Thursday, 6 August 2009

Diving on the Ningaloo Reef – Part 2

Two dives today (Thursday) near the Murion Islands which are about 8k off Exmouth. To get there, one passes a secret radio station whose tallest aerial is the third tallest structure (378.5 metres) in the southern hemisphere.

Secret Radio Station

It is used to communicate with submarines around one third of the world using very long wavelength signals.

Fragle Rock Dive Plan 

Fraggle Rock is a reef of one of the two islands and comprises a reef and a number of bombies. On the way out to the reef we saw a number of whales breaching in the distance and then a number swimming directly to our dive site. The dive site was unremarkable in that it consisted of the usual coral outcrops and some shoals of fish. The reef was relatively close to the shore and hence the water at our shallow depths (around 14 m) was significantly affected by underwater surge – the currents flows backwards and forwards in time with the waves breaking on the reef. This made diving in a straight line impossible but one soon learnt to fin with the surge and relax with the reverse. Some surges were very strong and hence one moved at some speed over the coral.

Suddenly we heard the sound of whales all around us. Although we were not going to see them, we could hear them pinging us and also them singing to each other.

The following fairly poor video was an attempt to take a film of a very large shoal of fish. However if you listen carefully (and ignore the video), you can hear the sound of whales in the background.

Dive Two was at Coral Bowl off the southern Murion Island.

Coral Bowl Dive Plan

This was a large coral shaped bowl, relatively shallow but with some very nice coral. Being relatively close to the shore, the dive site has a lot of surge deep down and this made diving quite exciting, particularly when diving through some narrow passage ways and tunnels.

Coral 3 Coral 1 Coral 2

The coral is fed by the significant amount of nutrients the moving water brings through and being relatively close to the surface, it gets a lot of sunlight. There was a nice sea anemone and the following short video shows the swirling current quite well.

Pat went out on a late afternoon Whale Watching / Sunset trip (on the same boat I had been on earlier). Humpbacked whales will quite numerous and a number came close enough to the boat to have their picture taken.

Humpback Whale Whale spout Whale Tail

A good day for both of us – off to Coral Bay now for some more diving and coral watching.

1 comment:

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