Snorkelling

SUMMER SNORKELLING PROGRAM

18 November 2017 – 31 March 2018

Every Saturday, 9am, conditions permitting

Participation is restricted to financial members only of MCRP.  Join MCRP here

Further information: contact Snorkel Coordinator, David Langmead

dlangmea@bigpond.net.au  or M 0419 354 998

Members are notified by email each week of where the snorkel will be held

Our requirements  

To snorkel with us, you must on each occasion:

  • Read and follow the MCRP Snorkelling Program – Standard Briefing Notes. See here.
  • Have your own equipment – i.e. mask, snorkel, fins, wetsuit  (5mm recommended in Port Phillip Bay), and hood, booties and gloves.
  • Attend the safety briefing.
  • Snorkel with a buddy (you can decide on the day who that will be).

And

  • Everyone who participates in our Summer Snorkelling Program must compete The MCRP our Activity Participation Form HERE certifying that they are competent snorkelers and medically fit to undertake the snorkelling activity. The onus is on the individual to consult their doctor if they have any doubts about a medical condition that may affect their ability to snorkel.
  • Be a current financial member of MCRP. See here.

 

MCRP SNORKELLING PROGRAM – STANDARD BRIEFING NOTES

See here

Underwater Photography

See here

 

Want to go snorkelling in the Sanctuary?

General Information

To help you enjoy snorkelling in the Ricketts Point Sanctuary, we provide the following information.

Disclaimer – The information provided here is of a general nature and anyone snorkelling in the Ricketts Point Marine Sanctuary does so entirely at their own risk.  Marine Care Ricketts Point Inc disclaims liability for any loss or damage (direct or indirect) sustained as a result of anyone relying on this information.

You can snorkel at various locations in the Sanctuary. Most of the area is shallow water of less than five metres, providing an easily accessible recreational area for snorkelling.
It is a wondrous world underwater. Fifty-one species of fish have been identified, the most common being rays, southern hulafish, zebra fish, dusky morwongs, moonlighters and Australian sweep. The Sanctuary is also home to smaller and less mobile animals including abalone, winkles, sea urchins, brittle stars, sea stars and crabs. Crucial to this rich marine eco-system are the algae, seaweeds and seagrass meadows which provide a beautiful palette of verdant green, red and brown. Colourful sponge gardens grow on the reefs.

Marine Care Ricketts Point runs snorkels at 9am on Saturday mornings from late November to March, weather conditions permitting. The snorkels are to advance members’ knowledge of marine life and its environment, and to enhance their appreciation of the role and value of the Sanctuary. We snorkel at various locations. If you participate in our program you will get to see and learn about the life which inhabits the Sanctuary. Our snorkel guides tell you what interesting species are about, and will point them out during snorkels. We have identification charts available for reference.


What conditions are best for snorkelling at Ricketts Point Marine Sanctuary?

  1. Water temperatures vary from about 16 degrees Celsius in November/December to about 22 degrees in February/March, and below 11 degrees in mid-winter. You can view a year round surface temperature chart HERE

Check current temperatures HERE

  1. Conditions are generally better early in the day and when the wind is blowing offshore, that is, from the north or the east. Water access is also easier when the tide is higher. Check weather, wind and tide details HERE

To check if conditions are likely to be suitable, in real time, before you leave home view the area in front of the Beaumaris Yacht Club live  HERE

  1. The EPA generally recommends against swimming within 48 hours of heavy rain. It provides information about water quality and whether it is safe to swim, particularly after rain. During summer, check the EPA Beach Report HERE

What will I see?

  1. Our Fish Identification Chart shows you some of the species you may encounter on a snorkel in the Sanctuary.
  2. The Urban Sanctuary is an informative publication on sea weeds and invertebrates (shell fish, crabs etc) that live in the Sanctuary.

Where can I snorkel?

Snorkelling

1. McGregor Rock, Quiet Corner (Melway Map 85 K6) – Park in Central Avenue Black Rock, cross Beach Road and descend the wooden steps to the beach. Note – Parking is not available on Beach Road until after 10am on weekends. Before then, it is a Clear Way for cyclists.

The sign on the blue stone wall near the foot of the steps shows a recommended snorkelling trail.  There are no public toilets in this area.

2. Teahouse Reef/Beaumaris Yacht Club (Melway Map 86 B8) – Parking (fee payable) is available in car park beside the Yacht Club. Public toilets are available.

Wheel chair access is available via the access ramp and a shower and toilet for disabled snorkelers are also available.

Here are some suggested sites in this area –

  • The Lagoon is the area between the shore and the 2 fixed markers out from the Yacht Club. You can stand up in much of it, so it is an ideal spot for new snorkelers.
  • The North Valley is about 50 metres north of the 2 fixed markers. It is a sandy area bordered by reef on all sides.
  • Tea House Reef is the inter-tidal reef immediately south of the wooden access ramp. The seaward side of Tea House Reef provides a range of habitats in approximately 2 metres of water.

A shallow reef runs between the 2 fixed markers out from the Yacht Club and the green marker further north. You can snorkel along one side of the reef and return along the other.

3. Middle Reef or North Arm Reef is on the north side of Watkins Bay (sometimes called the Seaweed beach). (Melways Map 86 C9). It is better to enter on the north side of the Point or Arm, as entering from Watkins Bay is a longer, shallow swim to get to the reef area around the North Arm.  Parking (fee payable) is available. Public toilets are available.

4. Triangle/South Triangle Marker Reef, Ricketts Point (just north of Beaumaris Life Saving Club) (Melway Map 86 C9) – Parking (fee payable) is available in car park. Public toilets are available.

Enter the water in front of the Life Saving Club and swim around until you are in front of the white triangle marker. The ‘drop off’ is well worth exploring.

5. Table Rock Point (Melway Map 86 E10) – Park in Rennison Street, cross Beach Road and descend the steps to the north of Table Rock. Public toilets are available.

Enter the water near the base of steps and snorkel around Table Rock, finishing at the Sea Scouts Jetty. From there, you can either snorkel or walk back to the starting point.

Further information: Snorkelling Bayside by Raymond V Lewis OAM, is a 2015 introduction to snorkelling in the Ricketts Point Marine Sanctuary, and nearby waters. Obtain a copy from ray@lewisfamily.com.au

Anything else I should know?

  • Make sure your mask, snorkel, fins and wetsuit fit properly
  • Seek advice from experienced snorkellers or a reputable dive shop if you need it. Practice in a pool or in the shallows until you are confident
  • Know your limitations and snorkel within them. Snorkelling with a buddy is recommended
  • Enter the water over sand, not rocks or seagrass. Shuffle your feet to avoid stepping on Stingrays or other marine life
  • Don’t rush, take time to ‘smell the roses’
  • Look but don’t touch. Some marine life is poisonous
  • Avoid damaging marine life with your fins
  • Look out for boats and tow a dive flag if necessary
  • Remember – this is a Marine Sanctuary and removing anything is strictly prohibited.

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