Written by Doug Penno (Dive Control Specialist†SDA)
Location / How to get there†
Parsley Bay is over near Camp Cove, If your unsure consult your street directory. DON"T go down to the picnic area as itís too far from where you dive, go around and park in The Crescent and itís a simple walk down to the dive site.
There are toilets in the car park back at the beach end
A great dive for getting confidence and gaining skills for new divers and also for experienced divers looking for something different ,or, itís the only place available to dive as even Camp Cove has been blown away. If you canít dive here you canít dive anywhere
Precautions inc Wind, Waves, Currents, Tides
The only real consideration is the tide and then only for visibility, so Parsley Bay is best dived when the tide is full or there abouts. Itís such a sheltered location that wind and current are no menace. Take care of the prolific oyster growth on the rocks, but the wharf has been rebuilt so you shouldnít need to enter/exit from the rocks. Gloves are advisable just in case.
Best time to dive
Around the top of the tide. Never dived here at night but it should be good
Where to enter/exit
The wharf is no back up and running and is a simple stride entry and if you are diving at near full tide is an easy exit point.
The bay runs north/south give or take a few degrees . Enter at the wharf and swim west along the line of the swimming enclosure net. The strong attraction for this site, are the seahorses that are seen hanging from the net near the bottom. You get a real good look at them because the net sits on sand. Follow the net across to the other side of the bay and when you see rocks again turn right to the northward. Follow the rocks back out and down. There is an interesting formation, an overhang with a hole at the back, which to my mind is a miniature version of the Cathedral at North Bondi. Swim out past this and you start to get in a bit of muck and you are swimming in the moorings of the pleasure craft out in the bay. There are the remains of a crane on it in the middle of the channel which is heavily covered with life. It was part of a barge it is said. You are in about 14m here. Swim back east and you will start to climb up the mud/sand and finally see rocks again. Hang a right and follow the rocks back to the wharf. There is a lot of rubble/rubbish on the east side and you may find a "treasure". On dives here over the years I have found an old ceramic Tooheyís beer bottle, a kayak paddle and a sign which now I have behind my dunny door. I have also seen other divers pull out "finds" from the murky depths. The dive is basically a rectangular course.
Points of interest
Crane, Rock formation, muck dive, treasure hunt
Seahorses on the net and in the kelp under the wharf. Fair variety of critters that you may encounter in waters up harbour
Tips (from the pro)
The swimming net is taken down in winter so you need to look in the kelp in and around the wharf if you are diving at this time.