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Night of the Lionfish

written by Luan Hagen – Perth Scuba PADI Instructor


You know that life’s good when after every dive you just want to shout “BEST DIVE EVA!”

Just when I thought that Sunday’s dive at Boyinaboat Reef was going to be a great finale to the month’s diving, good old faithful Rockingham Wreck Trail brings the month’s diving to a fitting conclusion. Most of you are familiar with the site, but at night it’s a whole new world. Beautiful calm conditions and a whisper quiet evening made for promising tidings of the dive ahead.

No sooner had we descended onto the first wreck than it was GoPro’s out for a shot of the resident Lionfish sitting there at 9 metres. Another two metres further a magnificent lionfish opened up its golden-red mane for the photo op and it was time for us to begin exploring in earnest. And what a night for exploration. Some local divers had embellished the trail with cardboard cut outs of bicycles, planes and even a large cut out of a shark held aloft with an upside down drinks bottle.

The chicken coop turned out to be the hiding site of the mysterious and aloof Rockingham garden-gnome, sporting a fine mask/snorkel set if I may say so. The adventures continued, with an enigmatic white eel-like fish that I’m still trying to identify, the usual schools of bullseyes, solitary crabs and even an over-enthusiastic globefish that chased my torch for a good minute before I hid the light and made a quick getaway. And then there were the lionfish, a total of six gorgeous ones that night.

Even the safety stop was fun as we hid our lights at the five metre mark and proceeded to throw glowing balls of bioluminescence at each other and tried to write our names in the glowing stars of plankton. What a night. Bring on November!

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