Words by James Armstrong.
The first joint dive outing between the Adreno Sydney and Brisbane stores, being located at about the halfway point between both locations it seemed the most logical destination to meet up and blow some bubbles.
13 enthusiastic divers, made up of dive enthusiasts from Sydney and Brisbane met in South West Rocks on what turned out to be one of the hottest weekends of the year, to get in the water and engage in viewing the pristine underwater bliss that is Fish Rock Cave.
Lead by Lilli from the Sydney store and me from our Brisbane store, the weather for the weekend was a cracking temperature with a few of us being less than judicious with our sunscreen application and paying the price later one.
The conditions were excellent with two dives on Saturday and two on Sunday planned. The first day of diving we split the groups to avoid crowding. We dived Fish Rock Cave first. As soon as we jumped in the water we were greeted with an abundance of fish life in the balmy 22 degree water, with about 15 metres of visibility.
The cave itself is a unique dive, that requires timing with the surge to prevent being bumped into the rocks as you swim through the wall of bait fish at the entrance. Immediately after entering the cave we noticed the large wobbeging sharks laying on the bottom caring very little about the bubble heads floating above. Keeping an eye out for Nudibranchs, frogfish, cuttle fish eggs and a variety of other species, it’s a dive site that never fails to disappoint.
Perhaps the best part of the dive is exiting the cave. The trench it exits into is often home to an abundance of Grey Nurse Sharks, which is the highlight of the diving there. This trip didn’t have as many as have been seen on previous visits; but they were still awe-inspiring nonetheless. Framed against a backdrop of intense blue light; it would take a strange person to not be transfixed by the beauty of these passive yet intimidating looking fish.
The second dive was in a slightly different section of the dive site with a larger concentration of sharks and some fairly hungry blue grouper. The grouper a particular liking to one of our guides, provided he wrangled a sea urchin to munch on.
Watching a Grouper smash a Sea Urchin to bits for a meal is defiantly something that was delightfully satisfying, and a little hypnotic. It was quite easy to forget about the surroundings while this was happening.
Among the other great critters we saw were some decent size bull rays, spotted moray eels, a bull shark and some eagle rays to name a few.
The first day was followed by the same thing on the second day. Broken up by a team BBQ and a few beers that evening, the dive plan as it should be.