PJ Cove (Entrance Bommies)

Paraplesiops bleekeri (Eastern Blue Devil) - PJ Cove
Scorpaena cardinalis (Red Rock Cod) - PJ Cove
Gymnothorax prasinus (Green/Yellow Moray) - PJ Cove
Trachichthys australis (Roughy) - PJ Cove
Mecaenichthys immaculatus (Immaculate Damsel) - PJ Cove
Hypoplectrodes maccullochi (Half Banded Seaperch) - PJ Cove
Hypoplectrodes annulatus (Black Banded Seaperch) - PJ Cove
Nemadactylus douglasii (Blue Morwong) - PJ Cove
Sepia apama (Giant Cuttlefish) - PJ Cove
Candelabrum australe - PJ Cove
Solanderia fusca (Dusky Hydroid) - PJ Cove
Botrylloides magnicoecum (Magnificent Ascidian) - PJ Cove
Plectaster decanus (Mosiac Star) - PJ Cove
Glossodoris atromarginata (Black Margined Glossodoris) - PJ Cove
Chromodoris loringi (Loring's Chromodoris) - PJ Cove
Ceratosoma amoenum (Sweet Ceratosoma) - PJ Cove
Glossodoris angasi (Angas's Glossodoris) - PJ Cove
Chromodoris splendida (Splendid Chromodoris) - PJ Cove
PJ Cove
PJ Cove

PJ Cove is a dive site on Tuggerah Reef off The Entrance. Tuggerah Reef is also known locally as "The Bommies", a popular sport fishing, spearfishing and dive site. Terrigal Underwater Group dive this and other sites on The Bommies often. There are a number of shallow sites on The Bommies, PJ Cove is one. The attraction of the Bommies is the diversity of diving available, the fish life attracted and the vis is generally better than southerly sites, presumably due to added distance from the Hawkesbury River. On a calm sunny day it is a pleasant boat run up the coast.

PJ Cove was given its name due to the Port Jackson sharks that congregate at this site over winter to breed. It is possible to see dozens of sharks, stacked on top of one another on the sand and between rocks. The site is bare Coraline algae covered reef, much of which is covered in Kelp. There is a reef edge of sorts, that you can dive down and use to navigate. The reef edge is made up of large rocks than progressively step down from about 14m to just over 20m. I am not entirely sure how shallow it gets at the top as it is just kelp covered reef and of limited interest.

At the sand, there are are numerous large rocks that offer nooks and crannies for fish and even at odd swim through for divers. The fish found at the site include:

  • Port Jackson Sharks
  • Eastern Blue Devil
  • Eastern Wirrah
  • Kingfish
  • Blue Grouper
  • Maori Wrasse
  • Comb Wrasse
  • Snakeskin Wrasse
  • Senator Wrasse
  • Crimson-Banded Wrasse
  • Black Reef Leatherjacket
  • Six Spinned Leatherjacket
  • Old Wife
  • Eastern Hulafish
  • Half Banded Seaperch
  • Black Banded Seaperch
  • Red Morwong
  • Blue Morwong
  • Sweep
  • Roughy
  • Black Tipped Bulleyes
  • White-eared Parma

The Bommies are commonly visited by the odd pelagic species so keep an eye out. Bronze Whalers and Hammerhead Sharks have been known to frequent the area and can often be seen on the surface prior to diving starting. I even know some TUG members, who dived in the company of a Great White out on the Bommies one day !

Whilst the fixed growth is limited to some cracks between rocks or under boulders there are still nudibranch species that can be found, including:

  • Glossodoris atromarginata (Black Margined Glossodoris)
  • Glossodoris angasi (Angas' Glossodoris)
  • Chromodoris splendida (Splendid Chromodoris)
  • Chromodoris loringi (Loring's Chromodoris)
  • Ceratosoma amoenum (Sweet Ceratosoma)

To dive the site seek to anchor in the sandy reef adjacent to the reef wall in approx 19m. The GPS Mark for the site is S33º21.476' E151º32.515' (WGS84 hdddºmm.mmm'). You can head down the reef edge either North or South. To the North, you will find the cove in the reef that gives the site the other component of its name. The dive is a fish watch and they certainly are abundant. When you do come across gaps in the reef it is worth looking through the growth for Nudibranchs as well as the more cryptic fish species. You should encounter Black Banded Sea Perth, Eastern Blue Devils as well as Eastern Wirrah.