Sep 25

September 25, 2017

Long-nosed fur seal at Encounter-Bay by Emma Monceaux

Long-nosed fur seals hauling out at the Fort Glanville breakwater

I had a pleasant surprise on Friday afternoon, when I was treated to an intimate encounter with South Australia’s most notorious pinniped. I’m talking about Arctocephalus forsteri, the long-nosed fur seal; loved by many and detested by some. Previously known as the New Zealand fur seal, its common name caused some confusion in the community, as people falsely assumed that the species wasn’t native to Australia. In South Australia, its population is actually still recovering from intensive sealing efforts in the…

Posted in Conservation, Dive Reports, Pinnipeds | By

Sep 19

September 19, 2017

More About the Normanville Communication Cable

Further to my article “The 1875 Communication Cable from Normanville to Kangaroo Island”, whether the cable was installed in during the 1860s or the 1870s, has been a niggling doubt for the author. The few historical records I’d come across seemed to vary a bit as to key dates with regards to the draft project’s definitive government funding approval date, works commencement and completion dates, and even the official opening ceremony date. Several years ago, I read an old newspaper article, reprinted in one of several…

Posted in intertidal zone, Jetties, Maritime History | By

Sep 17

September 17, 2017

Pipefish encounters: One genus, two species, endless entertainment

Encounters of the kind below are not what most of us expect when at the beach for a swim and a bit of relaxation on a nice summer day. Which adds a special touch, for me at least. You can wade bare-footed at knee to waist depth off almost any white sandy beach in Gulf St Vincent and Spencer Gulf and see several species of pipefish that specialize  in hiding in and around the edges  of those dark patches of seagrass detritus that are…

Posted in Bony fishes, Coastal species, Syngnathids | By

Sep 13

September 13, 2017

The 1875 Communication Cable from Normanville to Kangaroo Island

In December 1875, a submarine communication cable ran from Normanville to Kingscote on Kangaroo Island. Society member and local resident, David Muirhead sent us the following details and photographs concerning the cable: – The spot where the communication cable to Kangaroo Island ran into the sea at Normanville (Taken by David Muirhead) The jigsaw-shaped bit of wet sand at the water’s edge on the northern corner (far right in the image) is exactly where the communication cable from the mainland…

Posted in intertidal zone, Jetties, Maritime History | By

Sep 3

September 3, 2017

Artefacts from Argosy Lemal at Port River Sailing Club

As I stated in my article titled “Follow-up on the Schooners Lemael & Booya” at http://mlssa.org.au/2016/09/09/follow-up-on-the-schooners-lemael-booya/ , “I had previously written a series of articles regarding a number of sailing ships, but two in particular – the Booya and the Lemael. The series started with “Cyclone Tracy Shipwrecks” in our April 2005 newsletter (No.320). This was followed by “More About the Booya” in our July 2005 newsletter (No.323). The third article was titled “The Wreck of the Schooner Lemael” and…

Posted in Maritime History, Shipwrecks | By

Aug 25

August 25, 2017

Port Hughes Jetty 2013 - Steve Reynolds

List of shore dive locations within 2 hours drive from Adelaide

I’ve always been flummoxed by the trend whereby divers who live in Adelaide continually revisit a handful of the state’s innumerable shore diving locations. While the popularity of Rapid Bay jetty, the rocky reefs of Second Valley, the soft coral encrusted columns of the Port Hughes jetty and the built and natural habitats of Port Noarlunga is not undeserved, I’ve compiled this list in the hopes that it encourages divers and snorkelers to branch out and try somewhere new for…

Posted in Coastal activities, Jetties | By

Aug 25

August 25, 2017

Sternum from a Little Penguin found on Largs North beach

A piece of bone that I found whilst walking on Largs North beach this month has been identified as being from a Little Penguin. I took a couple of photos of the bone, which I first thought could have been shark cartilage. I posted some of these photos on Facebook, seeking identification of the creature that the bone may have come from. My photos created an interesting debate on Facebook. The end result though, was that the bone was thought…

Posted in Citizen Science, Coastal species, Shorebirds | By

Aug 19

August 19, 2017

The Unique South

Seems like only yesterday that lovers of temperate southern Australian rocky reefs first heard and, in some cases, eagerly promulgated the term “The Unique South “. The term had instant appeal as a catchy descriptor with seemingly obvious educational value. I loved the term from the first encounter. I guess the term “Unique South ” struck so powerful an emotional chord within me because fate decreed the time had come. And because of the validation it bestowed on people who…

Posted in Creative writing | By

Aug 8

August 8, 2017

Jean and “Kitty” Whyte (Daughter of shark attack victim died exactly 77 years to the day later)

“Kitty” Whyte was SA’s first known shark attack victim. In March 1926, she had been giving swimming lessons to some children at Brighton jetty when she was attacked by a 3-4m shark She was subsequently rescued by two men in a boat, but she apparently died on the beach.  I previously documented Kitty’s death in two past MLSSA Newsletter issues (Nov. 2011 and Feb. 2012). My two-part report regarding Kitty’s death gave the date of her death as 17th March…

Posted in Achievements, Sharks & Rays | By

Jul 9

July 9, 2017

The Branched Feeding Tentacles of Dendrochirotid Sea Cucumbers

I recently posted this photograph on the “ID Please (Marine Creature Identification)” Facebook page, asking “Are these sea cucumber tentacles? Taken at Port Stanvac, South Australia.” I soon received a reply from Frédéric Ducarme saying “Yes, dendrochirotid sea cucumbers.” Frederic provided me with a link to Wikipedia where it read ““Dendrochirotida are an order of sea cucumbers. Members of this order have branched tentacles and are suspension feeders. Examples include Thyonella and Cucumaria.” The Wikipedia page went on to say,…

Posted in Marine invertebrates | By