During January 2015 we spent a couple of weeks in a house at Rye, on the Mornington Peninsula. We were able to dive most days, and a couple of nights, with dives at Rye, Blairgowrie, Portsea, and Flinders.

 

16 January, Blairgowrie Pier

First dive of 2015. William and I spent almost an hour under Blairgowrie Pier, and saw a Bull Ray, a Shaw's Cowfish, Couta, and a large, unidentified school of fish that swam off before I could get close. Collected a few bits of fishing line that was floating in the water. There was a slight current, which made the visibility drop during the dive.

Divers: Peter Batchelor, William Batchelor.
Weather/Sea: 10-15 Kts, flat sea.
visibility: 4-5 metres.
Water temperature: 18°C.
Maximum depth: 6.1 metres.
Time of entry: 09:07.
Duration: 57 minutes.

17 January, Blairgowrie Pier

Dive at high tide, with lots to see. I left my camera in the van, and Kirsty forgot to turn hers on :-)

Divers: Peter Batchelor, Kirsty Batchelor.
Weather/Sea: Calm, flat.
visibility: 5  metres.
Water temperature: 18°C.
Maximum depth: 6.1 metres.
Time of entry: 17:10.
Duration: 49 minutes.

18 January, Blairgowrie Pier

Lots of Ndibranchs, and a couple of sightings of Bull Rays. Amelia was very good at spotting the small animals hiding on the pylons.

Divers Peter Batchelor, Kirsty Batchelor, Amelia Batchelor, William Batchelor.
Weather/Sea: Calm, flood tide.
visibility: 6 metres.
Water temperature: 18°C.
Maximum depth: 5.9 metres.
Time of entry: 16:00
Duration: 62 minutes:

19 January, Blairgowrie Pier

Good dive with Zach - lots of Nudibranchs, a Pygmi Seahorse, Glass Shrimps, a Banjo Shark, Bull Rays, and a large school of what may have been Whiting.

Divers: Peter Batchelor, Zach Rainsford.
Weather/Sea: Calm.
visibility: 5 metres.
Water temperature: 18°C.
Maximum depth: 6.1 metres.
Time of entry: 17:10.
Duration: 49 minutes.

20 January, Blairgowrie Pier

Night dive. Poor visibility didn't stop this being a great dive! Seahorses, juvenile Squid, lots of Feather Duster Worms, Nudibranchs, and even a couple of Seals. Only able to see from pylon to pylon, but that meant that you spent more time looking at the life along the curtain of woodwork that runs along the edge of the pier

Divers: Peter Batchelor, Amelia Batchelor, William Batchelor, Zach Rainsford.
Weather/Sea: Calm, flood tide.
visibility: 3 metres.
Water temperature: 18°C.
Maximum depth: 4.9 metres.
Time of entry: 20:00.
Duration: 47 minutes.

21 January, Flinders Pier

What a fantastic dive! Saw more Weedy Sea Dragons than I have ever seen before - at least 40. Sometimes there were three in view of the camera at the same time. Able to film them hunting and eating. Also saw several Ornate Cowfish, and of course lots of Goatfish. Brilliant visibility and great conditions. Entered from the shore via the steps from the carpark.

Divers: Peter Batchelor, Kirsty Batchelor, Zach Rainsford.
Weather/Sea: Calm.
visibility: 8-9 metres.
Water temperature: 18°C.
Maximum depth: 4.9 metres.
Time of entry: 12:46.
Duration: 63 minutes.

21 January, Portsea Pier

Dusk and night dive at Portsea. The bottom looks like it has been scoured by the increased currents since the dredging. A very different environment to what I remember from the 1980s. Saw an Octopus swimming from pylon to pylon, some Nudibranchs, Old Wives, and Shaw's Cowfish. Used Amelia's torch as a camera light instead of mine, which was much better due to the wider angle and lower intensity. If I want to produce any reasonable shots at night I'll have to sort out a mount for the torch and camera.

Divers: Peter Batchelor, William Batchelor, Zach Rainsford.
Weather/Sea: Calm.
visibility: 4 metres.
Water temperature: 19°C.
Maximum depth: 4.7 metres.
Time of entry: 20:40.
Duration: 47 minutes.

23 January, Blairgowrie Pier

Poor visibility for Blairgowrie. The tide turned earlier than expected, probably due to the strong Westerlies, so there was quite a current running under the pier. A few Nudibranchs and large schools of small fish. Much easier when we were behind the curtain wall running along the pier.

Divers: Peter Batchelor, Kirsty Batchelor, Amelia Batchelor
Weather/Sea: 15 Kts Westerlies. Start of Ebb tide.
visibility: 5 metres.
Water temperature: 18°C.
Maximum depth: 6 metres.
Time of entry: 17:18.
Duration: 67 minutes.

24 January, Flinders Pier

Very poor visibility, with a strong surge. No Sea Dragons seen on this dive. Did catch a glimpse of a seal, but overall a disappointing dive to end our two weeks on the Peninsula.

Divers: Peter Batchelor, William Batchelor
Weather/Sea: Southerly 10 Kts.
visibility: 2-3 metres.
Water temperature: 18°C.
Maximum depth: 5.3 metres.
Time of entry: 14:00.
Duration: 49 minutes.

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