Bare Island dives

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I did my first two dives in Sydney during the weekend. As the local university club I already joined had no dives scheduled I ended up diving with Sydney Dive Academy’s dive club Sea Masters. This worked out quite well, you don’t have to be a club member to participate in shore dives and they only charge you for the tank rental, the guided dives themselves are free.

On Saturday morning we met at the Dive Academy’s shop and after getting tanks and other rental gear for everyone we headed to the nearby Bare Island. This is one of the most popular dive sites in Sydney and there were plenty of other divers there as well. There are several different dives you can do at the site, we ended up diving the South Wall part. Entry and exit on the rocky shore were quite rough due to big waves and the vis was quite poor near the surface. Luckily conditions improved as we got deeper down (max depth was around 17 meters) and it ended up a nice shore dive with lots to see. We saw several nudibranchs, some nice overhangs at the wall and quite a few different fish species (including one really rare one, but I didn’t catch the name or get a photo of it, sadly). Near the end of the dive we were followed by two large (maybe 80 cm long) blue gropers that got pretty close to us.

On Sunday we ended up doing another pretty similar dive near Bare Island. Seas looked calm enough but underwater there was quite bit of current in the beginning and I didn’t have much chance to focus on photography. We headed to South Wall again but this time we turned back later than on Saturday so the dive ended up a pretty long one. I was actually little low on air when we got back to the Island as I was diving with a pretty small tank. On this dive we didn’t see anything that special. The blue gropers were swimming with us again and got really close and personal this time around. The guy leading our dive even started tickling them at one point!

It is nice to dive somewhere where the dive sites are actually right next to the city. While Melbourne has some great dives, the 100+ km drive from the city to the coast can be bit of a pain. And while the site was not quite rich in sea life as the pier dives near Melbourne, there was still lots to see and quite a few fish species I haven’t spotted before.

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