Dive Number: 423 30/12/2012 Beach 10B Queenscliff

Conditions: ??

Visibilty: 8m

Water Temp: ??c

Bottom Time: 50minutes

Max Depth: 10m

Details: Ray Day

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




Dive Number: 278 18/03/12 13.15, Friendly Bommie

Wind: ???

Tide: ???


Visibilty: 8m

Water Temp: 18c

Bottom Time: 83minutes

Max Depth: 8.4m

Air usage: 170bar/2500psi

SAC: ???? litres/min

Details: Well, friendly bommie never gives up its secrets easily, but i got lucky on this dive and came across it nice and early in the dive. I cant get enough of the swim throughs at this site, and it had some wonderful soft corals on the outer rock too. The swaying ‘roof’ kelp coverage revealed a ‘pencil’ kelp critter that i’ve never seen before. It was small and i had the fisheye on, so not great photos, but good enough to identify it hopefully.

Camera Details: Tokina 10-17mm , SS400/SS200 Strobes




Dive Number: 201  22/10/11  14.36,  Beach 10B – Search for Freindly Bommie

Wind:   15knot northerlies

Tide:   1hr before low tide at the Heads

Conditions: A bit of current around.

Visibilty:   6m

Water Temp: 14.8c

Bottom Time: 82minutes

Max Depth: 9.9m

Air usage: 70bar/1000psi

SAC: ???? litres/min

Details:  Caught up with Chris and Harry for a search for the illusive Friendly Bommie. In true Friendly Bommie tradition it was found right at the end of the dive on basically zero air, but its always the journey that makes it interesting.  The current and visibility where fairly poor, but on decent we dropped straight onto a big smooth ray, who took off pretty quickly. The biggest highlight of the dive was a very photographic Varied Catshark. A small cuttlefish also put in an appearance.  It was great to find friendly bommie, but despite the name the three cowfish we saw weren’t that happy to see us. Always great to see this fish over this side though.

Camera Details:  Tokina 10-17mm ,  SS200/SS400 Strobe




Dive Number: 164  30/06/11  16.05,  10B to Cottage Drift

Wind:   Cant remember..probably northerlies.

Tide:  20mins before 0.99 low tide at the Heads

Conditions:   Overcast evening making the water dark. Water seemed calm, and the current seemed negligible, but from the distance i travelled it must have been moving fairly quickly to the west. 

Visibilty:   6m

Water Temp: 12c

Bottom Time: 62minutes

Max Depth: 10.9m

Air usage: 120bar/1750psi

SAC: ???? litres/min

Details:      This dive was intended for Friendly Bommie, but for the first time i wasn’t able to find it. I deliberatly swum south-westerly from my entry point, and there was a slight westerly current, but after getting out and being totally disoriented again, i realised just how far i had drifted. The same tower of disorientation stood before me again, but i couldn’t believe it was the same one that was further west than the convent. Somehow i’d drifted all the way from 10B, through the cottage area, and exited past the Convent. This explained the 11m depth that i reached on this dive, which is the same depth i reached way out back of cottage a couple of dives ago. It was one hell of a walk back to the car!  Generlally, it was a pretty unexciting dive…a drift through the same sand dune valleys with a very dark banjo shark hanging out in the area, with little else until i struck some shallow ledges with some nice sponge growth and hydriods.

Camera Details:  Tokina  10-17mm , dual SS200 strobes.

Dive Report:



Dive Number: 158  07/05/11  11.27,  Beach 10B to Shortlands Bluff

Wind:   ???

Tide:  0.5hrs  after flood slack – 7knot streams peaking at 3pm!!!

Conditions:   Strong East to West current as the bay flooded.

Visibilty:   4m

Water Temp: 14c

Bottom Time: 43minutes

Max Depth: 5.9m

Air usage: 105bar/1500psi

SAC: ???? litres/min

Details:    I wanted to visit Friendly bommie again.  I knew flood wasn’t the time, and to make matters worse, i’d missed slack. Anyway, I  thought i’d give it a go just to see just how the area behaves around flood.   After getting in up to my waist i considered calling off the dive as the current was just too strong, but i thought i’d use it too my advantage and do a drift to cover the area between 10B and Shortlands bluff.  I stayed relatively close to shore because the current was running strongly out to the centre of the bay, and i knew it would be difficult getting back in if i went too far out.  I played it conservatively and scrambled my way along the bottom, finding another old “geelong aerated water” bottle from 1919 in immaculate condition.  I kicked my way towards shore as the current pushed me out so i maintained a nice safe distance to shore. In no time i was approaching Shortlands Bluff and the currents started getting really intense.  I had to grab onto the reef and wrench my way towards shore, since swimming against the current was not an option. I got out at the “Danger: Strong Currents” sign, that really held true today.    A nice long walk back to the car  used all the the energy i saved on the drift. Crazy dive….but exciting and nice to experience what flood was all about.  I only reliased after the dive that peak streams reached 7.oknots!!! Thats pretty much as fast as you’ll get.         

Camera Details: Tokina 10-17mm , dual SS200 strobes

Dive Report:




Dive Number: 157  30/04/11  14.10,  Beach 10B and Friendly Bommie

Wind:   10 knot variable to Ns

Tide:  0.5hrs before 0.78 low tide at the Heads.

Conditions:  A high low tide(above about .60) always seems to create a east-west current around lonsdale bight, and although it was noticeble from the surface at this site (coming off shortlands bluff) it wasn’t unbearable.  Vis was nice.

Visibilty:   10m

Water Temp: 16c

Bottom Time: 73minutes

Max Depth: 10.0m

Air usage: 140bar/2000psi

SAC: ???? litres/min

Details:    I hoped to find Friendly Bommie again on this dive, but from my entry point at 10B it was a bit of a swim. I decided to swim out and use the current to hopefully stumble onto the ellusive bommie.  Its not everyones cup of tea this entry point, but this is a really interesting drift dive. The terrain is fairly barren, and then you come across big sand dunes and dune valleys that are really different to anything else i’ve seen in the area. Almost like a flooded desert (hence the title to this post). It even had little gibber plain outcrops of rocks on the sand dune ridges, with kelp growing on them and plenty of fishlife. After a long drift, i was giving up hope of finding friendly bommie, but typically, with little air left, i found it! Its such a great little area…a large bommie split with gullies lined with sand, small and large overhangs, and a “roof” covered in kelp that fish just go nuts around.  Herring Cale shimmer in the sunlight rising above the kelp, sweep, zebrafish and morwong work the midwaters, and leatherjackets down below. A mid-sized Smooth ray passed up over the top of the bommie also, giving the whole place an ‘untouched, way it should be’  feel. A cuttle even hung out admist the kelp.  Under the ledges all the usual suspects and some great soft corals and sponges on smaller outlying bommies. I love this area…my favorite shore dive! If only i could find it reliably.     

Camera Details: Tokina 10-17mm , dual SS200 strobes

Dive Report:



Dive Number: 133 10/02/11  13.28 ,  Beach 10B

Wind:   10-15knot NE’s

Tide:  1hr before ebb slack

Conditions:  Surface looked swell or chop. The water however was full of sediment and vis was bad. The current was fairly strong, and towards the end of the dive was really moving fast towards Shortlands Bluff. 

Visibilty: 2-4m

Water Temp: 20c

Bottom Time: 86 minutes

Max Depth: 10.3m

Air usage: 170bar/2500psi

SAC: ???? litres/min

Details:     I wanted to find Friendly Bommie again, but after entering the water and seeing the limited vis, i wasn’t hopeful.  The current was also limiting  to cover enough ground to stumble onto it.  So after swimming out about 200m, we dropped into 10m, and started heading SW.  The terrain was  small scattered rocks with a lot of weed debris sitting in clumps on the ground. Any fish we came across took off quickly, as we emerged from the bad vis.  Chris came across a cuttlefish trying to blend into the weedy flotsam.  It was a very dark maroon colouration,  trying to camoflague itself,  and chris did well to spot it. We continued on in search of some good reef, and finally came across a massive ledge. After strenuous swimming into current i was pretty happy we eventually found something. I’m not sure if this was the same bommie i found last time or not…they’re seems to be a lot of sand movement in this area and i think the bommie isvery changeable in whats is and isn’t exposed.   Anyway, so good fish around. First fish i saw was a cowfish which are always  good to see.  Some massive Morwongs sat into the current under an overhead ledge for protection. Under the ledges some nice big hydriods swaying in the current, and the usual assortment of sponges, gorgonians and reef fish hung under the ledges.  Down a little gutter a boarfish came to check me out…a fish i’ve been hoping to see on a shoredive…unfortunately the vis was bad for photography. Another cowfish hung out in the gutter but quickly took off.  The current was really nasty by this stage, and we surfaced with a fair bit of air for safety. The current was ripping at the surface towards Shortlands bluff, so by the time we got back to shore we had a fair walk back to the carpark. great adventure diving…but a tough photography dive.  I cant recommend the best tide to do this area on, because i really dont understand how the currents work in this area. I just recommend times of  low streams around 2-3knots, and possibly on slack..but i dont know really know what slack means here with the eddies created off shortlands bluff.     

Camera Details: Tokina 10-17mm , dual SS200 strobes.

Dive Report:



Dive Number: 131 30/01/11  14.41 ,  Beach 10B – Friendly Bommie

Wind:   10-15knot N’s

Tide:  10minutes after 0.22 low tide at heads.

Conditions:  Nice flat northerly conditions, until the end of the dive where it had turned to SE’s and some surface swell was building. The current was considerable but not unbearable in the water

Visibilty: 10m

Water Temp: 20c

Bottom Time: 118 minutes

Max Depth: 9.7m

Air usage: 200bar/3000psi

SAC: ???? litres/min

Details:     The sea was looking nice and calm and i was getting sick of cottage, and wanted to try somewhere new. I was tempted to dive Shortlands Bluff, but the current tides made for fast streams and i was too early for slack.  I thought i’d try the carpark between Shortlands Bluff and Cottage. Its marked as Beach 10B, but i actually entered via the next sandy track towards cottage.  My explore dives work as follows; swim out for 10 minutes and see where you end up. If its looking promising keep going using the rule of thirds with my air.  So i headed out and soon saw a ray/shark that saw me before i saw it. It was either an eagle ray or an angel shark..i didn’t get a good look..or photo. I followed it for a while, but it never settled. It swam across undualting rocky ground with sparse cover in about 5-6m. It progressively got deeper with no change in bommies or significant reefs of any sort and i was wondering if i was going to find anything of interest.  I then came across some interesting sand dune country, with large barren dunes akin to land dunes,  rising from 10-9m up to about 4 m. It was quite a  unique terrain…but barely any marine life in the area.  I was around 500m out from shore at this point, out to the south west,  and the current was getting strong. I started heading back in north easterly, thinking there wasn’t any significant overhangs out there. Then out of no where, a mixed school of fish appeared over some legdes in about 4-5metres. Herring cale were going crazy over the kelp covered tops of the ledges and zebra fish and wrasse circled above. I dropped into a little oasis of great ledges, deep overhangs, gutters and swimthroughs in about 8-9m. The fish were very tame and friendly (hence why i’ve dubbed it Friendly Bommie until i find out otherwise)  and large moonlighters were fearlessly just hanging out under an overhang. Lots of LJ’s, bullseyes, a cuttlefish and the star of the show, a cowfish. (i’ve never seen one over this side!)  I’m not sure if it was becaus ethe rest of the dive was so dull, but this was some of the best reef in the bay i’ve dived on. But of course, i found this right at the end of the dive with little air left, and my strobe cord was playing up, randomly flashing and not triggering the strobes consistently.  So i’ve vowed to try to find this bommie on the next day of calm conditions, and make sure my setup in in good shape.    

Camera Details: Tokina 10-17mm , dual SS200 strobes.

Dive Report:



Dive Number: 49 19/06/2010 10.37 Beach 10B

Wind: 15-20 knot NW

Tide: 20mins after 0.44 low tide at the heads

Conditions: A pretty ordinary day…overcast, windy with touches of rain around as well. Swell was up, and the ocean fairly choppy.

Bottom Type: Sea grass beds on flat rock bed reef.

Visibilty: 3m

Water Temp: 13c

Bottom Time: 34 minutes

Max Depth: 9.0m

Air usage: 80bar/1100psi

SAC: 13.7 litres/min

Details: Conditions weren’t ideal for diving and i didn’t have a full tank, so i (possibly stupidly) decided to check out somewhere new. I headed to the next carpark East of the cottage carpark and decided to see what the reef was like there. (Marked with the yellow sign marking Beach 10B.) This was possibly more stupid due to sighting of a Great White over at Rosebud on Thursday. Anyway, i decided to swim out for 10 minutes and see what i could find. I had to descend early because visibility was atrocious and i couldn’t see what was beneath me. After ten minutes i was in 9 metres of water but still hadn’t come across any decent reef structures. At about 8 metres though, the terrain changed from seagrass beds, to open sand and rubble, and i sensed i wasn’t too far from some legdes. However i decided to stick to my 10 minute plan and started to head back in.

Camera Details: Tokina 10-17mm fisheye , single SS200 strobe.

Dive Report: There were very little fish life on the way out, apart from a school of old wives over the seagrass bed. On my way back in, i came across the same school of fish and decided to sit on the sea grass bed and have them gather around me. Some leatherjackets were very curious about my presence and approached very closely.

A number of leatherjackets decided to join in on the action and a slightly larger leatherjacket came in to check me out. I’ve never seen this type of LJ before… it had a strange protrusion just before the tail. I’m guessing this is a juvenile Six-Spined Leatherjacket, but i’m really not sure.

Here’s shot from behind showing the ‘fin protrusion’:

If anyone know what species this is, and what the protusion is, i’d love to know. Adult Six-Spines dont seem to have this.