On Saturday night PB took Andrew and I out in his boat to dive the wreck of the Hurricane, just off the coast of Rosebud. The Hurricane was a clipper sailing ship that sank in 1869. She was relatively intact until the 1960s when officials considered her to be a hazard, and hazard blasted it, leaving the remnants spread out over the sandy seabed.
Over the course of an hour I was able to sit and watch a blue ring octopus going about it’s night, as well as various colourful fish and an anemone that I haven’t observed before. The bioluminescence observed was out of control, love the night dives!
The last time I dived this site was as part of my Wreck Course, weighed down with a stage tank and the responsibility of being “on course”. It was great fun to just explore and see the sights, although it wasn’t without it’s challenges – ascending in the dark holding a torch, catch bag, SMB and camera, trying to vent air from the drysuit and hold a 5m safety stop, before hauling ourselves (and gear) into the boat. Still, a tonne of fun and a great experience diving on PB’s very well organised boat.
Location: Port Phillip BayWater Temperature: 21°CAverage Depth: 10.5mMaximum Depth: 12.1m
The final dive on our self-guided SA dive trip was on the Port Noarlunga reef, only half an hour from Adelaide. This was a somewhat last minute decision to dive, but we’re certainly glad we did!
The water was amongst the warmest we experienced on our trip, and we saw a host of fish amongst the nooks of the reef, some willing to hang around and show off. The leatherjackets, with their colourful patterns, were magnificent to see and the sharpnose weed whiting was a first. Watch out for the cray too!
The reef is a natural breakwater accessed by walking down the 400m long jetty, with a flight of stairs making entry to the water super easy. Very popular for both snorkelling and diving, there were plenty of people in the water with us. A series of signs make navigation underwater somewhat simple, although we did turn the dive when we couldn’t find the next sign as we went through the ‘gap’ to the open ocean side of the reef. Touristy area, so parking can be troublesome, but toilets nearby. Decent trek from carpark, so consider a trolley.
Location: Port Noarlunga, SAWater Temperature: 21°CAverage Depth: 4.0mMaximum Depth: 9.1m
One of our last dives in SA was at Second Valley, around the corner from Rapid Bay. Just before jumping in, we had a guy on the pier look over at us and asked “Bobbi?”. Famous! Turns out that he was who we were headed to get our airfills from later, and he recognised us from my posts on the local facebook page. Pays to have your name on your tank (and pink hair!)
He was lovely, and gave us some pointers on the dive site before sending us on our way. Highlight of the dive was definitely the massive wobbegong shark we saw near the point – whilst not a particularly aggressive shark, they have been known to clamp down on people who inadvertently get too close, so makes sense to stay socially distanced from them! We also spotted cuttlefish, blue devils and more.
This dive site starts at a short sandy pier, but the interesting stuff it to be seen by following the coastline around to the rocky point. Next time we’ll go beyond, but this time we only just made it to the point as we were taking our time. Parking not too far away, with toilets accessible closeby also. Busy and popular beach spot on a hot day, imagine parking can be an issue.
Location: Second Valley, SAWater Temperature: 21°CAverage Depth: 3.5mMaximum Depth: 8.3m
Cuttlefish have long held my interest as they are just fascinating creatures – as a child all I knew of them was finding the white chalky bones on the beach to bring home to the cocky. I was blown away as a diver to discover how fascinating they look and behave underwater – changing colour and texture and dancing through the water.
Every year in the waters of Whyalla (South Australia) giant cuttlefish meet in huge numbers to mate – we had intended on visiting to witness this last year but alas it wasn’t to be. Perhaps this year. In the meantime, the sheer number of cuttlefish we saw on our SA trip was fantastic, spotting at least one every dive and often more. This video is from Port Hughes, an impromptu stop after chatting to divers in the carpark of our previous dive. So much to see, and the underwater soft coral and sponge growth reminded me of a winter wonderland.
Another accessible diving location, with plentiful parking and a relatively short walk down the pier to the staircase leading into the water. Simple dive – out and back underneath the pier, with big schools of fish to observe. Toilets closeby the carpark, and next time we’ll make this a late afternoon dive as there is a pub on the other side of the carpark!
Location: Port Hughes, SAWater Temperature: 21°CAverage Depth: 5.1mMaximum Depth: 6.9m
When Christie told us that Edithburgh was one of the best night dives in Australia, we just HAD to get there despite it being a few hours “out of the way”. Whilst it’s safe to say we enjoy diving, we LOVE night diving – the range of critters that come out at night are super special to see.
We ended up doing three dives at Edithburgh – a late afternoon checkout dive followed by two night dives. The aim was to spot a “striped pyjama squid”, an adorable black and white striped dumpling squid which, as you’ll see, we managed to spot (several times in the end!). We saw many other nighttime creatures as well, including an electric ray, lots of octopuses, cobblers (catfish), brittle stars and more. We were also treated to a special event – the sea cucumbers (which we don’t often see in Melbourne waters) were spawning – standing erect in the water and doing their thang. Was a sight to see, although best not to think about what we were swimming through so much No video as I don’t want to be kicked off Facebook for sharing illicit content
This dive site was perhaps the most accessible that I’ve ever experienced – car parking mere metres from the jump in point, with toilets a few steps in the other direction. Relatively short pier, but more than enough to keep us entertained for 3 one-hour dives. Air available at the BP, although we bought air with us from Adelaide (double check with the BP beforehand if you’re relying on them for air, we did get mixed reports).