Jun 162015

Draughtboard shark

I’m renovating my kitchen at the moment. Keen observation of other divers’ experiences of renovation tells me that renovating means not getting underwater for months at a time. I’m determined not to let my project about the house stop me from having fun. So after a productive day of pulling up tiles and with a forecast for Bass Strait of “light and variable winds”, Dad and I headed out of Phillip Island on Sunday.

The light winds were a blessing and there was no surface chop. Unfortunately this also meant an absence of the northerly breezes which normally flatten out the swell. Despite a run of calm days a persistent one to two metre swell was showing no signs of abating. After some chugging around in the boat looking for marks on the world’s worst GPS we settled on a semi-sheltered spot just off Cape Woolamai.

Draughtboard shark

The bottom immediately under the boat was relatively flat and kelp-y but quickly gave way to small bommies and interesting rock formations. Within moments of swimming over the first bommie I spotted the telltale feelers sticking out. Unfortunately the cray was a little bit too quick and had a particularly spacious rock to hide under. After the early excitement I spent the rest of the dive on the lookout for feelers rather than photos.

We were about to ascend after a fruitless search and a very pleasant swim when Dad spotted this little guy. Don’t believe the wide angle lens – he was less than a metre long and swimming slowly through the kelp. With barely a dozen photos taken for 45 minutes in the water so far I followed him along for a few happy snaps. I particularly like the way the light has highlighted his right side in the first photo above, and the S pattern as he slides through the water. It goes to show that the “photo of the dive” can happen in the first minute or the last minute – I was glad I still had the camera out or I would have missed the moment.

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