Snorkelling in Bass Strait Rock Pools

This morning I snorkelled solo at a local coastal reef on a suitably low tide (0.4m). I took these photos in four different rock pools – two I have snorkelled in before, and two were new to me. They were all wonderfully colourful and brimming with life. I wore my Garmin watch thinking I might need to know the time. That need didn’t arise.

Underwater photo of marine plants on reef
Views like this were on offer in every direction immediately upon looking below the surface.
View of headland from rock pool on coastal reef
Two worlds.
The billowing cumulus clouds above the headland are indicators of unstable air which can produce thunderstorms. The afternoon and evening brought heavy rain and thunderstorms as expected.
View of headland from rockpool on coastal reef
View to the west from the surface of one of the rock pools.
Underwater photo of marine plants on reef
The yellow object looked like plastic or some industrial object. But closer inspection revealed it to be simply a rock, with a slippery coating of yellow algae of some sort.
Underwater photo of marine plants on reef - kelp featured
The colour of the underwater light varied according to where the camera was pointing in relation to the sun, as did the quality of the reflections on the underside of the surface of the sea.
Variety of underwater marine plants on reef
Underwater photo of marine plants on reef - kelp featured
The maze of channels and passages between rocky outcrops and masses of kelp kept me constantly banking left and right as I glided weightlessly and at will.
Fish over sandy patch between kelp beds near reef
Solitary fish over a clear sandy patch. It was close to invisible when over the seaweed and rocks.
Underwater photo of marine plants on reef - kelp featured
The kelp brushed my chest and hands and legs as I glided over it to deeper water and that sandy trail in the distance.
Sandy pathway underwater fringed by marine plants
An inviting pathway, which I took.
School of small fish in shallow water on shore reef
The second rock pool in which I snorkelled had less marine plants than the other pools. This pool was more protected than the others, and there were no waves breaking over the rocks on its seaward side. The water visibility was very good. This large school of small fish was visible and kept about this distance from me for most of my swim in their company.
School of small fish in shallow water on shore reef
School of small fish in shallow water on shore reef
The blue in the reflections at the top of this image is a distorted glimpse of the blue sky.
Very clear water and sandy seabed
Excellent underwater visibility over white sand. Surface ripples and bright overhead sunlight created the shimmering pavement effect on the sand.
Very clear water and sandy seabed
A privilege to swim in such water.
Variety of marine flora underwater
One pool was an endless succession of tight gaps and passages through the prolific plant life and reef structures.
Snorkellers flippers on edge of big rock pool in Bass Strait
The aqua area on the left is the seabed below about 5m of water. I slid into the water as shown, and my snorkelling in this pool started with a dive down through this clear water.
4m deep rock pool
The water here was not as clear as in the other pools, as it had an open connection to the sea with a strong current moving the water around. The shafts of sunlight combined with the bubbles and other material suspended in the water to create this curtain effect between surface and seabed. I saw a lot of bigger fish in this pool.
Marine plant life growing on reef - underwater photo
Away from the channel to the sea and the currents things were moving at a much slower pace, and at times, not at all.
Colourful marine plant life - underwater photograph
Marine garden in a quiet corner of a rock pool.
Peaceful underwater scene
Overhanging kelp with mirror reflections of the whole scene on the surface. A peaceful place.

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