Monday, 18 December 2017

Byron Bay - Diving Julian Rocks

So again I know this isn't quite snorkeling and it definitely isn't Sydney but the team at Sundive took us out for a great trip.

Julian Rocks (named by Captain Cook) are a  small bunch of sedimentary rock remains about 3km off Byron's coast. These rocks and the shelter they provide form a unique marine reserve which is home to over 500 fish species. The Bundjalung people of the area believe that the rocks came about when a jealous husband threw his spear at the canoe of his wife and her new lover, the canoe then split in half and formed the two rocks.

After gearing up and going over safety checks we headed out to the primary dive point. The photos aren't great as we were over 20 metres down. As they were quite blue I experimented a little with my black and white colour levels.

A very camoflauged Spotted Wobbegong

The highlight though was a bunch of different Grey Nurse Sharks.

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Coffs Harbour - Snorkelling with Whales and Southern Cross Aquarium

So I know I'm going off brand as Coffs isn't exactly Sydney and not quite snorkelling but over the past few months, I have done a few trips along the coast that were a bit of fun.

During the Easter break, I got the pleasure of going on Jetty Dive's ( first ever whale swim trip. Basically, after a half hour of wet-suiting up, you go out on one of the whale watching boats and jump in a few times with the hope that a whale will be curious enough to come check you out. 

We had plenty of luck seeing them from the boat but the first few times we jumped in we must have scared them off and were left bobbing for a few minutes before getting back on the boat.

However, just when we were about to give up we jumped in with a female Humpback Whale and her calf and were lucky enough to have her swim directly under us.

This experience was definitely one to tick off the bucket list, so if you are ever in Coffs in whale season give it a go. My only warning is that it can feel a little daunting once you have been dropped in the ocean a few km out and seeing the boat head off to a safe distance, though they do give you a shark repellant anklet. 

On this same trip one of my mates who is currently doing his PHD in Marine Ecology gave me the opportunity for an after-hours tour of the Solitary Islands Aquarium ( again something that I would highly recommend. Sorry for the quality of the photos as I was just shooting on my iphone.

Loved the colours on this fella.

Spend awhile watching this Fiddler Ray too 

Lion Fish checking himself in the reflection.

 Though my favourite was definitely the large octopus.

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Shelly Beach Once More

With the temperature starting to drop I thought I would get over to Shelly Beach near Manly one more time. As usual the water was crystal clear and I managed to get a few decent shots.

As always the highlight was the Blue Groper's, I may have gone a little overboard with the amount of photos.

The bay was swarming with little guys too.

A bright Neon Damsel amongst the Mado

As fishing is not allowed within the aquatic reserve, there is a decent population of Bream.

And of course the regulars:

Common Stripey and Mado line up

I liked the reflection of these Indo-Pacific Sergeant's