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South West Solitary Island - Groper Island

Saturday, 7 June 2003 | link | tag | / Diving / Australia / NSW - North Coast
This dive site was much more remeniscent of Sydney dive sites, lots of broken rocks, large soft corals, crested horn sharks and of course, blue gropers. Enhanced, though, by a staggering abundance of fish and the addition of more northern species such as plate coral, anenome's and clownfish, and colorful wrasse.

At the beginning of the dive, a batfish was sticking closely to the mooring line, and seemed to be unfazed by the swarm of divers that descended around him. Inifinitely patient, he almost seemed to enjoy having his photograph taken.

Almost immediately I happened upon a wobbegong taking a morning nap in his natural hammock, a large plate coral. Sharks seemed to be a bit of a theme this morning, as the next thing we came accross was a crested horn shark.

Other highlights include a massive starfish, so big I could not touch its outstretched arms with mine, a black cowry shell with white spots (that appeared to emit light), and a lovely clown fishand anenome.

A fantastic dive, extremely relaxed and refreshing, and very nearly an hour long.

During the surface interval before this dive, a small manta ray made an appearance near the boat, but not before masquerading as a shark for a while (causing quite a stir) as it swept and turned while feeding a bit too far from the boat to be more positively identified.

After a bit of a snack, we got back into the water and found that the batfish was still swimming about near the mooring line, still as oblidging as ever. This time we went off to the west of the mooring and got down a little deeper to around 17 metres.

I finally spotted a nudibranch, having spend all of the previous dives looking out for them and not finding anything. I took over 20 photo's, but sadly only one was even remotely in focus - very strange.

Another cowry shell, and another crested horn shark rounded out this most excellent dive.