Michael McFadyen's Scuba Diving Web Site
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Noel Hitchins 1951-2005
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Our Yachting Adventures
Below is a list of links to the main pages about our yacht, Catlypso and our Our Yachting Adventures:
  • Purchase of Catlypso
  • Details about Catlypso
  • Cleaning/Repairing Catlypso
  • Our Yachting Adventures.
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    Michael and Kelly's 4WD Trips
    Click here for a list of our Four Wheel Drive and Camping Trips.
    Current Kareela Weather
    A summary of the current weather conditions at our 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.
    Welcome
    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.

    NOTE:

    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.

    In addition, some wide screen monitors (newer laptops especially) may have a screen that is too wide for the page and this may cause photos to appear in strange places. If you find this, let me know and I will see if I can fix.

    I have now added a Search facility to the site. You can access this by clicking on Search on the menu at the top of the page.

    Sydney Dive Site Hints
    "Shark Point is a great dive but only for experienced divers"
    News
    My Recent Dives - May & June 2017
    14 May 2017 - Lady Musgrave Island Lagoon Bommie
    Dived with Ian on a large bommie, one of three just past the entrance to lagoon. This was the SW one, we swam around it. Anemone with some clownfish, red bass, lots of small stuff, Moorish idol and some cabbage coral. Good to dive after a month without diving. Visibility very good.

    15 May 2017 - Lady Musgrave Island Outer Entrance Reef
    Ian dropped us about 200 m SW of entrance. We dived around this area for about 25 minutes and then swam towards the entrance. However, the tide had already turned but should not have till 1030. Had to swim all the way and only made it to the green channel marker where we surfaced at 45 mins as agreed. Ian collected us there. The channel is very nice, will try to dive there tomorrow. All the normal reef fish. Visibility excellent.

    15 May 2017 - Lady Musgrave Island Lagoon
    Dive to check on our anchor and the meassurement markings. Redid the 10 and 20 metre ones with extra cable ties. Anchor was hooked into a thick wire rope so untangled it. Visibility good.

    15 May 2017 - Lady Musgrave Island Clown Trigggerfish Reef
    Went a lot further south and anchored in 16 metres. Reasonable current from S, so went S. A few large bommies, lots of smaller ones. Saw two CTF near anchor, a small and a medium white-tipped reef shark. Lots of Moorish idols and butterflyfish and two large flutemouths. A very good dive. Visibility excellent.

    16 May 2017 - Lady Musgrave Island Pontoon Reef
    This was further south again from the previous dives we have done here. Almost mirror seas and no wind. Dropped into 16 metres about 20 metres off the wall. Went south again into very slight current. A few small bommies, lots of dead stag coral on sand. Saw some nice nudibranchs, lots of butterflyfish, some triggerfish, a larger yellow boxfish, a flutemouth and more. Another nice dive. Visibility excellent.

    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 May 2017 00:00 · Print
    Catlypso 2017 Trip
    We are now sailing on Catlypso. We plan to be away for 6 to 7 months. We hope to get to Lizard Island up near Cooktown. 

    For details about our trip and current location, click on Our Yachting Adventures above and see the links on that page.
    Michael on 01 March 2017 00:00 · Print
    My Recent Dives - March & April 2017
    21 March 2017 - Bare Island Red Indianfish Reef
    First dive in almost a month due to bad weather and going overseas for 5 days. Huge amount of rain and very large seas the past three weeks, so we were amazed at today's conditions. Only 2 m viz above 2 m, but then opened up to at least 7 m. Went off W point to W and then to RIF Reef. Right around it and then to 15 m Reef and start of IR1. Then back. Saw 2 fiddler-rays, a spiny gurnard, 5 PPH, 4 RIF, the 2 tropical sea horses, a few moray eels, a frogfish, plenty of nudibranchs, including pink okenia and red-lined flabellena. Octopus all over the place as well a Gunther's butterflyfish. A great dive. Visibility fair.

    22 March 2017 - Pizza Reef
    Flat seas, hardly any wind and no current on surface. Water a little dirty on surface but below it was 10 to 12 m. Could see boat from 16 m. Reasonable current on bottom from NW and also at safety stop, but this disappeared about 3 mins into stop. Anchored on SW corner, went anti-clockwise and on the low rocks off S end, found 2 donut nembrothas. Quite a few silver sweep and seapike here. Back around to N and down split, Kelly found 2 PPH here. Then back to cave, 10 bastard trumpeters at N end of split and 10 more in cave. Also here hundreds of seapike. Back to anchor area and found another donut nembrotha on sand heading off to NW. Going to get very lost going that way! Another surprisingly good dive, too bad weather is going crap again tonight. Visibility good.

    25 March 2017 - Barrens Hut/The Split
    Club boat dive, two boats. Large swell but still clean on top. However, once I got to about 16 m the viz dropped to less than a metre. On the bottom could hardly see the anchor chain. Followed it to check anchor was not in a hole, then we all ascended. Kelly and Bob did not even know they were on the bottom. Visibility shithouse.

    31 March 2017 - Little Beach, Nelson Bay
    Awful weather the past two days as a result of Cyclone Debbie which hit Whitsundays. Rain eased so I dived while Kelly watched Veto. Dived with Kellie Oldfield, ex Abyss and now Bilikki Cruises. No sea horses, but lots of nudibranchs. Saw a couple of species I don't think I have seen before as well as some of the usual Nelson Bay ones. Also a cowrie and a spindle cowrie, three butterflyfish, seven dwarf wobbegongs, lots of small yellowtail. Nice dive. Visibility fair.

    1 April 2017 - Fly Point, Nelson Bay
    Had ear problem so could not go deeper than 14 m. Drifted SW and S for 28 mins when tide stopped and turned. However, after a minute or two it came back again, no hard, but had to swim into it for another 15 mins. Strange! Saw huge numbers of bream, ladder-finned pomfret, small snapper, red morwong and a few small wobbegongs. A huge blue groper, some other smaller ones, a few small cuttlefish, a Gunthers butterflyfish, a couple of small moray eels, plenty of leatherjackets and some small surgeonfish. Not that many nudibranchs. Another nice dive. Visibility fair.

    2 April 2017 - Fly Point, The Pipeline
    Went to N and then W till I hit pipe, then followed it deeper. Came to a big sand hill, this was not here last time I dived it. Went a bit further but was coming up shallower and no marine life. Worked my way back along the pipe. Saw a couple of moray eels, a few species of nudibranchs, at least one I had never seen before. Heaps of small cuttlefish, two tiny yellow boxfish, a turretfish, a few octopus, lots of pygmy leatherjackets and a blind shark. Not many fish. Some other people saw a black anglerfish just off the wall. Nice dive. Visibility fair.

    6 April 2017 - Pizza Reef
    Club boat dive. Very dirty water in Port Hacking but once outside got bluish. Swell not too bad but every now and then a large couple came through. Very, very slight current from S. Anchored on sand on W and did not move. A donut nembrotha near anchor and 4 more on S and NW side. Also a huge cuttlefish, very friendly. Another smaller one on E side and also a wobbegong and a firefish. Huge numbers of seapike, especially near cave where 30 bastard trumpeters. Also a lot of small trevally here and also higher up in water with some other species. On safety stop lots of strange jellyfish and other invertebrates. Excellent dive. Visibility very good.

    8 April 2017 - The Split
    Club boat dive, two boats and 11 divers. Slight current again from S which pushed us a bit N of normal anchor spot. Seas much better than Thursday but green rather than blue, still warm at 20.6 on bottom. Saw a turtle before we went in. Swam to Split at N end and then N to see donut nembrothas. Found 6 here and 1 more further S. Back near Split there was a huge school of catfish, all moving around, looked like a shark or whale shark. A large wobbegong, no pineapplefish though and a large cuttlefish. Split had lots of large seapike, yellowtail and bastard trumpeters in it. Back to anchor and up. Very nice dive. Visibility fair.

    9 April 2017 - SS Tuggerah
    A bit sloppy as we headed down and 10 kts NW. Anchored first go in front of anchor. Very, very slight current from S. Anchor was not in a good spot as the swell was sometimes large. Moved anchor a few times, one time it was lifting part of wreck, another it was so rope was rubbing on hull. Took 7 mins to set. Then went to stern and back to anchor. Huge amount of fishlife, large seapike everywhere, yellowtail all over the wreck, all the way to the surface. Nannygai everywhere. Probably the most fish I have seen here for 10 years. A seal which we saw before the dive came down and swam around and over us for almost 2 mins. The tank I dropped here on 4 Feb missing. Fantastic!!! Cold on bottom (17C) and dark, but relatively clean. A brilliant dive!. Visibility fair.

    14 April 2017 - The Leap Deep
    Very large swell from SE, tried Henry Head but too big there and also boat would be too close to breaking waves. This spot is out from The Leap. Went E at first and then W back towards where you normally hit sand at The Leap. Kelly did not dive and shoe followed us in the boat. Saw a few small cuttlefish, a large octopus, a few nudibranchs, some nice black reef leatherjackets. Despite the seas and rain, the visibility was not too bad. Visibility fair.

    15 April 2017 - Middle Ground
    Last dive in Sydney for at least 6 months. Swell was a lot less than yesterday and the seas also smoother. Anchored first go but once on the bottom we had a problem, the anchor was down a crack and we could not reach it. Pulling on the chain did not free it. Finally Kelly pulled out her reef hook and I was able to slip it into a part of the anchor and then pull it out from the middle. Took almost 10 mins to do all this. We then noticed that there was a huge wobbegong shark only a metre from us! Luckily it did not decide to move towards us while we were doing this. We followed the crack to the S and the reef edge and saw more wobbegongs, at least another 4. Then swam around to E side and saw 2 more. All were very active and when we came back to the anchor, I had to pull Kelly out of the way as a wobbie came at her from behind and under. I have not seen so many here (or anywhere in Sydney) for a long long time. Lots of yellowtail as well, but could not go too far as we were soon out of bottom time and I ended up in deco. A nice dive despite all the problems. Visibility fair.

    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 March 2017 00:00 · Print
    Article about Sydney diving in Sun Herald
    Back before Christmas 2016 I was interviewed by a journalist who wanted to write an article about scuba diving in Sydney. The resulting double page article was published in the Sun Herald on Sunday 15 January 2017. The following link is to the article which I think is pretty well done.

    Note you will need to copy and paste the link in your browser:

    http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/sydneys-underwater-wonderland-top-five-diving-sites-in-the-city-20170110-gtp9qp.html
    Michael on 15 January 2017 00:00 · Print
    Copyright © Michael McFadyen 1990 to 2017
    Non-commercial use of an article or photograph is permitted with appropriate URL reference to this site.
    Dive shops, dive operators, publications and government departments cannot use anything without first seeking and receiving approval from Michael McFadyen.
    This web site has been wholly thought up, designed, constructed and funded by Michael McFadyen
    without any help from the Australian Dive Industry since 1996!