I got wet for the first time in 7 years on 10/12/2006. I went out with Warrnambool's "Dive Inn" crew for a refresher dive. The site was chosen as it is relatively protected but on this occasion the sea was flat. Hell I've seen baths with more chop and swell, and this was the Southern Ocean!
I've attached two maps to show the location of the dive.
Warrnambool.jpg is an overview of the area basically showing the township with the dive location circled in red.
Stingray_Bay_Dive_Site.jpg is a more detailed map of the circled area.
Using the Stingray Bay Map, we parked where I have marked "parking", geared up and walked about 150 - 200m across the sand at low tide to the area where I have marked with an arrow.
We then snorkelled out between the islands to the middle of the islands or as I was told by the locals, "Middle Island", where we descended and started our bottom time.
It was a beautiful dive. Lots of sponges, grasses, kelps etc. Lots of colour and a few fish. There are also a lot of swim throughs and ledges to poke around in and crays are easily found for those wanting to look.
I wouldn't mind doing this dive as a night dive to see the invertibrate life come out of hiding. I think it would be awesome considering I saw 3 crays without really looking, just being a tourist.
If you are out along the West Coast, I'd advise hooking up with a knowledgable local and blowing bubbles out this way as I think there is a lot to see and I've only used one tank so far out here.
Many more to come I think.
One last note on Stingray Bay. This area can be treatcherous as the currents in stingray bay can make holes in the shallows that swollow kids, so if the grommets are tagging along to have a play on the beach while you head underwater make sure an adult is with them. A couple of kids drowned here a couple of years back and my wife has had to recover my son from one of these holes when they were visiting the beach last summer. He was quite literally walking in bum deep water and just dissapeared. Thankfully she was alert and watching and he was unharmed.
It's a beautiful beach that is very protected, but like all waters must be respected.
Cheers and safe diving
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