It's about diving. And cats.

Me diving

Friday, September 6, 2013

Australia: More Diving at Ribbon Reefs 9 and 10

Friday we did another day of diving around Ribbon Reefs 9 and 10.  The first dive was at Cormorant Caves, which was a wall with little inlets, though I couldn't figure out where the "caves" were or what cormorants had to do with the site :)  The wall, which went from about 20' to 100', got quite a bit better after we got a bit further down away from the mooring.  There were a lot of soft corals, though not super colorful.

The second dive was back to Cod Hole.  When we got to there, the spoilsport was already there (really? there are like two dive boats in this entire part of the ocean, and they can't avoid sitting on the same site at the same time?). We didn't do a feeding, but the cod were out, presumably because the spoilsport fed them. There were about four of them wandering around on the sand, so it was much less chaotic than having everyone crowded in one place. Once again we never really made it to the reef. We played with the cod, taking pictures and video.  I even took some pics of Rob with them (though they weren't very good, since I could barely hold the camera up, let alone figure out how to change the zoom level).  Then we looked around at the little coral outcroppings there. Rob found a shark snoozing in a hole, and we also found a huge giant clam (which I think was mentioned in the briefing the first time that we came).

Lunch was pizza and salad.

The third dive was at "Rod's Rock", which I found to be a pretty boring dive. There we a big squat pinnacle, which was fairly ugly on most sides, and some nicer reef off to one side of it. Then there were little coral outcroppings scattered on the sand.  There was a fair amount of current, though you could hide from it in some spots. We didn't manage to hide from it the whole dive though, since we wanted to actually check out the different coral outcroppings, and as a result we (I) got totally worked by the current at some points.  We were told that there were sea snakes here and we had a brief encounter with one right near the end of the dive as we were about to make one last pass around the pinnacle. Wow, those things really look like snakes.  The sea snake was pretty cool, so that probably made the otherwise blah dive worthwhile.

The final dive, at Challenger Bay, was an awesome dive, though I think that was more to do with what we did there than the dive site itself. We were hunting for macro critters, which was great fun. I felt like I wasn't doing a great job of finding critters, though near the end I sort of redeemed myself with a cool flatworm and a new-to-us nudi. We also found tons of pipefish -- Rob found the first couple, and then it was like they were everywhere.  This was a fairly shallow dive, with a gentle slope covered with coral chunks separated by little bits of sand. We meandered all the way to what was described as the end of the site, and back very slowly. It was a fun and relaxing (and long) dive.

Dinner was roast chicken with couscous and ratatouille. Dessert was a super good chocolate tartlet. Just thinking about it gives me cravings.  Then we had to batten down the hatches for a long rough crossing to Osprey Reef. We went to bed at 8 because it was too rough to do anything else :)

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