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
Sydney Reef Dive Sites
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
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
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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
    18:30 on 28/8/16

    Temperature 14.2°C
    Humidity 56.0%
    Barometer 1017.3hPa
    Rate 0.5hPa/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 558.7 mm
    Rainfall this Year 688.2 mm
    Today's Extremes
    High Temperature 19.8°C at 12:49
    Low Temperature 6.8°C at 6:44
    Peak Wind Gust 0km/hr at 0:00
    Weather from Michael McFadyen's Kirrawee Weather Station
    Yesterday's Extremes
    High Temperature 18.3°C at 14:47
    Low Temperature 8.8°C at 4:58
    Rainfall at Start of Yesterday 688.2 mm
    Rainfall at End of Yesterday 688.2 mm
    Weather from Michael McFadyen's Tempe Weather Station
    Astronomical Data
    Sunrise 6:21
    Sunset 17:37
    Moonrise 2:56
    Moonset 13:35

    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
    "There are two dive sites at Middle Ground, both are fantastic"
    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.

    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
    My Recent Dives - May & June 2016
    1 May - Bare Island Deep Wall
    Went in off W point as again very calm. Headed SW to wall and then did the normal dive back to exit. Found a couple of firefish, then back where we used to see the sea horses, I found a very old looking one. Then looked for the tiny black anglerfish that was seen yesterday by some near the concrete block E of RIF Reef, but no luck. A spiny gurnard here. Back to 15 m Reef and then towards exit. Saw 2 tiny orange anglerfish along here, same as the one seen recently. Then saw the other 2 orangle anglerfish that we have seen before, so 4 today (still could not find the black one). Saw some cuttlefish, eels, octopus and more. Antoher excellent dive! Visibility very good.

    5 May - Barrens Hut/The Split
    Club boat dive in Argonaut. A bit sloppy, not expected as has been millpond last 6 days. A bit surgy as well, but okay. Viz was variable, better in some spots. Lots of silver sweep at various spots, two large wobbegong sharks, one in cave. Only one pineapplefish. All the bastard trumpeters were on outside of cave. A very good dive. Visibility good.

    6 May - Bypass Reef
    Went out on Dick's new RIB. Set up well. Swell probably a bit more than yesterday but less chop. Very little current. Saw one sea dragon and a large school of yellowtail and seapike. Nice dive. Visibility good.

    7 May - Henry Head
    Club boat dive & BBQ day. Almost high tide so little current and quite good voiz, 15 m min. Saw a wobbegong shark, 2 sea dragons, 2 big belly sea horses, a large school of yellowtail and mado, some cuttlefish, large and small, a couple of schools of old wives and more. This really is the best sponge garden in Sydney, if not anywhere in NSW. A great dive and a great day. Visibility very good.

    8 May - Bare Island 15 Metre Reef
    Went off W point and headed W towards RIF Reef. Went to the concrete block to look for the tiny black anglerfish but Kelly had sinus problems so we had to ascend back to 15 m Reef. Donna found a large black striped anglerfish here. Some nice nudibranchs as well as plenty of dwarf firefish (saw 10-12). Then to IR1 where Kelly found a brown striped anglerfish. Once back on main reef, saw tiny 10 mm orange anglerfish, probably not one of the ones we saw last week. Back to exit, saw the other two orange anglerfish, the larger one is now at least 30 mm long. Saw three RIF, some opera house nudis and flabbalennas, octopus, cuttlefish. A brilliant dive. Visibility very good.

    12 May - Bare Island Isolated Reef 1
    Club night dive, 6 attending. Very strong W winds so had to go in from before Pool. One black anglerfish near SHR, saw the brown striped anglerfish on IR1. Quite a few dwarf firefish, a red PPH and a blue-ringed octopus near it. On the way back saw three tiny orange anglerfish, three RIF and more. A great dive. Visibility very good.

    14 May - Yellow Rock
    First dive with Mak Cat, ran well. Calm seas and W winds. Dived S and then N from anchor. Saw a large bullray with no tail twice, also a small turtle. Lots of leatherjackets, especially black reef. Some silver sweep and yellowtail. Nice easy dive. Visibility good.

    15 May - Middle Ground
    Millpond seas and little wind. Anchored on N side. Went right around, saw a wobbegong shark, a very large six-spined leatherjacket, large schools of silver sweep and seapike as well as lots of yellowtail. A great dive. Lots of dolphins around before and after dive, but none seen underwater. Visibility very good.

    18 May - Pizza Reef
    Club boat dive. A bit sloppier than last Sunday, but visibility over 25 m. Anchored right near cave where there were a thousand seapike as well as about 30 bastard trumpeters. Lots of other fish around, could easily see all the reefs way off Pizza, as well as the boat. A fantastic dive. Visibility very good.

    21 May - Middle Ground
    Despite very light winds, there was a very large SE swell running. The water was blue, we could see Mak Cat from 24 m. However, below this it was terrible. Viz was 2 to 3 m, lots of floating sand as the surge pushed us back and forward. We only went a short distance from the anchor, but saw the divers from Wayne's boat. About the only thing we saw were 2 wobbegongs, one was huge. Visibility very poor.

    15 June - Pizza Reef
    Club boat dive. First dive after the huge East Coast Low of 10 days ago. Water blue and 30 m viz above 20 m but only 4-5 m on bottom. Still a great dive, lots of fish, especially seapike, bastard trumpeters, yellowtail, silver sweep and one-spot pullers. Also one blue devilfish and a couple of six-spined leatherjackets. Boat went well with batteries now in bow and some extra weight there. Much better. Also saw lots of dolphins and about 4 humpback whales which went by about 50 m off us. A really good dive. Visibility poor.

    22 June - Pizza Reef
    Club boat dive. More rain last weekend, but water still good above 20 m. Much better than last week, say 7-10 m on bottom. Another great dive, lots of fish, especially seapike, bastard trumpeters, yellowtail and trevallies. A school of 10 medium kingfish as well. Could not refind the blue devilfish but saw a couple of cuttlefish and a few black reef leatherjackets. Could faintly hear humpback whales but did not see any. Took five out and boat went well. Too bad the weekend is looking bad weatherwise! Visibility good.

    25 June - Shiprock
    First time diving here for over 2 months and there is a fari bit of change after the rainfall of a few weeks ago. At least 25 cm of sand missing around the bommies and the moray eel home on the last bommie filled in. Saw a large flathead, two pineapplefish, a large striped nudibranch, a juvenile short-finned bannerfish but no other nudibranchs. Also a Whites seahorse in 2m near entry, supposed to be four here. Only a reasonable dive. Visibility poor.

    29 June - Lilli Pilli
    Low tide but viz okay. Very cold on top, 14.3C but 16.5C at 15 m. Incoming water appeared to be warmer. Went along swimming net, say 10 White's seahorses here, most on the bottom of the net, all quite small. Back along the net after the wharf and deeper. Found a pipefish and a larger White's seahorse here. Then to moorings, a small firefish here. Back via the rock shelves, a butterflyfish and another White's. Back to net and then out, no more seahorses seen (12 all up). A very nice dive, much better than expected, but very cold. 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 May 2016 00:00 · Print
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    without any help from the Australian Dive Industry since 1996!