Location: The Gulch, Bicheno
Diver Qualification: Open Water
Average Depth: 11mtrs
Max Depth: 18mtrs
Directions: About 200 metres North of the Wharves in The Gulch is a bombie covered in Bull Kelp. The dive site is the North and East side of this bombie. If in doubt- seek local knowledge.
Description: The following is an edited description of a NIGHT dive at this great spot:
"Spectacular" doesn't do it justice. "Blue Waters" at the Gulch in Bicheno is the location. Easy entry and exit over the granite ramps. Big boulders and blocks. Great vis... and the fishlife... where do I start?
How about a 30cm+ Weedy Seadragon (Phyllopteryx taeniolatus) resplendent in its orange coat with iridescent blue trim. Or crayfish (Jasus edwardsii), just out roaming around. Big, bright red hermit crabs (Strigopagurus strigimanus) dragging their house about while they feed.
The swimming anemone (Phlyctenactis tuberculosa), an unusual blob of beans by day becomes a beautiful crown of tentacles by night. The dreaded black urchin (Centrostephanus rodgersii) takes an ethereal glow by torchlight. The show continues...
Swimming over the edge of small crevice I look down and my heart skips. A SHARK! Okay, it's asleep and definitely not a threat. I call my buddy, over. It's a draughtboard shark (Cephaloscyllium laticeps). These docile sharks have their dorsal fin well back along the spinal ridge. This one's about a metre long and doesn't move while we watch.
Heading back towards the exit I find one of my favourite fish, Shaw's cowfish (Arcana aurita). A male, with bold blue colouring is trying to hide in the brown weed. Someone should let this fish know it's camouflage doesn't work! A bit further on I see a female. It's brown colouring makes it less conspicuous but equally impressive...
Access Type: SHORE
Average Visibility: 15mtrs