Dive 292: Camp Cove, Watsons Bay (NSW)

Dive time: 00:47:00
Max depth: 5.8 metres
Temperature: 22 C
Visibility: 5 metres
Buddy: Lisa Godden

It has been almost two years since my last shore dive in Sydney. In that time I’ve dived in Thailand and the Philippines, forgetting that we have such easy and accessible diving right in our own city. Especially if you have all your own gear, it’s a matter of driving to the designated site, getting geared up, and just walking in off the beach or diving in off rocks!

Today’s dive at Camp Cove was the first Sydney dive in a while for myself and Lisa, and the first time in a long time that we’d dived together. Thankfully we arrived before 9am to score a parking spot in the car park because it quickly filled up. After minor mishaps for us both with our gear (I must remember to keep an allen key in my kit!), we waded off the beach into the water.

We swam across the sandy bottom and patches of sea grass, spotting a very cute little baby cuttlefish along the way, before we came across the reef. The reef is a series of long wedges of rock jutting up from the sand about a metre high. We saw a common stingray, a few big toadfish, red goatfish, large red morwong, a fat chromodoris nudibranch, quite a few small silver bream, schools of eastern pomfrets, mado, cute juvenile leather jacket, and a green moray eel that came out for a swim. I almost landed on top of a scorpionfish when I saw a boat going overhead and attempted to flatten myself on the bottom.

My mask kept fogging up, which meant that I was leaking water in it every 5 minutes to swish it around before having to clear it. We popped up inside the northern sea wall but a bit too early, so swam around the old Sydney Water Police wharf back to the beach. It was a nice relaxing dive and it felt great just to get back in the water.

Dive 291: West Escarceo to Hole In The Wall, Puerto Galera (Philippines)

Dive time: 00:47:00
Max depth: 18.9 metres
Temperature: 27 C
Visibility: 20 metres
Buddy: Steve
Surface interval: 17:23:00

This was our last dive in Puerto Galera and it was a fantastic summary of everything we’d seen here. Beautiful reef with abundant fish life. As soon as we descended, we saw a green turtle, which started swimming off into the blue. Our dive guide Huw also showed us an electric clam hiding under an overhang, which had bright red tentacles and sparkled with blue electricity like a disco ball.

We also saw a mantis shrimp scurrying around the reef, a white eyed moray, two fat jorunna funebris nudibranchs, a batfish, trevally, baby lion fish, a couple of clown triggerfish, and a chromodoris annae nudibranch.

The beginning of the dive was a bit painful since I found it difficult to equalise my left ear but it got better as the dive went on.

Dive 290: Sabang Point to Monkey Beach, Puerto Galera (Philippines)

Dive time: 00:46:00
Max depth: 22.3 metres
Temperature: 28 C
Visibility: 20 metres
Buddy: Alan and Angela
Surface interval: 02:13:00

Another relaxing reef dive, where we drifted along the reef from Sabang Point back to Monkey Beach. Sadly we didn’t see the turtle in the same spot as we did yesterday, however we did see lots of fish life on the reef, including a pretty juvenile sweet lip, a ball of cat fish, many cleaner shrimp, a white eyed moray eel, giant pipefish bobbing its head up and down from the sand, lion fish, a clown triggerfish, and a few big trevally.

Dive 289: Sabang wrecks, Puerto Galera (Philippines)

Dive time: 00:46:00
Max depth: 19.8 metres
Temperature: 29 C
Visibility: 20 metres
Buddy: Steve
Surface interval: 02:10:00

This dive was pretty much right out in front of the dive shop in Sabang Bay. There were three small wrecks, including a pretty intact yacht. The wrecks had a fair bit of coral and sponge growth, and lots of fish calling them home. We saw a lion fish, a very cool mantis shrimp, 4 razor fish pretending that they were some sort of sea grass, a school of bat fish, and a moray eel with many cleaner shrimp as company in the engine block of one of the wrecks.