Xmas/New Year 2012/13

Dendrodoris denisoni (Denison's Dendrodoris) - Seahorse Garden
Jew Grounds
Sponges (PORIFERA) - Deadmans Hands
Rostanga bifurcata (Bifurcate Rostanga) - Deadmans Hands
Balanophyllia bairdiana (Orange Solitary Coral) - Forresters Boulders
Chromodoris tasmaniensis (Tasmania Chromodoris) - Boat Trailer Reef
Hypselodoris bennetti (Bennett's hypselodoris) - Boat Trailer Reef
Pteraeolidia ianthina (Blue Serpent) - Boat Trailer Reef
Phyllidiella pustulosa (Pustulose Phyllidiella) - Boat Trailer Reef
Parma microlepis (White Ear Parma) - Boat Trailer Reef
Hypoplectrodes annulatus (Black Banded Seaperch) - Boat Trailer Reef
Noumea sulphurea (Sulfur Noumea) - Boat Trailer Reef
Eubalichthys bucephalus (Black Reef Leatherjacket) - Boat Trailer Reef
Glossodoris angasi (Angas's Glossodoris) - Boat Trailer Reef
Chromodoris splendida (Splendid Chromodoris) - Boat Trailer Reef
Prawns, Shimps, Crabs, Lobsters (Order Decapoda) - Boat Trailer Reef
Sphaerokodisis australis (Southern Sea Fan) - TV Reef
Thysanozoon sp (Beaded Flatworm) - TV Reef
Mopsella sp. (Red Gorgonian) - TV Reef
Pentaceropsis recurvirostris (Long-snout Boarfish) - TV Reef
Pentagonaster dubeni (Vermilion Star) - Boat Trailer Reef
Isopods, slaters, pill bugs (Order Isopoda) - Boat Trailer Reef
Ceratosoma amoenum (Sweet Ceratosoma) - Boat Trailer Reef
Petricia vernicina (Velvet Star) - Boat Trailer Reef
Tylodina corticalia (Small Umbrella Shell) - Boat Trailer Reef
Ceratosoma amoenum (Sweet Ceratosoma) - Boat Trailer Reef
Aulopus purpurissatus (Sergeant Baker) - Wamberal Fishos
Ascidians (Class ASCIDIACEA) - Wamberal Fishos
Balanophyllia bairdiana (Orange Solitary Coral) - Wamberal Fishos
Hoplodoris nodulosa (Nodulose Hoplodoris) - Terrigal Haven
Flatworms (PLATYHELMINTHES) - Foggy Trap
Mopsella sp. (Red Gorgonian) - Foggy Trap
Plesiastrea versipora (Green Coral) - Foggy Trap
Actiniid sp. 2 (Speckled Seawhip Anenome) - Foggy Trap
Philinopsis cyanea (Blue-lined Philinopsis) - Seahorse Garden
Dendrodoris denisoni (Denison's Dendrodoris) - Seahorse Garden
Hyastenus elastus (Decorator Crab) - Seahorse Garden
Istigobius hoesei (Sloth Goby) - Seahorse Garden
Octopus tetricus (Common Sydney Octopus) - Seahorse Garden
Hydatina physis (Rose Petal Bubble) - Seahorse Garden
Orectolobus ornatus (Dwarf Ornate Wobbegong) - Pipeline (Right)
Polycera capensis (Punk Polycera) - Pipeline (Right)
Ceratosoma amoenum (Sweet Ceratosoma) - Pipeline (Right)
Aphelodoris varia (Variable Aphelodoris) - Pipeline (Right)
Ceratosoma brevicaudatum (Short-Tailed Ceratosoma) - Pipeline (Right)
Bullina lineata (Lined Bubble) - Pipeline (Right)
Chromodoris collingwoodi (Collingwood's Chromodoris) - Pipeline (Right)
Berthellina citrina (Lemon Berthellina) - Pipeline (Right)
Phenacovolva rosea (Rosy Spindle Cowry) - Pipeline (Right)

Traditionally the Xmas/New Year period holds great promise of getting into the water and a lot of diving done whilst off work for a while. Unfortunately, usually this promise is dashed by summer southerlies and less than ideal seas. I have come to bank on poor weather and not get my hopes up about getting a good amount of diving in. The Xmas/New Year period of 2012/13 absolutely smashed all expectations with unbelievably good weather !!

This is the diving I managed to get in mostly from my boat but some shore diving as well as a trip out with Terrigal Underwater Group:

  • 26/12 - Terrigal Haven
  • 27/12 - 5 Mile, Deadmans Hands
  • 28/12 - Foggy Cave, Fifeshire Reef
  • 29/12 - Jew Grounds, Deamans Hands
  • 30/12 - Seahorse Gardens & Fly Point
  • 1/1 - SS Kiama
  • 2/1 - TV Reef, Boat Trailer
  • 3/1 - Wamberal Fishos, Terrigal Haven
  • 4/1 - Forrester Boulders, Boat Trailer
  • 6/1 - Foggy Trap, Terrigal Haven

The highlight from a diving perspective was the SS Kiama. The Kiama is a collier that sank off the Entrance in 1951, discovered by members of Brisbane Water Aqualung Club back on the '80s and has been a popular dive wreck ever since. The Kiama sits in ~46m out off the Entrance Bommies and the boiler is easily identifiable on the sounder when you are over it. Whilst I had a magnificant dive, the day will also sit in my memory as the first time I have suffered from sea sickness. I have had friends over the years suffer from sea sickness but you never get a full appreciation for it until you have had it yourself.

I had also been speaking with Ivan Millington (Terrigal Underwater Group stalwart and Coxon for Dive Imports Erina) about a reef out off the skillion at Terrigal that he calls Deadmans Hands. With a broad description of what I was looking I went out in the area sounding around until I came across it. We did an exploratory dive on it and it was very clear how it got its name. The reef is quite flat and is absolutely covered in finger sponges that wave back and forth in the surge. The reef has a distinct edge that drops from 27m down to 30m at the sand. All along the small wall is plenty of fixed growth to look at. On our first dive the reef was covered in a large school of luderick as well as another school of bream.

Another day whilst out on Foggy reef I noticed a fish trap in an area of the reef that I had not seen one before. After a bit of a sound around we located some interesting reef structure and a new site we have dubbed Foggy Trap, as we were seriously challenged for imagination ! The reef ranges from 28m down to 32m and there were plenty of fish around. I also found a really cool cover of green coral that had grown over some sponge life and taken on the structure.

An unforgettable holiday at home !!