Posts Tagged ‘Oak Park’

Oak Park night dive (#277, 9.1 m, 37′)

September 18, 2008

The few recent night dives I did with the ProDive crew took me usually to Oak Park or close by, and this week it was not different. Oak Park is a dive site I can dive many times without getting bored though, it offers so many possibilities! More by accident than planned we chose to follow the ledge taking off the main wall not too far into the dive, and that’s where we spent our time until we had to return due to a leaky Octopus and consequently considerable air loss. I love the small overhangs on the ledge, incredible what kind of critters are hiding there during the night. For the first time I also saw a blue dragon at Oak Park – a bit irritating though, as usually I don’t see any nudibranchs during night dives. In terms of photography there’s not much to mention. It was only my eigth or nineth shot (trying to get a cruising PJ shark into focus…) when my strobe run out of battery – my fix of twisting the japanese battery charger with a set of pliers has apparently not worked 100% yet :-).

Oakpark night dive (#273, 9.1 m, 49′)

August 22, 2008

The night dive at Oak Park on Tuesday passed without much excitement. I had decided to go for a dive rather than an underwater photography trip and shot only two pictures. Quite incredible if compared to my recent dives since I got the new equipment! We saw a few little critters and at the very end I discovered also a moray eel. No time for pictures though as my buddies were disappearing in the dark….

Night dive at Oak Park (#270, 7.3 m, 68’)

July 9, 2008

Reports by the guys at ProDive from their night dive on Monday suggested that we were going to find excellent conditions, and weAll alone... did indeed. The visibility was beyond 10m – I think this was not just the effect of my new mask… The entrance at the NE corner of the pool was perfectly calm due to W winds and the low tide, which we missed by only about half an hour. What followed was an hour of pure magic: great visibility, an amazing amount of fish and critters at reasonable temperatures of 17 degrees. I have never seen as many giant cuttlefish in one dive. I counted four, and two of them were hiding in the same crack, next to each other. I was really excited, maybe even a bit too much. The fiddling around at my strobe had the effect that I unlocked one of the buttons. With the strobe thinking that my main flash was a preflash only I ended up with a whole series of badly underexposed pictures. Nevertheless this could not ruin the moment. (more…)

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!

Oak Park night dive (#261, 7.3m , 61′)

May 28, 2008

little critter on night dive at oak park

Crab on nightdive at Oak Park Yesterday night I went on another night dive at Oak park. The conditions at Pete’s point were too harsh, we therefore went to good old Oaky. Initially we were five divers (amongst them a second Swiss diver – unbelievable, but he is the first Swiss I met in Sydney in almost 1.5 years…), but Matt and me were carrying cameras and we left the group after a few minutes of diving (or say the group left us…). There was a lot of small stuff around, and also a few cuttle fish, an octopus and some still awake fish… No pictures to prove that though, most of them look like taken in a snow storm. Backscattering. Am looking forward to the arrival of the strobe, it has left Japan yesterday night 🙂

Oak Park (#259, 9.5m, 60′)

May 26, 2008

Finally. The day had come to test the underwater housing for my new camera. Bulletproof it looks, and massive too… I was a bit nervous, even though I had done some preliminary testing in a bucket of water. But what would happen with increased pressures? After all the housing is designed to withhold pressures for dives up to 60m…
Last Saturday I jumped in together with Gypsy and her three open water students. A perfect occasion since I could just float along and care about my camera. Apart from seeing if the housing was really waterproof I also wanted to find out what I can get out of the Canon G9 under water and if the housing is limiting in any sense (I plan to purchase an external strobe in the next few days anyway, but I wanted to verify reports in some internet forums about shades in pictures from the lens port blocking the internal camera flash).

The dive along the main wall of Oak park was nice and easy, the visibility quite good (>10m). The drawback of the good viz was the fact that one could see all the other divers in the water, and there were many of them! We dived 20 minutes out, not quite reaching the second reef. On the way back I took it a bit slower, looking out for opportunities for macro shots on the way back, unsuccessfully though. The usual marine live was around without anything special. The students were amazed by the friendly blue gropers though.
All in all a nice relaxing dive assuring me that the housing is doing fine and giving me some comfort with handling this “monster” – it is far nicer to deal with underwater…
Comments on the camera setup can be found here.

Night dive at Oak Park (#257, 8.1m, 49′)

May 13, 2008

Finally a night dive again! People are getting lazy and I hear more and more that it is apparently too cold for diving now…come on, the water temperature is 18 degrees. Spanda agreed with me and we headed off to Oak Park in Cronulla. The sea was nicely calm, no wind, low tide. Everything perfect. Except for the fact that my spare torch is out of order at the moment and that my buddy’s torch fell to the ground and didn’t want to emit any light anymore. The divemasters showing how not to do it… we ended up diving with one torch. After all the moon was quite bright tonight!

From the entry point south of the pool we headed south-east over the kelp, hitting a small wall and following it for 25 minutes majorly in north-east and east direction. This ledge is off the main wall of Oak Park. We saw heaps of hunting catfish, and under an overhang we discovered a giant cuttle. Awesome! I wish I had been able to get a good shot of it, but the camera flash produced way too much backscattering in the rather murky water. We were compensated with a well hidden hermit crab showing her face on the way back:

After 49 minutes we stepped out of the water again. I don’t know why I had waited for so long since my last night dive, it is just incredibly relaxing to hit the water after work and float a bit in the dark!