Friday 6th January, 2013
Five of us headed out on Rob A’s boat ‘Malibu’ on a perfectly sunny day just outside Moreton Bay. We had planned to dive the Arizona but the current was ripping and our second choice of the Cementco was even worse!
So we opted with an exploratory dive which was a lot of fun! And my first opportunity to do one! We found an interesting rocky outcrop of caves and pancake stacked rocks hiding all sorts of marine treasures. A few nice crevasses to swim through and Christmas trees, Clown fish and Anemones absolutely everywhere!
It was really Macro heaven for photographers, and I thought of our friend Steve D and how he would’ve loved it! Nick K even spotted an anemone crab in some Staghorn Coral but I didn’t have the lens to shoot it.
On the second dive we did the Marietta Dahl which was a large freighter that had sunk and the wreck was scattered over a large sea bed area. This was not hard to find and Rob had nailed the anchor literally right onto it! There was forty metres visibility! This was one of the most interesting dives I had done so far, with plenty to explore, many parts of the wreck to look inside and find Pelagics or critters hiding amongst.
Again there were also vast areas of rocky outcrops, pancake stacks of rocks where there were plenty of Crayfish, a beautiful Gorgonian Fan, Moray Eels and the largest Coral Banded Shrimp I’ve ever seen, not to mention a pregnant one I managed to get a shot of. I was diving in twins and used my last hundred bar for a nice one hundred minutes on this dive! Although I wanted to stay down for at least three more hours! It was definitely a hard site to come up from.
Both dives were only in ten to eighteen metres of water. I’m not sure why more commercial boat operations don’t do the Mariette Dahl as it is a very easy dive and rather shallow. Surrounding the wreck is just sand so it is the perfect site to take both beginners learning skills and more advanced divers who want to explore.