Diving photo albums (to directly jump to the albums click here)

We've only recently bought diving gear and joined the University Underwater Club (UUC), even though we've been in Perth for over three years.

Soon after we bought an underwater case for our Canon Powershot A70, which I'm gonna put to good use.

The links below lead to photo albums of dives we've done, with a small description of the site. If you'd like high res pictures of any of the photo's in these albums (either because you're in it, or because you like the critter), send me an email on bdewaele@bdewaele.be and I'll be happy to oblige.

Enjoy.

Robb Street Jetty (18th December 2004). Accessible on foot (150m to beach) from the parking at the end of Robb Street, where the abattoir South of Fremantle used to be. There's a path off the North end of the parking which leads through the dunes via the old cattle rails to the beach. From the beach, you'll see a statue of a horse about 10m in the water . The old jetty can be located through a couple of concrete stumps along the waterline, leading into the deep. Just step in, swim parallel to the line of the old jetty stumps and go down where it gets deeper than say three meters. You can get a compass bearing on the Jetty so that, once submerged, you can follow the general line of the old jetty. It's easy enough to follow though, there's pipes, stumps and soft coral along the line, with flat sandy stretches on either side. Look out for smooth rays, seahorses, nudibranch, octopus and all sorts of nice fish. Even the blowies are good fun.

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Carnac island dives (23rd January 2005). Accessible using a boat (off course), in our case Tandibiddy of the UUC club. We were ten people, and the skipper used a maritime map and GPS to get us there. The first dive was on 5 fathom reef, apparently popular for crayfishing. The reef lies at 10 m, but may go as deep as 20 m (we were told). The lace is only nice for a dive when the weather is clement, as it's totally exposed to the swells.

We had lunch on the boat in a nice bay on Carnac Island, in the company of 15 or so 'suntanning' sealions (apparently only males, as the females stay further south in Lancelin.

The second dive was just off Carnac Island (I guess one kilometer east of the island). Depth round about 8 m, wonderful caves and overhangs with plenty of life.

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Boy in a Boat Reef (20th March 2005, Hillary's Boat Harbour). Accessible from the shore by parking close to AQWA marine park, and walking along the mole. Somewhere halfway along that mole there's a sign explaining a bit about the reef, which is about 50m off shore. The downside of the dive is that one has to walk, fully geared up, along the mole for 500 meters, and then scramble over the rocks to enter the water (I don't know why Sorrento hasn't had the common sense of building a small set of stairs to help the divers). Exit is pretty much the same, i.e. scrambling out of the water, and struggling with the kit over the rocks. The dive is recommended ONLY on calm days...if there's a swell, the entry and exit are TRICKY. The reef itself has several plaques to explain a bit about the flora/fauna, which is definitely a nice touch. It may be a good idea for divers to take a small scraper along to get rid of the encrustation and be able to actually read the plaques. The reef has a few nice overhangs, and small caves, and lots of fish, some crays and if you look for'em, sea-dragons and horses. A worthwile dive, if the weather is right.

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Wreck trail Rockingham foreshore. Accessible from the beach on the Rockingham foreshore. Ample parking is available on the junction between Flinders Lane and Rockingham Beach Road (there are dolphin statues at the junction, and at the end of the parking, along the foreshore, there's a "floating granite ball" fountain. The parking doubles as "kit-up" area for plenty of divers (the site is immensely popular as a training site). Conditions should be mild, and best time is the morning so that you can be in the water first and see the wrecks in semi-clear water rather than in muddy-silty opaque conditions. The site is marked by a couple of buoys, visible from the shore, the closest about 80 meters out (where the colour of the water turns from greenish to deep blue). The dive is about 12 meters deep on average, with the deepest wreck at about 17 meters. Visibility is best along the 12 meter depth line, gets worse deeper in. There are ropes that mark out the trail, and these are encrusted with soft corals and teeming with sea-horses (if you get your eye in). There are nudibranch, plenty of small fish (Tharwyne, Gobi, Bullseye...) and of course; the wrecks. There are about 4 or five hulls of small ships, and two fuselages of planes. One of the planes is nicely recogniseable and large enough to explore inside-out. A very nice dive if done before it's silted up by learner-divers. Check bouyancy and take a torch...and keep an eye out for the sea-horses

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Wrecks off Jerrat drive (East Fremantle) There are two interesting small wrecks in the Swan River between the East Fremantle Yacht Club and the Sea Scouts. There's easy parking near the intersection of Wauhop Road and Jerrat Drive, next to the Scouts clubhouse. The wrecks are about 100 meters off the bank at a depth of no more than 9 meters and consist of a wooden Chinese Junk, and a small metal barge. To finf the barge bear 37 degrees (magnetic) and swim 66 meters from the western end of the scoutys jetty close to buoy #784. It is the largest wreck, estimated 10-15 meters in length and maybe 4 meters wide, but only rises a maximum of one meter out of the bottom. Nevertheless, it contains lots of small holes and cavities that harbour interesting critters. The Chinese Junk is along a bearing of 63 degrees magnetic, at about81 meters from the western end of the Scouts Jetty, and lies about 30 meters away from the barge. It is smaller, maybe 10 meters by 3 wide, but is more interesting as it rises up to 2.5 meters out of the bottom. The dives are very interesting at night, with lots of wobbygong shark, shrimps, blue manna crabs and some decorator crabs (please don't go there to grab a feed off the crabs, they are far better left there to make the dive more interesting). We also saw two scorpion fish, boxfish and leatherjacket. Please note that between low and high tides, there is a current which may either sweep you ocean- or inland-bound. Choose you timing to be as near a high or low-tide as possible.

map courtesy of Graham

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Garenup wreck (Fremantle North Mole) a wreck is located about 150 off the north mole in Fremantle, lying at 6 meters depth or so (we think it's called the Garenup wreck). The metal hull is quite interesting, as it sticks out quite high from the sandy bottom and has lots of nice cubby holes for creatures to hide. To reach it, one best swims from the destroyed concrete fishing platform along a bearing of 354 degrees (magnetic) for about 190 meters. In good weather, the wreck should be visible from the surface, so snorkeling around to locate the thing is a good approach. The map below shows the location of the wreck with respect to the lighthouse, the toilet block and a streetlight (stlite) as well as the disabled fishing platform. So, another approach would be to swim out along the correct bearing, and take bearings to the streetlight and the lighthouse until you get them right (140 degrees to streetlight and 210 to lighthouse). If all is well you should now be right on top of the wreck. Good luck !!

Yacht wreck and large barge (Blackwall Reach) a very good spot for night or day dives in the Swan River. The yacht wreck is listed on the Maritime Museum lists and must be of some significance. The barge is a relatively large structure with lots of cubby holes and hiding places for fish, octopus, squid or cuttlefish. The site is best reached on the end of Blackwall Reach road (the point cosest to Point Walter). There's good parking right there (and a convenient street light), and it's easy to enter the Swan River via a small sandy beach. Then the fun starts with a 260 meter swim parallel to the shore (the limestone cliff) to buoy number 716, where the barge lies (in between the buoy and the cliff). The barge lies at 14-15 meters, and good buoyancy control is required to keep visibility acceptable. The yacht lies close to mooring buoy 666, and when we dived it, there was a wheely bin next to it.

The yacht is probably quite old, and lies a bit dismembered on the sandy-silty bottom (depth 16 m). The hull, with a nicely preserved winch are nicely recogniseable, and we found sea horses on both occasions we dived it. We also saw cuttlefish and squid.

The barge is a large rectangular structure, open in the middle (collapsed) but still relatively intact at the ends. There's a small dingy at one end, making a bit of a nice additional feature, but most importantly, there's a five meter boat lying about 10 meters away as wll, which we strated calling seahorse city because it contained vast amounts of these critters. Marc stopped counting at 24 during the second night dive, but we must have seen over fourty on the first night dive.

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