Australia Photography scuba travel Wildlife

Diving South Australia

A Leafy Sea Dragon at Rapid Bay Jetty. One of the coolest animals I have ever seen. Amazing camouflage.

On a recent road trip between Melbourne and Adelaide we took the opportunity to do a couple of days of diving. In Geelong, just outside of Melbourne we went out for a single tank dive and a snorkel. To be honest, not the best diving we have done in a while. The operators were good and the equipment was good, but “Man!” was the water cold. We certainly have become spoiled over the last couple of years. The water temperature was 11C and even though the 7mil wetsuits did their job there is just no minimising that initial shock as you hit the water. The first dive was at a place called Pope’s Eye. Lots of kelp and fish but between the current and the cold we did not enjoy that dive as much as we could have. Still beats the hell out of working though.

Chinaman’s Hat is home to a colony of Australian Fur Seals.

After the dive, the boat headed over to a snorkel location called Chinaman’s Hat. It was rather humorous seeing a bunch of humans jumping in the water to swim around this structure while a couple of dozen Fur Seals stayed out of the water watching us. One eventually joined us in the water and I was able to get a little bit of video of it as it was playing in the water near us.

Wirrina Cove Marina where we met the dive operator. Very out of the way and quiet.

The best diving by far was when we got to South Australia and met up with Underwater Sports Dive Centre at Wirrina Cove, a bit south of Adelaide, and headed out in their boat “Aladdin”. The rental equipment they provided was top notch and their professionalism was what one expects in a dive operator. Other than the excellent rental gear they brought to the dock for us, the first hint we were in for an outstanding day was the classic rock music coming from the boat as we walked down the jetty. We received a basic briefing before leaving the harbour, then the music was cranked and we cruised out for the short trip to the exHMAS Hobart dive site.

The briefing at the exHMAS Hobart was fantastic. Complete with diagrams and explanations we knew exactly what to expect and what the plan was before we got in the water. As well, we had two apprenticing dive masters along with the official dive master going down with us. We were very well looked after. I have to admit a slight bit of nervousness went through me when I realised Karen and I were the only two without any type of personal anti shark devices on our bodies. The apprentice dive master explained that he had one that was intended to cast a wider range of protection. It was not until later that I learned that the effectiveness of this technology is still being discussed. It did make me feel better at the time.

Anti shark array. Intended to cause confusion in the sharks target acquisition system.
An Old Wife fish swimming through the kelp on the exHMAS Hobart.

The visibility on the Hobart was a bit limited but it was still an excellent dive. The wreck is in great shape with an amazing amount of sponges and marine life encapsulating it. When we came up from the dive the skipper had the song “Ghost Riders in the Sky” playing over the speakers on the boat. It was the theme song adopted by the crew of the Hobart when she was in service. It rounded out the experience nicely.

Sausage sizzle on the Aladdin. An Australian tradition for social outings and a great snack during the surface interval.

During the surface interval between dives we headed over to Rapid Bay jetty. This site can be accessed from shore but is much simpler from a boat. The old jetty has been abandoned by a mining company and now serves as a fishing and diving destination. The water beneath the jetty is teeming with life and with the columns rising to the surface and the sun casting shadows it becomes an other worldly experience. The dive masters also delivered on finding a Leafy Sea Dragon for us to observe. Certainly one of the coolest animals I have ever seen.

This cowfish was one of dozens of different types of fish we found under the jetty.

With the Rapid Bay Jetty dive being only 8 metres deep it provides the perfect ending to the day. You basically can stay down as long as your air holds out and there is an endless variety of nudibranchs, sponges, fish, and other sea life to entertain you. The video is a brief glimpse at some of the sights we were fortunate enough to take in. Please enjoy.

Welcome to our travel blog. Have you ever wondered what it would be like to say, "I'm out of here?" Well we did, and in 2013 we made it a reality. We sold or gave away all of our possessions other than what fit in our luggage and we set off on an endless adventure. Part of our goal is to share our experiences with others and hopefully provide some information, motivation, or just a moments escape. The general idea was to look for a place that would be ideal to settle down in. However in the meantime it is about experiencing life in different countries amongst different cultures and learning how to understand and appreciate each other. A large part of our time is spent housesitting which provides an excellent opportunity to experience more of the "normal" neighbourhoods as opposed to the tourist locales. Though we make sure to enjoy those as well. So through plenty of photographs and a running commentary come and share with us our life on the road.

4 comments on “Diving South Australia

  1. Adams, Dianna

    Holly crap
    I think you caught a picture of a Mermaid😜

    The picture of the Old Wife fish has a ladies face on the right side of the picture in the kelp. I saw it before I noticed the cool fish

    Awesome post

    Miss you guys

    Dianna Adams

    Sent from my iPhone

  2. Seriously your picture of the Old wife fish has a lady on the right side. Mermaid? No I have not been drinking🐠🐟

  3. Glad you enjoyed the post. Let me know what you are drinking as well, it must be good.

  4. Bryce Sherman

    Hey guys Just catching up on emails this evening. As expected another great post. You getting really good at this …..

    Was that a shark defender “tail” thingamabob? I too would of been a bot concerned without one….

    Cheers and kind regards,

    Bryce Sherman

    On Mon, Apr 11, 2016 at 4:06 PM, Peter & Karen Pecksen wrote:

    > peterpecksen posted: ” On a recent road trip between Melbourne and > Adelaide we took the opportunity to do a couple of days of diving. In > Geelong, just outside of Melbourne we went out for a single tank dive and a > snorkel. To be honest, not the best diving we have done in a wh” >

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