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Jerrat Drive club dive

Last Wednesdays night dive (8/9/15) was at Jerrat Drive East Fremantle, in the river. Spring has landed and we had an awesome turnout of 16 divers. This meant parking was at a bit of a premium and we had to park some cars on the grass.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe had plenty of familiar faces amongst us with a couple of other Instructors and Divemasters coming along for the fun too.

I did the briefing which for over half the group was definitely pretty important as they hadn’t dived at this location before.

Personally I really rate this dive site as possibly the best in the river,although you really do have to know how to navigate it to make the best of it. I had 4 guys with me, a couple new to night diving and all of them hadn’t dived the site before.

Once the relatively large group of us made the clamber into the water on the old boat ramp we surface swam to the jetty, from here you can set your bearing to find the first wreck. Once underwater we found there was a good sized silt cloud kicked up from all of us. I managed to navigate my guys through it and we headed out to the first wreck, that being the landing craft.

Once on the wreck the vis was pretty good at around 6-8m so it was easy for us to spread out a little. We saw everything you could think of. Leatherjackets, Boxfish, Cobbler, Seahorses, Flatheads, Gobbleguts, some really really cool Nudibranchs one was white couloured and only the size of my little finger nail. We also saw a huge Cuttlefish hiding under the wreck.

From here we moved off in search of the Chinese Junk, after not too much time we found it and again were greated with good vis and an abundance of marine life. There were huge Blue Swimmer crabs and more and more of everything we had seen on the first wreck. I always look really closely at this wreck as I have found a Blue Ringed Octopus here on four previous occasions. This time I wasn’t so lucky.

We then headed back in the direction of the shore to have a look on the sand bank for anything interesting. Shortly after leaving the wreck out in the open on a flat patch of silt we came across a solitary Blue Ringed Octopus. It was tiny probably smaller than the top of a coke can. I gently touched it with my pointer in an attempt to make it light up for the boys, however all it did was shoot rapidly towards me which was not ideal. We let him settle down again on the bottom and checked him out for a little while before leaving him alone to go on hunting in the dark.

On the bank in shallower water the vis wasn’t quite as good but nonetheless it was awesome with scores of seahorses under and around the jetty along with a monster Flathead.

All of us were beaming ear to ear when we came up and it truly was a memorable dive. I cant wait to go back. Unfortunately a couple of the other guys didn’t has as good dive having found neither of the wrecks. This just goes to show how effective good navigation can be at assisting you in having a good dive. Some of the guys absolutely cleaned up on the crab side of things with heaps of good sized Blue Swimmers.

This divesite definitely hasn’t gone down in my estimations and I look forward to going back.

written by Perth Scuba PADI Instructor Aaron Goodhew

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