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Port Jackson Sharks Highlight on Ammo Jetty night dive

written by Dominic Ngu – Perth Scuba PADI InstructorPerth Scuba Manta Club Dive Ammunition Jetty 06Aug2014-1

Wednesday 8 August 2014 Having arrived 2 minutes later after visiting the wrong car park, Perth Scuba’s reliable regular diver, Forge, was all ready with equipment set up next to the 4WD.  After visiting the adjacent car park, seems like it was just going to be just the 2 of us.  Vehicle after vehicle rolled in, but all came out with fishing equipment in hand.  5 minutes after…yes, we have another diver tonight!  Welcome Katherine. Ha haaaaa!

With everyone’s scuba unit set up, we completed our dive briefing.  Forge was the only diver who had night dived this site, and being a great Divemaster in the making, we were in good hands.  ; P  Our buddy checks sorted out a few minor weights and air supply corrections, before we made our way to the shores.

The tide was slow with very mild waves combing the shores.  We made our entry into the waters from the left hand side of Ammunition Jetty.  The game plan was to dive a clockwise route and stay under jetty, with plenty of fishermen above.  Our descent was made at 2.1M.  Visibility was a murky white 1-2 m which improved very slightly in deeper 16C waters.  Being in shallow waters and waves swaying us whilst near TH jetty pylons, we proceeded into deeper waters.  Kath’s torch shut down, but with Forge and I carrying a spare torch, we continued with the dive.

After approximately 6 minutes, and not another pylon in sight for a couple more minutes, we were clearly not under the jetty anymore.  There was a left to right current drifting us across and right hand side of Ammo Jetty.  Looking upwards, one could see the vague light shades over our left shoulder.  After moving back under the jetty’s darkness and realising after my dive buddies weren’t behind, nor dive lighting in sight, we initiated missing buddy procedure as briefed, 14 minutes into the dive.

Forge and Kath surfaced a few minutes after, surface swam back under the bridge, and made our 2nd descent.  With the present current, I changed to an anticlockwise dive path, staying on the left hand side of the pylons on the way out at all times.  Despite the poor visibility, we could still observe and spot a fair variety of marine life.  Forge had a fantastic LED dive torch which helped.

Our highlight was definitely at least 3 Juvenile Port Jackson sharks waddling calmly in 7m waters.  Our presence and lights never unsettled the docile creatures as they swam around within a very confined area.  Going around the jetty, we came across seahorses, snapper, boxfish, blowfish, squid, starfish, crabs, mussels, goatfish, and a solitary octopus peeking out the end of a tube.  The pylons were wrapped with sponges.

On the downside, were plenty of junk including bottles, fishing tackles, rods and camping chairs.  Perth Scuba has confirmed a clean up day under Ammunition Jetty as one of the club dive in October.  So any diver reading this, please do come along for a dive and a good cause!  Did somebody mention BBQ too?  :)

After a 41 minute dive, we made our way back safely to our vehicles.  Though visibility was poor tonight, there was still plenty to be seen and enjoyed.  Have to be cautious of loose hooks and tackle around, but a good dive site in small numbers as certain areas under the jetty can be rather narrow.  Thank you to Forge and Katherine for coming, and see you soon!

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