Cape Solander, Kurnell NP
We came across a very accomodating baby giant cuttlefish. He didn't mind posing for a few photographs at all, just the occasional bright colour change to indicate he knew we were there.
There are a few whales passing Botany Bay already - they seem early this year.
Kurnell, The Steps, Botany Bay National Park
Because the tide was going out, the water visability wasn't tremendous (all that dioxin in the harbour probably) but there were pockets of clear water, and I had the macro lens on anyway, so getting close to things was required.
It was weedy sea-dragon day. We must have spotted about 10 altogether, and none were very shy, dispite the 50 divers or so that had already visited them. After thoroughly blinding a couple with flashes (poor things - I try to keep it to 3 max, or it stresses them out) we headed on to the swim-throughs towards monument and enjoyed nudibranchs and spongue life.
The second dive people were going to repeat the first dive (boring !?!?!) so Racheal and I tried our luck with going with the current for the second dive, towards the steps, with the knowledge that it might be a harder swim back on the return leg. As luck would have it, by the time we started the second dive, the current had dropped off and it really needed have mattered which way we went. That was great though, because we had the whole section from The Steps to the Leap to ourselves, and saw catfish, rays, more weedy's, pigmy leather-jackets, brightly colour weed cale's and lots of schools of bigger fish that tend to vanish after a few divers have been through already.
Kurnell, The Steps
The water felt SOOO good after the hot climb down the stairs. It felt even better after passing the thermocline at 5m.
Not great vis, but classic Kurnell, lots of fish, lots of nuidbranchs, weedy seadragons, etc.
I need to do some gear maintenance, my tanks are out of test, and my new computer, inexplicably, has a flat battery.
Kurnell, The Steps.
The mission was to test my new underwater enclosure out, which was a success and a lot of fun. I think once I get the hang of it, it will be amazing, the improvement I can already see - with the old Sony Cybershot I'd have to throw away about 50% of the images because they were out of focus or something else was wrong with them. With the 300D, that ratio drops to a about 10%.
There wasn't a great deal to see on the dive really, a coupe of weedy's and a few nudi's were out, but thats about it. It was just good to be diving again.
Kurnell - Steps, Leap to Steps
There were plenty of fishermen about, but the only fish they nearly caught was an Andrew... damn fool fishermen. Don't they know there are no fish about?
Oak Park, Fish Soup
We intended to head to 'fish soup' but ended up making it to the cave again. Lots of great things to see on the way, such as giant cuttlefish, large and small stingeree's, nudibranchs, starfish and sponges.
I'm really enjoying the improvement the switch I made for my light makes - I don't waste so much time trying to get the light on an off.
Oak Park, The Cave
Geoff followed me to Oak Park, and we found the club dives going into the water already, so we took our time and did the dive on our own.
I was amazed at how well I can remember the site. I managed to get us all the way to the cave and urinal and back again without getting lost.
My new regulator was really working well - this was the first time I've made it to the cave with plenty of air to spare, my air consumption, even after being out of practise for so long, was better than ever.
Lots of brightly colour sea tulips on the dive, a big giant cuttlefish and some nudibranchs.
I thoroughly enjoyed the sensation of diving again - I doubt the dive was really that spectacular, but the first time back, combined with the sense of acheivement of navigating and making it to the cave and back, made it special.
Geoff also thought it was special, which is great - hopefully he'll be back soon.
Kurnell, The Leap to Steps
I enjoyed my first dive back in a long time - it was good to be in the water, and watching the bubbles.
We only saw one very pregnant female PJ, not very ig, only 1 metre long. The season appears to be coming to an end.
There were a few other creatures of interest, but on the whole, generally very quite. Great conditions, just nothing around.
Peter joined us as a group of three, he was running a Dive Master course on the day. He dragged us asside and told us that he would vanish after 3 minutes or so, and we would not see him for the rest of the dive. When we got back, we were to act dumb, like we were always a group of two.
That little nugget tucked firmly into our belts, we went off and had a brilliant dive.
My buddy took the nav for the first half or so. Well, actually we sort of traded back and forth. Neither of us was spectacularly sure where anything was. Nevertheless, we got right out to fish soup without actually meaning to, and went past the bubble cave (and its nearby urinal in the sand) on the way back.
Fish soup was excelent, the largest school of Old Wives I've ever seen, and another bigger school of fast moving kingfish.
Other than that, a big eagle ray early on in the dive made it interesting, after we disturbed him, he circled us for some time, always keeping right out on the perimiter of our sight, like a ghost.
THe exit was one of the toughest I've done in ages. Because of the wave action, we had to get out on the south side of the pool. The waves were merciless, dragging you back more than you went forward. Tough work. For the 2nd dive, we decided we'd head to the right (south) of the normal Oak Park reef, across the series of reef fingers that mark the entrance of the river mouth. Our exit point, the rocks at Bass and Flinders.
We attempted to do this, but found it pretty tough going, and the surge quite strong.
Peter decided to turn around after consultation with the two trainee DM's.
The decision was made to head back, and we did. As soon as we got back to where we started, I knew Peter was up to something, because we started to follow the reef out in the direction of the cave. After about 30 minutes, I was running low on air, and indicated this to my buddy (one of the DM's.) This didn't seem to do much, but eventually someone let Peter know for me. He responded that he was lost.
Well, A debate like it I've never seen so painfully drawn out with hand gestures and slates... heheh. I knew precisely which way it was to go back, but noone seemed interested. Finally, my air dipping way below what I thought I'd need to get back from about where I thought we were, I took matters into my own hands and made some pretty straight to the point gestures to Peter (Low on air, thats the way back, point).
We left them to it, arguing, and headed back. Again Peter was up to something, because he shot away as if out of a canon. They hadn't a clue we'd gone, or where.
The exit was no peach either, having worsened from before, and I was tired.
This was a good dive. Gave me some great insight into the mechanics of what it takes to be a DM (and a little of what not to do). I felt pretty good that I knew what was going on and that I knew where I was, although I admit I didn't have the pressure of responsibility to cloud my judgement.
A great dive, despite not seeing much.
We ended up on the completely wrong side of the bay, the right side when we were supposed to be diving the left.
Lots of work and diminishing air, bottom time was short. I was not enjoying myself.
Plenty of fish life around, though, and the odd giant cuttlefish. The current had died away and we were able to take full advantage of the amazing visibility for Sydney.
Thousands of fish and life once we got out in the bay a bit further, at abot 12 metres or so things picked up a bit.
Lots of nice rock ledges, holes and walls to explore.
Because the current was still around, the bottom time was dimished with extra work. Kevins air ran out quite quickly after we headed back and we had to snorkle quite a long way.
This was a much better dive though, Little Bay will be worth diving again.