Diving the Lady Musgrave Island (Wallaginji)
A pseudo scuba diving expedition
This winter I had an amazing opportunity to join the a group of divers from the ANU Scuba Club on a 14-day trip to Lady Musgrave Island (also known as Wallaginji). The island is located at the southern part of the Great Barrier Reef. It took us 8 hours from Gladstone on a barge to get to LMI, a long time, but well worth it! I won’t go into details of the logistics and instead describe briefly how we dive and showcase some creatures I was priviledge enough to capture with my camera (Olympus TG5 with one strobe mounted on a tray + arm).
The typical dive includes carrying your gear (tank, weights, BCD, etc) to one of the boats, which are usually anchored on the sand away from the coral reef. There were heaps of corals around the island but there is a small channel that boats can get in and out during high tide, otherwise it is too shallow. So during high tide, there’s not a lot of walking with your gear…but during high tide it can be more than 150m walk on the sand. Once everyone is in we drive the boat to the dive site where we carefully set the anchor and buddy up to go diving. Since I didn’t know the site very well I usually stuck nearby the anchor so at least I know how to get back up to the boat! Surprisingly, one does not have to venture far away from the anchor to see something spectacular. Please keep in mind that the identification of the following may not be accurate!
Among the most spectacular creatures to look out for are some of the smallest. Here are some nudibranchs and reef shrimp I was able to find and photograph.
Finally a very special thanks to everyone who came on this trip and made it such a memorable one!