Our first day of diving was at the Naval Pier. Built to accommodate the needs of the US Navy in the Cold War era the Pier is now home to an enormous amount of fish. We had booked in advanced via the net to do a day and night dive here. We met at the dive store, kitted our gear up and loaded it on the trailer. It was then off to the Naval base to get the key (since the 11Sept. attacks access has been restricted), and twenty minutes later we arrived at the pier. We drove out to the end of the pier and got ready for our dive, we had heard a lot about the fish life here, but it not until you get in the water that you realize just how special this place is. We uncounted hugh school's of Sweet Lip, Trevally, Snapper, that acted like a curtain of fish that was blocking out the sunlight. There were numerous Lionfish & 6ft Whitetip Sharks, Wobbleygong, Octopus, Stonefish, Flutemouth, Frogfish and heaps of Moray eel's. Also heaps of large Cod.
The first dive was so good we enquired about doing another dive, luckily they had some spare tanks on board, so down we went again to marvel at this spectacle of fish life before the tide changed and the current got to strong.
Our night dive was booked for the same night (the only one this week when the tide was slack enough to dive it at a reasonable hour), this was a whole different experience with all the big cods sitting on the ocean floor having a rest and letting you get up nice and close, this enabled us to get some good photo's. The Moray Eels, Octopus and Crayfish also come out of their hiding spots. I however did one of the cardinal sin of photography and forgot to rewind the film before opening the back cover and we lost several shots (all the best one too ;-) ), this is evident in some of the shots that have a red tinge down one side. The only bad thing about the dive was the visibility of only about 6-7m, but with all the fish around there was always something to see. With all the fish life here it is little wonder this is considered one of the best shore dive in the country.
The second day was on the Westside, the weather was fantastic and the sea flat as it gets, we were all expecting a fantastic dive. We were however to be disappointed with visibility of only 3m, and not much fish life except for a huge school of bait fish and a Wobbegong shark.
The third day, we were all hoping for a better dive then we had yesterday. We started the day with a deep dive to 29m at a site called Helga's Tunnels. Upon reaching the bottom we were greeted by a reef totally covered in baitfish, they were everywhere, as we approached they parted to reveal a number of tunnels that made there way through the reef. We followed one tunnel and were greeted by the sight of a Leopard shark sitting at the exit, we all stopped and to appreciate the beauty of this gentle animal. It did however get sick of us after a short time and swam away. There was also a large amount of Lionfish here enjoy a feast on the baitfish. The visibility here was a bit better at about 10m