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
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.