Apr

8

Date: 8th April 2016

Conditions:

Visibilty: Night Dive

Water Temp: ??c

Bottom Time: 80minutes

Max Depth: 4m

Details: A fairly quiet night dive, with the usual squid species around – dumpling, calamari etc. The biggest surprise was the large number of elysia nudibranch around. An invasion was on and there were Elysias everywhere munching on the weed. Some even floating around in the water column.

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

Photos:

Feb

20

Date: 20th February 2016

Conditions:

Visibilty: 5m

Water Temp: ??c

Bottom Time: 40minutes

Max Depth: 4m

Details: This was meant to be a test drive of the inflatable boat after doing some repairs on it, but after launching i quickly realised it hadn’t been started for months, and wasn’t going to start on me today. So instead of putting the boat back on the trailer and aborting the dive, i towed he boat out into deeper water, anchored up, chucked the dive gear on and just pottered around the shallow reef near the boat ramp. It wasn’t very inspiring, but always good to get wet.

Camera Details: Tokina 10-17mm, 1 X YS-D1 Strobes

Photos:

Feb

2

Date: 2nd February 2016

Conditions:

Visibilty: Night

Water Temp: ??c

Bottom Time: 80minutes

Max Depth: 3m

Details: Another night dive at Steeles Rocks turned up more great night critters. A couple of nudibranch (including a Cerberilla species i’m not sure i’ve photographed before), plus the local octopus species, Sand Octopus and White-spot Octopus. It was like a 800th dive wish came true when i spotted a pair of Dumpling squid mating…something i hoped before entering the water. Squid sex on the brain! On the way back in, a small ghost shrimp or tiny lobster species darted past frantically. This was obviously a species that spends its time under rocks, even at night as it didn’t feel comfortable out in the open, so i was happy to get a quick record shot of it.

Camera Details: Canon 60mm, 1 X YS-D1 Strobes

Photos:

Jan

25

Date: 25rd January 2016

Conditions:

Visibilty: Night

Water Temp: ??c

Bottom Time: 90minutes

Max Depth: 3m

Details: An excellent night dive at Steeles Rocks as usual. Blue ringed Octopus, White-spot Octopus, small calamari squid, dumpling squid, bob-tailed squid and lots of Balmain Bugs or Slipper Lobster around.

Camera Details: Canon 60mm, 1 X YS-D1 Strobes

Photos:

Jan

23

Date: 23rd January 2016

Conditions:

Visibilty: 6m

Water Temp: ??c

Bottom Time: 70minutes

Max Depth: 3m

Details: Just a bit of an explore at Steeles Rocks. Decent vis, but not much around except for a couple of nudibranch.

Camera Details: Canon 60mm, 1 X YS-D1 Strobes

Photos:

Sep

4

Conditions:

Visibility: Night Dive

Water Temp: ??c

Bottom Time: 70minutes

Max Depth: 4m

Details: Lots of cool stuff around at Steeles Rocks tonight including the usual suspects (Calamari Squid, Dumpling Squid, Wollongong Bug, Pale Octopus and a couple of Nudi’s).

One of the oddest things was a large purple iridescent worm that disappeared quickly into the rocks.

Camera Details: Canon 60mm 2 X Inon z240 Strobes

Photos:

Jan

23

Conditions:

Visibilty: Night Dive

Water Temp: ??c

Bottom Time: 12 minutes

Max Depth: 4m

Details: A great night dive at Steeles Rocks with Chris and Kerry. Lots of squid and other weirdness. A couple of Balmain Bugs getting around, dumpling squid, snapper, polyceate worms and unusual shrimp. One of my favorite areas to night dive.

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

Photos:

Jan

10

Conditions:

Visibilty: 5m

Water Temp: ??c

Bottom Time: 60 minutes

Max Depth: 4m

Details: A macro dive around Steels Rocks Portarlington.

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

Photos:

Oct

24

Conditions:

Visibilty: Night Dive

Water Temp: ??c

Bottom Time: 80minutes

Max Depth: 4m

Details: A great night dive with Chris and Kerry at Steels Rocks. This site is great for night diving. Lots of weird and wonderful critters around.

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

Photos:

Feb

15

Dive Number: 552 15/02/2014 Steeles Rocks

Conditions:

Visibilty: Night Dive

Water Temp: ??c

Bottom Time: 90minutes

Max Depth: 4m

Details: A warm summers night and gentle southerlies made for a good night dive at Steeles Rocks. Trav, Karly and Nick formed one group and me and Chris formed another too see what was around at night around Steeles Rocks. Everyone had good sightings and at the end of the dive i even managed to find a Chris’s boogey critter, a Blue-ringed Octopus. Squid are always great fun to photograph too.

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

Photos:

Jan

27

Dive Number: 263 27/01/12 ???, Steels Rocks- Portarlington

Wind: ???

Tide: ???

Conditions:

Visibilty: 5m

Water Temp: ???

Bottom Time: ???minutes

Max Depth: 4m

Air usage: 170bar/2500psi

SAC: ???? litres/min

Details: A poke around Steeles Rocks

Camera Details: Tokina 10-17mm , SS200 Strobes

Photos:

Oct

26

Dive Number: 205 26/10/11 18.12, Steeles Rocks, Portarlington

Wind: 15knot aouth-easterlies

Tide: High Tide at Geelong

Conditions: Water was very dirty.

Visibilty: 1-2m

Water Temp: 16c

Bottom Time: 84minutes

Max Depth: 3.7m

Air usage: 70bar/1000psi

SAC: ???? litres/min

Details: The water clarity was aweful, (which is really the norm at this site) but this was pretty bad. I found a cuttle under one of the ledges that looked like it was on it last legs/”tenticles”. It seemed to be panting for air and just laying there otherwise motionless. It felt wrong taking photos of it so i moved on pretty quickly. The vis made it hard to find any decent subjects, i photographed some sponge structures and saw a school of salmon. I was suprised to feel movement under my elbow, as was the stargazer that was under it. It raised itself from it buried position in the sand and stayed fully visible for a minute or so letting me get a phew snaps, then quickly took off after coming out of its stunned state.

Camera Details: Canon 60mm , SS200 Strobe

Photos:

Mar

29

Dive Number: 149 19/03/11  14.02,  Steeles Rocks

Wind:   10-15 knot SE’s

Tide:  0.86 high tide at Geelong.

Conditions:   Water was calm despite easterlies, however the water was very dirty. Lots of boats out too which is always annoying at this site.

Visibilty:   4m

Water Temp: 19c

Bottom Time: 93minutes

Max Depth: 4.3m

Air usage: 130bar/1800psi

SAC: ???? litres/min

Details:     Just a dive to try some backlighting  with the slave strobe

Camera Details: Canon 17-40mm , dual SS200 strobes +ys-120 slave

Dive Report:

Feb

14

Dive Number: 135 13/02/11  13.01 ,  Steeles Rocks, Portarlington

Wind:   15knot S’s

Tide:  4hrs before 0.16 low tide at Geelong.

Conditions:  Similar to yesterday with southerlies keeping the water still, but vis wasn’t as good.

Visibilty: 5m

Water Temp: 20c

Bottom Time: 44 minutes

Max Depth: 3.6m

Air usage: 35bar/500psi

SAC: ???? litres/min

Details:     I had two tanks, both with 500psi (35bar). It just seemed like a waste to fill them, so i tried to squeeze a dive each out of them. So back to Steeles Rocks with the fisheye for a tank waster dive.    

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

Dive Report:

Feb

14

Dive Number: 134 12/02/11  13.34 ,  Steeles Rocks, Portarlington

Wind:   10-15knot SE’s

Tide:  3hrs before 0.16 low tide at Geelong.

Conditions:  Very nice..a calm surface, no current and great vis

Visibilty: 8m

Water Temp: 20c

Bottom Time: 129 minutes

Max Depth: 4.1m

Air usage: 170bar/2500psi

SAC: ???? litres/min

Details:     I’d just bought an old golf buggy from the op shop, which i modified to fit my tank and all my dive gear in. The plan was to head over to Sorrento on the ferry, hit sorrento pier for slack water and then head back on the ferry.  A $20 dive charter. ; ) But after getting down to queenscliffe i soon realised my golf buggy setup wasn’t sturdy enough to carry the 20kg+ including my camera, and i felt breakage was going to be the outcome. So i decided to postpone and wnet to Portarlingtn again. It was a great move, and the vis was great at Steeles Rocks. I’ve been meaning to take a fisheye out here for sometime, since it has  prolific sponge growth and an absurd number of Hulafish hanging around.  Theres also large salmon schools in the area, but i only had one brief passby on this dive.  

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

Dive Report:

Feb

9

Dive Number: 132 06/02/11  17.03 ,  Steeles Rocks, Portarlington

Wind:   15knot SW’s

Tide:  2hrs before 0.86 high tide at Geelong.

Conditions:  St Leonards looked choppy and milky, so we headed around to Portarlington. Water was nice and calm and vis was ok to. A slight southerly current was running towards the end of the dive.

Visibilty: 6-8m

Water Temp: 21c

Bottom Time: 133 minutes

Max Depth: 4.5m

Air usage: 170bar/2500psi

SAC: ???? litres/min

Details:     Caught up with Chris for a dive, and we headed out near the most easterly section of steeles rocks. About 20 Ruddy Turnstones were roosting on the rocks on the way out, but took off as we approached. After descending it took us a bit of swimming to get onto the reef that runs out to the north. Once we found it, it was teeming with  hulafish, and in amongst one school i came across what i think is a baby Blue-line Goatfish. Other highlights were a sleeping cuttlefish, and a large school of Australian Salmon. I was in a very lazy mood and was just enjoying the dive so didn’t concentrate on photography much. Here’s a few shots though.

Camera Details: Canon 100mm , single SS200 strobes.

Dive Report:

Jan

14

Dive Number: 122 03/01/11 14.17  Steeles Rocks – Portarlington

Wind:   10-15knot  S E’s.

Tide: 0.5hrs after 0.89 high tide at Geelong.

Conditions:   Strangely devoid of fishing boats and jetskis. Small chop and surge but generally good vis.

Visibilty: 8m

Water Temp: 20c

Bottom Time: 108 minutes

Max Depth: 3.6m

Air usage: 140bar/2000psi ????

SAC: ???? litres/min

Details: I have a soft spot for steeles rocks…probably because i did a lot of snorkelling here before i started diving and it spun me out what was in the bay. I decided to go on a bit of an explore and found some really nice shallow reefs covered in sponges and ascidians. If there wasn’t so much sediment stirred up by passing boats, and it didn’t cover the marine growth here, it would be an amazing dive site asthetically. Unfortanately alot of the weed is covered in brown muck, but there is some great textures and colours still exposed. I tried to photograph some of these. Also found a new threefin species i’d never seen before. Apparently more common over the other side of the bay.  Its called a Common Threefin –  Trinofolkia clarkei.

Camera Details: Canon  100mm , single SS200 strobes

Dive Report:

Nov

19

Dive Number: 103 11/11/10 18.50 Steeles Rocks

Wind: 10knot Northerlies but noticeable at the site.

Tide:    0.92 high tide at Geelong

Conditions:  Still on the surface but the water was pretty dirty.

Visibilty: 5m

Water Temp: 18c

Bottom Time: 76 minutes

Max Depth: 4.5m

Air usage: 140bar/2000psi

SAC: ???? litres/min

Details:  We were going to head to Pt Lonsdale, but heard conditions weren’t good there, so change to Steeles Rocks. Conditions looked ok, but  vis wasn’t very good. We headed out a fair way and then followed the deep  (4m) reef to the east. I was suprised by the diversity of fish life in the area, we saw large schools of salmons, adult horseshoe leatherjackets, the usual moonlighters, old wives and maybe even a herring cale, but i think it might have been a blue weed whiting on further research.  There were also heaps of small stingarees and a cuttlefish towards the end. I came out at the exposed rock near the small cliff, ditched my gear and walked back to the carpark.   

Camera Details: Canon 17-40mm , dual SS200 strobes

Dive Report:

Sep

2

Dive Number: 77 29/08/2010 15.43 Steeles Rocks

Wind: 10 knot NW.

Tide: 0.5hr before 1.00 high tide at Geelong

Conditions: Light variable winds all day. The wind turned onshore but didn’t blow out the area. Vis was pretty good.

Bottom Type: Barrens type, scattered rocks and reef with sporadic patches of brown algae.

Visibilty: 6-7m

Water Temp: 11c

Bottom Time: 58 minutes

Max Depth: 3.7m

Air usage: 90bar/1300psi

SAC: ???? litres/min

Details:

Camera Details: Canon 100mm , single SS200 strobe

Dive Report: Nearly straight after decent Chris spotted a Port Jacko shark, which apparently did a couple of laps of us. I only saw it on our final pass, and didn’t have my settings set for a big subject. I got the focus lock perfect too, but the pic came out nearly black. Here’s a record shot with the levels pumped up.

A couple of smooth rays around. Here’s an eye shot:

A texture shot of stone coral:

A fanworm:

Chris spotted a cool little pygmy squid:

Mar

2

Dive Number: 9 28/02/2010 15.54 Steeles Rocks, Portarlington

Wind: 15-20knot southerlies

Tide: 0.82 high tide at geelong

Conditions: A windy and overcast day, but portarlington being protected from southerlies meant only surface chop, but generally pretty good.

Bottom Type: Rocky Rubble covered in a layer of mud and silt.

Visibilty: 3-5m

Water Temp: 21c

Bottom Time: 107 minutes

Max Depth: 4.2m

Air usage: 165bar/2400psi

SAC: 13.2 litres/min

Details: A dive lesson in overexertion. I swam about 1km from the boatramp towards the peir at a liesurely pace. But decided to vline it back to the boatramp on return, and when surfacing to check my orientation, started to feel a bit dizzy and panicy. An experienced diver died here a couple of months ago and i consider this a vital lesson learnt early. Steeles Rocks is a pretty vast underwater reef system extending about 4km from the pier in the west to well past the boatramp in the east. Its ecology would be considered “the barrens” for the most part, being generally damaged by silt build up on the rocks. This means theres not a lot of marine life to be seen, and its tempting to cover large distances searching and exploring the area. I definently overexerted myself covering this distance, and i think the oxygen demanded by the bodies muscles reduces the oxygen supply to the brain, which can lead to lightheadedness, and potentially blackout. I feel wiser for this experience.

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

Dive Report: Steeles Rocks could be an amazing place if it was allowed to recover, with some great rocky rubble sections and reef systems with small legdes and overhangs. Unfortunatley a muddy silt covers most of the rock restricting algea and sponge growth. There are still some nice patches around though, with orange sponges and these grey sponge/ascidian formations. Its also got the largest concentration of hard coral that i’ve seen in the bay.

Most of the larger fish species, such as moonlighters and old wives, are very flighty here, due to the area being overused by spearfishers.

So to find good critters at Steeles rocks, you have to check whats under the rocks.

I found this strange green worm which moved by pulsating spherical muscles through its body. UPDATE: This is Metabonellia haswelli.

I didn’t see a lot else of interest , a couple of smooty rays in the sand and under ledges, and a large school of salmon that circled me.

Feb

14

BOM predicted some nasty SE winds today(which never really eventuated), so i decided to check out Portarlington Pier, being nice and protected from southerlies.

It must be Cardinalfish breeding time, since i saw 3 seperate individuals carrying eggs in their mouths. I’m not sure how/what they eat in the meantime??? eggs???

I was hoping to find some new nudibranchs, but i only saw this Oxynoe Viridis.

On my way home i decided to check out a nearby seagrass reef that turned up a couple of Philinopsis species last time i went there. Seems like its a good spot for this family of nudi’s, with about 20 Targona species seen and 3 Cyanea.

Philinopsis Taronga

Philinopsis Cyanea

It’s also a good habitat for Spotted Pipefish, but most are fairly young.