Imagination Point – Exceptional diving topping any imagination!

2nd Sep, Poor Knights, GUE dive day

Stunning invertebrate life and big schools of fish - trimix scooter diving at the Poor Knights always holds up to expectations with new territory and the most colourful reef life to explore. Invertebrate life gets prolific at greater depth particularly in places without seaweed cover. Usually past 30m or shallower along shaded, south facing walls.

Heading out my buddy and I followed the edge of the reef along the sand line to 30-40+ meters. At the southern end of Crimson Wall big boulders are home to sponge gardens, gorgonians, leopard anemones and an impressive tall sponge (the later one two big ticks off my bucket list!). Scootering further the scenery changed dramatically at Imagination Point.

Big cliffs dropping into the blue covered in all sorts of corals and hundreds of anemones we hit our max depth of 48m. We came round the corner and in a sheltered crack at about 43m we spotted a massive black coral tree. The diversity of critters in the tree was mesmerizing – different species of brittle star, anemones, little fish... The dead branches overgrown by bryozoans home to a grey moray. A long-finned boarfish tried to hide in the delicate white of the living coral. What a dive site! There would have been so much more to explore. Big overhangs, the drop-off and a lot more macro life! Already at the end of our dive we had no choice and had to start our ascent and deco. At 21m we spooked a huge school of snapper and after changing gases we scootered back along the wall running our deco profile. Back into the bay between Aorangi and Archway Island we decided to head into Blue Maomao Arch and with no swell we spent the rest of our deco time with thousands of blue maomaos. The arch was packed and time went by quickly. We got back to the boat with a runtime of 81min. After a long surface interval we headed out for a nitrox-scooter dive – Blue Maomao Arch, Magic Wall, clockwise round Ngaio Rock, back to Magic Wall. Kingfish and snapper shooting past on the south-west side of Ngaio Rock - another good dive!

by Nicole Miller

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