye. A few nudibranchs around and the usual suspects. I’m not sure i’ve noticed Yellow Zooanthids here before.

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

Photos:

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:

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: