Shark Diving

A brilliant day today! We walked down into town from our apartment to be at Sundive’s website dive store for 845 for the morning dive. They were very welcoming and very professional. Got us sorted out with kit quickly, including finding me a shortie 3mm wetsuit. I can’t stand the normal rental offering here which is a 5mm full suit. Just horribly constricting and unnecessarily warm. Today the water temperature was 26C, I really hardly needed one.
There were four of us divers plus the divemaster and quite contrary to my expectations, we were all crinklies!!!!! I thought Bob and I were going to be the grandparents of the boat, but no…. Nice boat – huge rib, fitted out for diving with gear racks down the middle, a canopy, and joy of joys, a really nice Xmas tree style ladder on the back. So, an easy roll in, and an easy step up and out.
We were diving a site off St Julian’s Rocks, an islet/rocks off the bay. description It took us about 5 minutes from the beach launch. The sites are all permanently buoyed, so we descended down the line. Visibility was about 10m. Not gin clear by any means, but not bad either. Well, what a lovely dive. Easily the best we’ve had in Australia and much better than Mauritius too. So much life. The rocks and bommies were covered in hard and soft corals, anemones, starfish, sponges, brittlestars. There were dozens – dozens – of leopard sharks, all around us. Some lying on the bottom, some swimming around in mid water. All pretty big. I’d say 3-4m. At times we flew in the current, really moving fast, passing over large rocks and sleeping sharks. Then, we would come down in a little plateau between rocks and find even more sharks sleeping on the bottom and some brown stingrays.
At one point we came across a turtle paddling along in the current, large deep blue groupers and clouds of other fish, small and large. Under the rocks there were lobsters – great big ones, easily edible but safe within the marine reserve. Most of the sharks were leopard sharks but there were also nurse sharks and wobbegongs. On the walls where we rested and paused, there were jewel shrimps, nudibranchs, moray eels and in one little hole, an octopus, big eyes glaring out at us.
It was a brilliant dive and we thoroughly enjoyed it.  Sorry about the quality of the photos.  We have lost the red filter that goes onto the u/w camera and without it the photos are very green.  I could correct them with Photoshop but I don’t have it on this computer so….
Got back to the apartment at about 12 and had some lunch then headed down to the beach. Set up our tent and spent the afternoon dozing, reading, swimming and sunning. Weather was glorious again.
Tonight we went down into town to find dinner. Ate at one called Byron Fresh, after our first two choices didn’t work out. Bob had mahi mahi in batter and chips. I had a quinoa, spinach, avocado and goats cheese dish – hot cakes on spinach leaves. Sounds weird but it was delicious. Came back and finished off the ice cream tubs watching another episode of Requiem.
Off again on our travels tomorrow but we will be sorry to leave Byron Bay. As a place, its been our favourite so far.

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