Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Camp Cove Experience 21st Jan 2010

January 21st, 2010 was the day I underwent the Camp Cove experience. I have been here several times in the past but it was either for fishing (12 years ago) or conducting a tour guide for my family and friends to boast our magnificent harbour. Parking this day was appalling as the weather was beautiful and it was still the school holidays. I have read from Chai's blog that the east side was occupied by large masses of cuttlefish so I decided to drop my gear on that side of the beach.

View of the city from the water (taken from the east side of Camp Cove)

The water was beautifully calm that day as you can see from the above picture. Underwater visibility was also very good. I think I have yet to learn about the definitions describing the clarity of the water and the methods to measure visibility distance underwater. Would this also be relative depending on the person's perception of clear water? For example, someone who is accustomed to the waters off the GBR may have a 180 degree definition of water clarity to someone like me?

Anyhow, sea urchins were abundant in this area but I did not see much fish life. One of the highlights of this trip were the cuttlefish. See pics below:

Who's on top?

  How many cuttlefish (hint:2)? Peek-a-boo, I see you!

This was my first encounter with so many cuttlefish and they were not timid and let me get extremely close. I believe I saw four at the one time but there could have been more. Oh, I forgot to mention that a few diving schools were also present here at that day. I believe they were exploring the reef just off Camp Cove.

Little blue fish x 2 (name?)

I also saw a school of garfish which was almost indistinguishable from the top as they just looked like extra long pencils. They were hovering over the sea grass just by the cuttlefish. The other fish that I found intriguing are the ones in the picture above. I do not know what species they are but it felt like they did not belong in Camp Cove as they looked like tropical fish. Call me dumb if these types of species are common within the Sydney region but they just looked too pretty :) That day I experienced my first small case of hyperthermia (I think) as I stayed in the water for quite a while and my pinkies were numb even an hour after the dive. My lips were also blue. I suppose you always have to drag me out of the water.

We ended our trip at Watsons Bay with the famous Doyles fish and chips. I hope you do not get hungry looking at the pictures below as it certainly is making me hungry.

Fish 'n' Chips from Doyles

Calamari and Chips from Doyles

If you ever get the chance to snorkel around Camp Cove, I suggest you finish off the day with one of the best fish 'n' chips store in Sydney. We also had a gorgeous view of Watsons Bay from the seats/tables offered by Doyles's fish 'n' chips to its customers. 

View of Watsons Bay from Doyles fish 'n' chips

If you fancy a more formal occasion for dinner, I suggest the Doyles restaurant at Watsons Bay. It is the white building at the back. 

Picture of Watsons Bay from the beach

I enjoyed my trip to Camp Cove even though the crowds were horrendous. Maybe that was what contributed to my liking of the place. I will definitely come back and explore the western side of the beach next time as I missed it this time. One of the best reasons to come back is also for the food! Come and enjoy!

Signing off


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