Connect with us
background

News

Shore diving in South Australia: Part 1 – Edithburgh Jetty

Published

on

The first in a three part series from Scubaverse regular bloggers CJ and Mike as they dive South Australia…

Mike and I got the travel bug again back in February and went off on another adventure!  This time we planned to leave the grey skies of Manchester behind and fly to the warmth of Australia, for a week’s diving in Adelaide to try and spot some Leafy Sea Dragons. So it was off to Australia!  Singapore Airlines was lovely, staff provided lots of water, the food was tasty and the seats were comfortable, but no seat will stop a very numb bum after 21hrs of flying.  Arriving in Brisbane we found it really quite warm after the UK winter, (in Australia they have sunshine and blue skies, don’t you know!).

Since our destination was Adelaide, we boarded another flight having let our backsides recover somewhat and picked up out trusty rental car.  We headed to chat with the friendly and helpful staff at Diving Adelaide, who we had been in email correspondence with prior to our trip.  On arrival we were told weather was looking bad for two days and Rapid Bay Jetty, (our main aim) was going to be blown out that day, but Edithburgh Jetty might prove to be more diveable the next day, as it’s protected from south westerlies.  Given the forecast we took a rest day (jet lag was making itself known at the point) and planned to go and check out Edithburgh the next day.  You just can’t beat local knowledge!

One of the things we were most excited about on this trip was that it was that the dive sites are all shore dives.  As great as boat diving is, I do love being able to show up somewhere with my buddy and just jump in.  Particularly, when you can jump into waters so rich in marine life in just a few metres.

Dive 1: Edithburgh Jetty

After a much needed rest, the following day the weather was nice and cool (thank goodness, as we were in drysuits) and it seemed like it’d be worth risking the 3 hour drive and hoping the conditions are ok.  Since we’d been up since 3:30am (Yay, jet-lag!) we made an early start and headed out about 6am for Edithburgh on the Yorke Peninsula, very much hoping to get a nice first dive of the trip in.

The drive went well and we saw lots of interesting local birds and lots of Aussie roadworks before arriving in Edithburgh.  Turning left at the stop sign in town we came to the jetty and see divers in the car park kitting up.  Result: It’s good to dive!  Kitting up took a while as it was our first dive of the trip, but the time was well spent and we enjoyed a fabulous 70 min dive under Edithburgh Jetty, at a max depth of 5.3m.  We saw a HUGE numbers of fish and invertebrate species we had never seen before and had a great, relaxed dive exploring, with Mike snapping away happily.

Edithburg Jetty dive details:

  • Dive level:  Easy
  • Depth: 8m
  • Type: Shore dive – Jetty, Photography, Night.
  • Vis: 10m+
  • Marine Life:  Invertebrates, macro, squid, leafy seadragons.
  • Entry:  Steps
  • Water temp:  18-21 degrees C (65-70F)
  • Facilities:  Yes, toilets, fresh water, car park, nearby food & drink, air fills at gas station.

Edithburgh Jetty is an easy dive, with good entry, shallow depth and is protected from the prevailing weather most of the year, making it very popular.  It boasts a large amount of marine life including the striped pyjama squid, often seen on night dives and is highly rated for underwater photography.

The jetty begins at the end of Edith street and points east.  It is 170m long and 11m at its widest point.  The seabed is white sand littered with discarded structure which are covered with sponges and other invertebrate life, venturing out from under the jetty you will find seagrass and other marine plants in the surrounding area.  The piles support a huge array of colourful marine life, it is very important to watch your buoyancy and fins so you do not damage the marine life on the seafloor and on the pilings.

The entry point is the steps 30m from the start of the pier, at about 2m at high tide, there is a handrail and the steps are close together making exiting the water comfortable.  The maximum depth is 8m on the north side of the jetty where boats used to moor, but most of the dive is around 5m, so a good long dive exploring the whole structure is possible.  Slow is best on this dive, air allowing, as it is shallow and you will likely see more critters if you take your time.

Visibility is often good (10m+) allowing you to see the jetty structure on both sides and navigate easily, however the vis can drop below 5m when easterly winds blow through.  Possible dive plans include a simple out and back swim of about 350m, a swim to the end of the jetty and exploration of the deeper dredged area (8m), which is popular for squid spotting on night dives or a swim of around 550m, from the jetty to the tidal pool and back along the coast.  When diving the jetty be aware of fishermen, it is best to stay fairly close to or underneath the pier.  The tidal flow crosses the jetty and so be aware of the direction of water flow as it may cause more collisions with the pier structure.

The facilities here are good.  There is car parking beside the jetty and car parks on either side of Edith street overlooking the jetty.  There is also a small toilet block with a fresh water tap and nearby changing facilities at Edithburgh Tidal Pool.  Food and drinks are available at the stores on Edith street and neighbouring streets and the BP petrol station offers air fills for AUD$10 per tank.

Next up… Rapid Bay Jetty.


For more from CJ and Mike please visit their website here.

CJ and Mike are dive instructors who have travelled all over the world pursuing their passion for the underwater world. CJ is a PADI MI and DSAT Trimix instructor with a degree in Conservation biology and ecology, who has been diving for 15 years. She loves looking for critters and pointing them out for Mike to photograph. Mike is a PADI MSDT who got back into diving in 2010. He enjoys practicing underwater photography and exploring new and exciting dive locales, occasionally with more than one tank. Follow more of their diving adventures at www.bimbleintheblue.com.

News

10 Great Coral Reef Destinations for Every Snorkeler

Published

on

There is nothing like drifting over a coral reef, watching vibrant fish life and thriving corals as the sun shines overhead. If you’re lucky, you might spot a passing sea turtle, manta ray or even a whale shark whilst you explore. Reef snorkeling is simply one of the best experiences and you don’t need to travel far to try it.

Whether you’re looking for an affordable destination close to home, a family-friendly trip, an idyllic island getaway, or a touch of luxury, we’ve got you covered. Read on for our pick of 10 great coral reef destinations for every snorkeler to enjoy.

Family-friendly coral reef destinations

  • Easily accessible.
  • Year-round sunshine.
  • Plenty of facilities and entertainment for families.
  1. Egypt

Egypt is a classic family destination that offers clear blue waters teeming with life. There are dozens of snorkeling spots just off Egypt’s beaches, especially at bustling Sharm El Sheikh. Snorkeling there is like swimming in an aquarium, and it is a perfect for adults and kids of all ages.

For a more laid-back vibe, head south to Marsa Alam. This small resort town is renowned for its sandy beaches and coral reefs. That said, the real highlight there is snorkeling with large families of spinner dolphins, dugongs and sea turtles.

  1. Australia

Australia might be further afield than Egypt for many people, but the big marine life and year-round sunshine make it hard to beat.

Take a trip to Cairns and you can visit two UNESCO World Heritage sites at one place: the enormous Great Barrier Reef and the ancient Daintree Rainforest. As well as plenty of smaller reef life, the Great Barrier Reef hosts reef sharks galore, plus dwarf minke whales and humpback whales in winter.

Love whale sharks? Head west and to snorkel with these spotty giants at Ningaloo Reef and explore the remarkable UNESCO-listed Ningaloo Coast.

Luxurious coral reef destinations

  • Romantic settings.
  • Luxurious accommodation options.
  • Combine world-class reef snorkeling and relaxation.
  1. Raja Ampat, Indonesia

Sitting in the heart of the Coral Triangle, Raja Ampat has some of the highest marine biodiversity in the world. There are numerous manta rays, whale sharks and pastel-hued soft corals, putting diving in Raja Ampat at the top of many wish lists. These stunning islands are best enjoyed by hopping on a Raja Ampat cruise.

  1. Wakatobi, Indonesia

If you want to indulge in a luxury getaway and explore coral reefs that few people visit, go to Wakatobi. There you will find palm-fringed islands washed by azure waters with almost no other people in sight.

Underwater, Wakatobi is known for having huge sponges and corals that are busy with prized Coral Triangle critters. There are healthy seagrass beds with plenty of juvenile green sea turtles and you can spot Hawksbill turtles on the reefs.

  1. The Maldives

The Maldives is what luxury getaways are all about. Picture-perfect islands, warm waters, soft white sands and fantastic food. All with a generous helping of excellent snorkeling just a few paces off the shore.

Whether you hop on a day-boat to the outer reefs or explore around your resort’s house reef, snorkeling and diving in the Maldives are hard to beat. You can swim with whale sharks, hang out with hundreds of mantas at Hanifaru Bay, or simply enjoy a cocktail whilst the sun goes down.

Idyllic island destinations

  • Perfect for island-hopping adventures.
  • Tropical destinations far from daily life.
  • Easy snorkeling at some of the world’s best reefs.
  1. Fiji

Fiji is known as the ‘soft coral capital of the world’ and doesn’t disappoint. The reefs at this welcoming destination are swathed in vivid soft corals in just about every color you can imagine.

As well as eye-popping reefs, Fiji has fantastic seasonal marine life, including plenty of whales during winter and large pelagic fish. Go island hopping to swim with mantas or become a certified diver to join Fiji’s famous bull shark dive. The choice is entirely yours.

  1. The Solomon Islands

 The Solomon Islands offer some of the finest snorkeling in the South Pacific, if not the world. Whilst there are numerous destinations to choose from at these volcanic islands, don’t miss Marovo Lagoon.

It is the world’s largest saltwater lagoon and is dotted with hundreds of jungle-clad islands, many of which are uninhabited. The waters are calm, and the reefs are thriving; with huge sea fans, countless reef fish, shallow shipwrecks and stunning coral gardens

Coral reefs off the beaten path

  • Great for adventurous travelers and experienced snorkelers.
  • Go the distance and enjoy the rewards.
  • Few other tourists in sight.
  1. Sipadan Island, Borneo

Sipadan Island was formed by living corals growing on top of an extinct volcano and offers fantastic snorkeling thanks to the deep-water currents that bring up nutrients to the reef.

There you will find mesmerizing underwater landscapes with around 600 species of coral and 1200 fish species. There are huge schools of barracuda, plus parrotfish, reef sharks, tiny critters tucked among the corals, and abundant sea turtles.

  1. Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea (PNG) is well off the tourist trail. But if you don’t mind the travel time, you can snorkel among untouched reefs and immerse in a tribal culture like no other.

With over 600 islands, there are numerous destinations to choose from in PNG. Kimbe Bay was voted as one of the world’s most beautiful reefs by National Geographic. Take a trip to Tufi and you can snorkel in the shadow of dramatic fjords and experience PNG’s incredible marine diversity.

  1. The Marshall Islands

With around 5000 visitors a year, the Marshall Islands are one of the world’s least-visited countries. Don’t expect to go there and find endless restaurants and resorts. Instead, you will find friendly locals and vibrant reefs that few people ever get to see.

Even better, the Marshall Islands has been home to the world’s largest shark sanctuary since 2011 and this island nation continues to be committed to ocean conservation. Go there before the rest of the world finds out.


Kathryn Curzon, a shark conservationist and dive travel writer for Scuba Schools International (SSI), wrote this article.

Continue Reading

Marine Life & Conservation

Virgin Pure partners with PADI Aware Foundation to highlight plastic waste threat

Published

on

To help hammer home the severity of the issues of plastic pollution home water filtration system, Virgin Pure – which has made it a mission to reduce the number of single use plastic bottles we consume in the UK – has partnered with marine conservation charity, PADI AWARE Foundation, to reimagine four classic fish recipes as they might be in 2050, by including one incongruous ingredient: plastic.

Imagine tucking into a hearty portion of fish and chips, or a comforting fish pie, but instead of eating fish, you’re confronted with dirty, discarded plastic. The starkly damning image of whole fish replaced by plastic waste could well be a reality by 2050, when research predicts there will be more plastic than fish in our oceans. It may seem an extreme image, but it is already happening, albeit invisibly; studies continue to reveal how much we consume in the form of microplastics in our food and water.

The average Londoner still buys more than three SUP water bottles every week, an eye-watering 175 bottles every year per person. In total, some 7.7 billion plastic bottles are bought across the UK each year, resulting in substantial amounts of single-use plastic waste.

Data from PADI AWARE Foundation, which works with scuba divers across the world to remove plastic waste from the seas, also reveals there are over 8 million pieces of plastic entering the ocean each day; it estimates that there are 46,000 pieces of plastic in the ocean for every square mile, with the majority (80%) of that plastic coming from the land.

Virgin Pure has recreated four recipes as a wake-up call to all bottled water buyers: Golden Beer-Battered Fish with Chips, a seafood Linguine, a traditional Fish Pie and a Seafood Paella to the same quality standard but with one additional standout ingredient replacing the majority of the seafood in each: plastic. All the plastic used in the dishes has been retrieved from the ocean by PADI Aware Foundation, meaning it’s the exact plastic rubbish that’s being dumped into the world’s oceans which causes serious issues for marine animals and the environment.

These plastics are not only ingested by animal life, but through the water we drink and the food we eat. In fact, researchers believe that between 10 and 30% of fish in any sample will be contaminated with microplastics.

Tom Stazicker, CEO of Virgin Pure, comments: “None of us want to be consuming plastic, visible or not. Our products filter out harmful substances like chlorine, rust and microplastics that are commonly found in regular tap water, giving a better reason than ever before for people to stop buying bottled water. We’re delighted to be supporting the work that PADI AWARE Foundation does by partnering them, and proud to be able to offer a solution for those who want to kick the plastic bottle habit for good.”

Danna Moore, Global Director, PADI AWARE Foundation adds: “We hope this campaign helps bring to life just how severe the problem is, and encourages people to do better, get involved in ocean conservation and cut down on single-use plastic bottles. Whether you are a certified diver, a fisherman or a small child building a sandcastle at the local beach, the declining health of the oceans affects us all.”

One of the benefits of Virgin Pure is that it provides clean tasting, filtered drinking water on tap, making it that much easier to stop buying bottled water altogether. The devices also filter out microplastics from tap water, the same microplastics that are also commonly found in fish and other seafood.

To donate to PADI Aware Foundation, visit: https://netdonor.net/page/81717/donate/1

Continue Reading

E-Newsletter Sign up!

Competitions

Expires on:

Book 6 spaces on Scuba Scene on the 18th or 25th December departure dates and pay for only 5.

More Less

Instagram Feed

Popular