DI'S DELIGHT

In the early 1980s, Tahira Marina was a proper boat/yacht marina. It was managed by Robby Foster and his wife, Diane. This was before the RPYC was moved to its current location at Harbour City. 
Besides taking care of the yachts at the marina, Robby also ran fishing trips on a 23-foot banana boat with a center console. He noticed that he always caught fish in this particular channel and usually, good fishing sites are also good dive sites. So he told us where this place was, and Kevin Baldwin went down to dive there and discovered all the bommies where the dive site is now. We called it "Di's delight" after his wife, Di Foster who was also a diver.

The reef here runs east-west and off the southern side of the reef, there are a series of bommies. These three bommies are almost one bommie, as they are only separated by small canyons. The bommies are like bricks placed on the bottom, with gaps in between. The western bommie is almost rectangle in shape whereas the other two are triangular in shape, one the reverse of the other.
The dive site is a channel with a good current flow that creates a favorable environment for coral. Particularly filter feeding coral like the Gorgonian fans. The largest one there measures 5.2 meters in diameter. The western point can have some amazing fishlife, especially when the tides are flowing. On incoming tides, the water will come from the south and the fish start building up. First, you will see some trevally, then a few small barracudas. Some sweetlips join in, hovering in the current and then large schools of mangrove jacks arrive, swimming into the current and then circling back again.

If you get a bit sick of looking at all these fish, then explore the reef top (depth about 13 meters). There are quite a few anemones with clownfish and, even more interestingly, transparent shrimp. These are fairly easy to find and make excellent models for photographs. With a digital camera, it is very easy to get good photos. Have another look at the schooling fish before you leave the bommies. Swim back across the gap between the bommies and reef and if you have air and bottom time, explore the reef sides and top.

 

PHOTO CREDIT Isabella Lee

THE TUNNEL

Coming soon.

PHOTO CREDIT Isabella Lee

SUZIE'S BOMMIE

Suzzie's Bommie is surely one of our best dives for schooling fish.

The Bommie (or coral pinnacle) located to seaward of the outer barrier reef wall is a near vertical pillar of coral rising from a deep sand bottom to within 10 meters of the surface. It is a real "magnet" for schooling fish of all kinds. It supports resident populations of Sweet-lips, jacks,

Anthias and a resident white-tip reef shark- often found between the bommie and the reef wall.

Regular sightings of Leaf scorpion fish, Moray Eels, and stone fish are also made by the careful observer.

Our mooring is located on the outer edge of the barrier reef. Usual dive plan is to decent at the mooring (on the barrier reef top) to 8 meters, proceed oner the edge and down the reef wall, then swim out to the bommie, about 60 meters to seaward of the reef wall.

 

DESCRIPTION: Coral pinnacle (bommie) to seaward of the barrier reef.

 

BEST CONDITIONS:

Calm conditions & incoming tide VERY sensitive to South-East wind & swell. This limits access to this site during the dry season

 

EXPERIENCE LEVEL: Experienced

 

DEPTH RANGE:

8meters > 45meters. The best life is seen between 10 > 20 meters

 

FEATURES:

Schooling fish. Reef wall,

 

PHOTO CREDIT Isabella Lee

END BOMMIE

Situated on the "end" of a section of the barrier reef, this "bommie" (which is a coral pinnacle) marks one side of a deep-water channel through the reef. Entry is made down a mooring line on the top of Horseshoe Reef (a large section of the papuan Barrier reef) and from there divers proceed west along the reef wall where a coral ridge connects the the Bommie. The coral Bommie (or pinnacle) is roughly circular and acts as a virtual magnet for schooling reef fish. The regular current flow ensures luxuriant coral growth, especially fans and sea whips.

BEST CONDITIONS:

Early in the outgoing tide. This site relies on a current to activate the fish life which congregates around the pinnacle to feed on the nutrient-rich waters of the outflow.

 

EXPERIENCE LEVEL:

Novice through advanced. An easy dive at "slack tide" when there is no current, but currents can be very strong to extreme mid-tide when outgoing, especially near spring tides (full moon and new moon)

Depth Range: 5meters > DEEP (30m plus)

 

FEATURES:

- One of the best sites to see the Rinopius Aphanes (weedy scorpionfish) which is a specialty of the area.

- Schooling reef fish

- The "anemone garden" on the top of the reef near the  mooring has literally HUNDREDS of Red and Black Anemonefish (Amphiprion melanopus)

 

 

PHOTO CREDIT Isabella Lee

BIG DROP

Coming soon.

PHOTO CREDIT Isabella Lee

QUAIL'S REEF

Coming soon.

PHOTO CREDIT PRO Dive PNG

BALDWIN'S BOMMIE

Coming soon.