Michael McFadyen's Scuba Diving Web Site
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About Me
My Diving
Web Links - Dive Clubs
St George Scuba Club
Some of my Best Photos
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Dive Sites
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Sydney Shipwrecks
NSW Dive Sites
Sydney Shipwreck Summary
NSW Shipwreck GPS/Marks
Australian Dive Sites
Overseas Dive Sites
Aircraft I have Dived
Old Bottles

Dive Related Equipment
Shearwater Predator and Heinrichs Weikamp OSTC 2N
Uwatec Aladin Dive Computers
Apollo AV1 Underwater Scooter
Bauer Compressor
DIY Oxygen Stick - Nitrox
GoPro HD Hero Video Camera
My Camera Setup
Purchase of New Dive Boat
Our Dive Boat - Mak Cat
Our Old Dive Boat - Le Scat
My Dive Gear
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

Other Dive Info
How Weather Affects Diving in Sydney
Visibility and Wave Averages in Sydney
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Tide Tables
Dive Accidents and Incidents
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Noel Hitchins 1951-2005
Lloyd Bridges - Mike Nelson in Sea Hunt
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
    21:34 on 24/10/16

    Temperature 14.6°C
    Humidity 62.0%
    Barometer 1013.6hPa
    Rate 0.4hPa/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 0.0 mm
    Rainfall this Year 758.6 mm
    Today's Extremes
    High Temperature 20.3°C at 14:27
    Low Temperature 10.4°C at 6:38
    Peak Wind Gust 0km/hr at 0:00
    Weather from Michael McFadyen's Kirrawee Weather Station
    Yesterday's Extremes
    High Temperature 18.8°C at 13:43
    Low Temperature 9.6°C at 6:03
    Rainfall at Start of Yesterday 758.6 mm
    Rainfall at End of Yesterday 758.6 mm
    Weather from Michael McFadyen's Tempe Weather Station
    Astronomical Data
    Sunrise 5:05
    Sunset 18:18
    Moonrise 1:18
    Moonset 12:19

    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.

    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
    "Bare Island has the greatest number of dives of any location in Sydney"
    My Recent Dives - September & October 2016
    3 September - Shiprock
    Too windy to take boat out, so 12 of us did this dive. Viz really good considering the amount of rain the past 2 days. Saw lots of moray eels, cuttlefish, an octopus in a glass jar, 2 huge flathead, 2 long-finned bannerfish, frogfish, shrimp, seapike and more. Only one nudibranch! No pineapplefish, but an easy dive. Visibility good.

    4 September - The Leap
    Really big sea running, but oaky here, although a bit of surge for first 10 mins. Went NE and then along edge. Lots of damage from the huge seas in May. Saw one sea dragon, 4 PPH, yellow boxfish, lots of PJs and horn sharks, heaps purple dragons, lots of opera house nudibranchs and huge bullray. The feral weed has taken over a lot more area since last dive, probably because of the storm. Visibility fair.

    10 September - Bare Island 15 Metre Reef
    Cancelled boat dive due to very strong N winds. Really blowing, so glad we did. Went off W point and W to 15 Metre Reef, then back normal way. Saw a spiny gurnard, the two small orange anglerfish, the strange sea horse but no RIF or PPH. Was not a long dive as one diver was a novice and not great yet on air. Cool 16C deeper and 17.6 shallow. Nice dive. Visibility good deep, but fair shallower.

    25 September - M & K Reef
    First dive since we sailed Catlypso to Queensland. Kelly was not feeling the best so watched the boat. Flat seas, NW wind, very slight current from N. Viz at least 15 m. Not a great deal of exciting marine life, but one six-spined leatherjacket, 2 huge black leatherjackets, some one-spot pullers and a nice spindle cowrie on a harp fan. Despite this, a nice dive. Visibility very good. 

    27 September - SS Bombo
    Diving from Aidan's RIB, no wind or current, at least 20 m viz. Anchor was just off wreck on a small piece of wreckage, dragged over to engine. Went to stern, then to bow. The bow section is now very low and virtually impossible to penetrate. Back on W side to boiler and into this section from W side. Back around engine and stern and rudder. Lots of yellowtail at bow. Excellent dive. Visibility very good. 

    28 September - Barrens Hut/The Split
    Club boat dive. Wind was from S rather than W and at 15 to 20 kts, too strong to go further S as planned. Reasonable current from N at first but dropped right away. Water 20.9 on top and 19.6 on bottom, viz 20 m. Anchored out on rock to E of S end of Split. Two donut nembrothas on the rock. Went to Split and then N. Once outside, went N again. Another 10 donuts there. Saw one more later. Three times the most we have seen before! Back to Cave and then to anchor. Lots of bastard trumpeters and red morwongs in normal spot. An amazing dive for this time of the year. Visibility very good.

    29 September - Shiprock
    Club night dive. First night dive for a while due to weather and other things. Viz not as good as expected, but okay. Not a huge amount of things to see, a few moray eels, 2 juvenile long-finned bannerfish, 4 frogfish, a tiny dwarf firefish, quite a few decorator crabs, many different species of nudibranch, some whiting and bream and the normal leatherjackets. No pineapplefish again. Visibility fair.

    1 October - Barrens Hut/The Split
    Went out again to same spot as Wednesday but water 3 degrees cooler at 16.6 on the bottom. Still 15 to 20 m viz though. Strong NW wind which got gale force by the time we finished. Kelly dived with Les as I dived with new member George. Saw 5 donut nembrothas, a large orange boxfish, lots of PJs and bastard trumpeters, one blue morwong, a huge school of small striped catfish in the cave and more. A very nice dive. Visibility very good.

    2 October - Tupia Point
    Much better conditions today, very slight NW wind. First time we have dived here for perhaps 10 years. Anchored right on GPS co-ords. Viz about 20 m and temp 17.7 compared to 16.6 yesterday. Apparently there was a round ball item, perhaps the remains of a wave bouy. Went NE and then back to anchor and a bit SW. Lots of PJs, some blackfish, about a dozen kingfish and thousands of ladder-finned pomfrets. A few swim-throughs, lots of large boulders and overhangs. A really nice site. Visibility very good.

    6 October - Bare Island Deep Wall
    Club night dive, 8 attending, most this year I think. Flat seas but a bit of surge for most of the dive and some waves when getting in. Went from W point to Wall, first time here since early May. Very clean shallow but dirty deeper than 10 m. Saw 3 RIF, a dwarf firefish, a few squid, some red-lined flabilina, opera house nudis, squat lobsters, A tagged PJ (but could not read it), a huge flathead, the sea horse near first cave and the orange anglerfish at 13 m. A great dive. Visibility poor. 

    9 October - Middle Ground
    Very large swell, but no wind or current. Blue water with whale snot, but surgy on bottom and in spots only 2m. Probably averaged 5 m. Went around, saw a large wobbegong, some yellowtail, but not too much else. Not a great dive, but better than sitting at home. Visibility poor. 

    12 October - Pizza Reef
    Club boat dive. Swell down a bit but still significant, a bit surgy as well. Whale snot top to bottom and very slight current from S. Slight W wind. No bastard trumpeters at cave, but about a dozen at S end. Also a donut nembrotha there. Lots of silver sweep and yellowtail on S and E sides. Quite a few black reef leatherjackets as well. Whales heard all dive like last few dives. Nice dive. Visibility fair.

    15 October - M & K Reef
    Club boat dive. Large rolling swell so could not dive Cape Banks Cavern, tried Yellow Rock but swell here, then back to M&K and seems to be a bit protected by Cape Banks. Despite rolling swell, only a bit of surge on bottom intermittantly. Two blue devilfish in cave and Kelly found two pigmy pipehorse (PPH) outside cave. Some nice leatherjackets, a few cuttlefish, but not a great deal more. Nice dive. Appears we had the best dive of the three boats from club. Visibility fair.

    18 October - Marley Point
    Club boat dive. Slight swell and little NW wind so went all the way to Marley Point. A bit cleaner than Saturday. Went thru cave and did normal route. Saw an eagle ray, a big school of luderick, thousands of yellowtail, some nice black reef leatherjackets. Back on boat, a baby humpback whale surfaced 20 m from us and headed right at us. It must have went under or in front of us as surfaced the other side with mother. Very nice dive. Visibility good.

    20 October - Bare Island Deep Wall
    Club night dive. Went in from W point and WSW (compass is not working good). Visibility varied a lot over the dive, sometimes 10 m, mostly 5 m. Saw some opera house nudibranchs, lots of squid, three dwarf firefish, a spiny gurnard, one RIF, no PPH, 1 frogfish and the orange anglerfish. Could not find the tropical sea horse. A few other interesting nudibranchs as well. Another nice dive. Visibility poor. 

    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 September 2016 00:00 · Print
    My Recent Dives - July & August 2016
    3 July - Barrens Hut/The Split
    Westerly wind of 15-17 kts, very slight sea from S and water temp 20C. Slight current from N. Great viz, 20+ m, could see the boat clearly from 26 m. Went down Split and on way back at least 40 large squid off bommies. They were mating and laying eggs. Over a metre of sand missing in spots some , lots of rocks showing as well as a fish trap and an engine cable (weird). Also hundreds of tiny purple ascidians on the newly visible rocks. Some bastard trumpeters, but not as many as normal. Went thru Cave, lots of sand missing. A really nice dive. Visibility very good.

    4 July - Bare Island Isolated Reef 1
    Went thru pool as a bit rough on corner. I found one tiny orange anglerfish near first cave. Saw a seadragon but no sea horses, RIF or PPH. Went along N side of IR1 and then back. Lots of silver sweep and small cuttlefish, a few small squid as well. A very nice relaxed dive, 18-19C depending on depth. Visibility very good.

    17 July - Middle Ground
    After awful conditons the past few weeks, it was good to get out. A bit sloppy on the way out but okay once anchored. A longish period so a bit surgy on the bottom, but not too bad. Did not go around, just stayed on the east and north-east side of reef. A lot of yellowtail, especially at the start, maybe a few kingfish. Nothing special, but it was a far better dive than I expected. Visibility fair. 

    10 August - Marley Point
    Club boat dive. After a lot of rain over the past 2 weeks, it was amazing how clean the water was, at least 15 m viz. The wind was a lot less than forecast too. Saw a school of large dolphins pass the back of the boat and heard about 4 or 5 whales thru the whole dive. Huge numbers of yellowtail and ladder-finned pomfret in the 10 to 15 m level. Lots of leatherjackets and one PJ. Excellent dive. Visibility good.

    11 August - Bare Island Right
    Very strong W but still okay to get in off W point. I had ear problems and could not descend below 4 m. After the others went off, I could go a bit deeper so headed off to the main reef and followed it to 15 Metre Reef. Saw a strange sea horse and tiny 10 mm orange anglerfish outside the first cave. Did not see others come back so turned around. Caught up with them at 13 m. Kim showed us 3 more anglerfish, 5 mm, 10 mm and 30 mm. Lots of nudibranchs, including an orange one I have never seen before. A spiny gurnard as well as dozens of PJs, most very pale colour. Very good dive. Visibility good.

    14 August - Bare Island Isolated Reef 1
    Cancelled boat dive today after yesterday's failed dive due to rough seas and very strong current. Went in from Carol's plaque. Found the 4 orange anglerfish, the new sea horse. Went across to IR1, one RIF. Also saw a large yellow boxfish, 3 firefish and Kelly found a pipefish. A really nice dive. Visibility fair.

    16 August - Bare Island Isolated Reef 1
    Went in from W point and W to 15 Metre Reef. Then to IR1 and back. Kim found another small orange anglerfish just as we hit the sand. One PPH, 3 more anglerfish (Trevor saw the other one), sea horse, lots of nudibranchs, one RIF, 3 firefish, a largish yellow boxfish and more. Another great dive. Visibility fair.

    16 August - Hungry Jacks
    Club boat dive. Flat seas and minimal current and wind, but that picked up a little from NW while we were out. Quite dirty with whale snot, especially on safety stop. Went N and then back S past boat and back. Quite a few silver sweep and one-spot pullers, a blue devilfish near anchor, a couple of smallish cuttlefish, lots of starfish. Visibility fair.

    18 August - Bare Island Right
    Club night dive, first for ages due to weather. Very high tide, full moon, so had to go in near plaque. Found all 4 anglerfish, 6 firefish, dozens of PJs, the strange sea horse and more. Quite a few nudibranchs, more than 10 Opera House. Plenty of small crab like things, a sea spider, a few cuttlefish and octopus and one RIF. Another great dive. Visibility fair.

    20 August - Shiprock
    Club shore dive. Was supposed to be at Oak Park but too rough there. Did normal drift dive, water quite clean and warm at 17.4C. Nothing special seen, no pineapplefish, lots of octopus, a few cuttlefish, hardly any nudibranchs. Saw two moray eels, one with two shrimp "guarding" him. A large flathead, one frogfish and lots of seapike and yellowtail. Visibility good.

    21 August - The Split
    Calm seas and little wind when we went out. Anchored on S end of Split, very slight current from S. Went N along Split and then N on outside of the reef. Found 5 donut nembrothas, the most we have ever seen. Three pineapplefish at S end of Split, lots of yellowtail, a few octopus. Really nice dive despite viz of about 10 m. Visibility fair.

    22 August - SS Undola
    Very flat seas and no wind so ran to Undola rather than Tuggerah. Took a while to pick up wreck well on sounder and when we anchored, we in fact were not anchored. Very dirty layer on the way down, black as on the bottom. Anchor was sitting on sand about 10 m N of bow. A slight current from S meant it was very hard work to get the anchor to wreck, took me 7 minutes as no help from buddy who was narked. Used lots of air! Then went to boiler and back and up. Not a great dive! Visibility poor.

    27 August - Pizza Reef
    Club boat dive, 2 boats and 10 divers. Was supposed to be wreck of Hilda but yesterday's strong S made it very lumpy for the long trip back from there. Anchored on the S most bit of reef as quite a current from N on bottom. Viz much better than expected, but a bit of surge every now and then. Lots of purple ascidians but no donut nembrothas. Two small boxfish on SE corner. Lots of yellowtail and seapike on N and NW side. No bastard trumpeters at all. A nice dive considering yesterday's weather and all the rain since last Monday. Visibility good.

    30 August - SS Tuggerah
    Good weather forecast so decided to do a deep dive. Flat seas, little wind, ran down at 23 kts which is very rare. Anchored first go forward of boiler. Slight current from N and blue water, at least 25 m viz. Went to stern, cleaned toilet on the way. Sea horse still behind boiler as is my old watch. Then around prop and back to the bow. A couple of large wobbegong sharks along the way. Heaps of moray eels as well. A brilliant dive, pity the sun was not out. Visibility excellent.

    31 August - Middle Ground
    Club boat dive. Quite windy when we got outside, stronger than forecast. Went to this spot as second closest without going into the wind too much. Anchored on E side. Almost on the bottom and something black rushed past me, scared the shit out of me. It was a seal. It came around us three times, for at least the first five minutes of the dive. Very friendly, came within inches, it even brushed its whiskers against my hand. I have never seen one as friendly in Sydney. Paul found a donut nembrotha, we saw a large wobbegong shark and a couple of PJs. A fantastic dive in the end. 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 2016 10:00 · Print
    Copyright © Michael McFadyen 1990 to 2016
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    without any help from the Australian Dive Industry since 1996!