Pier dives: nudibranchs and spider crabs

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The great boat dives in mid-September got my hopes up but unfortunately the great conditions didn’t last and rest of the month turned out quite windy. Luckily many of the Port Phillip shore dives are well protected from most winds so there’s usually at least some options for a sheltered dive. At 14 degrees water was still quite cool for most divers so it was just Walson and me heading out on the 29th.

We had picked Blairgowrie and Rye piers as the dive sites. Blairgowrie is a safe choice in most conditions as the sea wall at the outer edge of the pier blocks most of the waves. Despite the fairly strong winds we had an excellent long dive there in great conditions and good visibility.

There was also plenty to see, including lots of nudibranchs, a few seahorses and a couple of stingrays too. Out of the nudibranchs the Hedgpeth’s dorids were the most common sight. I managed to get some great shots of them.

The second dive at Rye wasn’t as impressive and the conditions were bit choppy, especially in shallower water. Our visit to the artificial Elsa’s Reef near the pier was disappointing too, the structure has more or less fallen apart by now. A big shame, it was a nice addition to a rather short pier dive.

The main highlight of this dive were the numerous spider crabs. There were quite a few of them around and I managed some nice closeups of them. Obviously this wasn’t a full crab migration or anything close, just a dozen or so spider crabs hanging around the pier. A great distraction on an otherwise average dive.

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