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Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Love Sculpture

After several bouts of bad weather, we finally made it back in the water at our favourite shore dive, Lighthouse Point. And this weekend was extra special seeing as it was the sinking of the new feature here, the Guardian of the Reef statue as sculpted by Simon Morris.

Pre dive assessment. Sceptre *check*, shield *check*, crown *check*
You may of heard of Simon Morris before as he was the creative mind behind the statue of Amphitrite which graces the waters at Sunset house and has been a regular attraction for divers the world over. No doubt, the Guardian of the reef will prove to be an equal draw for aquaholics everywhere.

At just shy of 4 metres (3.96m to be exact) and half a ton, he's a big boy to be sure and when sitting on his plinth, that boosts the height to around 4.5 metres , so you certainly wont miss him when you swim out over the mini wall.

The Guardian faces the dive centre and reef to keep a close eye on things and to make sure the nudibranchs and sea horses don't wander to far astray. With the bottom of the plinth sitting at 21m and the head at around 16m, this is a very easy dive for divers of all levels of certification and well worth making a visit to see.

Dedication to Jay and Nancy.
Unfortunately there are always some morons out there and we saw other divers sitting on the statues head and knocking their tanks off it and it had been in the water for less than 24 hours. People like that we definitely don't need in the water. Muppets.

The Guardian approves of your buoyancy control vewy qwiet. The Guardian is sleeping........

Morons aside, we spent the majority of the dive getting the shots I needed for the mags and making a mental note of the new positions of some of the mooring and marker buoys seeing as they've shuffled them around a bit to mark the statues position amongst other things.

Conditions were surprisingly good give the poor weather we've had the last 3-4 days and we had a 4-5 knot wind ESE with a mild surge in the shallows which was nominal.

Sunset and time to hunt nudibranch
The hardpan wasn't exactly jumping with life this evening and it proved a little challenge to find a few of my favourite things (like raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, bright copper kettles with warm woolen mittens, for all you Sound of Music fans out there).

On the way out to get a couple of macros shots of the Guardian, I spotted a really nice juvenile jawfish that was kind enough pose for a couple of shots. 

Open up and say "Ahhhhhh"
There was also an abundance of bristleworms out tonight in a multitude of different colours particularly some nice red-orange ones making their way over some sponges with baby bristleworms in tow.

Speaking of babys, there was the tiniest little Elysia crispata sitting all by itself. I've included my pinky finger nail to give you some sort of idea of the scale. It's positively dinky.

We had a reasonable selection of sailfin blennies and orange sided gobies hiding out this evening on the corals not to mention a few pea crabs, pistol shrimps and needle nose puffer fish to round things off.

All in all it was a nice night for a dive and nice to get back to the familiar stomping grounds after all rubbish weather recently and it'll be as equally nice to get back out to East End and jump off a perfectly good boat next weekend. Until then, safe diving everyone!