Latest Dive ReviewsFeb 15, 2014 - Isle de Phoque
"A trip to the Isle de Phoque is always a wonderful experience in itself. Just sitting in the boat watching the seals above-water antics, the stunning scenery, and the other wildlife, is a joy. Add the underwater beauty of the sea caves that bisect the island, and the fun of diving with the ever playful seals, and you have a recipe for one of the best days on, and under, the water in Tasmania.
The remote location however, makes it a very weather dependent dive site.
Consequently when the weather aligns with a programmed dive, this usually means a full boat.
In the week prior to the dive this was the case, however on the morning of the dive only three members actually arrived at the boat ramp at Saltworks. Janine and James from Hobart, and Brendan from Launceston. One cancelled sick the night before, two pulled out a couple of days before, and one failed to show at Sorell.
Not to worry, the three of us still standing were very keen.
The swell was reported to be South Westerly and, past the bar, we found it to be about two metres from the North East. This made for a moderately slow trip to the Isle. A sea fog was running along the coast and we were glad to have the GPS for our track. We were half way to the island before we could see it looming out of the fog.
We anchored in the lee of the swell near the entrance to the swim through cave. The first dive was well worth the effort to get there. Visibility was excellent, the fish life prolific and the corals inside the cave beautiful. I think James was in photographic heaven.
We spent an hour on the dive but didn't progress more than fifty metres into the passage. The swell from the outside, coming through the tunnel, was creating a pressure wave that was quite significant. Venturing into the narrower sections would have been foolhardy.
None-the-less, we had plenty to look at in the front sections, and side passage, of the cave on the western side.
A multi-hull yacht had arrived whilst we were diving. It apparently has just returned from around the world trip with the Marine Biologist, Graeme Edgar, aboard. They have been doing research on the trip, and were continuing today. The visibility was so good that we could see them as they swam around on the bottom under Y Knot.
After a leisurely lunch we did our second dive with the seals. This is always fun. There were large numbers of them in the water, both juveniles and adults, and they were very inquisitive and playful. I never get tired of seal dives.
The sea fog had thickened in the last hour and we only had visibility of about a hundred metres as we prepared to return to the mainland. The GPS track made for a psychologically happier run home.
A top day, with excellent company. One couldn't ask for a better day's diving.
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