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Trip: Hillary's North Wall

Written by Gemfyre show Gemfyre profile

Thursday March 1 2012 11:45:05 AM

Date: from Mar 1, 2012 to Mar 1, 2012

Dive trip description:

Yesterday I went to another dive store (this one a warehouse, so the prices were excellent) and purchased a rashy and a backpack to carry all my gear in.  

Today I dragged Alison out to the beach.  I decided to investigate the wall of Hillarys Marina because fuel was cheap at nearby Whitfords, and I figured it would be safe and sheltered.

The weed everywhere made me a bit dubious at first, but the water itself didn't look too bad.  Geared up and in I went (OMG cold!)

There was a bit of seagrass growing right in the shallows and lots of chopped up weed floating in the water reducing visibilty, but swimming out a little further things cleared up.

I went out a little way and managed to spot a Western Smooth Boxfish before the hair getting in my face bugged me enough that I swam back for my hood.

I went out a bit further on the second run and spotted a lot of blowies, Silver Drummer and Buffalo Bream as well as plain old Black Bream.  Spotted a very pretty metallic blue fish sitting on a rock... it was a fishing lure.  Also found a lone Old Wife on the way back in.  I was starting to get cold.

Alison however assured me that she was quite content and really, do I ever want to leave the water?  So I went back for round 3.  Passing over the same dead blowfish I'd swum over twice before.  There were HUGE schools of large baitfish over the sand, but I didn't see anything new along the rocks.  I made my way back to shore and got some practice at removing all my kit and putting it in the gear back without everything getting too sandy.  I made myself comfortable and flicked through my fish guide.

IDing fish is really starting to bug me.  I want to cross off species seen in my book, but I consistently find 3 or 4 species that what I saw could have been.  Unlike birding, you can't look back and forth between the fish and the book.  You have to try and remember all the fish you saw while swimming, then look them all up when you return.  And here I am thinking I'm noting distinguishing features - but they turn out to be no help at all!

I saw something I think was a Goodlad's Stinkfish, but it could have been Large-toothed Flathead.  And the baitfish!  I spend ages scrutinising them and trying to memorise their features (of which there are few), and still I end up with 5 possibilities of the species.  Among the main fish there was a small group of more disc shaped, very silvery fish with fine scales - no idea what they were.

I guess it just means I will have to keep on doing it until I get my eye in.  Marie and I will probably head to Boyinaboat Reef on Saturday, and of course Sunday is the Point Peron oddessey.  I may sleep all Monday!

ETA : Made it home just before sunset and set about rinsing everything and hanging it out to dry, which is quite a rigmarole, but made easier by having an easy-to-carry gear bag. Especially in a house with a crap outdoor area and no outdoor lighting. This is one thing that will be vastly improved when I move to Greenmount. I also discovered another pocket in my bag! A back section which seems to be waterproof and also has a hanger for keys. Handy! 

Modified: Friday March 2 2012 06:54:48 AM
Hits: 8220

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