Winter diving on the Sunshine Coast is renowned for calm surface conditions and beautiful clear water. On Saturday 12th of July, we had one of those perfect days and so our wonderful Skipper Mike decided to throw a surprise night dive.
The call for brave participants went out just before lunch, and by 4pm we had 5 divers ready to brave the cold for a single night dive on the reef. As we got geared up, we pondered on how far we would go to keep warm. Ash decided that her 3mm wet suit under her 5mm with a SharkSkin might do the trick, while everyone else just hoped their 5mm and 7mm’s would be enough to ward off the cold.
With an amazing full moon rising, we headed out for the Pinnacles. We were also treated to an amazing Sunshine Coast Sunset as we cruised out towards the site. When we arrived, the moon was fully risen and we rolled back into the coolness of the water. To be fair, it actually wasn’t that bad at the start, the water a nippy, but bearable, 21 degrees. As we descended the line, torch beams dancing around us, we hit the bottom to see a flurry of movement from the fish below.
As we explored the Pinnacles, we found Hermit Crabs, Nudibranch and a beautiful loggerhead turtle having a nap in a cave. This turtle proceeded to follow the group around for a while, interested in the lights and what we were doing there. Eventually though, he decided it was time to turn in for the night and swam away into the darkness.
After the turtle left us, we continued on our trek around the Pinnacles. The amazing anemone was found (which looks unbelievable under lights), although its Clownfish resident was not so happy to come out and play. You really don’t appreciate some of the wonderful colours down there until you see them under lights at night.
After around twenty minutes though, we were starting to get very cold, and so located the anchor line and started our ascent. John had brought his amazing bubble gun, so we spent the surface interval playing with the bubble rings before surfacing. It really was a great dive with the average water temp hovering at 20 degrees, and although there were a lot of particles in the water, visibility was rather nice. Night dives on the reef are a rare treat, but one that should be enjoyed by all divers.
Thanks to our brave group of night divers, Greg, John, Chris, Rachel and Ash and our Skipper and Lookout, Mike and Raelene.
To be advised of future surprise night dives, make sure you let shop staff know to add you to the mailing list!