Latest Dive ReviewsMar 26, 2017 - Cape Sonnerat
"We started with 7 divers booked, then the drop-outs started. We finished with 4 divers on the day, and what a day it was. Less than 1m swell, gentle 5kn wind, sunny. We launched at Saltworks and had a lovely, smooth run up to the top end of Schouten Island. I haven't been there for 4 years and my memory had dimmed as to how spectacular a place this was.
There was a bit more surge around Cape Sonnerat than elsewhere, but still pretty calm. We dropped a shot on a ridge in 25m of water, and Andrew and Stefan started kitting up to dive first. The shot drifted, so Luke and I re-set it. Finally we were all good to go. The boys dropped down the shot and disappeard for an hour. We could see where they were by their bubbles most of the dive and they didn't stray far from the shot. They didn't have to to have a good explore because the shot went exploring itself.
When we picked them up they, and the shot, were in 70m of water. They reported vsibility of 20+metres, prolific fish life of many species, big boulder fields, lots of coral, and generally a stunning dive. They maxed out at 62m for depth.
Luke and I weren't that bold. I had 32% mix for starters, and Luke is a single tank diver without deco qualifications. We settled for a plan of 30m max. with no deco.
As the shot was not proving very useful, we left it out of our dive plan. We dropped in on the ridge in 25m of water, swam to about 30m, then started cruising slowly around the point. The fish life was amazing. Swarms of Butterfly Perch followed us, with Mackeral, Salmon, and other types mixed in. We had large Cod, Banded Mowong, I think, and others. I'm not good with fish identification. Lots of different sorts, anyway. Visibility was 20m +, heaps of Zoanthids on the shady side of boulders, and large boulders everywhere. This was a stunning dive site.
For their second dive, Andrew and Stefan chose to do a shallow dive with some seals along the cliffs along the north side of Shouten Island. They reported lots of Urchin Barrons, which is very sad, but playful seal pups, which made the dive worthwhile.
Luke wanted a cray scratch, so we went to Hen and Chicken Bay ( I think it's called). I wasn't inspired to get crays, so I left him to it. He got one cray and reported the site to be barren and boring.
Our run back to Saltworks was just as easy as the run out had been.
What a brilliant day on the water it was, both above and below.
By Janine McKinnon
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