GRAHAMS DIVE ADVENTURES
The name for the waters that stretch for more than a kilometre across
the entrance to Port Phillip Bay.The entrance is considered one of the world's
most Dangerous Sea Passages, flanked by rocky reefs and hidden pinnacles on
which many ships have come to grief. This 2 kilometer wide entrance can be extremely wild and treacherous at times with ripping currents and breaking swells. The RIP is a deep trench, 100 meters deep. This trench is the ancient path of Melbourne's Yarra River. Strong Tidal Streams in excess of 6 knots and even 9 knots in extreme condtitions between Bass Strait and Port Phillip Bay can be found in this most hazardous area in the world. Within 800 meters outside the Heads, there is a shallow rocky flat known as the Rip Bank, the water deepens outside this flat to 30 meters and inside the Heads to as much as 90 meters.This inequality of depth combined with extremely fast tidal streams in excess of 6 knots causes the world-renowned dangerous conditions known as the "RIP".
Due to the Extreme Currents that run through the entrance to Port Phillip Bay, only the most experienced divers should consider this area, and extreme care must be taken to observe the current prior to entry. It is best dived (for safety reasons) at the end of the ebb (slack water ebb) as on the turn of the tide, water will be moving into the bay rather than moving out and is clean. The reef in this particular area extends for approx. 2000m resulting in many different dive locations, each with its own fantastic characteristics. One of the Top Locations is The Drop Off also known as The Lonsdale Wall, Latitude 38 17 36 8'S / Longitude 144 37 52 6'E a near vertical wall situated just inside The RIP near Point Lonsdale, the wall is a series of oversized steps starting at approximately 12 meters and ending in more than 60 meters. This site is approximately one kilometre long. The top is covered in Kelp with Weedy/Leafy Sea Dragons hiding within rapidly disappearing kelp as you drop over the first step. The undercut nature of the steps gives Sponges, Ascidians, Gorgonians , Hydroids, Sea Tulips, Starfish, Bryozoa and other Invertebrates a chance to flourish. The top of the reef commences in 15-20 meters and then drops either vertically, or in steps to over 90 meters.|
The Drop Off has prolific invertebrate life, with Large Crayfish due to the strong currents which prevail in the area, and the fish life has to be seen to be believed. Also large gorgonian fans are commonplace at depths of approx.30 meters. Myself and buddies have been diving this area everyweek for over 15 years.
We used a Hookah Diving System which allows us to dive to over 30 meters, and dive during the strong rip currents as we are always secured to my boat. When the Marine Parks where introduced, we always adhered to the park boundaries.
The rich and diverse habitats of Port Phillip are home to a huge array of marine life and plants. The Australian Museum and Port Phillip Bay Marine Life provides information, data, images to identify the rich marine life of this magnificent area.
We are all PADI Advanced Open Water Divers
The whole area is part of the former Yarra River Bed. All dives are characterised by a spectacular wall which has large undercuts housing Large Crayfish, Beautiful Soft Corals, Blue Devilfish, and an abundance of other Fish Life including Silver Trumpeter, Leatherjackets ,the Rosy Wrasse, Port Jackson Sharks and the inquisitive Long Snout Boarfish , Nudibranch's , along with literally Thousands of Fish. This area, due to the Deep Water and Marine Environment is certainly Great White Shark territory, but luckily we had never encountered any problems at all.
The scenery, rock formations, the sheer drop-offs, and the most abundant fish life you will ever see, make this without doubt, The Best Dive Experience Ever !! Adrenalin really gets a pumping diving this area !!
"Dive Buddies"!! An absolute must when diving "The Lonsdale Wall Drop Off" Buddies can provide life saving assistance if you get into a risky situation, and in the Strong Tidal Flow of The Rip, there are certainly many situations that can and do arrive regularly. The three of us experienced divers have all had many, many situations that have caused the Adrenalin To Pump.
Buddies can also give you a great protection against shark attack.
You can always take protection behind your Buddie, and as he is Fighting Off The Shark,
You can get back to the boat. !!