I love Lonsdale Wall. I love cave diving too, and the wrecks are pretty cool, but there’s something about this little stretch of brightly coloured, densely packed, huge variety of sponge life living in high velocity waters that makes for the best dives in Australia. The tidal flow in and out of Port Phillip Bay each day means there’s only a short window for diving.
The top of the wall has a forest of kelp, but the underside of the underhangs is where it’s at. Between the carpet of yellow zooanthinds the sponges come in all different colours. The water absorbs colours at depth so a quick strobe flash lets me get a look at the pinks and oranges and see what will come out in photos.
Sponges come in all shapes and sizes, from little fans to big blobby things. The reef fish population is curious about divers, and my latest tactic of floating in one place until they get close enough for photos is working well. For all of these shots, spending five minutes waiting for the local fish to relax and then get interested paid off. Using the rEvo so they weren’t running away every time I breathed out definitely helped.
On the second wall dive I did over the weekend, we landed in a great spot with huge undercuts under every ledge. The sun was behind clouds for most of the dive and low lighting made it more difficult to capture blue water, but the scenery was fantastic. Diving a spot I didn’t recognise and seeing new wall formations was a bonus.