Dive Number 14: 13/03/2010 14.12 The Pipelines, St Leonards
Wind: 10 knot Northerlies
Tide: 1 hour past 0.75 high tide at geelong
Conditions: Great day…25c, calm winds however some small chop on the surface caused by shallow bottom. A bit surgey due to shallow depth made macro focus difficult.
Bottom Type: Three 2 metres in diameter pipes running out over sandy bottom.
Water Temp: 20c
Bottom Time: 94 minutes
Max Depth: 3.9m
Air usage: 120bar/1700psi
SAC: 11.9 litres/min
Details: This is a site i’d checked out on snorkel before. It’s the water source for a nearby aquaculture centre which consists of three pipelines running out about 500mm towards Governor Reef. The pipelines are covered by sand in the shallows, and then are exposed about 200 metres from shore. The pipes are covered in some nice algea, with some plants i haven’t seen elsewhere. Every 50metres or so are joiner boxes, that seem to attract ecklonia growth. Underneath the pipes, some sponge growth occurs and provides shelters for fish and rays. The pipelines end in about 3.5-4 metres of water with large extraction units and is marked by a yellow bouy (just to the right of the sailboat pictured) you can see from shore. Governors reef is presumably further out, but i’m yet to see any signs of it. Be careful of boats in this area and a dive bouy is probably a good idea. Jet ski’ers use this area too.
Camera Details: Canon 100mm macro, single SS200 strobe.
Dive Report: My main visit to this site was to look for nudi’s and generally check out the area on scuba. Even though it was only an hour after high tide, it was still fairly shallow and a higher tide (around .90) would be beneficial. The usual suspects on the way out..small moonlighters, wrasse, lots of small leatherjackets, and small rays under nearly every junction of the pipeline. Generally its small flighty fish in this area, nothing big and nothing particularly curious. Even this Pygmy Leatherjackets was a little bit wary.
A bright red anemone stood out on the green algea that was swaying in the surge..an unusual host selection.
Once i reached the extraction units, i wasn’t suprised to see another globefish corpse embeded in the extraction units mesh. Last time i snorkelled here, a globefish was gasping for its life after being sucked into the units…spikes wedges into the mesh.
The first nudi’s i came across were out past the end of the pipelines, on my search for governors reef. Philinopsis taronga journeyed over the sand.
As usual Philinopsis cyanea was not far away. I swear they are the same speices!
An opened shell near a purple anemone made a nice photo:
I cant seem to resist taking photos of sand gobies when i have the macro lens on.
Another purple anemone.
On the way in i scoured the weed on top of the pipelines of nudi’s. I saw a couple of oxynoe viridis and a small pink Noumea haliclona, but conditions made focus too difficult. There were also two Ceratasoma brevicaudatums which made life a bit easier for me.
A pretty good dive that ‘ll do again on a full tank and search for Governors Reef. I’m suprised its not dived, but i guess with the peir to the south and the ozone to the north it gets overlooked.