July 30-August 10, 2019
The Bilikiki is back after a super 11 night trip! A big thank you to Jack and Sue Drafahl who organised most of the group and were onboard to celebrate Jack's 50th year in diving! It was great to see so many familiar faces onboard and to meet some new dive buddies too.
Although everyone had different ideas as to their favourite dive of the trip most people agreed that Barracuda Point at Mary Island was pretty special. There was so many bait fish around that big tunas were hunting on the point, add to this the large school of barracudas and jackfish, throw in some sharks, plus add the usual amounts of fusiliers, rainbow runners and snappers and you have a dive site with a lot of action! The B.O.B (back of boat) dive at Mary Island was also a favourite for some divers, it is out of the current and great for macro life. A lot of octopus action has been happening here recently with octopuses posing for lots of photos, this trip they were also joined by two cuttlefish. Peter Letts from Abyss Scuba Diving in Sydney liked the open pool diving at Mary Island so much that he did 6 dives while the Bilikiki was stern tied there and he didn’t even night dive!
The season for ghost pipefish has well and truly started with three different types being seen during the trip - robust, ornate and halemeda. Although we did not have a lot of sunny days the sun shone brightly for our spectacular dive at Mbulo Caves. This magical dive site bought a smile to everyone’s faces with the streaming light illuminating the caves amazingly. So many great fish and critters were seen on this trip I gave up counting, we saw regular size seahorses, pygmy seahorses, a pair of demon stingers, at least nine cuttlefish at Maravagi Bay, crocodile fish, jaw fish, twin spot gobies, mantis shrimps and so many reef top pipefish! I could go on but I think you get the idea!
Thank you to all of the Bilikiki Cruises' crew who look after us so well and fed us too much good food, and to Tina and Oli for making everything run so smoothly. I hope I get to dive with you all again soon.
Underwater photos thanks to Marsha Stamatakis