I’ve dived on the Great Barrier Reef before, but never anywhere else in Australia, so I figured a couple of days in Sydney would be educational. Today I did two dives at a site called Voodoo, a little south of the city on the outside of Botany Bay. The first dive went out to a rather nice archway with a big school of fish hanging in it, and a beautiful encrustation of jewel anemones on the rocks. Sadly I have no pictures of this dive as I didn’t trust my camera housing to still be water-tight, so took the housing without the camera in it.
Having determined that the housing was OK, I added the camera gear on the second dive. The visibility was excellent, and we never seemed very deep, despite getting to 18m in the middle of the dive. The highlight was seeing large numbers of Port Jackson Sharks. These were incredibly docile, to the point that my buddy picked one up without it reacting at all. Apparently it’s the end of the mating season, so perhaps they are all exhausted!
I also got to add to my collection of deadly Australian animals with the very attractive stonefish (much more photogenic than the snake, but surprisingly difficult to spot). I’d include the shark in the list, except that the Port Jackson ones don’t even have proper teeth!
Underwater photography is very difficult especially close to shore where you are pushed around by the waves. As a result, pictures of fish are often out of focus, or are pictures of where the fish was just a moment before. This is an excellent reason to take lots of pictures of stationary objects like starfish, of which there were lots.
At the end of the dive we came across a large octopus trying to hide in a rather small hole. Octopi are one of my favourite sea creatures, so naturally I took a picture. For those who can’t figure out what they’re looking at, he’s upside down with his suckers on the rock, his two eyes in the middle, and his mantle at the bottom, with his siphon visible on the left.