Jul 302012
Zooanthids and fish on the SS Coogee

About the wreck The SS Coogee was built in the UK in 1887 and first known as the Lancashire Witch, possibly a more exciting name than she ended up with. In 1888 her owner went broke and she was bought by Melbourne ship owners Huddart Parker LTD to steam between Melbourne and Geelong. As the Coogee she had an interesting history, with several collisions with other ships and sandbars. In 1917 she was taken over by the Royal Australian Navy for use as a mine sweeper and in 1921, she was used to repair the telegraph cable that crosses under Bass Strait. By 1928 the ship was considered redundant and she was taken outside the Heads and scuttled. It should be [read more…]

Jul 232012
Ag's Dreamtime Tunnel in Unnamed Cave

About the site Unnamed Cave is the most recent major discovery in Australian cave diving. Out on the Roe Plains in the West Australian desert, the massive tunnels discovered so far are still going kilometres from the entrance, with teams going out over the coming months to continue exploration. The cave was first dived last October on a trip led by Paul Hosie of CEGWA. Discovered half way through the expedition, the group spent the last few days chucking in as much line as possible before they had to return to civilisation. One of those divers was Brian Kakuk of Bahamas Underground, who worked with Agnes during the National Geographic shoot in the Bahamas in 2010. On his final dive, Brian [read more…]

Jul 162012
Sharks at Lissenung Island

About the site The two photos in this post were taken at different dive sites, both dived during my stay at Lissenung Island Resort. A week on a tropical island in PNG as prize for winning the Freshwater category of the Underwater Festival gave me lots of time to check out the sites in the area. As well as having great fun with the WWII plane wrecks and critters that I’ve shown you, I was also keen to catch some of the bigger animals on camera. The white tip reef shark above was one of many hanging out at the Nusa Blowholes. While the coral at the blowholes is less colourful than on the dropoffs on the other side of the [read more…]

Jul 092012
Pylons at St Leonard's Pier

About the site St Leonards pier sits on the western side of Port Phillip Bay, just outside St Leonards (surprise!). While I’ve dived a number of piers on the eastern side of the bay, this was the first shore dive I’ve done west of Melbourne. After expeditions to exotic places, it’s nice to enjoy diving around home. Unlike the neutral coloured hard corals of the tropics, the soft sponges in temperate waters come in an amazing array of colours. With easy access to the water from the car park and with fish peeping out from the weed, this is a nice easy shore dive. About the dive I took this photo on Saturday, and those who dive in Melbourne will [read more…]

Jul 022012
Off camera strobes on the wreck of the Kate bomber

About the site Following up from two weeks ago, I thought I’d add a few lines about another plane wreck I dived while staying at Lissenung Island Resort. The place featured above is a Japanese “Kate” bomber. Unlike the Allies, where American crews were assigned to a single aircraft, Japanese crews jumped in the closest available plane. The occupying Japanese moved to destroy all records in PNG towards the end of the war, and these two facts mean very little is known about the history of the Japanese plane wrecks around Kavieng. This particular plane was a Nakajima B5N, nicknamed a Kate bomber by the Allies and wrecked sometime during WWII. With a crew of three, she was the standard [read more…]