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Night dive at Rockingham Wreck Trail

Aug ’11
7:00 pm

Written by Joey Pool

Myself, Greg, Nathan, Jo¬†& a heap of the Perth Scuba Crew headed down to the Rockingham Wreck Trail to gear up for a night dive. We’d heard rumours that the viz was looking exceedingly good for the trail and we wanted to check out if the whispers were true.

We met in the car park at 7pm on the dot… Well, most of us – Hi Jo! :) And then kitted up our gear, cameras (including Greg’s awesome Nauticam D90) and even prawn nets. Everyone was rugged up with as much neoprene as possible, and luckily I was in my Everdry drysuit, soooooooo warm! I got a few comments “wimp”, “lame”, and then others I can’t mention on a PG rated site ;) But, I think I can take a bit of name calling knowing that my tootsies were going to keep their feeling on this dive!

After throwing on our gear we headed down to the water and – OMG! – as we waded in I could see the ripples on the sand bed under the water. Yippee! The guys were right, the water was clear! We waded out to the marker bouy that identifies the first wreck and dropped down quickly to check out what we could see. We were soon upon the first wreck and we could see so much. My torch picked up the colours of the soft corals and I could even make out the far end of the wreck (miraculous for the Wreck Trail!). The wreck was covered in decorator crabs, leather jackets and even a friendly box fish. After exploring this first wreck for the first 20 minutes we headed off down the ropes to the next.

Along the way I must of seen a dozen sea horses, all very friendly and not turning away from our red spot lights. Their little eyes are sensitive and if trying to take their portrait they’ll turn away from white light. When Greg and I used our Sola’s on their red LED setting the little guys & girls just stared straight at us. Brilliant for some great shots of the seahorses.

After playing with the seahorses and other curious critters we found along the way, including another fat friendly box fish, we reached the first of the planes. The plane was covered in lots of life. There was a sleepy Sargeant Baker hiding in the coral on top, a big Cobbler perched inside the plane, a little old wife milling about, and lots of bait fish skittering around at the edges of our torch light.

Greg made the signal that it was turn around time (gees, Greg you forgot to fill you cylinder???) and we headed back along the lines waving to all the seahorses along the way. When we reached the first wreck again there was a juvenile batfish milling around and Greg took good advantage of his wide angle lens and fired off a couple of shots.

We all re-grouped in the carpark and marvelled at the things we all saw. Those that had gone further than we photographers came across octopus, lionfish, and even Port Jackson sharks! All in all it was a great night and we’re looking forward to the next night dive. Fingers crossed the viz holds out!

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