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Jackson Bomie, Fairfax Is and Lady Musgrave Island (Night)

Friday, 16 August 2002 | link | tag | / Diving / Australia / QLD - Great Barrier Reef
Strong current at Fairfax also. The anchor lay in around 16 metres of water on sand, with the Jackson bommie off to the left of it and a bit closer to the island.

The current was moving to push us towards the bommie, but since we had a destination in mind, and it was not far away, we went to the bommie, knowing we'd have to swim against the current to get back.

The bommie is just as I remembered it - large and castle like in its scale next to the surrounding coral, teaming with life both large and small, and home to a multitude of brilliantly coloured sponges and plate corals.

The bommie offers several nice swim thoughs, one of which was packed with 2 inch long juvenile fish, all moving in unison, but curriously unafraid of us. The other swimthrough was the domain of a couple of large giant sweetlip, and a stately coral trout.

Also lurking nearby was another huge humpheaded maori wrasse. To top of an already fantastic dive, a medium manta ray came gliding by to give us a quick show. Manta rays are such majestic and gracefull animals. Night dives are always a treat. The rest of the group had not done a night dive before and were going as a group with the instructor. Tim and I however, had done a few already, so we were free to do our own thing.

The boat was in around 12 metres of water, enough to keep it shallow for the group. At this depth near Lady Musgrave island though, there is maily staghorn coral everywhere. We moved into deeper water when it became evident that the staghorn was not going to give way to anything more interesting nearby. In deeper water, the sponges and larger plate corals joined bommie style rocks to give a more comfortable place for fish to sleep.

We startled a couple of quite big angelfish, and an enormous batfish during the dive, however, neither stayed around for long.

The highlight of the night dive was the colourfull fans that come out when its calm and dark, brilliant reds abd yellows and greens. Its strange that these bright colours should only be out during the night, when nothing can see them.

Hundreds of red reef shrimp stared their beedy eyes at us from the coral. If you got the slightly uneasy feeling you're being watched diving at night, these fellows are the reason why.

At the end of the dive, we spotted a green turtle asleep under a rock, but I was out of air and had to head up for the safety stop, but my buddy got a closer look.