Monday, 19 October 2015

Little Bay 19 10 1015

Thought I would change it up today and visit another of my other favourite snorkel points on offer. Little Bay! One of Sydney’s best undiscovered spots; it is a relatively secret beach that’s mainly popular with the elite locals whose mansions surround the beach and golf club. It is an extremely well protected beach, making it a good choice on windy days; as it is rarely affected by swell. The crystal clear, calm waters are also ideal for newbies.

Almost got the place to myself.

Although Little Bay isn't home to the bigger guys often spotted at other Sydney beaches, it more than makes up for it with arrays of colourful coral, schools of small guys, and some exotic fish you wont  usually find elsewhere.

I recommend jumping in just to the left of the wooden stairs that you enter the beach from and hugging the rock circle and slowly cutting laps. Make sure to check under rocks because this beach is home to plenty of shy guys.

Normally I don't care much about the plant life around me when I am snorkeling, as I am quickly distracted by the creatures, but I have to admit that Little Bay's kelp forests and variety of corals are worth paying attention too.

As Little Bay's fish are typically a lot smaller than some of Sydney's other beach's, my photos probably wont do it justice; but rest assured it is worth a look. Below are a couple of the schools I found today.

A school of mado out for an afternoon swim 
Juvenile Southern Maori Wrasse

These Black Tipped Bullseye's love to school in dark spots under rocks and ledges, and then venture out at night for food. I often find it unnerving when doing a swim through an underwater cave to come across a big family of them ... and their big eyes.

Before long I came across a bit of a treat, a decent sized Old Wife. I spent about ten minutes trying to get a decent shot. Sadly she did not seem too keen on having her photo taken, so this was the best I came up with. The name Old Wife is a bit of a lighthearted slur, as the sound this fish's teeth make when caught apparently sounds like an old wife complaining. 

Next up I came upon an unmistakable tail, I gave it a yank and got a couple of great shots of a decent sized (maybe 2m) Spotted Wobbegong. Although they are generally placid you have to be careful as I have heard stories of them taking on snorkelers who come too close to their hiding spot. The word Wobbegong comes from the Aboriginal language meaning shaggy beard.

After the highlight of such a great looking shark, the rest of the swim had a lot to live up too. Though I did score a couple of good shots of a Sea Hare.

Tailed a school of Squid.

 Grabbed a couple of free golf balls (no doubt from the nearby course).

 Couldn't quite name a black reef fish with neon spots.

Edit: These guys are called White Ear's (Parma Microlepis)

 And shot an obligatory 'arty' shot.

 What can I say but another great day underwater :)

Why don't I ever look great when struggling for air?

Pros of Little Bay:
  • Public toilets and showers
  • Very rarely populated; definitely a hidden gem
  • Awesome coral and kelp forests
  • Great visibility most days
  • Beautiful surrounds
Cons of Little Bay
  • No lifeguards - not much of an issue as it is a tame beach
  • Parking can be a struggle, especially on weekends as there is no dedicated car park. Though there are plenty of buses which come this way, which drop you at the nearby shops (maybe a 300m walk)
  • Bit of a lucky dip spot- some days I come across things I have never seen before and others I will spend an hour finding nothing but mado's and bream

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