Category

Climate Change in Our Ocean – Part 1

Every year humans pump almost ten billion tonnes of carbon into the atmosphere from the burning of fossil fuels 1 . Most of this carbon is in the form of CO 2 gas, which forms a thin blanket around the earth, holding in the sun’s energy and slowly warming the land, atmosphere and oceans. In Australia, […]

Diving Komodo on Cajoma III

NOVEMBER 2016 The Magnificent Seven (with five URG members) left Sydney early Tuesday with a heavy load of luggage. Overnighting in Kuta, Bali, we flew to Labuan Bajo, in Western Flores, and transferred directly to the boat by 10:00 am. Wednesday 9th After unpacking and sorting gear, we set a course WNW and picked up […]

Dive Sites at North Head

So in reference to the previous description of the conditions at North head, this description is in fact anywhere between North Heads most seaward point and just before Old Man’s Hat. You can dive anywhere along this cliff from a small boat. To find Old Man’s Hat you travel in from the sea along North […]

Dobroyd Head

Where to dive when a strong westerly starts a’blowin? Dobroyd Head that’s where; situated in Sydney Harbour north of Middle Head & west of North Head. It is a pleasant reef dive with max depth approx 14m, so it’s good as a second dive after diving outside the heads. You can choose to stay at […]

Ocean Temperatures

Springtime – so we’re in for warming waters! As our air temperatures begin to climb, so will the ocean temperatures, but ocean temperatures move much less and lag behind. In Sydney, our average water surface temperature range is just 5.2 degrees, from a minimum of 18.5 in September to a maximum of 23.7 in February. […]

Featured Dive: Botany Bay (Heads)

This article was originally published in Nature NSW Botany Bay was originally named Stingray Harbour by Captain Cook when he first landed here in 1770. Cook later renamed it based on “the great quantity of plants Mr Banks and Dr Solander found in this place”. Had Cook been able to strap on a SCUBA tank and mask, he might have remarked that the […]

Walking on the Edge – Rock Platforms

As far as rocks go, you have to love sandstone. Our beautiful sandstone bedrock in NSW gives us our majestic historic buildings, our stunning red-yellow cliffs and our sandy beaches. At the interface where land meets sea, it also gives us a fascinating and sometimes dangerous formation – the rock platform. Rock platforms are formed […]

Rewilding the Ocean

Rewilding is a relatively new concept in conservation. It involves re-introducing previously lost species to an area, for example bringing bison back to the forests of Europe, wolves back to North America and Tasmanian devils back to mainland Australia. Large herbivores and apex predators play important roles in maintaining the wilderness, so re-introducing them can […]

Sydney Marine Park Update

The NSW Government’s process to address the gap in marine protection in the Hawkesbury bioregion continues with the recent release of the Threat and Risk Assessment and Discussion Paper. The Discussion Paper outlines eight initiatives for addressing the threats and risks in the region, including tackling water quality and pollution, user conflicts and “spatial management”. […]

Blue Morwong

Common in NSW inshore and off shore. Silver green not blue but commonly known as Silver Morwong or old rubber lips. Nemadactylus douglasi. Grows to 5.9 kgs and 810 mm but only seen much smaller these day and not as common unless you’re at Shelly or in a marine reserve. Not great eating due to black stomach lining but […]

Shell Harbour

I took the Friday off work to clear out the car, check everything twice and pack our dive gear. You can imagine my surprise when it all fitted in the club car. Soon Janet was home and we set off for Shell Harbour. We went down the M2, M7, M5, M31 and B88 Picton road […]

My (our) last dive

I wrote recently of my first dive and such was the clamour for another in this vein, I decided to do “MY LAST DIVE” or more correctly “THE LAST DIVE of CLARRIE and FAY” my erstwhile buddy since 1980. Last anything, is a hard event to predict. It doesn’t become “The Last” until a reasonable […]

Whelks

Molluscs is one of the most diverse phyla in the ocean; it includes chitons, bivalves (animals with two shells), cephalopods (cuttles, squid and octopus) and gastropods. The class of gastropods used to be called univalves, meaning “single shell” and includes all the snails, limpets and sea slugs. Many sea snails are herbivores, such as the […]

URG History With Weedy Seadragon

This is one of my favourites to find on a dive and a hot topic in URG at the moment due to our research project. They are a member of the Syngnathid family with our Sydney seahorses hippocampus whitei (Whites) and hippocampus abdominalis (big belly). Weedies are easier to find as unlike their smaller seahorse […]

Eastern Blue Devil

Bleekers Blue Devil Fish. Paraplesiops bleekers. A protected fish in NSW waters that lives in deep in caves and overhangs on diveable coastal reefs. Habit is usually very shy except at a certain time when individuals are out and looking around. It is a very colourful fish that looks more like an African Cichlid than […]

One Spot Puller

This is a very common fish on Sydney dives common names One spot puller or one spot chromis. Usually about 150 mm and found feeding in mid water on zooplankton in large schools. Usually right under the boat if we anchor on a rocky reef. Common colour is green grey but some go blue during […]

Weedy Seadragons

Australia has a wonderful assortment of Sygnathids; seahorses, pipefishes and seadragons. All are highly evolved fishes that have lost some classic fish characteristics (like a tail fin for swimming) and gained others (like interesting camouflage and reproduction behaviours). We have two species of seadragon; the leafy which lives in WA, SA and Vic, and the […]

Henry Head, Botany Bay

We had a very pleasant trip out passing a penguin and a seal in Botany Bay. When we arrived at Henry Head on the north side just in from the entrance of Botany Bay there were a few fishing boats. Luckily they were to the east of the dive site so we had plenty of […]

Botany Bay

Six URG members took the boat to Botany Bay. We launched at the big ramp on Foreshore Road Port Botany. It is a short run from there to the heads and the Bay was flat. At the heads the sea was about a meter from the south and a light NE wind was puffing so […]