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Fish Bommies

depth 16 to 34 metres

Grey nurse shark

Grey nurse shark

Fish Bommies is situated on the SE corner of Fish Rock at the bottom of the gutter which leads to the deep entrance of Fish Rock Cave. A deeper dive (max 32 metres) this dive can be experienced in a number of different ways depending on the dive plan – a square profile plan will allow greater time at the Bommies but a multilevel plan beginning and ending at the moorings in the main Shark Gutter will allow time to explore the Shark Gutter and also provide an orientation to the deep entrance of Fish Rock Cave.

If dived from the moorings descent is made to the bottom of the moorings where in season large numbers of Grey Nurse Sharks may be seen just cruising the Gutter or resting there. The Grey Nurse Sharks are quite content to be viewed by divers – look for small juveniles without scaring them and then compare them to the large adults who gather here – some up to 3 metres in length.

The distinctive head of a Hawksbill turtle

The distinctive head of a Hawksbill turtle

Look out for the black coral trees that grow on the Gutter walls – they are usually white or sometimes a pinkish orange! Turn left at the black coral tree or at the end of the Gutter and make your way towards the large (some are semi-trailer sized!) boulders ahead of you.

Take your time as the sea floor is home to many amazingly coloured sponges and nudibranchs. Also look out for the smaller boulders – one of these boulders is likely to be one of the giant loggerheads who makes Fish Rock his home (also seen regularly during our surface intervals as he comes to the top for a breath or two). You may find that the giant boulders of the Bommies are obscured by the huge swirling schools of bulleyes and other fish that congregate here. Don’t forget to look up and around – you may see huge king fish and other pelagics hunting the smaller fish – an amazing sight.

Nudibranch feeding on soft coral

Nudibranch feeding on soft coral

Spend a little time exploring the Bommies – check out the overhangs and crevices for large cuttlefish and octopus; especially look out for the large Cod that hide in the darkness. Watch out for the Wobbegong sharks “sunbaking” on the tops of the boulders – there are two resident species – Ornate and Spotted wobbegongs. The jumbled boulders offer great hidey holes for large moray eels and beautiful large lionfish and along the ledges the red morwongs take their ease.  The Grey Nurse Sharks are a common sight here too, their beautiful grey/bronze shapes hanging in amongst the smaller fish over the sea bottom.

Blue groper and colourful wrasse

Blue groper and colourful wrasse

Moving away from the Bommies either head over to the shallower ledges of the Shark Gutters to finish the dive with clown fish, anemones, feather stars, colourful tropicals and secretive octopus – your safety stop can be done on the wall of Fish Rock in calm seas – or cruise up the gutter leading to the deep entrance of Fish Rock Cave. The vertical walls are encrusted with colourful sponges and small hard corals. Large eastern blue groupers (wrasse) will undoubtedly greet you and you may see one of Fish Rock’s green turtles munching on the sponges! If you take the later option again finish the dive by making your way back to the shallows of the main Shark Gutter and either do you safety stop on the wall of Fish Rock or on the boat mooring.

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