Sunday 6 July 2008

After a month of poor weather, I finally got to go for a dive yesterday. The dive was at Shiprock on Port Hacking, which is a very popular dive site, well protected from rough seas. I remember doing a night dive there some time in the early 1980s but don't know exactly when as I don't have it logged.

From reading the information on Michael McFadyen's site about Shiprock, I knew there'd be a wide range of subjects of different sizes and so my versatile 18-55mm would be the best lens for the dive, especially if the visibility was not all that good. I would be using my new dual TTL sync cord for the first time, not that it would be much different from the old one, other than the cable protectors. I also used my new tray spacers for the first time.

I was diving with David and Zan from St George Underwater. We geared up at Shiprock Road and made our way down the very steep track to the dive site. We waded out into the water, put on our masks and fins and headed out for the dive. The water was pretty cold and the initial visibility was not very promising, although it improved to at least 5 metres once we descended.

There is a wall that runs parallel to the shore line and we followed it to the south west until the tide turned and then headed back to the entry point.

One thing about this site that I certainly don't remember is the huge number of colonies of soft corals, mostly Carijoa sp. and the number of colonies of ascidians of Sycozoa cerebriformis. The latter appeared in a range of colours from red, through to orange and yellow.

Soft coral, Carijoa sp.
One of the colonies of Carijoa sp. that were so common.

Colony of ascidians, Sycozoa cerebriformis.
An orange colony of asidicans, Sycozoa cerebriformis.

In some spots along the wall, some beautiful fan works were quite common.

Sabellid fan worm
One of the sabellid fan worms.

On the way back I spotted a tiny seahorse, Hippocampus whitei that had swum off the bottom.

White's seahorse, Hippocampus whitei
White's seahorse, Hippocampus whitei.

Right near the end of the dive I saw a couple of octopus, Octopus tetricus.

Sydney octopus, Octopus tetricus
Sydney octopus, Octopus tetricus.

Overall, it was pretty good dive and I got some nice photographs. For more photographs and more information about the dive, see the dive log.

Please leave Feedback if you have any comments or questions about this blog entry.