On a beautifully bright sunny (almost Spring) day the water was inviting and calm. Decent visibility revealed large numbers of Elasmobranchs (Sharks and Rays) cruising around. The breeding season for Port Jackson sharks has begun with males swimming along the reef looking for potential partners. A small school of kingfish circled, Blue groper explored their territory coming in close hoping for a feed (it’s illegal to feed them but many do, smashing up sea urchins that live between the rocks). Rays of a different type, from the sun radiated through the water making for a very pleasant morning in the bay.
Port Jackson sharks are very similar to Crested Horn sharks, most easily distinguished by the differences in the shape of the ridge on the head above their eye. Body colourations are subtly different too. Their breeding season has just begun and males cruise along the reefs looking for love. The recent storm has moved huge amounts of sand in the reserve and rocks covered in sponges stand proud again where once the sand threatened to engulf.
A giant cuttlefish stopped for a photo and my dive buddy Matt found a rare weedy seadragon hiding amongst the seaweed. It’s great to see these fish slowly reappearing after an absence of 5 years or more.
The water might be cold and murky but there is still so much to see.