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Seahorse highlight at Point Walter night dive

written by Dominic Ngu – Perth Scuba PADI Instructor

Upon arriving at the designated Point Walter car park at 18:45 on Wednesday 30 July 2014, Josh H, Amy and Clive were completing final preparations with their scuba kit already assembled.  At the stroke of 19:00, Josh B, Matt and Mitchell arrived.  A slight but brief drizzle also decided to welcome everyone.

Perth Scuba Manta Club Dive Point Walter 30Jul2014-2

 Once everybody’s scuba set was fully assembled and exposure suits on, a dive briefing was completed.  With all 6 divers new to Point Walter, and a couple new to Night Diving, we also covered all precautionary general night diving regulations, including torch signals, orientation and basic navigational skills.  With buddy pairs being organised, everyone decided to dive as a group.

We made our shore entry on the right side of the pier, where our dive flag was set up.  The initial descent was to a shallow 2.5m, with a large school of swan river Wallace’s hardy-heads straight ahead.  Waters were a cool 16C.  We made our way leisurely under the pier.  Amongst the colony of blowfish were the regular blue swimmer crab inhabitants, and my personal site highlight, sea horses.  With Matt having a catch bag for his first time, we bagged a few good sized crabs.

 The sea horses were quite well spread out within the shallow waters of approximately 50m around the pier.  With the exception of the oily looking layer due to the thermocline, visibility tonight was above average in excess of 6-7m.  After an easy 20 minutes under average depths of 4m, we made our way out into deeper waters to a maximum depth of 11.5m.

Prawn sizes improved from small 40mm to much larger prawns measuring in excess of 100mm.  Moon jellyfish were around in greater than anticipated numbers.  With far less marine life to be found at greater depths, we proceeded back into shallower waters within 10 minutes.  Other highlights included a few docile leatherjackets, mantis shrimps, spider crabs wandering around a huge starfish.

 With an anticlockwise dive path, we closed in on the pier once more.  Great credit to every diver on their neutral buoyancy skills and consistency throughout the dive.  Another experience tonight was hovering just above the clouds of cladophora seagrass.  There were plenty of sea horses, starfish and juvenile crabs scattered throughout.

 After a relaxing 45 minutes in the waters, we all surfaced safely and debriefed briefly at the car park and called it the night.  Thank you to all who attended…looking the part in your new Scuba Pro gear!!! : )  Josh H, Josh B and Amy, hopefully you do get to dive at Rottness this weekend.  Enjoy!


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