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Rottnest Island Night Dive

Feb ’11
6:00 pm

Forth time lucky!

Squid hunting at Rottnest Island on Perth Scuba night diveAfter having to cancel the Rottnest Night Dive 3 times in 3 weeks due to bad weather, on Monday we were finally able to get out for a dive. What a great night. The wind was a nice 7 knot Easterly and the swell was only 1 metre so as far as conditions went, you couldn’t ask for nicer.

35 of Perth Scuba’s Manta Clubbies boarded the boat and waited for Nat… who had the Coronas… so we waited, (lucky for you Nat – otherwise we would have been long gone!), After kitting up and having a briefing by Simon (Our over qualified Deckie / Dive master) we headed out to Grouper Caves.

A nice 45 minute trip across gave everyone time to mingle and munch on lollies and prepare themselves for the dive. When we arrived another short briefing and it was time to go. We all jumped in and noticed how warm the water was – we didn’t even need to pee in our wetsuits either…

The water was clear and the dive site was excellent. John had dropped us straight on top of an awesome group of caves and swim throughs. The marine life here was great too. I was naturally diving with Joey and the Praying Mantis which of course was like a disco as soon as it hit the water. Joey firing at every little critter she could find. She was using Trigger fish at Rottnest Island on night dive taken by Johanna Poolthe new Sola 600 Focus light which I thought was really cool! She didn’t need a torch – it was brighter than most of the torches there anyway and when she found a critter to shoot, she switched over to an equally as bright RED filter type light. This allowed her to get right up to the critters without the light freaking them out (apparently they can’t see it), to take her photos. We started off chasing a squid around, then an Octopus about the size of your thumb, Cardinal fish (which this time of year have a mouth full of eggs if you are lucky enough to get a photo of them) – we weren’t this time.

Crayfish eats crab at Rottnest IslandThe colours on the reef around this site were amazing. The photos would be great I am sure! Then we came across a baby Shark in a hole. It was watching everyone swim by, completely unfazed by it all. We also found a very big Cray Fish which was quite happy to come out and have a good look at what we were doing. While it was out of it’s cave it picked up a large shell with it’s front legs and started poking at the little crab inside it. (Joey got a photo of that, and the Crayfish got his feed… poor little crab.

As we left the crayfish… it was hard to do – on a day dive – I would be nursing a 4 kg Cray by now. Still, it lives for another day… We swam away from the Cray and over a ledge just in time to see a baby turtle swim by. It was really cute – and really fast. Joey took chase (She does that) – with the Praying Mantis, flashing madly, the lens she had on the Spanish dancer at Rottnest Island night divecamera was geared up for Macro so it was never going to be a great result… but I think the photo was more for proof that we saw him than anything. He was a faster swimmer than Jo and eventually she gave up and came back to me. In the mean time I had found a bunch of new critters for her to photograph. After the hour, I signaled that we had better go up and meet up with the boat. As we ascended we came across a Spanish Dancer feeding in the light of the boat near the ascent / descent line. Joey started to take more photos only this time, the Spanish Dancer started trying to mate with Joey’s focus light… We both like the focus light… but not as much as the Spanish Dancer did. Joey managed to get some photos VERY Close photos – I’m sure she’ll share them with you in this blog.

We came up from the dive to lots of smiles and happy divers. All had seen so much and had an awesome time. On the way back we all had a drink and talked about the dive and everything we had seen.

It was one of the best night dives at Rottnest and everyone agreed that we’d have to do it again soon. Keep posted on that one – we will be doing another one in a couple of weeks.

If you missed out this time and would like to be notified when the next one is running, Please let me know by email at [email protected] and I will make sure you are advised of the date and time.

Let’s hope the weather is spot on FIRST time around this time.

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