Welcome to the December 2022 Jetty Dive Debrief! This is our newest addition to the blog – the “debrief”. Here we are going to let you know how the water has been, what the season showed us, any interesting or noteworthy details, and what we’ve achieved as a shop!

Seasonal Marine Life Activity:

What a month we had in December! A mixed bag of expected but exciting and rare sightings at the Solitary Islands!

On the 10th we saw a yellow boxfish that was not spotted, which is unusual. We spotted a Queensland Groper at Groper Island – fitting! They also spotted a Clown Triggerfish which are not common. On the 14th we saw heaps of Grey Nurses – 12 at Manta and 25+ in the back gutter. These sort of numbers are more common in winter! There were still plenty of Grey Nurse towards the end of the month, with 12 spotted on the 27th,.

On the 15th Nathan spotted a yellow-mouthed moray, which is a super cute little eel! On the 29th we saw a honeycomb moray, another different Moray Eel than we are used to commonly seeing!

But the 22nd and the 23rd were the days to be in the water! On the 22nd none other than a Sunfish was seen! This is a first for us at Jetty Dive Centre, and a magnificent sight to see! Check it out with a youtube video of the sighting here! On the 23rd a lucky group of divers saw an Oceanic Manta Ray cruising past Cleaner Station. We normally only see common Manta Rays in the warmest season (which is March, by the way!) and not often at South Solitary, so seeing an Oceanic Manta in December is super, super rare. You can see that video on our Instagram here. Divers also saw hammerheads schooling in the distance on the 23rd.

On the 27th we spotted two Ornate Ghost Pipefish, a black and white one. They have hung around through to Jan too! On the 29th our divers were lucky to see a Leopard Shark. Although they generally come through in the warmer water, december may be a little bit earlier than our usual first sighting!

A pretty wild month of sightings here at Jetty Dive!


PADI Open Water Divers

Congratulations to our newly certified PADI Open Water Divers:

Emma, Andrew, Ella, Ryan, Nadia, Keeghan, Nathan, Aleyna, Dazzee, Billy, Bradley, Tracy, Isabella, Dylon, Letina, James, Domenico, Michele, and Summer.

– Good work, divers!

PADI Advanced Open Water Divers

Congratulations to our newly certified PADI Advanced Open Water Divers:

Annette, David, Joshua, and Darrin

– Congratulations!

Congrats also to Annette and James for completing their Enriched Air Diver, and Jelmer, Patrick, and Joakim for completing their Rescue Diver!



The start of december brought us beautiful, clear water, at 30m-40m. For the weekend that followed the water was still clear on the 10th at 25m, dropping to 10m on the 11th. When we got back out on the 14th and 15th, it had increased nicely to 20m. This continued upwards to 20-25m on the 22nd, 25m-30m on the 23rd and 24th. After Christmas it had dropped again, at 10-15m on the 26th, but back to 15m-20m on the 27th and 28th. We kept climbing to finish out our year with 18m-25m on the 29th, and 20m on the 30th.

Also! I made a chart! How exciting! There is two variables as we often put in a range for our measurements of visibility, as it can change from site to site.

December Visibility on the Coffs Coast Solitary Islands Chart
December Visibility on the Coffs Coast Solitary Islands Chart


The temperature fluctuated between 20-23 throughout december, with an overall average of 22°C.

On the 5th it was 23°C, carrying through to the 10th and 11th. On the 14th and 15th if went between 20°C-22°C. It stuck with 22°C on the 22nd, and back to 20°C-22°C onthe 23rd. On the 24th it was 22°C, on the 26th it was hotter again at 23°C. On the 27th it varied from 21°C-23°C, hitting a maximum of 24°C on the 28th. Temperature dropped bcak to 23°C on the 29th, and 22°C on the 30th.

I also made a chart for temperature!

December Temperature on the Coffs Coast Solitary Islands Chart
December Temperature on the Coffs Coast Solitary Islands Chart

Sustainability and the environment

This section we are dedicating to showing what steps we are taking to reduce our environmental impact. It might include incentives we have implemented or tried through the month, or programs we have participated in. We intend to expand upon our conservation efforts page with everything we have implemented in store – as we are doing much more than this page shows!

December and January are crazy months for us. Therefore, there’s not much in the way of innovation for conservation.

Wetsuit Recycling

That being said, I found a service that will recycle old wetsuits for us!! This isn’t something we require often, as we have a life cycle for wetsuits that means we get many years of them. Plus, we can often sell them secondhand for quite cheap after we’re done with them. However, in the case of our pool suits that get trashed and customers bringing in old suits, I always wanted to setup a way that we could send them to be recycled.

After many months of searching I have found the company Upparel, who recycling all manner of textiles. Similar to the “Coffee Cup Conundrum” (below) there is a fee for us to send the wetsuits to be recycled. We are brainstorming ideas on how we can make this a pheasable option for us to become a wetsuit-recycling drop-off point.

My thoughts were to offer up a wetsuit recycling exchange where customer’s can drop off the suits for a gold coin – $5 donation per suit (Whatever the customer is comfortable with). This would not cover all of the cost of postage as they are quite volumous to send, but would aid us in making this possible. Again as below, please let us know what you think!

Coffee Cup Update

As for the Coffee Cup Conundrum, I am in contact with a company that will send coffee cups for recycling. The company’s name is “Banish”, and the recycling program is called BRAD. You can find out more here if you are interested. They recycle lots of household product not recycled in your yellow bins!

The conundrum here is funding this recycling. I’ve collected enough coffee cups to send off to recycle in only a few months, and so doing this frequently will become a bit costly. We are still investigating ways we can offset this cost so we can help play our part in coffee cup recycling.

If you have any ideas please send me an email! [email protected]

Photo of the Month

Yellow Mouth Moray Shark Gutters (N Fripp December 2022)
Yellow Mouth Moray Shark Gutters (N Fripp December 2022)

The Month Ahead!

A new year! January is typically our busiest diving month of the whole year, so ensure you book in early for your dives, snorkels, or courses so you don’t miss out! As we’ve already seen our first Leopard Sharks of the season there are bound to be more soon!


We are starting a monthly newsletter with updates similar to this blog post. Some of our favorite customer pictures, new product releases or favorite products. If you want to hear from us (we wont spam you, I promise!) sign up here, and click “Newsletter”.

If you have anything you would like to hear about in this debrief, or in our newsletter, or even any suggestions for another name for this debrief, please contact us and let us know!

Thanks for reading the December 2022 Jetty Dive Debrief! We appreciate you 🙂

About the Author

Tara is Jetty Dive’s Office Manager and IT Lady, Social Media Queen, Crazy-Fish-Lady, and as she likes to say – “Self-Appointed CEO”. You’ll find her sitting at her desk surrounded in pink, but happiest either on or under the water.

Tara on Mega Wild, with a grin on her face

Where to find us.


Jetty Dive Centre Dive Shop is at 398 Harbour Drive, Coffs Harbour, NSW 2450. This is where you begin your experiences with us! All Scuba Dives and Snorkelling must check-in before moving to departure point.


All our boats leave from the Public floating pontoon wharf opposite the “Attitude Burgers “ building.

Jetty dive google maps with markers for priority locations