During the break, I tried to do as many local dives as possible. Although the water was a bit cooler than my most recent diving in Indonesia, we had some great visibility and lots of long, easy dives photographing our temperate waters. It’s always a shock to the system when you first dip your head under and have the cool water run down your neck and back but after surfacing from the first dive of the local summer season, I was itching for more!
I racked up 12 dives, including a couple at Rottnest Island, a couple on the Lena wreck off Bunbury, a dive not on the Orizaba wreck (the coordinates we had were a little off the mark!) and many day and night dives at local shore sites.
The old ammunition jetty, which is a five minute drive from my home, was such a delight with fantastic visibility and lots of critters. The seahorses are in full breeding mode with the males boasting plump pouches of tiny developing babies. An anglerfish couple has moved to the site, generating a lot of interest amongst divers and underwater photographers. And the cardinalfish are also breeding with the males holding thousands of eggs in their mouths for weeks on end. Visibility is not usually good at this site, three to five metres at best on most days. A combination of low swell and sand dumping/dredging not operating over Christmas, meant we had around 15 metres vis on one glorious morning. A great excuse to put the fisheye and dome on the camera rather than the usual macro set-up.
We had superb conditions for a double dive on the Lena wreck. A purpose-sunk dive wreck, the Lena was illegally fishing for Patagonian Toothfish when it was seized and sentenced to be scuttled for diving. Perfect conditions above water provided a glass-off on the surface and excellent visibility below the water. The wreck attracts lots of fish life and we had a big school of baitfish with larger fish like Samsonfish and Trevally chasing a meal. The wreck is largely intact with lots of sponge and coral growth.
I’m hoping to continue the local diving over the coming months although will be limited to weekends and after work night dives.