Exmouth April 2010
Friday, 16th of April 2010 was the day we left for
Exmouth on our long awaited dive trip. Mick Tait
left the day before with the long task of towing
his boat up and I travelled up with Shannon
Conway. That night we met up at the house we
had rented for the duration and unloaded,
followed by a barbeque at Gudge and Mary’s
place just around the corner. The trip didn’t quite
start as planned as Micks new 7d had not
arrived as promised by Australia Post so he had
to continue using his 20d for the first few days.
Saturday saw us heading out to Lighthouse Bay
for a couple of dives. Gudge and Mary in their boat along with Kristen while we followed behind due to our lack of local knowledge. We
dived a site called Blizzard, which was teeming with huge schools of fish. The diving in Lighthouse Bay is around the 14m mark and makes
for good long bottom times to explore the reef edges. These sites are not what you expect to see up here as they are only low reef with
small ledges but they are great for photography as you can find just about everything here from macro to
wide angle. We finished the day at Labyrinth, which is made up of small gullies and ridges.
The next day we headed back to Lighthouse Bay where we did two more dives on Blizzard reef, hoping to
get a chance at wide angle. Shannon managed a few great wide-angle shots and we decided to return
here on the Monday to do some more. Day 3 we arrived at Blizzard reef and I changed straight back to
macro. Visibility was bad. We finished the day at Razors where we had slightly better vis and found many
cleaning stations.
The wind came up the next two days and kept us out of the water so we decided to see the topside sights
including Yardi Creek and Turquoise Bay and spent some time relaxing.
On Thursday 22nd Ross and Mary took a few days off and took us to a site in Lighthouse Bay called
Gulliver’s but the visibility was reduced to a couple of metres or less so we decided to give Bundegi Reef a
try. Visibility was better here and the hard corals are a sight to see. This site is on the inside of Exmouth
Gulf and is in about six metres of water so two hour dives are the norm. The next three days saw us doing
double two hour dives at Bundegi with a mixture of wide-angle and macro
and although we found this a great site for photography we were hanging
out for more dives outside.
The weather started to turn the next day so we only got one dive at Bundegi and that was it until
Wednesday the 28th.
We were now desperate to go elsewhere so we did a run out to the Murion Islands where we managed
three dives for the day. When I last dived these Islands fifteen years earlier I encountered many large
Potato Cod as well as Rays and other large marine creatures but this trip gave us none of these. I don’t
know if it was due to being a different time of year but it was a bit of a let down for me.
Thursday 29th of April was our last day of diving and we shot around to Lighthouse bay to try the Razor’s
site again and we were greeted with good conditions and reasonable visibility. The site had changed a lot
since the previous dive here due to sand being dumped over the reef but we still had a good dive. For our
second dive we tried Gulliver’s again and had a pleasant 90-minute dive with Sharks, Sea Snakes and lots
of macro life.
To sum up I would say that given good conditions, Exmouth provides great diving, particularly for
photography but the conditions here can be un-predictable and can blow out from one day to the next. The sites are close to the marina
and there are many public moorings at all the favourite ones including Bundigi and six moorings in Lighthouse Bay.
I would like to give a special thanks to Ross and Mary Gudgeon who put up with us and showed us all the sites we visited. Their local
knowledge of the reefs and conditions was invaluable to us in our endeavours to photograph the region. If we weren’t spending our nights
at their house eating wonderful food and having a few ales, we enjoyed their company at the many fine eateries around town. Ross and
Mary are moving from Exmouth in the near future and I am glad I could spend some time with them before they left.