Snorkeling in Brighton and Black Rock & some split shot experiments

The new dome obviously had to be taken for a test run. Despite the fairly windy conditions on Wednesday I packed my snorkeling gear and headed down to the coast near the city. The weather was superb apart from the wind, sunny and quite warm for late March.

I started out my trip in Middle Brighton. I had originally planned to check out the area around the Brighton Sea Baths as Academy of Scuba has a dive marker for the area. Unfortunately I couldn’t find a good spot for a snorkel and the water looked very shallow at low tide. Maybe further along the jetty would have been better but I gave the spot a miss this time around. I ventured south along the coast instead and after a short walk arrived to Brighton Beach. There’s a small protruding point there right at the northern end of the beach and as I saw few others snorkeling there I decided to hop in.

While not terribly impressing, there was still plenty of shallow reef to explore. I also spent a fair bit of time practicing split (or over-under) shots, a perfect way to test the dome repairs. Windy conditions were not really the best for this but at least the dome performed well and pretty much all the damage was gone from the photos. Job well done!

Fish life was not quite as good as earlier in the year, northern end of the Port Phillip Bay is usually fairly busy in the Summer and then in the colder months most fish move elsewhere. Still, there were some to be seen, including a big adult flathead. Sadly he kept moving away whenever I got close enough to take a photo. After a few attempts I gave up as chasing fish rarely works.

After my first dip I kept on walking southwards along the beach and had another stop at the South Road, one of my popular snorkeling spots as it’s right next to the Brighton Beach station. There was even one guy preparing for a solo dive. He looked like a pretty experienced diver so there was no need to go in to lecture mode. 🙂 Unfortunately vis was somewhat poor, so I didn’t spend too much time in the water. Still there were some interesting small reefs and some old junk in the water. One of these days when the vis is decent I need to go out and also look for that bommie that’s supposed to be further out there.

The third site I had planned to check out was the Sandringham Pier. Unfortunately once I got there the place didn’t really look suitable for snorkeling. So I moved along and walked all the way to Black Rock. I geared up near Red Bluff and waded in. At first it seemed I had missed the better reefs in the area, but as I got closer to the rocky outcrop under the Red Bluff things got lot better.

There’s lots of nice reefs down there and I took my time taking some more split shots. The shallow reefs and the Red Bluff in the background are a nice combination for a good split shot, unfortunately wind had picked up and waves messed up most of my shots. I also saw a few stingrays in the area, but didn’t manage any decent shots.

As the bottom stayed quite interesting even after the Red Bluff I continued all the way to the Black Rock jetty. Along the way there were some big beds of sea stars and lots of those white worms whose name I never remember. 🙂 Too bad the Jetty itself was not quite as interesting as last time I was there. I didn’t spot any nudibranchs this time around, but at least there was a seahorse on one of the pylons and I managed a few ok shots of the jetty itself.

Three snorkels was enough for a day, so I packed up my kit and headed to Sandringham Station and home. It was a nice to be out in the water, too bad with the windy conditions I didn’t really manage any great shots. At least the dome performed really well and the repairs seem to have succeeded quite nicely.

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