30 Dec: Two pipefish @ Port Noarlunga Reef

Noarlunga Nudibranch Orange South Australia

Noarlunga has always been one of our all time favourite dive sites, as it’s such an easy and convenient dive site, located so close to the city! No wonder we chose the reef for our last dive of the year and decided to do a nice long photography dive. One of our instructors, Mary, joined us for the dive as today was her day off as well (as the shop is closed on Sundays and Mondays, Monday is our Sunday, which means sleeping in and fun diving most of the time).

Today was no different, so we slept in and after some shopping we met at the Noarlunga car park, opposite the teal turtle cafe, had a chat with the Rodgers brothers who had just been for a dive (and said it was pretty good down there) and geared up for our dive!

It’s funny how people always say that the Hallett Cove Reef or the Port Willunga Reefs are such a long walk from the carpark, as the stairs at the end of the Noarlunga jetty are just as far as the walks at those dive sites. With temperatures like today (30+ degrees), you’re always happy to jump in and you can almost see and hear the steam coming from all of us when we jumped in with our red hot tomato coloured heads!

It turned out to be a little bit milky around the end of the jetty as it was high tide, but the visibility on the reef itself was still just over 5 metres. The water temperature is already up to 21(!) degrees, so we stayed nice and warm in our new wetsuits for the whole 90-minute dive!

The dive itself was great as we were all taking photos so we went nice and slow and explored every bit of the reef. We found nine of the standard orange nudibranchs (Ceratosoma brevicaudatum) , heaps of hermit crabs and besides all the other usual suspects, we found a gurnard perch at the end of the jetty that was blind on one side (and got harrassed by all the fish there?) and two sawtooth pipefish (thank you for the ID, Janine Baker) – the blue or pink ones with the white stripe on their backss! Not a bad dive for a Monday afternoon!

We just had a look at the pictures and most of them turned out okay! Unfortunately the pipefish ones were all out of focus, because the little guys wouldn’t sit still a for a second! We’re pretty happy with all the other ones though, so please don’t hesitate to have a look at our Facebook album!