Wednesday 25th April Anzac Day
What better way to use a public holiday than to dive! Nick K, Nick R and I headed to Sundive bright and early after stocking up on McDonalds for breakfast.
Nick R are I were diving twins and Nick K with sidemount, on EAN32. Unfortunately for Nick R as we descended his sinuses were giving him grief so he returned to the boat. Nick K and I carried onto the Cod Hole and Cray Cave. For the first half of the dive I couldn’t push my camera buttons fast enough, there was just too much to see and film. Deciding to give video another whirl, I had left my strobes at home and was using a white card to adjust the white balance manually. This seemed to work really well and give a much better representation of the colours.
On our first dive we saw a Grey Nurse shark immediately on descent in the Nursery, a school of over 200 Barracuda floating silently together, Lionfish opposite the Cod Hole, A large QLD Groper, Eagle rays, a school of about 150 Kingfish, Sweet lip fish, schools of striped tropical fish and Goat fish, large Coral banded shrimp, and Leopard sharks. We checked out the Gorgonian Hollow and completed our dive on the Hugo’s Trench mooring. Due to speedy organisation we managed to get a 65 minute dive with a maximum depth of 22m, and average depth of 20m. The water temperature was 23 degrees. As I lost my Oceanic Shadow mask diving Stradroke I was borrowing Nick’s Oceanic shadow mini and the damn thing kept flooding every minute as if it had a gaping hole in the side, which made filming slighter more difficult and frustrating.
As we surfaced Nick R told us he had enjoyed a snorkel as his sinuses had come right, and he had seen a Manta Ray. I was glad that he still got to see some amazing stuff and wasn’t stuck on the boat for an hour waiting.
After our surface break aka Krispy Kreme donut break, we returned to Julian Rocks for our second dive. Whilst we didn’t find the water very cold at 23, we were cold in between dives and this led me to rethink my postponing of buying a drysuit for Winter. We all made it down fine this time and headed to the Needles and Trenches on the South side. We played with several Leopard sharks at the Needles, one in particular who was so friendly it actually rubbed up against Nick K and circled us tightly for about 15 minutes. It was almost as if, like a dog, it was begging for attention or a pat. Worried I may scare it off, or frighten it I didn’t pat it, and it continued to play up to the camera for me.
I saw another Grey Nurse shark in the Needles, a few Green Turtles, Flute fish, a pod of Puffer fish, a Sting ray getting cleaned, Clown Triggerfish, Clown fish and beautiful purple and peach Anemones, Nudibranches, several Moray eels including a beautiful bright yellow spotted one that seemed hungry, Pineapple fish, Spanish dancers, and many various Tropical fish species. We enjoyed another long 65 minute dive here with a maximum depth of 17m and average of 15m.
Visibility today was about 20m, there was a very slight current but nothing to complain about, and only slight surge in places, mostly higher spots near the rocks. No swell, flat seas, and sunny skies. Excellent conditions really, and as it seems you don’t even have to dive to see a Manta Ray here! Lucky Nick, I am still waiting for my second spotting, but in the meantime I guess Grey Nurse sharks and Leopard sharks will suffice! (laughs).
We enjoyed a yummy lunch at the local pub with a nice cold Tiger beer (on tap I might add) before heading home to Brisbane. Thanks Nick K for driving all the way, well I was well and truly passed out in the car.
For a video of today’s diving go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oOcqSxsLWK0