Fish Cave Rock
South West Rocks Travel Blog› entry 36 of 120 › view all entries
So itâ€™s 6.30am, the kangaroos have gone and weâ€™re getting ready to go diving. For the first time in quite a while itâ€™s been sunny when weâ€™ve woken, which I must admit is a pleasant surprise.
The people at the dive shop are very laid back and relaxed, we go through the process of collecting all our respective kit and try out our wet suits. For some reason they ask us if we feel the cold. Not particularly I say and Wendy tells them she does and is given a 2-piece. Iâ€™m happy with the 5mm suit Iâ€™ve got as the water so far has been around 29degrees - plenty warm.
Everything is then loaded into the boat and is hauled off to the boat ramp, we follow in one of the dive guides cars.
Our journey to the dive site takes only about 30 mins, which is good because Wendy isnâ€™t very talkative. This could be the recently acquired bout of sea sickness rearing its ugly head again. Luckily we both make it there without puking.
The site itself is just a rocky outcrop sticking out of the sea about 5kmâ€™s from the nearest shore, from the surface nothing spectacular.
After putting our wetsuits on weâ€™re made to hang around for an uncomfortable amount of time on the boat, finally rolling over the side is a welcome break from the sweating. Whilst pulling ourselves down the mooring rope at the front of the boat it quickly becomes apparent why they asked about the cold, this water is fricking freezing. My computer is registering 19degrees, but itâ€™s getting colder by the metre. I didnâ€™t notice it on the boat, but all the guides are wearing hoods. My noggin begins to freeze and Wendy is gesturing the same thing to me. Well thereâ€™s not much we can do now so we continue.
The main reason for diving
The amount of sea life on this rock is amazing, not quite up there with the Yongala, but itâ€™s pretty spectacular. Whilst swimming to the mouth of the cave I kept noticing sharks swimming about 5 metres above us, going in the same direction as we were. When we got to the cave there they were, loads of Grey Nurse Sharks (large and small) just hanging in the current. Wendy and I just settled to the bottom and watched them coming and going. Swimming to our left, right and above. The guide asked if we wanted to go into the darkness for a better look, Wendy didnâ€™t fancy it so we didnâ€™t. By now the water temp was seriously cold so we headed back up to the shallower depths where it was warmer. This is where we could find all the Woobigong Sharks hiding out in all the crevices (see pics).
Since we werenâ€™t going into the cave, the second dive would pretty much be identical to the first. By the time weâ€™d spent 20mins fighting against the current and were settling onto the bottom again, Wendy signalled that she was about to die due to hypothermia and wanted to go shallower. After a brief underwater discussion using hand signals the dive guide came over. He gestured â€˜boatâ€™ to Wendy, she nodded, I got buddied up with the other couple diving with us and off they went. We just sat there swaying in the current taking pictures of the sharks, until the guide came back. This time I wasnâ€™t going to pass up going into the mouth of the cave to see what the sharks were up to. There must have been around 25+ just hanging in the current, every so often trying to catch one of the thousands of fish that surrounded them. I took the pics I wanted and we all headed off back towards the boat, watching out into the blue for anything larger.
Wendy was smiling when we got back to the boat so no need for me to be fearful. She was just cold and wanted to go shallower, she doesnâ€™t cope with cold very well it seems.
On the boat journey back we ran over what looked like foliage in the water, but on closer inspection it was a group of 30+ bat rays, so the boat chucked a u-we and we went back for a closer look. Iâ€™d forgotten that Iâ€™d put my camera in my wetsuit for safe keeping and as I leaned over to get a closer look, it tumbled out into the sea. Wendyâ€™s high pitched scream letting me know what had happened.
After helping out rinsing all the kit, we left South West Rocks at around 2.45pm to head to our next destination.