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South Cottesloe delights with good visibility underwater

South Cottesloe delights with good visibility underwater

Wednesday 25 September 2019

A trip to Freo dog beach on Tuesday night had me brimming with hope of a fantastic next evening at South Cottesloe, but despite no real pickup in wind, the following day’s swell increased and the surface was looking very choppy on arriving at 18:30. Added to the meter thick layer  of washed up sea weed in places along the shore line, it was amazing that the visibility turned out a decent +5m on entry and all four of us kept together easily throughout the 75 minutes.

South Cottesloe night dive
Sting ray with big eyes!

With 18oC in water, thank goodness the inshore sea temperatures are finally increasing! It was a bit sloppy going out over the reef, but very manageable and we were soon enjoying the bomb holes and ledges that make this a fabulous shore dive and on a par with parts of Rottnest without having to drive down to the arguably slightly better shore alternative at Point Peron.

Nudibranch interspecies relations
Nudibranch interspecies cuddles

Past the reef and out over the sand in 8.5m with 6-7m viz we encountered an uncommon Yellow fin Leatherjacket, Sparsely Spotted and Masked Stingarees, Octopuses (or is that Octopi?), Talma and a not often seen full grown Brownspotted wrasse, easily mistaken for a Baldchin wrasse. A beautiful white giant seapen made for a great photo opportunity and creativity with some lighting effects. 

Whilst upside down and headfirst in a hole, what I first thought was a catfish turned out to be a Largetooth Beardie, a type of Ling with its single large chin barb – and a new tick on my species list. Heading back over the reef we scored a Western Red Scorpion, Banded Sweep, two species of nudibranch and despite a concerted four abreast hunt, the Weedy Seadragons were keeping well hidden tonight. All up, a great night.

Martin Crossley – PADI Instructor


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