Below the waves at Nambucca's V-Wall

Ten years ago marketing consultant Bob Lewis was sitting in his Adelaide office thinking it was time to move beyond the confines of the city and find a place where he could pursue his passion - scuba diving.

"I had been scuba diving at South West Rocks and fell in love with what was below the waves there, so I was keen to be in that area but I also needed to be close to a larger centre for work," Bob said.

"I had a look on Google Earth and zoomed in on Nambucca Heads ... it was somewhere I'd driven past many times but never swung off the highway. It looked perfect.

A short visit confirmed these musings: "I drove up to Captain Cook Lookout and stood there - South West Rocks lay to the south for diving and Coffs Harbour to the north for work ... then I looked up the estuary, it was beautiful! I thought this place is a hidden gem."

From there things moved fast - Bob bought land, built a house, moved here and started a successful business from scratch.

"My aim was to earn enough money to allow me to do more diving.

"And I have not been disappointed - I have seen a fantastic variety of fish here in the river over the last 10 years ... and when I invited world-renowned underwater photographer Malcolm Nobbs to dive here he was also totally gobsmacked."

The last ten years have seen many changes - above and below the waves.

"The inner river basin (opposite Marcel Towers) was a lot deeper 10 years ago - it was about six metres at high tide, now its only about 3.5 metres.

"But the river is still relatively clean considering there is a town right on its banks but the channel has filled with sand, which has covered a lot of rocks and habitat.

"This has caused a vast change in the underwater vegetation and while there are still a lot of fish species, their numbers vary greatly as fish numbers depend on the availability of food."

But for Bob, the joy of exploring below the surface has not diminished:

"You just never know what you will see ... "

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