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An ever changing adventure shore dive
Halifax has been in a constant state of change due to sand movement. It is true that the prolific area directly out north and to the west is mostly covered by sand. Thankfully though the shallow rocks at the entry are becoming exposed bringing with it small nursery life and past the marker to the east the sponges are alive and well.Due to the ever changing sand coverage this dive is suitable for more experience levels with max depth of the sponges being approx 25 meters.
Entry is best on the beach heading out directly toward the marker. There will be a bit of sand to cover until you reach the rocks at approx 5 mtrs where you will be greeted by a swarm of friendly blue groupers. Once at the base of the marker head due east approx 10 meters to find the start of the sponge ledges. From here you can continue east or head north which will take you deeper.
Another option is to enter off flat rock which can be accessed by walking along the track from the car park. Here the entry is covered in seagrasses and plants with a number of fish to keep you company. From here simply head north to find the sponges.
The sponges are spread out in clumps and lines along the sea floor. You can set your compass for a direction or simply follow them zig zaging around enjoying the life that live on and within. The fish life in this area is not a prolific as Fly Point but there is still plenty to see such as eels, silver drummer, leather jackets of all sizes, bulls eyes, yellow tail, rays, bream and wobbegong sharks. In areas with little fish life you are still surrounded by the colour of a variety of sponges, ascidians, and soft coral. Some sponges are so HUGE you could not get your arms around them.
Heading directly north from the first area of sponges you can quickly easily get to 20+ metres so watch your computers. Have a look for the twin bommies at 20/22 metrs to the west of the marker which often homes large schooling roughies, yellowtail and stripes along with a number of little critters living within the protection of the sponges. If you continue North you can continue to find sponges down to approx 25 metres.
To find the exit simply head South to get yourself back toward the shoreline. At the 5mtr point if you are over sand then you head East or if you are on the sponges or rocks head west. If you are over the sponges or rocks you will first come to the marker pole then continue along until you find two pyramids of rocks / concrete tubes created by divers as a place to hang out on your safety stop. If you are over the sand then you will start to encounter some rocks then the pyramids of rocks / concrete tubes. There is plenty of life in and around this area. When you are ready to come up head South and follow the sand to the exit.
The tides that bring the nutrient-rich water into the Bay also dictate our diving schedule. Best time is on the slack high tide. Depending on the size of the tide as to how much time you have safely in the water. A 1.4m or smaller tide you could get in a bit early or squeeze in two shorter dives but the norm is to do one big long relaxing dive.
For the bigger tides 1.7m – 2m you might find yourself diving while the tide is still running. In this case you are best to head into the current toward the Eastern side and down being careful to come back to the exit point when you feel the current turn otherwise you will have a hard swim once the current heads out of the bay. Please ask at the shop for a map and advice before diving here for the first time or request a Dive Master to guide you.