Here is an example of the sidescan sonar imagery taken from Pelican's dinghy by Dale Appleton from Parks Vic. We spent a full day filling most of the gaps in the mapping of the deeper channels in Yaringa Marine National Park.The sidescan sonar sends out its signals like a torch beam and literally side swipes the hidden recesses of Western Port's channels.
Dale spoke about the surprising variety of habitats that have been kept secret for so long due to the often turbid waters of Westernport. He also knew that he shouldn't be surprised that the channel habitat is as complex as the land. But he said you become lulled by the uniformity of the surface of the water to expect a straightforward picture. This is never the case.
Below is a picture of further scans of the Yaringa channel. The scans are of 100meter width, 50 meters either side of the dinghy, taken in strips 1.5 kms long. During Two Bays they managed to scan 100 hectares. This has filled in about 2/3 of the gaps needed to be scanned to finally get a thorough picture of the Marine Park's habitat. We still do not have detailed maps of benthic Victoria
Our return to Hastings port was heralded by an almost full moon, rising over the steel works.