Quick video of our dive at Blairgowrie last week. With the long nights and the warm waters, it’s the perfect time to jump in for an afterwork dive at the moment.
The highlight of the dive was spotting a stargazer – I’ve been waiting to see one for ages, and this was my first! With a mouth like a kids crudely drawn monster smile, eyes poking up like small shells strategically placed and just a faint outline camouflaged by the sand, you’ll see in the video why they are easy to miss. Wikipedia says “Because stargazers are ambush predators which camouflage themselves and some can deliver both venom and electric shocks, they have been called “the meanest things in creation””.
Other notable mentions include an eagle ray (too quick to capture on video), 15 or so massive side gilled slugs and the spider crabs made an appearance (not the migration yet, but impressive nonetheless!).
Just before our trip to Nelson Bay, we set out clutching our new copy of Shore Dives of Victoria to explore a new dive site (or at least a new dive site to us!) – Mushroom Reef.
Around the corner from the Flinders Pier, Mushroom Reef is a marine park so the fish swimming about were inquisitive and friendly with plenty of pretty sea grasses. Sunset from the water was rather special 🌅
Despite heading out at near full tide, the dive was quite shallow (our computers struggled) but it was fun exploring somewhere new! Big plans for more exploratory dives in the future 😊
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.
WE SAW A SHARK, WE SAW A SHARK! Despite a Great White being spotted in the area (how awesome would that have been?!), my first Australian shark was a draughtboard/swell shark, at about 1.2m long. It swam directly below me before disappearing into the murkiness that is Flinders. You just never know what you’re going to see under water!
The swell shark is so-called because despite its smallish size, when threatened it can swell up in an attempt to trick predators.
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.