The Leap, one of Sydney’s best advanced dives.
The leap dive site at Kurnell in Sydneys south is aptly named after the amazing giant stride (or leap) entry that is performed to enter the water. It is possibly the best shore dive entry most divers will ever do and it is a fantastic way to commence a dive. Not only does it have a great start, this dive site is far enough along the headland that given the correct conditions the visibility can rival any other Sydney dive site.
After parking in the beautiful Kamay national park you follow a small trail twenty metres or so into the bush, an amazing view greets you at the top of a daunting set of stairs that wind down to the rock shelves below. From here you can access the sites general condition, making sure the entry point is safe. To find the entry point you really need someone who has been to the dive site before and can show you the ropes. A rocky ledge forms the “Leap”, a two metre drop off the edge into the waves below, definitely an entry to remember. Once in the water kick out 30 metres or so and prepare for a deep descent. The site has a maximum depth of 23 metres, however there is plenty to see and explore above 18 metres for those that are a comfortable diver (needed for the unusual entry) but lack the advanced certification. Once you have descended the most common option is to cruise down to the sandline and explore the wonderful sponge gardens and rocky overhangs.
The Leap is a primarily a drift dive so be sure to enter the water on an incoming tide to avoid any nasty surprises. Simply follow your compass to the left and drift along until your air or bottom time has run short. All throughout the dive Weedy Seadragons inhabit the kelp bed edges and big blue groupers follow you around hoping for a free feed. A vast and colourful array of nudibranchs can also be found all over the site, different species appear all throughout the seasons giving you a continuos reason to dive all year round.
The dive site The Steps marks the end of the dive unless you have a sidemount or twins setup to allow you to drift further down for an exit at another great dive site called The Monument. Like the entry, exits can be a little hard to locate without the prior knowledge and experience.
So why not join a shore dive down at Kurnell and take a giant stride into one of Sydney’s best dive sites.
Often we marvel at various smaller fish under the sea only to surface and be incapable of describing them to our dive buddies, or identifying them in a field guide. Concentrating on one species every dive or two can really help with your fish Ids (if that’s your passion). A Species often found lurking beneath overhangs and amongst the rocks at all depths is the Sydney Cardinal Fish, an Australian native and endemic (only found in Australia) species. They can easily be identified by the characteristic stripes and clear orange tinged tails. So next time you’re diving see if you can spot a few of these curious fish hiding away.