Apollo Bay Ocean Swimmers Gliding Underwater at Little Henty Reef

Little Henty Reef lies just a short swim off Hayley Point at Marengo on the west coast of Victoria. The reef and adjacent waters are part of the Marengo Reefs Marine Sanctuary.

There are days when it is unsafe to swim at Little Henty Reef. Early this morning conditions for an ocean swim there were perfect. Clear blue skies, no wind, no swell and only a light south-to-north tidal current in the bay between the reef and Marengo beach. The water was cool and clear. This morning I swam with Mary, Michelle Sue and Susie – all regular local ocean swimmers.

Drone photo of Little Henty Reef
The two parts of the reef as seen from above Marengo Beach. That’s Cape Patton on the far left of the horizon. This photo and the next two were taken by Andrew Langmead using a drone. The reef in the foreground is the one we swam out to this morning. Unlike the winter conditions shown, we had clear blue skies, no wind and no swell.
Drone photo of Little Henty Reef
This shows the northern tip of the reef closest to the shore where the photos below were taken.
Drone photo of Little Henty Reef
The photos of swimmers below were taken along the edge of the reef on the left in this image. Yesterday Michelle and I swam right around this part of the reef. The golden bull kelp was one of many sights that made that swim well worthwhile.
Hayley Point near Marengo Reefs Marine Sanctuary
Hayley Point and some of the Marengo houses. Mary, Michelle, Susie and Sue entering the water this morning. It always brings a smile to see the clarity of the water in the shallows looking like this when walking into the sea for a swim.
Hayley Point and clear water near Marengo Reefs Marine Sanctuary
Hayley Point from sea level. Water that looks like this brings an even bigger smile to the face of an ocean swimmer.
Underwater scenery at Marengo Reefs Marine Sanctuary
The view straight ahead just after I commenced my swim east to the reef.
Underwater photo of swimmer at  Marengo Reefs Marine Sanctuary
Michelle arriving at the reef stroking strongly. Michelle, Mary and Susie together with three other local ocean swimmers (Heather, Sonja and Jenny) swam across the Rip in February this year (3.2kms across the entrance to Port Phillip Bay between Point Nepean and Point Lonsdale, a notorious stretch of water even for shipping). (See https://southernoceanblog.com/2020/02/22/six-apollo-bay-ocean-swimmers-swam-across-the-rip-today/ ). These six all trained up and improved their stroke and endurance for that swim. The benefits have been permanent.
Underwater photo of swimmers at Marengo Reefs Marine Sanctuary, Little Henty Reef
The small bay we swam across to the reef has a white sandy seabed, which gets deeper as you go south. The seaweed begins close to the reef. Having a destination to swim to, even if not an epic voyage, adds greatly to the pleasure of an ocean swim. Clear water and things to see under the water add even more.
Underwater photo of swimmer at Marengo Reefs Marine Sanctuary, Little Henty Reef
Michelle flying stylishly in slow motion with the reef and the morning sun behind her.
Underwater photo of swimmer at Marengo Reefs Marine Sanctuary, Little Henty Reef
Michelle gliding through filtered morning light.
Underwater photo of swimmers at Marengo Reefs Marine Sanctuary, Little Henty Reef
Mary in her element.
Underwater photo of swimmers at Marengo Reefs Marine Sanctuary, Little Henty Reef
Mary finding the flow.
Kelp underwater at Marengo Reefs Marine Sanctuary, Little Henty Reef
A sloping garden of marine plants on the side of the reef. On the right at greater depth is the seabed.
Marine plants at Marengo Reefs Marine Sanctuary, Little Henty Reef
The water was clearest in the shallow water around the reef.
Marine plants at Marengo Reefs Marine Sanctuary, Little Henty Reef
Brown algae and a host of other plants flourish in the shallows near the reef.
Marine plants at Marengo Reefs Marine Sanctuary, Little Henty Reef
Dashes of colour amongst the forests of algae.
Marine plants at Marengo Reefs Marine Sanctuary, Little Henty Reef
Luxuriant marine plants in exceptionally clear water.
Marine plants at Marengo Reefs Marine Sanctuary, Little Henty Reef
Looking down into deeper water away from the reef.
Swimming in marine plants at Marengo Reefs Marine Sanctuary, Little Henty Reef
Mary swimming the reef’s low tide maze.

Susie descending effortlessly to the seabed.

Graceful underwater swimming at Marengo Reefs Marine Sanctuary
Susie is a great swimmer, and completely at home in the sea. Here she is thoughtfully giving the photographer a friendly wave.
Graceful underwater swimming at Marengo Reefs Marine Sanctuary

Little Henty Reef has featured on this blog since it began with my first post in June 2017. If you’re interested in seeing the reef in other moods:

Winter swim around Little Henty Reef

My first underwater look at Little Henty Reef, Apollo Bay

Large Southern Ocean swell pounds local reefs

Winter swell at Little Henty Reef

The Henty firing in a big swell

7 thoughts on “Apollo Bay Ocean Swimmers Gliding Underwater at Little Henty Reef

    1. Thanks Boo. It was indeed a great morning. Perfect conditions to swim at the reef. We beat that light easterly that came up a little later and put some whitecaps on the bay.

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