10 Aug: Exploring the Ardrossan Jetty

Ardrossan Fishing Jetty Dive Site

What an awesome day it was last Saturday. Sure, the water is a bit colder than what we’re used to here in Adelaide (about 13 degrees), but in our Scubapro Everdry 4 drysuits (currently on special, including a FREE Scubapro Everflex 7/5 wetsuit, combined recommended retail price of $2000, our price: $950(!!)), Brett and I were toasty warm for our dive that lasted about an hour!

The visibility was okay (about 5-6 metres) and we were surprised by the amount of growth on the pylons here. With a maximum depth of 5-6 metres, this would be a good site for the first dive(s) of our PADI Open Water Diver Course! What was interesting was that on left side of the jetty (looking from the car park), most of the weeds were covered in some kind of red algae, whereas on the left all the weeds were in good conditions, without any algae on them. We saw an enormous amount of crabs under the jetty and quite a few nudibranchs and pipefish (the standard ones), but the find of the day was definitely some kind of pistol shrimp. According to Janine Baker, it was a pistol shrimp in Alpheus genus, possibly Alpheus novaezelandiae, found around Australia and NZ! This little guy can snap its claw at you with a loud pistol shot-like sound that you can hear underwater, really cool to hear and see!

We did see a few fish (mostly cowfish) as well and we found 6 brand new squid jigs (apparently there is heaps of squid under this jetty in the early morning, we must have been late, as we didn’t see a single one on our dive today), which we handed out to the kids on the jetty (the fishermen sometimes think divers scare the fish away, so handing out some freebies after a dive is always a good idea).

Great dive at a good dive site! Next time we’ll have to have a look under the (750m!) long grain jetty at Ardrossan, but we’ll save that one for a calmer day!