Michael McFadyen's Scuba Diving Web Site
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Kelly Talking on ABC Sydney about Shipwrecks
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Old Bottles

Dive Related Equipment
Shearwater Predator and Heinrichs Weikamp OSTC 2N
Uwatec Aladin Dive Computers
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Purchase of New Dive Boat
My Dive Boat - Mak Cat
My Old Dive Boat - Le Scat
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GPS and Diving
Make Your Own Car Tank Rack

Marine Life
Rarer Sydney Marine Life
Bare Island Pygmy Pipe Horses
Bare Island Sea Horses
Bare Island Nudibranchs
Bare Island Marine Life
Encounter with Southern Right Whale and Calf

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Noel Hitchins 1951-2005
Lloyd Bridges - Mike Nelson in Sea Hunt
My Yachting Adventures
Below is a list of links to the main pages about my yacht, Catlypso and My Yachting Adventures:
  • Purchase of Catlypso
  • Details about Catlypso
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  • My Yachting Adventures.
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    Michael's 4WD Trips
    Click here for a list of my Four Wheel Drive and Camping Trips.
    Current Kareela Weather
    A summary of the current weather conditions at my house at Kareela, Sydney, is below. Click here for more Detailed Diving Weather and Conditions. Weather from Michael McFadyen's Tempe Weather Station

    Conditions at
    23:49 on 23/1/17

    Temperature 25.6°C
    Humidity 65.0%
    Barometer 1003.4hPa
    Rate -0.3hPa/hr
    Wind Speed: 0 km/hr
    Wind Direction S
    Rainfall for Today 0.0mm
    Rainfall last hour 0.0 mm
    Rainfall last 24 hours 0.0 mm
    Rainfall at Start of Month 814.6 mm
    Rainfall this Year 827.0 mm
    Today's Extremes
    High Temperature 31.2°C at 15:48
    Low Temperature 20.9°C at 6:27
    Peak Wind Gust 0km/hr at 0:00
    Weather from Michael McFadyen's Kirrawee Weather Station
    Yesterday's Extremes
    High Temperature 27.5°C at 17:11
    Low Temperature 19.8°C at 6:29
    Rainfall at Start of Yesterday 827.0 mm
    Rainfall at End of Yesterday 827.0 mm
    Weather from Michael McFadyen's Tempe Weather Station
    Astronomical Data
    Sunrise 5:06
    Sunset 19:05
    Moonrise 1:09
    Moonset 15:04

    Home Brewing
    Click here for an article about Home Brewing.
    I established this Web Site about scuba diving in Sydney, NSW, Australia and the South Pacific, as well as a few other places, in June 1996.

    Since then it has gone through a few different versions. This latest version is the fourth and was completed in July 2006.

    The site has grown from a few pages to well over 900 separate pages. More than 650 dives are covered, mostly in detail and most with photographs and some with maps.

    I am fairly confident that this is not only the largest diving related web site in the World, it also has more hits than any diving related web site in Australia.

    This site is a non-commercial site and is unrelated to any dive organisation. It is purely here to provide divers with an information source to increase their enjoyment of scuba diving, shipwrecks and marine life in general. I hope that my experiences can help you when you are planning a dive trip, whether it is locally in Sydney, New South Wales, somewhere else in Australia or the Pacific Ocean region.

    Any and all comments are welcome, as is any information to enhance the pages, especially more information about ships or shipwrecks or corrections to pages.

    I have also included some articles on non-diving related interests, especially four wheel driving and camping. Starting 2014 it will have information about our yacht, a Lightwave 38 catamaran.


    This site is best viewed using a screen sized at 1024 x 768 pixels. If you use a smaller screen, some photographs may force a page that extends off the screen and cause printing problems. I cannot avoid this problem. It may also cause some photos to run over top of text. If you find any of these, please let me know as I should be able to fix.

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    Sydney Dive Site Hints
    "Bare Island Deep Wall has pygmy pipehorses if you look closely"
    My Recent Dives - October, November & December 2019

    6 October 2019 - Bare Island 15 Metre Reef

    Cancelled yesterday and tomorrow's club boat dives due to bad weather. Today perfect!! Flat seas so went off W point W to 15 Metre Reef. Then back from there. Lots of nudibranchs, I photographed at least 16 different species. One PPH and perhaps a tiny, tiny baby on the back of a small nudi. Looks like it in photo but hard to tell for sure. No RIF, one firefish, two moray eels, the blue groper followed us for 30 mins as usual. Lots of divers here but we only saw a couple near the end of the dive. Water warmed up near end, obviously warm water off the coast coming in on the tide. Great dive. Visibility fair.

    8 October 2019 - Bare Island Right

    Too windy yesterday to take boat out, so shore dive today. A bit too much wave action off W point so went in at Carol's plaque. Quite dirty shallow but okay deeper, a bit of surge made it hard to take photos. Went gradually to almost 16 m then back. Lots of nudis like Sunday, some I had not seen before or for a long time. Also 3 PPH, 2 of which I found. Very nice cruisy dive. Visbility fair.

    13 October 2019 - Shiprock

    Was going to take MakCat out but yesterday the starboard engine would not start, battery or starter motor problem. Today it started! Anyway, we decided to dive Shiprock. Did usual route but only got past second buoy. Not many nudibranchs, none on outward trip at all. Only two species. Three pineapplefish, a moray eel on last bommie as usual, one small cuttlefish. All the normal surgeonfish, leatherjackets etc. In shallows thousands of small snapper and a small school of large whiting. Easy dive, but not the most interesting. Visibility fair. 

    19 October 2019 - M&K Reef

    Club deep dive but there was a 1 to 1.5 knot current on surface when we pulled up to anchor. Dived here instead. A bit sloppy and some large swells from SE too. Cold on bottom, 15.8C and a bit cleaner than top (7 m viz). Anchored just off N end of the wall, went S. Two blue devilfish two medium cuttlefish, lots of large seapike, silver sweep and one-spot pullers over the wall. Went right to end and then back. Nice dive. Visibility fair. 

    22 October 2019 - Middle Ground

    Club boat dive. Was only going to dive tomorrow but so many wanted to dive and I could not get another club boat, I decided to dive today as well. No wind and a smooth sea but a large long swell from SE. Went to Middle Ground to minimise surge, but there was a bit on bottom at 30+ metres. Also a reasonable current on surface, 18.7C, but only went to 5 metres or so. Had to untangle crossover line on the way down, took 2 mins. Anchored on W side, tried to move anchor to N but current too strong, went back a bit and found a spot. Used a lot of air. Then we went around S side of reef to E side and back. Dark due to dirty water above. One large wobbegong and three PJs, but second group saw three wobbies. As mentioned, quite surgy so hard to take photos (saw a pink okenia). Not the greatest dive but a brilliant day on the water. Visibility poor.

    23 October 2019 - Pizza Reef

    Club boat dive. Swell less than yesterday and no wind at all. Anchored on N side of E section of reef. Much cleaner than yesterday and less surge. Also less current. Went around W reef, three donut nembrothas, some bastard trumpeters on N end of gap and outside cave. A couple of six-spined leatherjackets, a blue devilfish near anchor (we did not see), plenty of yellowtail and seapike. A really nice dive. Visibility fair. 

    26 October 2019 - Henry Head

    Forecast was for under 8 kts NW with not much stronger during the night. At 0330 it started to rain and the wind went up to 30 kts NNW. By 0530 it had dropped back to 12-15 kts NNW. Decided to go as the wind was not supposed to really get up till 1100. Bit of swell outside and worried that wind might go SW, we decided to dive here inside Botany Bay. Anchored on W wall. Slight current from NW on top but nothing on bottom, but cold again at 15.9C. Went S, lots of different species of nudibranch, including pink okena. Others saw a sea dragon but I did not. One horned shark, but not many fish unlike last time. A good dive though. After the dive the wind gusts came up at 0900 to 30 kts and stayed that way or more all day. Only two seals on port wall. Rough trip back across N side of bay and then down W side. Visibility fair.   

    27 October 2019 - Bare Island Right

    Seas up a lot from yesterday but wind far less. Could only get in at Carol's plaque. Surgy all dive, hard to take photos of very small things! Went down to 15 metres and then back, took 45 mins to get there (81 mins total dive). Saw some fin-lined tamja, first I have seen for years, but they were very hard to photograph as under small overhang. Lots of other nudibranchs, including some doto about 2 mm long and another rarer species that I cannot identify. Also a large flounder on way back. Very good dive. Visibility poor.

    3 November 2019 - Henry Head

    Club boat dive, only my boat as it seems the other one pulled out. Forecast early yesterday was strong NE but then changed to about 12 kt NE. Decided to dive Henry Head rather than Whale Watching Platform in case it came up strong. Anchored N of previous dives, warm 19C on top but 15.1C on bottom! Clean though. Went S into a slight current. Lots of nudibranchs but little fishlife. Came back past anchor to N and saw a sea dragon although Michael saw two more. About 30 m N there were huge numbers of yellowtail and ladder-finned pomfrets. Came back and found a strange pink anemone. Camera decided not to work, would not save to card. Very nice dive. Visibility good.

    10 November 2019 - Shiprock

    Had to cancel club boat dive and BBQ due to very strong W-SW winds. Was light when we went in but very windy later. Good decision. Followed Eddie to N first. Some nudibranchs and a moray, but not much else. Then went S but I lost him and Kevin. More nudibranchs, but only 4 species. The usual moray eel on last bommie. Refound them here but lost again! Then continued SW to second buoy. Back along wall, three pineapplefish in usual spot. Also a large octopus and a medium cuttlefish. Convict gobbies on slope, lots of seapike in shallows. Not the greatest dive but better than nothing. Visibility poor.

    16 November 2019 - Six Fathom Reef

    Wind 15 kts SE when should have been under 10, very sloppy. Decided to dive here but even then a bit rough. Also surgy on bottom away from main wall. Anchored on top of wall. Back in wetsuit, 6kg weights. ent deeper and to NW but got very dirty, so came back to anchor and then N. A few small schools of yellowtail, a large wobbegong N. After Les went up, we went S and some red morwong and a couple of bastard trumpeters. A few species of nudibranch. Second group saw some moray eels. Not the greatest dive. Camera and strobe now working good for wide angle. Now have magnet in Inon strobe and this seems to work. Visibility fair mostly. 

    20 November 2019 - Middle Ground

    Club boat dive. Wind blew very strongly SE early last night but dropped off to about 10 kts this morning. A bit sloppy but got better while we were there. Anchored on SE corner, went N and then back and then W. Lots of seapike and yellowtail, especially at NE corner. A large cuttlefish, sweep, old wives and leatherjackets. Very good dive. Visibility good, almost very good.

    27 November 2019 - The Split
    Wind was a lot less than forecast (SW) but seas were very large, some at least 3 metres, also sloppy. Les decided to not dive due to seas. On top of the reef it was very surgy but on sand it was okay. Went up Split to N and then N again. Donut nembrothas there. Came back along sand, more donuts on rocks. Saw a total of 8. Quite a few black reef leatherjackets S of Split, an eagle ray went past. Not many fish, but some bastard trumpeters, red morwong, yellowtail and silver sweep. An okay dive despite the seas. Visibility fair.

    1 December 2019 - The Monuments
    Club Xmas Party dive. Flat seas and bluish water, incoming tide. Went in E of normal entry. Drifted to W. Saw two sea dragons, one with eggs. Lots of nudibranchs, including one opera house and one purple-lined nembrotha. A firefish, Ron saw two anglerfish, one Bare Island and one striped. Really nice dive. Visibility fair.

    3 December 2019 - Pizza Reef
    Club boat dive. A day early as I have to work tomorrow. Yesterday very, very strong W winds, forecast this morning for winds to go to 17 kts W after 0900. We got outside and very little wind, mostly smooth sea but the occasional large swell from SE. Anchored on sand on W so moved to reef about 10 m away. Just S of here a blue devilfish. No donuts at all, checked all the usual spots. On E side lots of large seapike and then some yellowtail. On N side many more as well as bastard trumpeters and red morwong. Back to anchor. A surprisingly good dive, actually excellent, considering the winds yesterday and reports from boats that dived Sunday. Visibility good.

    6 December 2019 - The Monuments
    Millpond seas, no wind but very smoky still. Water a warm 20.0C, low tide. Went in from normal spot, but headed NE, then E a little. Then W and back to exit. Saw a huge number of species of nudibranch, and many of each species. Three purple-lined nembrotha, at least six pink okena, plus three new species to me and a few rarer ones too. Ron found the Bare Island anglerfish he saw on Sunday, very nice. Saw a school of small squid towards end. One sea dragon but not the one I saw on Sunday. A great dive. Visibility fair.

    7 December 2019 - M&K Reef
    Club boat dive, two boats, eight divers. No wind but a bit sloppy from wind during night. Blue water, 20.4C on top and 19.34C on bottom, but a couple of colder patches at end, perhaps old water from shallows as tide hit low. Anchored right in front of S cave. My camera would not save photos again! Went N and saw two upsidedown pipefish, one with eggs. Then two blue devilfish together N of the other cave. Lots of nannygais around corner. Back to S and two pygmy pipehorses in separate spots. Some silver sweep and yellowtail, a large cuttlefish and a moray eel. On safety stop a lot of jellyfish and a few salmon (?). A great dive, could see boat from metres and divers on bottom at 24 m from safety stop. Visibility very good.

    8 December 2019 - SS Tuggerah
    Once again my camera would not record to SD card, will have to try another one, works on land though!! Wind stronger than the 7 kts forecast, perhaps 10-11 at first and then at end up to 15 kts or so NE. Made a rough trip down and especially back. Sea was very sloppy, worse than yesterday. Anchored second go in front of boiler. Blue water to 24 metres, then dirty, but cleaner on bottom. Went to stern and then to bow. At least 20 bailer shells, most laying eggs. Lots of nannygais and bulleyes. No wobbies. NIce dive. Visibility good.

    10 December 2019 - Bare Island 15 Metre Reef
    Very smoky, when we got out you could not see Henry Head or Port Botany. Flat as a tack, outgoing tide. Went off W point W to sand edge. Dirty and warm above 10 metres, then colder (16.7C) but clean. Then to 15 Metre Reef. Some current here and also around Sea Horse Corner. Lots of nudibranchs, including red-lined flabellinas. Saw some newer species to me that Kim knew where they lived. Most were tiny, 1 to 5 mm. A tiger pipefish under overhang on 15 MR, a pregnant upsidedown pipefish under SHR, two brown pygmy pipehorses. A great dive. Visibility good.

    11 December 2019 - Inscription Point
    Cancelled today's club boat dive due to very strong S winds. Good decision! NPWS are redoing stairs at top, but can still use. Just after high tide, water warm 18.9C. Eddy found a Bare Island anglerfish almost as soon as we hit sand. Orange one. Then two big belly sea horses, no sea dragons, lots of nudibranchs. Very nice cruisy dive. Visibility fair. 

    16 December 2019 - The Leap
    Very strong S change early this morning so pretty rough at The Leap but not too bad at Steps. Submerged almost as soon as we hit the water. Had a problem with o-ring this morning, replaced it with new but when setting up it blew numerous times. Ended up loosing 70 bar, I thought it was only 20 bar as did not have glasses on. Ended up having to end dive early and head into shallows and exit at 43 mins. Before that, a really good dive. A red PPH, two sea dragons, a huge school of kingfish which circled us. On the way back another school (or same one) went past us. Apart from the air stuff up, a great dive. Visibility very good.

    Click here to see details of dives including profiles.

    For more details about these dives and other dives this year, click here.
    Michael on 06 October 2019 14:00 · Print
    My Recent Dives - July, August & September 2019

    2 July 2019 - Pizza Reef

    Club boat dive. Little wind, smooth rolling swell from NE (almost 2 m), slight current from S. A bit surgy on bottom. Anchored a little N of main reef, had to drag it over, hence air consumption high. No donut nembrothas, but huge numbers of seapike and lots of trevally, one-spot pullers and yellowtail on W and S side. Found a blue devilfish near anchor out in open. Whales singing all dive, plenty around the boat, two surfaced 30 metres from us but never saw where they came up again. Visibility good.

    6 July 2019 - SS Annie M Miller

    Club deep wreck dive. No wind since late morning yesterday but very rough seas (not big). Weird! Slowish trip to site, took a while to find, had to use visual marks as GPS not great. Anchored and stayed in the spot. Went down and found that anchor was hooked into a very small piece of wreckage about 20 m off wreck. Swam to wreck, then back. The wreckage was very flimsy, in fact when we tried to pull anchor in and tie off to it so we could move towards wreck, it broke! No way we could trust it. Also not possible to pull towards wreck, so we set anchor free and ascended. Better safe than sorry! Visibility very good.

    3 August 2019 - Middle Ground

    First dive in four weeks after return from Birdsville. Largish swell running, with an 11 second period meaning some surge at 32 metres. Anchored on NW corner of reef and a seal came up behind me and then past Les as he came down. Never saw it again. Went clockwise, huge numbers of silver sweep and bag seapike on N and E sides. Came back from SE corner. No wobbies. First dive with drysuit for the year, small leak on left ankle, think I have fixed it. Reasonable dive. Visibility poor.

    3 August 2019 - Barrens Hut/The Split

    Club boat dive. A bigger swell again but less than Saturday. Smooth with NW wind. Anchored in normal spot. Went N along Split to end, a donut nembrotha outside the end. Then back S along sand, found another nembrotha on smaller rock. Further S went under the gap between the big rock and main reef, first time I have been able to do this for 15 years I reckon, sand has moved out. Then to cave, lots of silver sweep here and then back via the rear gap to anchor. Bastard trumpeters and blue and red morwong as normal. Saw probably 10 Port Jackson sharks in various places. Quite warm water, 17.4 about 2 m above sand but 16.4 on sand. Good dive. Visibility good.

    9 August 2019 - The Crossroads, Jervis Bay

    Club weekend away at Jervis Bay. Amazed we got out, blew over 40 kts NW all day yesterday and last night till at least midnight. Now about 20 kts, trip out okay but very rough on way back after second dive. Quite flat here. Dropped in and went S, followed wall, similar to last year. Noting special seen, but a very nice dive as the wall and sponges are fantastic. Visibility very good.

    9 August 2019 - Cathedral Cave, Jervis Bay

    Located towards the Drum and Drumsticks but well back from the corner. Never dived this before I think. Dropped into a small inlet and then once descended, you swim under and between the rock face and a large boulder towards the entrance to the cave which is at 13 m. Cave is very wide, at least 20 m and about 10 m high (a bit lower at entrance). It extends back 100 m and then 20 m to left. Some wobbegong sharks inside and plenty of Port Jackson sharks. Apparently they get lost inside once they go to the left as you cannot see light here unless you surface. DM helped one escape. Back out and then deeper where there are some huge boulders. Quite interesting. Very nice spot. Visibility very good.

    10 August 2019 - The Arch, Jervis Bay

    Wind way down on yesterday and even less than forecast. However, a bit of swell from SE. Dropped right onto top of Arch and then down under and out. Went out deeper to 41 m and then N for about 50 m. Then back past Arch to S and followed wall SE. Then back and up drop line. Really nice dive, nothing special seen, but great to get full perspective of the site again. Visibility excellent.

    10 August 2019 - Echo Point, Jervis Bay

    This is a new spot for me. Located to W of Drum and Drumsticks (where there is now a colony of seals living all year round). Anchored very close to shore. The site consists of some huge boulders off the shore then a wall which runs to the N. The sandy bottom has some large rocks as well. Went this way. About 150 m along there is a small indent in wall before it begins again. Here we saw two small male grey nurse sharks. They swam up and down the wall and out over the rocks. Headed back and explored some of the cracks in the wall and around the boulders. Back to anchor. Some saw a seal and some blue devilfish. Nice spot and dive. Visibility very good.

    15 August 2019 - Bare Island Right

    Could not get a crew for boat today, so did a shore dive. Bit of swell coming over W point so went in near plaque. A bit surgy, even at 13 m. Kim showed me 3 PPH at first crop of rocks. Some schools of silver sweep and trevally, some Port Jackson sharks, a few different nudibranchs, one RIF. Nice dive. Visibility good.

    28 August 2019 - Barrens Hut/The Split

    Club boat dive, first one for 3 weeks due to weather. Wind a bit stronger than forecast when we went out, 10 kts and then went to perhaps 15 kts. Slight current from N meant side onto swell. Water 17.3C on top and 16.5C on bottom. When underwater wind dropped to less than 7 kts. Anchor was on sand so moved to reef. Went along Split and then N. No donut nembrothas seen by me, but Ida saw one. Lots of Port Jackson sharks in Split and on sand. Back to anchor, a seal came down and swam past us and then back a bit higher before disappearing. Went to back crack where lots of red morwong and some bastard trumpeters and blue morwong. Plenty of silver sweep all over the dive site. A really good dive. Visibility very good. 

    4 September 2019 - Pizza Reef

    Club boat dive, 4 boats out today, 2 here and 2 to other spots. At least 3 humpback whales near us, two fin slapping and then tail slapping. Smooth seas but a swell of 1.5 m at least. Slight NW wind. Anchored next to cave. Went around reef as normal. Three large schools of seapike, plenty of Port Jackson sharks, lots of leatherjackets, including some six-spined ones. An eastern blue devilfish to N of cave. Then a donut nembrotha in front of cave. Excellent dive, could see boat from 26 m. Visibility very good.

    5 September 2019 - Bare Island Deep Wall

    First dive with new Olympus TG-5 camera but no strobe yet. Went in off W point, some waves so had to time it right. Went to wall, bit south than normal spot. Back normal way. Took quite a few photos using torch, probably 60% good. Saw plenty of nudibranchs, one fiddler-ray, one PPH, no RIF, two upsidedown pipefish, one moray eel, one small cuttlefish, a large flathead and more. Very nice dive. VIsibility fair.

    14 September 2019 - Inscription Point

    Club shore dive. Flat seas and blue water. Went to almost 15 m slowly. First dive with new camera AND strobe. Batteries flattish so very slow recycle time. Still got some good photos. Nothing real special seen, but a nice cruisy dive. Visibility good.

    15 September 2019 - The Split

    Dived today rather than yesterday as weather no good. Even today the wind was well over 10 kts NW when it was supposed to be less. It dropped back to 6 kts while I was underwater. Very slight current from N and slight swell. Hossam's hired tank had a problem, probably valve is not square as it leaked all the time despiute changing o-rings. He used Zorka's used tank with 130 bar, so short bottom time. Anchored near bastard trumpeters, not so many today, also some red morwong here. Went N along Split, dozens of PJs. Outside saw three donut nembrothas S of Split end. Water was greener than recent but okay. Whale snot shallow. Visibility good.

    21 September 2019 - Henry Head

    Club boat dive, no other boats. Wind forecast was 15-16 kts NNE, was blowing at least that but good run across Botany Bay. Dived Henry Head rather than intended Bypass Reef due to wind and swell. Good here. Dirty on top but opened out to 10 m viz on bottom. Reasonable current from S (tide was incoming, should have been from W or SW) so did not go too far. Was anchored next to a reasonably sized Admiralty anchor, never see it before. Two sea dragons, one a larger juvenile, plenty of nudibranchs, a large school of trevally, some black reef leatherjackets and more. Very nice dive. Visibility good.

    22 September 2019 - Bare Island 15 Metre Reef

    Went in off W point and straight to sand each W of here. Took camera but strobe would not fire, damaged the optic fibre cable I think (yes it was). Torch also died! Dirty till about 5 metres then clear, on way back, dirty shallower than 11 metres. Lots of Port Jackson sharks on 15 Metre Reef, heaps of nudibranchs, including red-lined flabellinas. A very friendly blue groper followed us from here to about 12 metres. Very slow as looking at everything. Kim showed me a PPH and some tiny nudis. Went back normal way. I found the white PPH on last rock. Lots more to see as well. Very nice dive. Visibility good.

    25 September 2019 - Pizza Reef

    Club boat dive. No wind or current, some swell from SE and a bit surgy on bottom. Dirty on top but clean on bottom like Saturday. Big schools of yellowtail, seapike, silver sweep and old wives, all in different spots. Only a few bastard trumpeters. The blue devilfish from 3 weeks ago was not seen by us, but second group saw it. Two mating donut nembrothas in front of cave. Went very slow around as I had my camera and strobe was working. Took some nice photos. Very good dive. Visibility good.

    29 September 2019 - Bypass Reef

    Moved dive from Saturday due to strong winds forecast for yesterday. A bit of swell, very slight current from N, little wind from SW. Dirty on top as recently, but clear on bottom. A bit of surge, but okay. Dozens of red morwong, bastard trumpeters and Port Jackson sharks in hole and overhang near anchor. Went E and S and then W along the wall. Back along the top edge. Plenty of nudibranchs and starfish. Some yellowtail and silver sweep over reef. Very nice dive as usual. Visibility good.

    Click here to see details of dives including profiles.

    For more details about these dives and other dives this year, click here.
    Michael on 01 July 2019 00:00 · Print
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