1 Dec: A Rare Stingaree Encounter @ Port Noarlunga Reef

Stingray at Port Noarlunga Reef December 2013

On Sunday the first of December, Ron and I did a double shore dive with Peter and Scott at the Port Noarlunga Reef. Peter and Scott had just finished their Open Water Diver course a couple of weeks ago and were looking forward to do some fun diving without having to practise skills all the time ;).

It was a bit of a cloudy day, and although it was a bit rainy when we got in, visibility was actually very nice! On the first dive we explored the reef on the left side of the jetty. We were welcomed by large schools of fish underneath the jetty, and along the reef we found the usual suspects, and a couple of stingarees! We sent one of the stingaree pictures to Janine Baker, who reported that a taxonomist from CSIRO considered it most likely to be Trygonoptera mucosa, the WA stingaree species, rather than T. imitata, the eastern species. Gulf St Vincent and Kangaroo Island are the edge of the species range, so this stingaree has rarely been recorded here before. Other pics from the area are being collated to try to confirm the ID. What a great find!.

We had a great dive that lasted just over an hour, so thumbs up for Peter and Scott for being so great on air, already on dives 5 and 6!

After a short surface interval we explored the reef on the right side of the jetty on our second dive. There was a bit of a current this time, but not too bad. We found some more stingrays, a couple of crabs, colourful nudibranches and a boarfish that came out of it’s home to say hello.

We had a great double dive, enjoying the beautiful Noarlunga reef. To celebrate these great dives we enjoyed some hot chips and Denise tried a power Chai from the local Teal Turtle café. Have a look at our Port Noarlunga Dive Pics from Dec. 1.