Michael McFadyen's Scuba Diving Web Site
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About Me
My Diving
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St George Scuba Club
Some of my Best Photos
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Dive Sites
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Sydney Shipwrecks
Kelly Talking on ABC Sydney about 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
Waves and Diving
Diving Weather and Sea Conditions
Tide Tables
Dive Accidents and Incidents
Dive Book Reviews
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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
    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.

    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
    "Dee Why Wide has a huge ship's anchor stuck in a crack"
    My Recent Dives - January & February 2018
    5 January 2018 - SS Tuggerah
    Phil's boat. Very calm seas, no current on top (but some on bottom). Anchored right on boiler. Searched for the torch I dropped last year, but could not find it. Went under prop, huge wobbegong shark swam under me. Cleaned the toilet, no one has done since I last did it 10 months ago. Went a bit forward and then back to boiler. A few medium cuttlefish, a moray eel, lots of large seapike over prop area. A really nice dive. Visibility good.

    6 January 2018 - Middle Ground

    Very warm day, strong NE even at 8 am, but only slight chop so far. Anchored on NE corner, slight current. Warm 21.5C on top but 17.4C on bottom. Went looking for the torch I lost here 2 months ago. Did not find first go, so went right around reef. Very large schools of yellowtail, silver sweep, seapike and trevally. A few black reef leatherjackets, but no wobbegongs or blue devilfish. Came back to anchor area and did another search, Found the torch on the reef, white instead of black, paint has come off, also covered in small barnacles. Still worked when I turned it on! Anchor would not come free after dive, so Ian R had to do a second to move it. Excellent dive. Visibility very good.

    7 January 2018 - Bare Island Deep Wall

    Very hot day, by end of dive it was 37C. Went in off W point to wall, then back normal way. Lots of nudibranchs, pink okenia, red flabbelina and many others. One RIF, one small orange anglerfish, Kelly and Kim found a few PPHs. Water very warm (23C) shallow but dirty. Much cleaner (15-20 m viz) but 18C deeper. An excellent 71 minute dive. Visibility very good.

    8 January 2018 - Bare Island Deep Wall

    Another very hot day. Went in off W point and headed SW. Did similar dive to yesterday. Water heaps warmer on bottom (19.7C) but viz nowhere near as good, perhaps 12 m. Lost Chris at 50 min mark, searched for him and surfaced to find him swimming to shore. Saw lots of different nudibranchs like yesterday, no PPH or RIF, but two spiny gurnards. Also found the small orange anglerfish again and lots of "bugs" in the Gabo Island soft coral. Another nice dive.Visibility good.

    8 January 2018 - Bare Island Isolated Reefs

    Decided to another dive with Kim. Even hotter now. Went off W point and headed WNW to 15 Metre Reef, then to S side of IR1. Followed this to the end and back along N side of IRs. Viz a little better. Found one RIF at start of IR2. No PPH. Lots of nudibranchs and a small boxfish. The anglerfish had moved about a metre since this morning's dive. A few morays, one very large and friendly one on IR2. A blue groper also followed us for about 20 minutes on IR2. Ended up in deco for two minutes! Great dive again. VIsibility good.

    11 January 2018 - SS Tuggerah

    My 4,000th dive!! Club deep dive, two boats and 8 divers. No wind, current, a bit of swell from SE but glassy. Blue water to 27 m, then greener (still good). Anchored right on stern, hooked into fishing net. Moved to above rudder. Went forward to bow and then back to boilers and stern. Two huge wobbegongs, a few medium cuttlefish, a couple of moray eels (swimming). Rob went up Phil's anchor and later cut across to ours as we were close enough to be able to see on deco. Excellent dive. Visibility good.

    12 January 2018 - Marley Point 

    Club boat dive. Fast run down in blue water, very slight current from N. Anchored right next to cave, could see bottom as soon as we jumpe din water. Went NE along sand edge, a huge bullray swam past us. Saw it three more times in totally different locations. Thousands of one-spot pullers, all doing their mating dance. There were all over the place. Came back shallower, going through a few swim-throughs and then W of anchor. Back to cave and through it to anchor. A very nice dive, warm water (mostly 20+C but 18.8C min). Visibility very good.

    13 January 2018 - Bare Island Isolated Reefs

    Too rough to go in off W point, had to go in near Carol's plaque. Went down to IR1 and then along N side. Around end of IR2 and back on S side. Some current in spots. Two PPH on large white sponge near first cave, the small orange anglerfish was on adjacent rock to normal, one RIF in between IR1 and IR2. Lots of yellowtail out on IR2. Lots of nudibranchs again, heaps of different species. A really good dive, apart from the bunch of divers who passed us and made viz 2 m and then later surfaced way out on IR! Visibility good.

    21 January 2018 - The Leap

    Seas quite flat and water warm 21C and viz at least 10 m, amazing considering the huge seas during the week. Did the normal drift, perhaps a bit slower than normal (76 mins). Hardly swam at all as tide was enough. Saw 6 sea dragons, 2 with eggs. 7 PPH, one pale big belly sea horse, lots of nudibranchs. A very nice dive. VIsibility good.

    24 January 2018 - Hungry Jacks

    Club boat dive. A bit sloppy but no wind, blue water and very slight current from S. Anchored on top of reef. Judy had a problem with her inflator, kept sticking on, had to disconnect the hose. Meant we had a shorter dive than normal. Went N along reef edge, lots of silver sweep, small trevally and one-spot pullers. One very large blue groper. Others saw a blue devilfish. Nice dive except too short. Visibility good. 

    5 February 2018 - Bare Island Isolated Reefs

    Too rough to go in from point, went in near Carol's plaque. Only one PPH and one RIF. No anglerfish. Lots of red morwong out on IR2, plenty of leatherjackets and yellowtail. Warm, over 22C whole dive. Viz not the greatest, but considering the seas last week, pretty good. Not one of the better dives here. Visibility fair.

    7 February 2018 - Osborne Shoals

    Club boat dive. No wind and a little slop. However, quite surgy on bottom even though only small swell. First time here for almost four years. Went W and S. A bit sandy in spots, but towards end cleared up. Not a huge amount seen, two sea dragons and one large cuttlefish and a six spinned leatherjacket were the highlights. Visibility fair.

    Next dives all at Jervis Bay

    11 February 2018 - Little Egypt

    Southerly hit early so could not go any further. Got stronger and moved from SW to SE while we were here. Anchored in normal spot, went SE and then back. Saw a small moray eel, a sea dragon, Kelly found a sea spider and a tiny pygmy pipehorse. We also saw a squid and a lot of smallish kingfish. Very cold in spots (16.1), although top warm and some warmer spots. Visibility very good.

    11 February 2018 - The Nursery

    Much windier than earlier and gone more SE to E. Used N most mooring. Went to E and then followed reef N and back. Saw a large wobbegong, a six-spined leatherjacket, a few blue gropers and maori wrasse. Not great as viz went from poor to very poor in spots but at least it was much warmer. Visibility poor. 

    12 February 2018 - The Arch

    A bit sloppy but not too bad. Anchored just E of Arch and boat hanging almost above the gap. Went to Arch and moved Phil's anchor to top as the rope was rubbing on rock. Then over and back thru Arch, up and down the gap, then back to top of Arch where Kelly found an upsidedown pipefish and two small pipefish. Lots of fish, very cold though, 15.3C. Great dive. Visibility excellent.

    12 February 2018 - Torpedo Tubes

    Anchored here for morning tea then dived to S. Quite dirty but some cold very clear spots, second divers had better viz. Went to cave and inside, then back to boat. Nothing special seen, but nice anyway. Visibility fair.

    13 February 2018 - Pyramid Rock

    Very choppy, so we did not go north as planned. Not too bad here. Anchored right on the site, dropped over wall, water very clear but cold, 15.0C! Went S for a bit on bottom then back along wall. Out around the rocks, found a very bright blue devilfish, lots of bastard trumpeters, one-spot pullers, mado, small trevally. Then back to wall N of this, along top to anchor and up. Next divers saw a seal. Fantastic dive. Visibility very good. 

    13 February 2018 - Bowen Island Rockfall

    A bit calmer than the first dive. Water temperature varied a lot, still cold, 16.6C. Went S for a bit, Kelly found a small razor pipefish, then we saw a large bullray, then back past anchor where Kelly found two blue devilfish. Then went W and thru a large swim-thru which had many exits. Back towards boat, saw a dozen huge kingfish. Lots of trevally and one-spot pullers all over the place. Also saw a few king wrasse. Very nice dive. Visibility good.

    14 February 2018 - The Fence

    Tried to go north again but sloppy swell and chop from NE, so decided to stop here. This is below lighthouse on Point Perpendicular and you can see a fence. Lots of boulders, goes deep. Water not so clean, but some spots were colder and clearer. Did not see a great deal apart from a small wobbegong and a large swimming one. Only an average dive. Visibility fair.

    14 February 2018 - The Docks

    Wind turned NW while here. Very calm. Went to big cave via the N swim-thru, then to Double Decker Cave. Kelly found a small blue devilfish. Lots of seapike in main cave, some big eyes in caves and swim-thrus, yellowtail outside. Viz varied a lot, water warm at 21.8C. A nice dive. Visibility good.

    15 February 2018 - Pyramid Rock

    Very sloppy and wind came up eary, so too rough to go anywhere but here. Decided to only do one dive, so did a deco dive. Did similar dive to Tuesday. Not as good viz either but over 3 degrees warmer. Kelly found a sea spider, a pygmy pipehose and an upsidedown pipefish. Also a lot of red morwong but only a couple of bastard trumpeters and also one female king wrasse. May have been as many fish, but since viz was not as good, could not tell. A very good dive. Visibility fair. 

    16 February 2018 - The Bommies

    Wind forecast to go from SW to SE about 10 so decided to do only one dive, a deco one. This spot about half way from Rockfall to Pyramid Rock. This is 25 m on top, dropping to 28 at bottom of wall and then over 31 out further. There are a number of large bommies, making small gullies between them and with some small overhangs. Much warmer at 20.1C. Found a large long-snouted boarfish, Kelly found another sawtooth pipefish. A few nice wrasse, and one six-spined leatherjacket. Very colourful, plenty of gorgnias and sea squirts. Excellent dive. 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 January 2018 00:00 · Print
    My Recent Dives - November & December 2017
    3 November 2017 - The Split 
    First dive after sailing trip, two months since last dive. Mak Cat went good, but steering was frozen yesterday and took some work to free up. A bit of swell running but rolling. Anchored second go a S end of The Split. Les and I went N along Split and then outside to N a short distance. A large donut nembrotha here and just S another one and a sea dragon with eggs. Lots of large leatherjackets all over the place and a few PJs. Kelly dived with Cody who was doing his first boat dive with the club. Two other boats did SS Tuggerah and had a great dive. A really good dive to get back into Sydney diving. Visibility very good.

    9 November 2017 - Middle Ground
    Club boat dive. BIg rolling swell, some at least 3 metres. Anchored on NW corner, huge amount of fishlife, especially yellowtail. Went almost right around, cut W and E sides a bit due to sand floating there. A bit of surge, but much better than expected. A medium sized bullray, a six-spined leatherjacket, plenty of blue groper and morwong. A really good dive, Cody's deepest to date. Visibility very good.

    11 November 2017 - Pizza Reef
    Club boat dive. The swell had dropped a bit but still long rolling. A bit of surge on bottom, but okay. Anchored on S side, three donut nembrothas on flat rock here. Went around the reef, a medium wobbegong and cuttlefish on NE corner. About 20 bastard trumpeters outside cave, a large school of seapike to N of here. A really nice dive, the wave period was about 11 seconds rather than the predicted 15 seconds, so surge was manageable. A very good dive. Visibility good.

    13 November 2017 - Barrens Hut
    Went out on Phil's boat, a bit sloppier than recent trips and also not as clean and colder (17.9C). Anchored near Cave, went N to bastard trumpeters, then outside to S. Went out on sand a bit. Then to Tunnel and back to Cave. Ended up on shallower section to W under boat. Lots of trumpeters, red morwongs and also some blue morwongs. A couple of mirror leatherjackets and a medium sized cuttlefish. Down in holes between boulders about 1 to 1.5 degrees warmer. A good dive. Visibility good. 

    18 November 2017 - Bare Island Deep Wall
    First dive here for over 7 months. Cancelled boat dive due to strong NE winds. Five members attending. Went in off W point. Right on high tide, no current. Kelly found 2 pygmy pipe horses on deep wall and a big belly sea horse. A RIF on RIF Reef, another 2 at 12 m. Lots of nudibranchs, heaps of purple dragons and an orange/black spot one. A couple of horned sharks. A really good dive. Visibility good.

    19 November 2017 - Henry Head
    Club dive day at La Perouse, 3 boats and about 25 divers. Wind was suppsoed to be NE but was SE, got a bit sloppy. Anchored on W side, went S into slight current. Saw 4 sea dragons, Kelly found lots of colouorful sea spiders. Plenty of black reef leatherjackets. Very cold again like yesterday, but clear water. The sponge life here is better than ever. Great dive and day. Visibility good.

    20 November 2017 - Bare Island Right
    Went in from Carol's plaque. Two small orange anglerfish, one on Sea Tulip Rock, the other the other just past Sea Horse Rock. A PPH near the first one. Lots and lots of nudibranchs, many species, including some tamjas, flabellinas and more. Two RIF on way back as well. A huge bullray in 6 metres. Cold again, but a bit warmer than last few days (16.6C). Did 76 mins, lot warmer shallower than 10 m. Very good dive. Visibility good deep, poor shallow.

    22 November 2017 - JD Reef 1 - Northern
    Club boat dive. We decided to have a look at the new artificial reefs located SE from Barrens Hut. The GPS co-ordinates given on Fisheries web site are not real accurate. It seems the reef has been made up of 3 and 4 structures set out in a cross pattern. We were on the western set of 3 on the northern reef. A bit of growth already on the concrete. Some flathead and a few other fish around. We will need to link them up with rope if we are to dive here as I could not find any more. They are said to be in a 100 x 100 m area, so it must be about 40 m from one set to the nearest one. It was very dirty on top and also to the E. Will dive again once we have found some old rope. Visibility good.

    24 November 2017 - Bare Island Deep Wall
    Went in from W point, then SW as normal. Went around the bit off here and then back. Saw lots of different species of nudibranchs, especially blue dragons and red-lined flabellina, dozens of them, all on their host hydroid. Three RIF, two on RIF Reef, 2 tiny orange anglerfish and 1 tiny hairy orange anglerfish. A PPH (a strange colour, very white), 3 spiny gurnards, an eastern blue devilfish with guarding eggs laid yesterday. A great dive. Visibility good everywhere but shallow.

    25 November 2017 - Tupia Point
    Tried to dive behind Long Bay Rifle Range but too slppoy due to waves coming back from rock platform. Water cold again, 16.3C. Went NE along sand and then back a bit shallower. Then once back at anchor, to SW for a bit and looped back via shallows. Lots of swim thoughs and small gullies shallower. Not a great deal of life, saw three kingfish, a cuttlefish, quite a few black reef leatherjackets, some small schools of yellowtail and one-spot pullers. Found a sea dragon just as we started to ascend. Only a reasonable dive. Visibility fair.

    1 December 2017 - Bare Island Isolated Reef 1
    Went in off W point and NNW to 15 m Reef. Talk about a jellyfish dive! So many on IR1 that we could not see the seafloor or each other, even though viz was generally 10 m. Too many jellies to go around IR2, so we cut over to S side (outgoing tide). Jellies dropped off over there though we encountered them again back on main reef for about 30 m. Saw lots of nice rarer nudibranchs, the three orange anglerfish, including the hairy one, a RIF and more. A nice dive, despite the 16.4C water deeper (18.5C above 12 m). Visibility good.

    2 December 2017 - Bare Island Deep Wall
    Club dive was not organised but ended up very strong NE. Went off W point to SW. A bit of a current here so did not go further S as normal. Kelly refound the big belly sea horse and 3 PPH she found a few weeks back. On RIF Reef quite strong outgoing current. Lots of nudibranchs, especially red-lined flabellinas. Found the 3 small anglerfish like yesterday. No RIF though. The eggs are still being guarded by eastern blue devilfish. Strange current behind us all the way back from first cave to exit, never had this before in almost 500 dives here. Cold again, 15.9C. Great dive. Visibility good. 

    13 December 2017 - Pizza Reef
    Club boat dive. A small swell from NE but no wind. Dirty on top but up to 20 m viz on bottom. A few bastard trumpeters and red morwong NE of cave, a donut nembrothra just S of cave. Three more at S end on flat rock. A lot of silver sweep at S end and SE corner had hundreds of good sized seapike. A few black reef leatherjackets and one medium sized cuttlefish. A very nice dive considering the weather the past 10 days or so. Visibility very good.

    16 December 2017 - Barrens Hut/The Split
    Club boat dive. Very sloppy seas, with largish NE swell and SE and E seas. Blue water, at least 20 m viz. Went along Split to N and then back on reef edge. Found 5 donut nembrothas on flat rock just S of the end. Another one near S end of Split. A lot of black reef leatherjackets and some six-spined leatherjackets. Quite a few bastard trumpeters in normal spot, a few blue gropers, one asleep. Excellent dive. Visibility very good.

    20 December 2017 - Barrens Hut/The Split
    Much calmer than Saturday but a slight current from N on the surface and a little also on bottom. Water warmer but only 10-12 m viz. Anchored only a metre from Saturday. Went along The Split to N end but no donut nembrothas where we found 5. None anywhere else, where the hell can they go in only a few days? Went right down to The Tunnel and then The Cave. A few black reef leatherjackets and the normal bastard trumpeters near anchor, with red morwong and a six-spined leatherjacket mixed in with them. 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 November 2017 00:00 · Print
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