I was staying at the Point Turton Caravan Park during a heatwave at the end of December 2007. I wanted to dive at Magazine Bay on this trip. I may have gone there late on 30th December to do just a reconnaissance snorkel to see what the area was like.

The two sides of Magazine Bay

I did a 15-minute snorkel on the left hand (eastern?) side of the bay. I saw lots of fish, including a box fish there. That was all the incentive that I needed to return for a scuba dive the next day (New Year’s Eve).

Due to the excessive heat conditions that week, it was necessary to be in the water by 8am. I was diving alone, with my wife Noeleen acting as lookout for me. I headed straight for the western side of the bay this time. I saw lots of fish again, including an eagle ray.

The sea was flat calm, and it was a sunny day. The visibility was good (or better) and I enjoyed an hour in the water. The standout feature of the dive was seeing so many purple urchins, Heliocidaris erythrogramma. I took several photos of those sea urchins during my dive.

This photo later featured on page xxv of “Ecology of Australian Temperate Reef – The Unique South”, along with the caption “Mini-barrens formed by the purple urchin Heliocidaris erythrogramma in SE Spencer Gulf (photo Steve Reynolds)”: –

My solo dive at Magazine Bay, near Point Turton in 2007 resulted in three previous articles: –

More on Sea Urchin Barrens and Mini-Barrens

Follow-up re Sea urchin barrens and mini-barrens

More on Sea Urchin Barrens and Mini-Barrens

The only time that I have been able to return to Magazine Bay for a dive occurred when Real Life Surveys were looking for a location to do some monitoring training on that side of Yorke Peninsula. I initroduced them to the site, which seemed to work out okay for them & I. Being so busy training though, I didn’t get much chance to appreciate the dive to the same extent.

By Steve Reynolds

Steve Reynolds is the current President of MLSSA and is a long-standing member of the Society. Steve is a keen diver, underwater explorer, photographer and is chief author of the Society's extensive back catalogue of newsletters and journals.

One thought on “My solo dive at Magazine Bay, near Point Turton in 2007”
  1. Very useful information thanks Steve.
    Both as historical (2007) re urchin densities barrens and mini-barrens, and as a suggestion for a good safe shore dive site.I don’t think I have ever dived Magazine Bay (I might have snorkeled part of it but even that is uncertain; until around the turn of the century I only logged dives not snorkels, with a few notable exceptions).
    Brief comment about the high Urchin densities you encountered in 2007:-I suspect that this location would be at very high risk of developing barrens, mainly due the intense recreational (and probably occupational) fishing that occurs there. Hardwicke Bay to Corny Point, talk about high annual recreational boating visitation!

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