A historic find – treasures abound

I know I always extol the virtues of the aquatic reserve and surprises that are constantly to be found at one of the most popular beaches in Sydney but the highlight today was finding an intact ceramic beer bottle dating back to the 1930’s. Just lying on the sand in shallow water where hundreds of people daily swim past it still has the original cork in the top, though I’m sure the “use by” date has long passed.

Lots of tropical fish have now arrived on the East Australian Current and my dive buddy Matt and I found fish like Neon and White-ringed Damsels, Yellow Moon wrasse, Butterflyfish, Grubfish and Stinkfish. The water is warm too at 22 degrees.

Beyond the reserve

With the prevailing NE winds and stinking hot sun the visibility and conditions within Cabbage Tree Bay Aquatic Reserve are not very appealing so a trip to Chowder Bay was in order. With water clarity usually poor here you have to look harder to find critters and they abound, a macro photographers dream!

The seahorses were in a friendly mood and happy to show themselves off, one of them a very unusually white White’s Seahorse. Tiger Pipefish were everywhere you looked, my dive buddy Matt and I rudely interrupted a couple in the middle of a courting display.

Across the sand we found a small tooth flounder and several Armena nudibranchs that eat the plentiful sea pens that inhabit the sandy flats.

A Brown Sabretooth Blenny emerged from it’s home in a bottle, uncertain it hovers half in, half out, before exiting and swimming to safety.

Any interesting change of dive site, warm water and lots to see.

First dive for 2017

A southerly change has cooled down the air and brought warmer waters back into the reserve at Cabbage tree Bay. Visibility has improved slightly and on the high tide there was much to find for those prepared to look hard.

Some photos here of some less often seen residents of the bay.

Today’s highlights included a Yellow Crested Weedfish, a Vanderbildt’s Chromis, a tassel-snouted flathead, juvenile southern fusilier, and a different type of weedfish.

There were also nudibranchs, plenty of wobbegong sharks, stars and stripes puffer fish, giant cuttlefish and lots of colourful juvenile parma (white-ear, girdled and scalyfin).

Tropical species will start arriving in numbers very soon on the East Australian current (EAC), a warm current pushing down the coast at this time of year from the Great Barrier Reef