The Exmouth Navy Pier: Sharks, Snakes and the BFG

Distance Travelled: 46144 km
Date: 28th August 2012

This is going to be a bit of a cheat of an update, as it’ll be almost entirely in photos, and I didn’t take any of them. They were borrowed from friends, or culled from facebook later.

The Exmouth Navy Pier is widely regarded as one of the best dives in the world, and the best shore dive in Australia (as opposed to needing a boat to get to). It had a lot to live up to, but it really was spectacular. Certainly one of the best dives I’ve ever done; only a couple I did in the Philippines and the SS Yongala even came close.

The pier itself was built by the Americans in the 60s to bring ashore the masts that make up this:

You can’t tell in this photo, but that little white building is five stories tall, and the towers themselves are 387m high, taller than the Empire State Building. They are used for communicating with submerged submarines around the world.

After they had got the towers up and running, the Americans realised they didn’t need the pier any more and basically ignored it, letting it be colonised by sea creatures. The only people who really use it now are divers, and even that is strictly regulated by the military.

A group of five of us drove up from Coral Bay to Exmouth, which even though it’s the nearest town is still 160km away. We then jumped in a van, picked up the keys from the naval base, and went down to the pier.

Despite being one of the best dives in the world, the Navy Pier is an incredibly easy dive. You jump a couple of meters down into water that is at most 12-14m deep. And wherever you go, the life under there is phenomenal. That’s the virtue of this dive, everything is so densely packed together, so there’s always something amazing to see.

So what’s the BFG you ask? He’s the big friendly grouper (for the PG interpretation), and he likes having his chin tickled. Make sure you scroll to the bottom to see the photos of him.

Oh, and as you’re looking at these photos, imagine you can hear the whales singing. They were passing close to the pier, and we could hear them the whole time we were down there.

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