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Cottesloe night dive filled with critters

The club night dive on Wednesday 29/4/15 was planned for Cottesloe reef, conditions were looking good with the lack of sea breeze and low swell. This is a very shallow dive site but we were diving right on high tide so 6m depth was possible.

I first drove to the spot were I normally dive Cottesloe reef, which is the section immediately south of the rock groyne on the main beach. However there were no divers in sight???? After checking online I realised that the Perth Scuba meeting point is opposite Beach Street, around 1km to the south!!! Maybe I should have read that first! haha.

Anyway…… after meeting with the 8 keen divers we geared up on the lawn area above the beach, following my brief we headed down to the water. There was a lot of seaweed in the shallows which made the entry a little tricky as we couldn’t see the submerged rocks. Once we got into slightly deeper water we inflated our bcd’s and did a surface swim over the small rocky patches and then made our descent in about 2m of water. We first headed West mainly over weed patches and broken reef with very little fish life around. We then headed South once in about 5-6m of water. The visibility was pretty good, probably around 6-8m which made it easy for the guys in my group to stay together and follow me.

As the reef structures improved so did the marine life, however there was a bit of surge so most of the fish were hiding in pockets in the reef. This was cool as it made us have to look a little harder. We saw a good sized octopus and a large group of juvenile Striped Catfish in one hole in the reef. As the dive progressed we found Crayfish, Nudibranchs, Sea Sweep, Banded Sweep, Silver Drummer, Old Wife, Western Talma, Damsel Fish, Scalyfin, Red-lipped Morwong and a lone stingray. The best find of the dive was by Dan who spotted a huge Cuttlefish which quickly hid under a ledge, well spotted for your first night dive!

We then turned around and basically just headed north but slightly closer into the beach so as not to cover the same ground. On the way back we found an archway formed in the reef which was really cool, and plenty more of the critters we found on the way out.

All in all another great night dive. It was awesome to get a night dive in north of the river. Keep an eye on the weeks to come as we will try and get a few more in, conditions permitting. Next week we are heading to the BHP jetty for more fun in the dark……last time we were there we had an epic dive with heaps of Rays, Port Jacksons, Shovel Nose Rays and everything else you can think of!!!

Written by Aaron Goodhew – Perth Scuba PADI Dive Master

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