Ocean cavern diving
17.11.2012 - 17.11.2012 22 °C
The island of Fish Rock, about 2 nautical miles east of Smoky Cape, gives no indication of the splendor that lies underneath it as you approach it. I have never done a proper cave dive and it was a thrill entering a 125 metre long cave and travelling right through the centre of a small island and back in one dive. Well known as one of the largest ocean caverns in the southern hemisphere, Fish Rock Cave is voted as one of the 10 best dives in Australia.
The cave dive started with a sighting of a huge wobbegong shark and a large bull ray resting on the bottom. Also at the entrance of the cave were two decorator crabs with huge pieces of sponge on their backs. Further into the cave we saw many wobbegongs. As we descended down one of the two vertical chimneys with only our torches' light piercing the darkness, we saw many glowing eyes from hundreds of painted crayfish following our progress. We glided past grey nurse sharks, also known as ragged tooth sharks and a huge loggerhead turtle.
The shallow end of the cave is also spectacular. Silhouetted in the opening are thousands of bullseyes, gorgonian coral fans, trumpetfish, black cod and many other species of fish.
On the second dive we dived on the eastern side of Fish Rick Island looking for grey nurse sharks. We found many and it is amazing how close you can get to these docile creatures. We also saw big wrasses, turtles, moray eels and an octopus.
Two nice and different dives. It was just a little too cold to my liking with the water temperature at 22 degrees centigrade and I was diving with a 3mm wetsuit and Sharkskin vest.
We are on our way again tomorrow, heading south to Crowdy Bay National Park and then on to Myall Lakes National Park.