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Blairgowrie Pier Dive

After last weeks fabulous show of Spider Crabs at Blairgowrie, we decided we would head back over one last time to see the crabs in action. Alas word went around the day before the planned dive that the crabs had moved on and very few remained in the area.

We carried on regardless, and were rewarded with an AMAZING show of cuttlefish, as they danced and showed off for us. Be sure to look out for the one that swam right between us, and the one with impressive folds of skin that makes it look straight out of Pirates of the Carribbean (Davy Jones anyone?!).

Before diving I had only ever associated cuttlefish with the thin white cuttlefish bone that often washes up on the beach, collecting them for treats for our cocky – I had no idea they were such magnificent creatures.

Location: Blairgowrie, Victoria, Australia
Water Temperature: 14°C
Average Depth: 3.2m
Maximum Depth: 5m
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The Spider Crab Moult

On my second visit to Blairgowrie to observe the Spider Crabs we were rewarded with thousands of the crustaceans gathering in the shallows below the pier to moult. No-one really knows why they come crawling into the waters below Blairgowrie Pier, but it is suspected to be a case of safety in numbers, as there are many predators that take advantage of the crabs when they’re in the process of growing a new shell. On our visit we only saw one large ray cruising, but there were plenty of reports of many more in the area, as well as small sharks and other predators.

Location: Blairgowrie, Victoria, Australia
Water Temperature: 14°C
Average Depth: 3.2m
Maximum Depth: 5.1m
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Blairgowrie March of the Spider Crabs

After my travels, it probably comes as no surprise that after less than 18 hours back in the country, I was underwater once again!

This video was taken mid-April at Blairgowrie and features an underwater phenomenon I was hoping I wouldn’t miss out on – the March of the Spider Crabs. At about this time every year, thousands of giant Spider Crabs march en masse towards Blairgowrie and surrounds, prior to moulting their shells. No-one really knows why they come crawling into the shallows, but it is suspected to be a case of safety in numbers, as there are many predators that take advantage of the crabs when they’re in the process of growing a new shell.

As you can imagine, visibility isn’t great, with so so many crabs stirring up the sand and muck.

Despite the chilly conditions (a shock to the system going from 30°C to 17°C 😱), it’s great to be back diving in Melbourne with fabulous buddies and in my ‘old’ stomping grounds! Rugged conditions: need to get used to hauling my own gear again – overseas it was all carried for me, even placed on my back so I didn’t need to pick it up!

Location: Blairgowrie, Victoria, Australia