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Diving with Giant Cuttlefish

Posted 05 August 2022
Senior School

The first weekend back at school saw students and staff road tripping around the coastline to Whyalla. On arrival we squeezed, squirmed and sweated our way into thermals, thick wet suits, boots, gloves and hooded vests. All this was so that we were able to brave the cold waters to get a glimpse of the alien-like creatures, the giant cuttlefish. They did not disappoint, with their vibrant colours and intriguing behaviour, everyone was fighting the cold to stay in the water for as long as possible. We didn’t have to swim out far with some Cuttlefish being only 6 meters from the shore and up-to a depth of 2 metres of water.

We managed to get in two, 1 hour sessions in the water and saw many sea inhabitants, from hundreds of cuttlefish, to jelly fish, starfish and even visited by adolescent seals jumping and playing in the water.

Why Whyalla? Scientists still don’t understand why ~250 thousand cuttlefish congregate to breed during the months of May-August in Whyalla. This is a strange behaviour since they are only ever seen in groups of 10 anywhere else.

After the dives the boys enjoyed hot showers and a warm fire to toast marshmallows on. This provided a great atmosphere for the group to share stories and bond between year levels since we had students from Year 7 all the way to Year 12.

This was the first ES overnight trip during the school semester so thanks to staff and students involved who made it a great success.

Tim Hennekam
Coordinator of Exploration Society