Dive Report: Wardang Island 1996
Well, seeing as I have not been on a dive for some time now I thought I would reflect on a dive I had 2 years ago out at Wardang Island.
The dive took place on a calm Sunday morning and the trip out to the south west tip of the island was as smooth as a ducks bottom. On arrival at our dive destination, we let go the anchor and suited up for the dive. I must say, after looking over the side of the boat and seeing the bottom as clear as day, I thought we were in only 2 metres of water. But I was reassured by a friend that we were in fact in 7 metres of water. Its clarity was apparently due to the Spencer Gulf current running out.
After entering the water, the first thing I took note of was the bottom. It was limestone and fairly void of any sea grasses, except for short vermicelli type sea grass in places. The first fish that I came across was a Blue Morwong which is also known as a Queen Snapper. A little further on I came across another one and my friends also saw several of these fish. I suppose the thing that surprised me after this dive was to read in my fish books that these fish are normally found in much deeper water. So whether their presence in shallow water was due to mating, or to some other ritual that they were engaged in, I do not know.
A little further along I saw a beautiful Blue Devil and have found out since that this is the only name this fish is known by. Later in the dive I headed into the inner shore, and there to my amazement I found a maze of inshore reefs with an abundance of marine life. There were Garfish, Yellow Eyed Mullet, Banded Sweep, Squid and King George Whiting to name but a few. The weed in this area was more prolific than in the area further out.
The only other creature to be seen in this area that I took note of was a one and a half metre bronze whaler, just gliding lazily through the maze of reefs.
The swim back to the boat was a slow one as the tide had changed and was now heading back up the Gulf.
I do have to admit this was one of my best dives, as the clarity of the water was excellent. The visibility would have been about 8 metres.
In ending this dive report I would just like to say that Wardang Island and its surrounding islands should be either Heritage Listed or made into a Marine Park. I would also like to see the Inner Port Victoria area be protected due to the large amount of sea grasses this area has, and also because it is a fish hatchery area and has a large amount of spratts and fingerlings in and around the area each year.
Extract from a letter dated 21/2/98 by Ron Bellchambers
Established in 1976, the Marine Life Society of South Australia Inc. is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to understanding, promoting and conserving South Australia’s marine biodiversity. Many of the articles found on this blog were originally published in the Society’s monthly newsletters or annual journals.