Piering beneath the waves

Date posted: 29 November 2012

This summer, you don’t have to visit the edge of the earth to explore stunning marine wilderness – why not strap on some goggles and a snorkel and discover the wonders underneath your local jetty?

Jetties, although man made, are a fantastic underwater microcosm of life that can open children’s minds to a life-long love of all things marine.

You can find examples of everything you’d find on a remote reef – sponges, algal communities, invertebrates and colourful fish, all usually within safe distance of a popular beach.

It’s not just beginners who can appreciate the wonders under these urban structures, internationally recognised marine cinematographer  and photographer Valerie Taylor chose to visit several South Australian jetties during her recent visit to Adelaide.

High on Mrs Taylor’s itinerary was the Rapid Bay jetty, one of the best places to view leafy sea dragons, South Australia’s official marine emblem.

Leafies are an amazing animal to encounter in the wild. They’re incredibly well camouflaged so they can be hard to spot, but thankfully, the Rapid Bay jetty provides good chances for keen divers and snorkellers to catch a glimpse.

It’s important to remember when snorkelling and diving around jetties to be mindful of other marine users, including people fishing and crabbing from the walkway.

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