Posts Tagged ‘Kurnell’

Encounter with a humpback whale at the Steps (#272, 11.6 m, 58′)

August 12, 2008

To state this from the very beginning of this post: the dive I did on Saturday will be one I won’t forget for my whole life. After almostOnce in a lifetime... three weeks of flu an cold I finally hit the water again (just to end in bed again the next day…), we decided to dive The Steps in Kurnell to hopefully take some good shots of the weedy seadragons. We found our first victim very quickly and got our cameras going. On the way towards the Leap we saw a few cute nudibranchs and while Matt was entertaining himself looking for seadragons I discovered an octopus and started shooting close-ups. (more…)



June 30, 2008

The weather was well behaved during the whole weekend and we were therefore lucky to get a parking spot at the end of the Cape Solander drive in the Botany Bay national park in Kurnell. The perfect whale watching day – absolutely flat sea, excellent weather. The rock platforms close to the parking lot and around the whale watching station were highly populated. Long forgotten binoculars had been taken out of the drawers and were brought along after tapping off the dust. (more…)

The Leap (#268, 20.7 m, 54′)

June 30, 2008

The water was dead flat at the leap in Kurnell last Saturday, excellent conditions for a drift dive to the Steps. Initially we had thought of giving Cape Solander a try (I have not been there myself yet, but definitely keen to change that!), but apparently the road to the pick nick area has been blocked by large boulders recently.
We jumped in from the lower ledge at the leap, and on the surface Diver at the LeapI finally got my camera ready, turned on the strobe…well, tried to. With still more or less closed eyes I had installed the batteries while having breakfast, and for once I did not check if everything worked properly. One of the batteries was installed upside down, and instead of a nice rig I found myself carrying a considerable rig to be used with natural light only. (more…)

Burning sky

June 19, 2008

Burning sky, originally uploaded by käptncook.

Another morning of soccer… the Russians produced an impressive firework against Sweden which ended with a 2-0 victory and the qualification for the quarter finals against the Netherlands. The Russians were only topped by the firework happening outside of my window. I had been about to leave for work just before 7am when I saw the sun shining through the clouds and producing wonderful colours on the sky. I took a few shots from my balcony…

A windy morning – a delayed sunrise

June 15, 2008

After watching the Netherlands trashing France I decided to go out and enjoy the sunrise equiped with my camera – with the intention to have a look at the conditions for the upcoming dive two hours later. There was not much of a sunrise as all light was blocked by a thick cloud. I started playing around with the camera and taking pictures of the wild water – there was indeed not much hope for a dive somewhere along the coast!
Suddenly there were a few beams of sunlight braking through the thick layer of clouds, a cone only lighting up the refinery out in Kurnell. A fantastic moment with the wild waves in the foreground. I tried to capture it, even though the G9 and any other compact camera is not at its best in low light conditions.

Nature meets mankind, originally uploaded by käptncook.

Shocking diving conditions in the Shire

June 7, 2008

Well well, the idea of getting up early to hit the water was good, and getting up was not too hard with the sun just rising over the sea and no clouds on the sky. We had already given up on diving the leap because the sea had been very rough the last couple of days. Having a look from Cronulla beach this morning I could see the waves breaking heavily at the outermost point in Kurnell, the divesites there were therefore out of question. We decided to go to Lilli Pilli in Caringbah to take some macro shots of the seahorses. The conditions were…shocking. We stepped on the pier next to a few fishermen to check out the conditions – the guys were literally fishing in the dark, the visibility was not more than half a meter. I have not seen it as bad as that anytime in the last 16 months, not even after the big storm last year in June. We decided to check out Bass and Flinders, and on the way also Oak park (without much hope). At Oak park the surfers were out, and apart from the difficult entry and exit conditions the water only looked slightly clearer than at Lilli Pilli baths. Not surprisingly the same was valid for Bass and Flinders. That was it for the day, and it is probably going to take quite a while for the visibility to get better again. We will certainly check on it frequently.
At least the ristretto at the Grind was excellent as always, and this will keep me up and going for the next few hours!

Leap to the Steps drift dive (#260, 21.3m, 51′)

May 26, 2008

On Sunday morning I woke up in time and decided to take the chance and to go for the second dive of the weekend. The Leap in Kurnell is one of my favourite dive sites in the region. The way to the entry point is a bit strenuous, following stairs cut in the rock, down the cliffs. To enter the water we usually jump from a rock platform (the leap…), depending on the tides the height of the jump can reach about 2m. There is no way back, the shortest exit I know is indeed the swim to the Steps, the exit point of the dive. So better do your buddy check carefully…

The Leap entry pointnudibranch at the leap

After a short swim away from the rocks we droped down and dove perpendicular to the cliff edge until we reached the sandy bottom at around 20m. We decided to immediately turn to the left – a short swim to the right there is a little wall with a nice sponge garden. We stayed down at around 20m for 10 minutes, following the boulders and the sandy bottom covered with some kelp. For once we did not spot any weedy seadragons, and no cuttle fish either. Exceptional. I don’t think we kept our eyes open wide enough…
We followed the boulders a bit further ascending slowly. There were a few gropers around and I also got the chance to try some macro shots with the new camera setup. As expected there is a shadow in the lower right corner, inflicted by the lens port partially blocking the internal flash of the camera. This justifies the purchase of an external flash (sometimes it is so easy to convince myself of buying some gadgets…)
We took the usual exit at the Steps – the waves help to get on a rock platform, and with still rather low tide present when we came out of the water it was even more convenient than usually… A nice dive without highlights, but hey, the reasonable visibility and the feeling of simply floating along the wall are good enough for me to go back anytime!

Comments on the camera setup can be found here.