Saturday, May 11, 2013

Scuba Diving

Julian Rocks
Not only did I bring all my camping gear to Australia, I also brought my scuba fins, snorkel, and mask. Since I was coming to the home of Great Barrier Reef, I assumed I would be  going scuba diving at some point. After three months of stowing my gear in my closet, I broke it all out and went diving last Saturday. I'm not going to make it to Great Barrier while I'm here but I did go diving at another popular spot here in Australia: Julian Rocks. This spot is located a few clicks offshore of Byron Bay and has a great range of biodiversity because cool and warm waters meet in this area. Above-water, the rocks are sparsely vegetated and a resting spot for some birds (I'm really not sure what they were...).

Julian Rocks is really awesome! Despite the bleak conditions above-water, underwater visibility was about 12m. I saw heaps of great marine life including wobbegong and leopard sharks, butterfly fish, spotted grubfish, Moorish idols (I'm pretty sure "Gill" from Finding Nemo was a Moorish idol), and loggerhead turtles! I didn't have a camera with  me because mine is only rated to 10m depths and we went about 12m down. As we were practicing skills in the sand, I almost disturbed a resting wobbegong shark with my fin which would have been interesting.

Since I don't have any underwater photos of my own, here are some photos from Google:

Wobbegong shark:
 leopard shark:
loggerhead turtle:
We actually saw three turtles over the two dives, two swimming and one resting on the bottom. One of the turtles was massive and our guide estimated it to be at least eighty years old. 

Moorish idol:

I saw tons of other fish as well and a lot of neat sea squirts, corals, sponges, and anemones. It was wonderful and I definitely recommend it. If I could go again, I'd just float above one area and watch everything move around me. There were so many small fish and other organisms running around that it would have been awesome just to watch them for a while. If you're ever in the area, I definitely recommend diving Julian Rocks. Even snorkeling when visibility is good would be rewarding.
Julian Rocks as we approached

1 comment:

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