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Divers greeted by ray, eel, octopus, shovel-nose and port Jacksons

written by Aaron Goodhew – Perth Scuba PADI Divemaster

So last weeks night dive at the river was warm and calm………..last nights dive, Wednesday 17 December 2014……….blowing a gale and pretty damn chilly, just one week on and how different the conditions can be.

Perth Scuba Manta Club Divers at BHP Jetty

We met up at the car park next to the BHP jetty, 10 divers in total. Being as though there was almost 30 knot winds we all talked for a little while on whether the dive was viable? The surface was a bit choppy but the general consensus was that it was worth a go. (more like none of us could be bothered to drive to the river).

Asher was our DMT for the night and kicked off proceedings with an awesome dive brief. Following that we all entered the water, which had calmed down a lot as the wind had dropped off a little.

Swimming out to the jetty we noticed that the visibility was looking pretty good, maybe between 5-7m. On descent we ran into masses of toad fish just chilling out in the shallows waiting for us. As the dive progressed we started to see all the regulars Globe Fish, Octopus, Boxfish and heaps of leatherjackets.

Out at the end of the jetty on the bank Ben Breur was lucky enough to find a huge Nudibranch the likes of which none of us had seen before. We really did just want to hang around and check out every last corner of the jetty but time was against us so we started heading back. This is when it started to kick off……first we had a small and inquisitive ray swim over and check us out, which decided to land on an octopus which quickly made a bolt for it. Shortly after we saw a good size Conger Eel just laid out in the open for us to look at and then continuing our way back we were buzzed by a Eagle Ray which put on a brief show and then swam into the gloom. Thinking the dive was pretty much over we swam out from under the jetty and headed out onto the shallow sand flat where we were greeted by a shovel nose ray and two juvenile Port Jackson Sharks.

Normally around these jetties I see the remains of rays thrown back in by fisherman but on this occasion to see three different species all alive and well was an absolute pleasure.

All the guys who took part had a great dive. It just goes to show its easy to talk yourself out of a dive when things are not perfect on the surface, however once underwater we are rarely let down. I have done a lot of night dives around Perth and for me that really was one of the best.

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