Night dive thrills, Challenger Bay, Great Barrier Reef

Night dives are a hit and miss affair, they are either incredibly exciting or rather dull.  And because I just can’t stand the thought of missing out, we rarely miss an opportunity to dive at night.  After some night dives, you can’t wipe the smile off our faces.  Our night dive at Challenger Bay just so happened to be one of those special thrilling dives, there was so much happening under the water, the time just flew by.

Before getting in the water we noticed an abundance of bait fish, which had been attracted by the boat’s  rear lights.   And as usual there were plenty of predator fish, giant trevally and red bass, taking full advantage of an easy meal.  There didn’t appear to be any sharks in the mix at this stage.

Red Bass at the back of boat

Red Bass at the back of boat

We were the fist divers in the water and when we started descending down the mooring line thousands of  iridescent blue bait fish started swimming towards our video lights.  We didn’t enjoy the spectacle for too long because hot on their tails were giant trevally and they don’t mind giving you a bit of a shove if you’re in the way.  So we decided to cover our lights and descended the rest of the way in the dark.  When we got to the bottom, around 14 metres, we spotted this hermit crab and flat worm moving slowly along the sand.

Hermit Crab

Hermit Crab

Flat worm

Flat worm

It wasn’t long after that when I spotted three pipe fish.  I didn’t have a decent photo of these fish, so I made myself comfortable, laying on my front in the sand, to get a good photo.  But that wasn’t to be….

Pipe Fish

Pipe Fish

As soon as I started to take photos I could hear Phil behind me, trying to get my attention.  I must admit I took my time to turn around and when I did, I caught a glimpse of a giant moray eel swimming between my legs and fins and hot on its tail was a largish white tip reef shark and two giant trevally.

Giant Moray

Giant Moray

As I was getting myself up off the sand the white tip reef shark swam between my legs, closely followed by the two trevally.

White tip reef shark

White tip reef shark

White Tip Shark up close

White Tip Shark a little too close for comfort !

We then watched as the moray quickly headed into a coral bommie for protection while the shark and trevally continuously circled the coral bommie where the moray eel went.  It was such a thrill to witness this action.

I never did get back to taking more photos of the pipe fish.  But we did take some other photos.

Nudibranch

Nudibranch – Magnificent Chromodoris.  I think it looks like a lolly.

Giant Coral Crab

Giant Coral Crab

When we emerged from the water you couldn’t wipe the smile from our faces.  And that’s why we never miss a night dive.

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One Response to Night dive thrills, Challenger Bay, Great Barrier Reef

  1. Gene says:

    So so cool….I really enjoyed reading about your adventure….also loved the pics of the minke whales..thanks for sharing.

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