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Monday, 24 September 2012

Elmo's World

Got some nice  boat diving in on Saturday which more than made up for the poor showing last weekend. A 30 min boat ride will see you at Elmo's Wall and depending on who you ask, they will tell you 10 different versions as to how it got its name. 

With a sand patch below us at 20 metres, we followed it along to the swimthrough which takes us down onto the wall proper.

If you followed it all the way to it's conclusion, you can come out at around 42 metres or if you prefer to be a bit more conservative you can swim out earlier at around 28 metres.

Swimthrough at 42
We headed out West along the wall with the current and worked in and out the cuts. Some lovely scenery here with loads of colour and life. The big stuff wasn't out in force today but still very pretty indeed.
Vibrant colours in the depths
Large shoals of triggerfish, grunts, jacks and snappers where happy enough to cruise on by with the occassional visit from some pretty large tarpons to see what were about.
On the cruise for the next meal
Most of the dive was spent getting some scenic shots for an upcoming project, luckily the light was in the right place a lot of the time and the viz was exceptionally good. It's one of those dives where a lot of things seem to come together at the right time and you're able to grab those magical shots.
End of Elmo's Wall
It was pretty lumpy getting back on the boat seeing as the wind had picked up a little, but we didn't have far to motor over to the Ironshore Gardens. I've done this a couple times before and just like previous times, there is a lot of surge and sand which makes it pretty challenging from a photographic stand point, so not my best shooting experience but still plenty to see and do with plenty of cuts and swimthroughs to play about in.
"My, what a hell of a lot of teeth you have Grandma!"
If you can anchor yourself to the bottom and resit the surge, it pays just to stop and check all the little nooks and crannies as they are teeming with life, especially of the smaller variety.
Small and perfectly formed
Gobies, blennies, shrimps, morays, cowries, hogfish, hamlets, they were all present and correct and quite happy to mooch around the dive site. We did get a nurse shark come in for a nose to see what we were about but it disappeared sharpish and I got one crappy picture of it in the distance. Still plenty more fish in the sea, pardon the pun. 

Also if you can find the telltale signs, there's quite a few octopus (octopi, octopusses, take your your pick) to be seen. Although they were reluctant to show a tentacle outside of their holes.
Unwilling to come out and share the octopus love with us
Also worth paying attention to some of the coral heads and islands sitting out in the sand as they have plenty of scorpionfish sitting out, waiting to be photographed.
A lovely, lumpy little fellow
And have a good nose in the sand as well as it's very easy to miss some really nice stuff in the cat litter.
A face a mother could love. Possibly
We had a great day diving with Ocean Frontiers, as always and with finishing up at lunchtime, we still had plenty of time to get back home for cocktails in the sun. Perfect.