The Gravel Loader at Shellharbour

A photo from The Gravel Loader at Shellharbour
Skin of a starfish
A photo from The Gravel Loader at Shellharbour
Hypselodoris bennetti
A photo from The Gravel Loader at Shellharbour
You lookin' at me?
A photo from The Gravel Loader at Shellharbour
Eel in a barrel

With light winds and a low (but Easterly) swell we drove over to Bass Point just south of Shellharbour. Make sure you SatNav maps are up to date as the Shell Cove Marina developments are coming along fast. Our aim was Bushranger Bay, which from the viewing platform was looking spectacular. Unfortunately, many other people had the same idea, the carpark was chocker and alas the council is clamping down on people parking in non-designated spots. While you can dump the gear and leave the car at the other carpark near the toilets, it was a warm day for a 0.5km walk suited up so we thought we would try some of the other sites. At 'the slot' (near the cultural walk on google maps) it was looking a bit surgy, so we ended up at the gravel loader, plenty of parking, and an easy entry/exit via the boat ramp.

It is a moderate swim in an ENE direction, but in the end, the pylons of the pier loom up above us. As we worked our way along the pier. Soo and I came across a conger eel been hooked on a fishing line and managed to tie itself in knots and to a rock. Neither of us was brave enough to try and remove the hook, but we did cut it free. Further on down there were a number of small cuttlefish, rays and another eel hiding in a barrel. At the end of the pier there is a large tractor tyre that has many fish hiding inside.

A photo from The Gravel Loader at Shellharbour
Bass Point Map
A photo from The Gravel Loader at Shellharbour
The Gravel Loader in the Bushfire Haze
A photo from The Gravel Loader at Shellharbour
Cuttlefish

Water temperature was around 22'C and the visibility about 10m. Alas, the moderate swell did make swimming in the kelpy shallows less than pleasant, but a fun dive was had by all. The following day Andy & I came back earlier in the morning to have another go at Bushranger Bay, but the somewhat trigger happy council had closed it due to the bush fire risk (at the time the RFS was rating it 'high' but there was also a statewide total fire ban). After mulling over doing the gravel loader again, we opted to head for Sydney in case the traffic got worse do to the evacuation of much of the South coast caused by the horrendous fires stretching almost continuously from Bega to Nowra.