Middle Head

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Not the most usual dive sites, but hey that's why they are described here, we don't want to replicate what is available elsewhere. Incidentally, both the beaches are known as nudist beaches, but as I dived at night time I haven't got anything to report other than the diving experience.

In short I would prefer Cobblers for exploring the sand in front of the beach and giving a look at the small wreck, and Obelisk for exploring the colourful boulders.

Cobblers Beach

Park the car at the start of the path to the beach and be ready for a bit of a walk, 450 m in length and 37 m in difference in altitude, but nothing particularly hard as the incline is moderate.

One target is the wreck 210 m from the beach, nothing too fancy, it's a barge 6 m long and 1.5 m high with the steel hull partially corroded and some vegetation on it, but being in the middle of the sandy bottom the trip itself is a potential attraction. When I dived on 16/9/20, in the space between the coast ant the wreck I came across some juvenile (30 cm) Port Jackson sharks and a always interesting Hammer Octopus.

Being the wreck pretty small and far from the beach, it's a good practice to keep an eye on the watch and if you don't get there in say 8-10 minutes you have overshot it and it's time to start aiming for the coast. This assumes that you know your underwater cruising speed, mine is 25 m/min, it's a good practice to measure it at some stage as it helps heaps in avoiding the number 1 mistake in underwater navigation which is overshooting a waypoint and basing the subsequent decisions on the wrong assumed position, potentially triggering a chain of errors as I discovered myself one night when I landed in somebody's backyard at Vaucluse instead of Parsley Bay.

From the wreck you can aim East and start following the coast as air allows before turning back. I did about 200 m and found an interesting landscape of big boulders on top of each other with crevices and swim throughs, covered with colourful sponges blue, green and orange here and there. There was also a big lobster, which is not common to see, definitely not during the day as they stay hidden.

Obelisk Beach

Same difference of altitude to be walked, but definitely the narrow path is shorter and with steps.

The dive is simple, just follow the sandline towards East as air allows. In my dive on 3/9/20 I swam 450 m before turning back. After the first unimpressive 200 m, there is a change of scenery with sponges of any colour and overhangs that reminded me of Fairlight. The depth of the sandline is 7 m. A group of 5 Port Jackson and Crested Horn sharks resting in the crevices, a crocodile fish, 3 eels, 2 octopuses, red morwongs.

Once back at Obelisk, wanting to consumer the last bars, I stayed in the shallow water of the beach trying to shoot some tiny squids floating in the first 50 cm of water amid a lot of small particles. I only managed to get one in focus but across the multitude of shots I was deleting I found a real surprise: a tiny plankton with the shape of a cosmic star casually came into focus. I even went checking whether there was a crack in the glass of my lens that precise and symmetrical the plankton was. With the system I described here I managed to calculate the size of the little marvel, see picture below. I don't know if those tiny creatures are resident or probably just pushed in that corner by the wind.

Pictures of Cobblers Beach's dive

On my way to the wreck, tiny PJ

A hammer octopus between the wreck and the coast

This barge must have seen better days

Another picture of the wreck


Pictures of Obelisk Beach

the supertiny plankton that casually came into focus as I was trying to shoot a squid midwater

Crested Horn shark

Crocodile Fish

Squid 2 cm long