Michael McFadyen's Scuba Diving Web Site
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St George Scuba Club
Some of my Best Photos
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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
My Dive Boat - Mak Cat
My 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
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
  • Cleaning/Repairing Catlypso
  • 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.

    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
    "The SS Hilda is a nice wreck within reach of experienced divers"
    My Recent Dives - April, May & June 2019

    3 April 2019 - Barrens Hut/The Split

    Dive computer faulty. Anchored N of normal spot and on outer slope. Reasonable current from S. Went S to cave. Huge number of bastard trumpeters, red morwong outside cave as well as some large kingfish which took off. A couple of large cuttlefish, one in cave and another outside. Back near normal spot were a couple more trumpeters. Back to anchor. Excellent dive. Visibility very good.

    Next 5 dives at Nelson Bay.

    5 April 2019 - The Pipeline

    Club Boys Weekend at Nelson Bay. Headed out to 10 m going N or NNE. Then drifted slowly back to Pipeline and down to about 13 m before heading back up pipe and then to exit. Saw 7 sea horses, 3 pipefish, a few large kingfish, lots of small cuttlefish and octopus, 4 spindle cowries, not that many nudibranchs, but a few interesting ones. Also some butterflyfish as well. A really good dive as always. Visibility fair.

    6 April 2019 - North Rock

    Went out to Broughton Island, no wind but a little bit of swell from E which made it surgy. Dived North Rock to see the grey nurse sharks. First time I have done this spot. North Rock is north of Broughton and site is on the north side. A large gutter in 18 metres, top only 4 or so. Went into gutter and to E. Sharks galore, I counted over 40 in one view, so there had to be at least 50 or 60 all up. Mostly females, with some juveniles and at least 2 large males. Quite a few had fish hooks but all looked very healthy. Also saw a small turtle. An excellent dive! Visibility good to very good.

    6 April 2019 - North Rock

    Dived North Rock here again. This time Ron and Aidan and I went around the point to The Amphitheatre. This is on the SE corner of the rock. On the way saw 3 eagle rays, a lot of kingfish and heaps of other fish. The Amphitheatre is an inlet that goes back into the rock a bit, with island on one side and a shallow bommie on the other. On the way back saw more kingfish, some very large bonito, seapike, sweep, bream etc. Not as many sharks seen when back in gutter. Another excellent dive! Visibility good to very good.

    7 April 2019 - Fly Point

    Went via normal route, drifted for about 35 minutes before turning. Two fiddler-rays, lots of bream, small snapper, some tropicals, some moray eels, lots of octopus and small cuttlefish. Back near the exit, huge numbers of stripeys, seapike, silver sweep, bream and more. Lots of divers, but really saw none till near the end. An excellent dive! Visibility fair. 

    8 April 2019 - The Pipeline

    Did same dive as Friday. Saw the same 7 sea horses and I found a tiny sea horse on a gorgonia, was only 15 mm or so. Similar numbers and types of nudibranchs, cuttlefish, octopus etc. Two butterflyfish, a large flathead, a spotted moray eel and a few bubble shells. Yet one more excellent dive! Visibility good to very good.

    12 April 2019 - SS Tuggerah

    Club deep dive on Argonaut. A bit sloppy on the way down as wind SE at about 10-12 kts. This dropped as we got closer to wreck and seas were better on way back. Very slight current from S. Clean all the way to bottom, over 15 m viz. A few kingfish when I got down, anchor in front of boilers. Went to stern and back to bow along hull bottom and then W side. Back to engine room and up. Lots of seapike, yellowtail and big eyes. A few wobbegong sharks and one moray eel. Using old computer still, so could not switch to 73% deco gas so had to stay longer than I should (43 mins all up - 1@12, 2@9, 3@6 and 12@ 4m). A great dive. Visibility very good.

    13 April 2019 - Barrens Hut/The Split

    Millpond seas and only slight NW wind. Anchored right at S end of The Split. Went along Split to end, then back to anchor, almost to Cave and back. One donut nembrotha near wreckage, some other nice nudibranchs. A few yellowtail, some trevally but not a huge amount of life like last dive here. Only one bastard trumpers and that was outside Split. None in normal spot, only some red morwong. Great dive, could see boat from 23 metres. Visibility very good.

    15 April 2019 - Bare Island Isolated Reef

    What a dive!!! Went in off W point and W to sand edge. Then to 15 Metre Reef. Saw first of three spiny gurnards here, this one tiny. Then lots of red-lined flabellinas, more than 15 all up. From here to IR1 and along N side. Plenty of fish, some large seapike, a few almost adult snapper and lots of small ones. As I was off The Cave, a seal swooped down and around me and then went over to Kim who was at Cave. It came back 8 more times, each time staying 30 to 45 seconds. It got very close to us, seemed really inquisitive. First seal I have seen at Bare Island I think. Brilliant! As well as all this, saw some opera house nudis, two upsidedown pipefish, two PPH, a few small cuttlefish, and a few rarer nudibranchs. Could not find anglerfish from the other week. An amazing dive. Visibility fair.  

    17 April 2019 - Pizza Reef

    Club weekday dive, 4 boats all up, 3 here and 1 at Tuggerah. Flat seas, little wind,blue water, at least 20 m visibility. Anchored on sand first go due to wind and current been opposing, second time at S end of gap. Went to cave, at least 30 bastard trumpeters at N end of gap, lots of seapike and trevally outside cave. No donut nembrothas at all. Back around reef, more seapike and yellowtail in various spots, some black reef leatherjackets. Could see MakCat from 27 metres! Fantastic dive, looking good for Easter. Visibility excellent.

    19 April 2019 - Middle Ground

    Club boat dive. Wind much stronger during night than forecast, up to 25kts S. Still over 10 this morning and went up to at least 15 while we were out. Very choppy and some large swells. Changed site from UW Wilderness to here as deeper and closer to port. Current from N meant we sat side onto swell making it uncomfortable. Saw a seal as we were anchoring. Anchor on sand about 15 metres off reef, had to drag over. Also moved Vic's as well, used lots of air. Then saw the seal! Not as friendly as last Monday's one. Went to E and then a little bit N and then back. Wasted about 7 mins moving anchors, so a short dive. Also did not go into deco due to the swell. Nice dive but overall not great. Visibility good.

    20 April 2019 - SS Tuggerah

    What a difference to yesterday. Flat seas, no wind, went at 22 kts all the way to the wreck. Anchored in front of boiler again. No current on top but reasonable one on bottom from SW (weird). Went to stern, but cleaned toilet top on way! Around prop and back up bottom of the hull to anchor. Lots and lots of fish, many species. Went to bow area, not much fishlife but a wobbegong shark on way back. Spent the rest of the time near boiler. Great dive. Visibility good. 

    21 April 2019 - The Colours

    Decided to go out of Sydney Harbour as I figured there would be no cars on road and ramp not crowded. This was the case. Very sloppy outside, no wind and less than 7 kts since midnight, so no idea why it was so terrible. No big, just all over the place. Anchored in 26 m. A boarfish right near anchor, first I have seen for years. Went to sand and N then came back to main wall and followed S to anchor. Back to sand and SW and then back along wall. All the normal fish, lots of yellowtail, small trevally and one-spot pullers in spots. At the end a large school of good sized kingfish swam past. A nice dive. Visibility good.

    23 April 2019 - The Leap

    Flat seas and reasonable incoming tide. Visibility varied a bit as did water temperature, some cooler and warmer spots. Saw two Bare Island anglerfish, two sea dragons, one sea horse, three PPH, four pink okenias and a few other interesting nudibranchs. Also one Moorish idol, a few cuttlefish and all the normal fish. Really nice dive. Visibility very good overall.

    24 April 2019 - Marley Point

    Club boat dive, two boats and nine divers. Pretty flat seas, no wind or current. Phil G had his first dive for three years and went with Les and Ida. I took Emiko, new member. Not as many fish as normal, some spots of large numbers of yellowtail, seapike, one-spot pullers and ladder-finned pomfrets. A few nice black reef and moasic leatherjackets, two small butterflyfish and one tiny yellow boxfish. Nice dive anyway. Visibility good.

    25 April 2019 - Bare Island Deep Wall

    Club shore dive and BBQ for Anzac Day. Millpond seas and incoming tide. We went in from W point to SW and over Deep Wall. Dirty water on way out but quite good here, perhaps 10 metres. Then after a little time around this spot, started back. Eddie found a white PPH here and Ron a RIF. Lots of pink-lined flabellina all over the place. Another RIF near first concrete block. Some more interesting nudibranchs, two upsidedown pipefish under Sea Horse Rock, a large flathead, others saw some more PPHs and a brown striped anglerfish near last rocks. Very nice easy dive. Great BBQ afterwards. Visibility good.

    1 May 2019 - Pizza Reef

    Club boat dive, two boats. Forecast ended up better than yesterday morning and actual about right, 5 kts NW, but very overcast Reasonable swell though from NE, so very rocky as side-on swell. First go anchoring we dragged as I think anchor was only just touching bottom. Second go right next to cave. A bit of current from N all the way to bottom. Huge number of fish, bastard trumpeters in three places, yellowtail, seapike, trevally and mado mostly. Went only around W section of reef, no donuts at all. A very large cuttlefish along gap and an eastern blue devilifish near the anchor. An excellent dive! Visibility very good.

    4 May 2019 - Bypass Reef

    Cancelled tomorrow's club dive event due to weather, so decided to dive today. Wind about 12 kts SSW but pretty rough as a medium current from north meant waves were standing up. Hard work getting to bottom, but not all that bad. Anchored off wall. Went N into current (not as bad here). Lots of red morwong in overhang, quite a few Port Jackson sharks, a small blue devilfish further N. Did not go a long way as Les took ages to get down. A very large school of silver sweep hanging over reef and then hundreds of kingfish, pretty good size, came around us. Then back to anchor. Surprised by an angelshark which I only noticed because I saw its tail! Buggers, they can bite, I have been bitten by one before. Hung around anchor before ascending, a lot earlier than I would normally. A very good dive despite current. Visibility very good.

    15 May 2019 - Barrens Hut/The Split

    Club boat dive. A bit sloppier than expected considering no wind. A little bit of surge on bottom, appeared to be some long period swells. Blue water but milky. Anchored on top of reef near S end of Split. Went N and then outside N again. Two donut nembrothas here but second group saw 4. On way back saw a large sea dragon, first one here for ages. Then another donut on the large rock near boat wreckage. Could see MakCat from bottom, 26 metres, here. Back to anchor, Les went up. Lynne and I went just S and saw lots of bastard trumpeters in normal spot. Back to anchor and up. An excellent dive. Visibility very good.

    17 May 2019 - SS Tuggerah

    Club boat dive, 2 boats. Today is 100th anniversary of the sinking of the ship. I did it on 75th as well! Flat seas, little wind, no current, blue water and over 20C! What more can you want? Anchored near bridge, moved to engine area. Went to prop and then forward towards bow. Here I saw large grey nurse shark which swam across wreck and over sand and towards stern. We headed back that way and saw it again as it came around the stern and over engine. Maxine and Phil also saw it, got photos and video. Huge amount of fish on the wreck, most I have seen for perhaps 10 years. Yellowtail, nannygai, seapike and more. Some large cutttlefish and a wobbegong. What a great way to commemorate the anniversary! One of the best dives I have done there. Saw first two humpback whales of the season on way back. Visibility very good. 

    18 May 2019 - Bypass Reef

    Really strange conditions. Wind was only 6-7 kts at Kurnell but the sea was very lumpy. Turned out there was a bit of current from the north which was standing the waves up. We took a bit of water thru the transom as the pool noodle under the door somehow went between yesterday and today. Water drained out okay though. Anchored on top on a sponge, had to move it a little way to a small lip. At the end the anchor moved into a later hole and would not come free, so Simon had to dive again to free it. We were south of normal spot, so spent all the time here. Not sure I have been there before, lots of overhangs. Kelly found 2 small PPHs and some sea spiders. Also a large cuttlefish and some seapike. Nice dive despite the current. At the end we had to fend off another club boat who decided to free their anchor and drift with the current!!! See my rapid ascent from 5 m. Not happy. Visibility very good.

    19 May 2019 - Barrens Hut/The Split

    Club boat dive to Tuggerah but only Kelly and John D wanted to come. Got nephew Scott to drive boat for me so we could still go. Went out but seas again rough like yesterday despite only 8 kts SW. Went about 1/3 of the way and decided there must be a very strong current. Stopped and boat was drifting at 1.7 kts to S into the wind! Turned around and went back to The Split. Anchored in normal location. Took over 3 mins to get to bottom as current strong. Had to move anchor. Still current on bottom but 30 m viz. John decided to stay near anchor and Kelly and I went along Split to N (no current) and drifted back outside reef. One donut nembrotha and Kelly found two tiger pipefish near S end of Split. Lots of bastard trumpeters in normal spot. Shorter bottom time as using 26% instead of normal 32%. Nice dive despite current. Visibility excellent.

    21 May 2019 - Bushrangers Bay - Shellharbour

    Tried to dive The Arch but too much swell. Did the bay instead. Very dirty close to shore. At 6 metres saw the first of the grey nurse sharks. Saw 6 all up, 2 adults or larger juveniles and 4 small juveniles. One had a large hook on right side of mouth. They were moving between 6 and 9 metres. Past here it got cleaner but then as we left the second bay, very dirty again so we turned around. I then lost the others, waiteed, went back, still could not find, so went back to sharks, waited again. Still did not see so when back to exit. Pretty poor dive and not worth the effort despite seeing the sharks. Visibility very poor overall.

    22 May 2019 - Pizza Reef

    Club boat dive. Flat seas but long swell from SE. No wind at all and very slight current from S. Totally different to Sunday. Anchored near cave. A donut nembrotha in front of cave, no bastard trumpeters here. Thousands of silver sweep and hundreds of one-spot pullers all over the reef. Some schools of old wives and one school of large seapike. One kingfish swimming around. Went all the way around the reef, sand is now really covering the low rocks at the S end. More sweep and pullers here and on E side. Back around to anchor and just before saw a very large silver drummer and then over 20 bastard trumpeters. Strange that they are here today. An excellent dive, so many fish! Visibility good.

    25 May 2019 - Pizza Reef

    Club boat dive. Millpond seas, very little current, wind about 12 kts from NW. Anchored right on N end of W reef. Bastard trumpeters there, but not as many as Wednesday. Went around reef, no donut nembrothas but saw an eastern blue devilfish at S end. Lots of silver sweep and one-spot pullers, but not as many as Wednesday too. More seapike and yellowtail. Quite a few black reef leatherjackets. Another excellent dive. Visibility very good.

    26 May 2019 - Shelly Beach

    Club shore dive. This dive was specifically to see the dusky (black) whaler sharks that appear at Shelly Beach this time each year. They are juveniles, so not a danger to the hundreds of people who swim here every day. Very crowded in carpark, even at 8:15 am. Had to wait for some people to leave. No free parking on street as I came in. Parking an exorbitant $16 for two hours! Went along S side of bay but only saw one or two sharks at 25 mins. Went across sand towards N side, saw more. Counted 8 at any one time. Probably 20 or more here, but although water was quite clean, the sand was stirred up a bit. Went back to S side and mistakenly out again till I realised we were heading W. Then back to beach. Lots of large bream, some huge flathead, some large juvenile snapper, trevally, seapike and more. Nice dive, although would be better during week with less people swimming and scaring sharks. Visibility good.

    28 May 2019 - Hull Cleaning, PH30

    Cleaned the hull of Marine Rescue Port Hacking 30 at its wharf at Hungry Point, South Cronulla. Lots of small barnacles on both hulls. Not too hard. Visibility good.

    29 May 2019 - The Balcony

    Club boat dive. Wind very strong from NW during the night but only 8 - 10 kts as we went out. Seas very flat close to shore. Ran down to The Balcony, only second time here in five years! Went to The Balcony and huge amount of fishlife along the way and there. Saw kingfish about 4 times, up to 6 at a time. One yellow boxfish. As we neared The Balcony, huge numbers of yellowtail, tens of thousands, plus one-spot pullers, silver sweep, ladder-finned pomfrets, some seapike and more. Saw three small Moorish idols before we turned and went back along the large wall. More yellowtail here. Saw a short-finned bannerfish on the way and later three butterflyfish. Les went up and I hung around till the others came down and took them to where the fish were. Went back and up. A fantastic dive! Visibility very good.

    8 June 2019 - Bypass Reef

    Huge seas during the week and still some swell around today. Very foggy, had to go quite slow across the bay. Even here could not see the shore most of the time. Finally NW wind picked up and blew it away. No current, blue water, no surge. Anchored just off N end of reef. First dive with new software on computer. Heaps of yellowtail, seapike, trevally and one-spot pullers. One blue devilfish in S cave. On the way back I saw a dolphin, well, part of one. Just spotted it going across the top of the reef and saw its tail. Only second one I have ever seen while diving. A huge bullray at anchor. Excellent dive. Visibility good.


    9 June 2019 - SS Tuggerah

    On Argonaut. Calm seas and no wind. Anchored second go as fisher hovering over wreck made it hard. Anchored about half way from boiler to bow. Clean and blue on top but dirtier on bottom, perhaps 7 metres. Went to stern. Sand moved by last week's big storm from under prop and a new bit of metal visible. It is rounded, like a funnel or similar. Perhaps a metre visible. Then along hull bottom, more sand missing, 75 mm. To bow and back to anchor. A few wobbegong sharks, including a large dark coloured one which swooped on us numerous times! Lots of bulleyes, nannygais, yellowtail and more. Good dive despite visibility. Visibility fair. 

    10 June 2019 - The Apartments

    Ran out of Rose Bay up to The Apartments off Long Reef. Millpond seas, no wind and almost ran over two humpack whales that suddenly surfaced 30 metres in front of us while running at 22 kts. Anchored a bit north of the site I used to dive, GPS obviously not right. Went N along the wall, excellent dive site. Saw lots of one-spot pullers, bullseyes and more. Saw juvenile (tiny) clown triggerfish, first one I think I have seen in NSW and certainly first in Sydney!! At least three small Moorish idols too. Had a school of about 50 large kingfish circle us and some more later. Saw a small juvenile grey nurse shark to SW of anchor. Also two large bullrays here. A fantastic dive, as good as the proper dive site. Visibility good.

    15 June 2019 - Big Saigon

    Club boat dive, three boats. Calm seas, slight W wind, no current and blue water. Did not dive on Wednesday as I was sick, still very snotty but okay. Anchored on top of reef in 17 m. Straight above the swim-through (mini-arch) and then N a bit off the main wall. A school of trevally, a medium cuttlefish, all the normal reef fish. Turned at 17 mins and came back to anchor when Les went up. A huge cuttlefish in this area and others saw a smallish blue devilfish too. Went S a bit and Kelly found a tiny PPH. She also found an upsidedown pipefish. Back to anchor and up. Visibility very good.

    26 June 2019 - Middle Ground

    Club boat dive. No diving for 11 days due to rotten weather. Today wind was 16 kts compared to 8 kts S and seas very sloppy. Also raining, quite heavy at times. Wind dropped while I was in water back to what it was supposed to be. Humpback whales 50 m from boat at anchor, underwater heard them singing all dive, very loud at first. More whales seen at the end. Blue water, at least 20 m viz on bottom and perhaps 30 on top. Large schools of yellowtail, seapike and also trevally, old wives and one-spot pullers. One PJ but no wobbies. Excellent 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 01 April 2019 00:00 · Print
    My Recent Dives - January, February & March 2019
    15 January 2019 - Ilha dos Porcos (Pig Island) - Arraial do Coba, Brazil

    Eastern side of Ilha dos Porcos, Pig Island. Very windy from N or NW, so here only place to dive. Quite shallow, max 10 metres. Dirty below 10 anyway. Went N along slope at 10 m or so, then turned and came back at 6-7 m. Lots of strange sponge-like fans. Saw a few nudibranchs, some large eels with stick crabs/shrimps. A few different types of boxfish. Two smallish turtles.Lots of fish in some places. At 45 mins guide took German up as low on air then came back to us. Did 62 mins. Reasonable dive. Reg made very hard banging on intake if I breathed in soon as I exhaled! Visibility fair.

    15 January 2019 - Sace de Cardiero - Arraial do Coba, Brazil

    Different reg, but leaked a bit. Located opposite side of channel from last dive, on mainland. Drift dive from southern point to bay. Dropped off into 10 metres. Similar to last dive.Colder and dirtier, one sea horse, quite a few large gurnards, a small fiddler-ray, a few butterflyfish, boxfish, some small eels, a couple of nudibranchs. Another reasonable dive of 60 mins. All the other divers went up well before we did. Visibility fair.

    23 January 2019 - Pizza Reef

    Club boat dive. Thunderstorm on the way out, lightning, heavy rain but once there it stopped. Slight chop from NE and little wind or current. Anchored on E side. Went around reef as normal. Huge schools of seapike, a bunch of bastard trumpeters, a spiny gurnard and lots of other fish. Found 5 donut nembrothas in front of cave, but none elsewhere. An excellent dive. Visibility excellent.

    24 January 2019 - Shiprock

    Very strong southerly blowing but calm here of course. Could see bottom from top of wall and had to be about 20 m viz. Dropped over the wall and on the first very small bommie Ron found a black anglerfish that they saw 3 weeks ago. Has grown a bit apparently. Went the usual route, a dead ray, lots of sweet ceratosoma nudibranchs, fan-bellied leatherjackets, small snapper and lots more. I cleaned the plaque, face had fine growth over it. We went out to the train track and poles. Could almost see the wall from out there. Turned at 40 mins when tide started back out. A few bream and a small school of seapike, 3 pineapplefish under the bubble cave. Back near the start, the anglerfish had moved about 5 metres towards the entrance. Went usual way back, 75 mins. Very warm at 20.0C. Visibility very good.

    26 January 2019 - The Monuments

    Club Australia Day dive and BBQ. Went in about 150 m to E of normal entry. Very fast drift at first. Viz was 17 m here but later dropped to perhaps 10 m. Saw a couple of moray eels, one horned shark, one white PPH. Saw a crab trap with a blind shark in it, removed it and turned the trap over. Right in front of normal dive entry. Ended dive a bit early due to buddies low on air. Nice dive and very good BBQ afterwards. Visibility good.

    27 January 2019 - Bypass Reef

    Club boat dive. Decided to dive a different spot to proposed site due to extremely good water conditions. Checked that there was no current when we stopped, yesterday there was strong. Very little. Anchored just off wall, huge numbers of bastard trumpeters near anchor when we went down, but gone later. Went to S along wall, further than I have been before. Lots of mado on wall and some small seapike. Also lots of other fish up high, hard to tell what they were. Could see boat clearly from 27 m. aBack to anchor and into the bay, dozens of red morwong here. Second group saw two blue devilfish. Lots of nudibranchs all over the place. A fantastic dive! Visibility very good.

    30 January 2019 - Middle Ground

    Club boat dive, 3 boats and 13 divers. Very big sea running from ENE, steep and sharp. Also a lot of slop. No wind, much less than forecast. Very dirty on top and dark but clean on bottom. Anchored on NE corner. Had to move anchor a bit to better spot and also further from other boats. Went around anti-clockwise as normal. No wobbegongs or blue devilfish, but lots of yellowtail and some seapike up higher. Some leatherjackets and red morwongs. Forgot torch, so hard to see a lot of things, but a very nice dive. VIisbility good.

    31 January 2019 - Bare Island Isolated Reefs

    Very hot, over 30C at 10 am. Went in off W point and W to sand. Very dirty above 10 m but over 15 m viz below, cold here, 16.2C! Followed the edge and then 15 Metre Reef to Isolated Reef 1. Lots of pink flabellina. Saw a small horned shark between the two reefs. Then a nice little anchor, took the chain as I need it for something. Lots of yellowtail here, all over the place. Then saw a rope which ran W. Followed it and found the best chain I have ever seen underwater with a great sand anchor. Too heavy to carry back to shore, so I spent some time at disconnecting rope from chain and hiding anchor and rope. I want to recover it as I need new chain on boat. Back via S side of reefs and normal way back. Two small upsidedown pipefish at Sea Horse Rock. No RIF or PPH, but a great dive. Visibility very good. 

    2 February 2019 - Bare Island Isolated Reef 2

    Weather forecast originally was not good, but when it improved I decided to take boat out with some friends to recover the anchor from Thursday. Anchored on end of IR2. Went down but filfthy on bottom, only 1-2 m. Used a rope I carried to tie to anchor and searched till I found the rope. Then used this to lead to the chain and anchor. Eventually Greg and Shelley joined me (Johnny had ear problems). Attached a rope and lift back and went up. Unfortunately the chain got caught under rocks. Visibility shithouse.

    2 February 2019 - Bare Island Isolated Reef 2

    Had to redive when the anchor we were trying to get got stuck. Went down and attached the lift bag direct to chain. Failed again as it moved and got caught. Dived a again straight away and this time attached to anchor. Sent it up and we got it all! Visibility very poor (was a bit better).

    5 February 2019 - Fly Point, Nelson Bay

    Away for the week at Nelson Bay to do some diving with Ron, Donna, Ida, Ray and Chris. Not much, very slow. Quite dirty and fairly cold for here (19.1C). Turned at 35 mins and went shallower and back. Saw a few morays, one large, some blind sharks, a small wobbegong shark, a fiddler-ray, some interesting nudibranchs and a flatworm, a butterflyfish. On the drop off on the way back, lots of bream, surgeonfish, mado and more. Quite a nice dive despite visibility. Poor visibility.

    6 February 2019 - The Pipeline, Nelson Bay

    Quite a bit cleaner than yesterday. Went NE at first and then slowly back to pipe, getting there after 55 mins (70 min dive). So many things seen, at least 6 pipefish, one sea horse (others saw 8-10), numerous species of rarer nudibranchs, dozens of octopus and cuttlefish, lots of eels, butterflyfish. Hard to recall all the things we saw. A brilliant dive. Visibility fair. 

    7 February 2019 - Halifax Point, Nelson Bay

    Dirty like Tuesday's dive at Fly Point. Sand is still covering a lot of the dive site, but still some good bits. We went NW rather than SW, turned at 20 mins and went deeper and then back. Only a few nudibranchs, a few horned sharks, some bream and similar species, a lot of butterflyfish, five small lined pipefish under a small overhang near entrance. Some large silver drummer deep, lots of blue gropers. Least interesting of the dives this week. Visibility poor.

    8 February 2019 - Fly Point, Nelson Bay

    Another nice day. Went in and headed N then went with current (very slight) to SW. Viz a little better than Tuesday. Saw a few small wobbegongs, a few large moray eels, some huge flathead, quite a few butterflyfish, plenty of different nudibranchs, 2 fiddler-rays, some horned sharks, lots of juvenile bream and snapper, a couple of larger ones too. A nice easy dive. Visibility fair. 

    12 February 2019 - Pizza Reef

    Club boat dive, a day early due to forecast S change tonight. Seas smooth but with the occasional larger NE swell, no wind. Dirty on top, cold (17.8C) but almost 15 metres viz on bottom but very cold for February (16.3C). Anchored on top of W side, went into gully and then around from SE corner. Buddies saw a large cuttlefish. Lots of leatherjackets, mostly black reef. Some combfish around, three donut nembrothas in front of cave. Over and in front of cave, about 4-6 bastard trumpeters and lots of seapike, mado and yellowtail. A few other species of nudibranch as well. Next group saw an eastern blue devilfish near anchor. New anchor chain (recovered 2 Feb) worked well. A good dive. Visibility very good.

    16 February 2019 - Barrens Hut/The Split

    Club boat dive, three boats and 14 divers. Big crowd at ramp, had to park at school. A bit of swell from ENE, surgy on bottom. Warm blue water and a reasonable current from N, but blue stopped at about 15 metres. Still reasonable good on bottom. Did normal dive. Two donut nembrothas outside N end of Split. Some octopus, a few black reef leatherjackets, some yellowtail. Went thru Tunnel, lots of kelp at end and a small eagle ray went past. Back via Cave, 20 bastard trumpeters in normal spot. Bill and Jasmine saw a blue devilfish near anchor after I went up. Very nice dive and good morning tea afterwards. Visibility good to very good.

    17 February 2019 - Yellow Rock

    A bit sloppy but not too bad. Still blue water. Went all the way to Long Bay Rifle Range and did this spot. Very slight current from N, fantastic viz, 25 metres and over 21C for most of the dive, only got a bit colder in some dirtier water to S. Went N from anchor, huge amount of fishlife over the boulders. Saw a blue devilfish on deeper ledge, then thousands of silver sweep, mado, surgeonfish, yellowtail and lots of bream, trevally and leatherjackets. Plenty of combfish too. Some cuttlefish and octopus, another blue devilfish, two wobbegongs, one of which almost collided with John D. Fantastic dive, best this year and probably this summer. Visibility excellent.

    20 February 2019 - Shiprock

    Cancelled club boat dive due to strong winds and rogh seas, made the right decision. Seven of us decided to dive here instead. Very clean water, 15 m viz. I could not find the black anglerfish from last dive but Donna found it on the slope below Eddie's gobies. Also some pipefish here. Quite a few moray eels, two large. Also a speckled eel out in open on top as we descended. Plenty of fanbellied and yellowtail leatherjackets. Also lots of bream, some large, and juvenile snapper. Found a nice 1952 Marchants soft drink bottle, almost perfect. Two pineapplefish under Bubble Cave, a few octopus and frogfish. A dozen or more numbrays. A great dive. Visibility good.

    1 March 2019 - Bare Island Isolated Reef 1

    Extremely flat seas but low tide. Went in off W point and went W. Very warm water, min was 22.6C, did 85 mins. Saw a very small turtle along the way to the reef edge. When we hit the sand, I had to play with my regs as I was getting water in my mouth. Used occy for a while but eventually it stopped. Later looked at it and could not see any reason for water, perhaps exhaust valve was caught open a bit. Missed 15 Metre Reef due to this and poor visibility. Went over to N side of IR1. A moray eel, a largish orange smooth boxfish (another one later), some nudibranchs, normal fish. Back via the S side of IR1. On the way back saw a fiddler-ray, a small horned shark, lots of nudibranchs, some rarer ones, two upsidedown pipefish under Sea Horse Rock. A large flathead. Ron found a sea spider as he exited water too. Nice dive despite poor visibility. 

    2 March 2019 - Xanadu

    Club boat dive, two boats and nine divers. Anchored on the bottom of wall at 34 m. Dirty on top with 23C, bottom about 12 m viz and 18.9C. No current or wind (Wayne had raging current at Big Saigon which is not far from here). Went N, saw a blue devilfish, some silver sweep, red morwong and various leatherjackets. Back along wall S past anchor, then back to anchor. After Steve went up I went out E a bit deeper to 36 m. Some small ledges here. Very cruisy dive, but not great fishlife. Visibility good.

    3 March 2019 - M &  K Reef

    Very strong current at ByPass Reef and Yellow Rock. Sloppier than yesterday but okay. No wind or current here, bluish water and at least 17 m viz on bottom. Had to drag anchor N and W to a rock as nothing to hook onto. Went N, a large cuttlefish in second cave, then around the end corner, lots of yellowtail swarming around, a blue devilfish in small overhang, another large cuttlefish and two wobbegongs. Back via the deeper wall which is closer to main wall here. Then back to main wall and S past anchor. Saw some "tuna" like fish on the way, probably 100 or more. Then out to deeper wall and back to anchor. Excellent dive. Visibility very good.

    5 March 2019 - Bare Island Isolated Reef 1

    Another fantastic day, millpond seas. Very warm and dirty on top but colder (18.3C) and cleaner on bottom. Went W from W point as outgoing tide again. Saw a fiddler-ray just before 15 Metre Reef and also a small RIF. Lots of nudibranchs, I think I counted 13 species. A bit of work to get over the ridge in front of Sea Horse Corner as tide flowing strong here. Went along N side of IR1. Some found a black anglerfish here but I did not see it. Back on N side due to current. A few very large flathead on the way back and two upsidedown pipefish under SHR. Also 2 PPH before that. The large blue groper that followed us last Friday was seen but did not follow us. Looks like he might have been speared as he has a mark on left side. I had to rush towards end as low on air (70 min dive). Visibility fair.

    10 March 2019 - Minmi Trench

    Club boat dive. No wind or current. Green water, 21C on top but 19C on bottom. Saw a school of kingfish as we hit bottom. Went to wall and then sand and W to cave and a bit past. Nothing really special seen, some black reef leatherjackets and quite a few species of nudibranch, including a large one I have only ever seen a few times. Back E via the Trench to flatter area, then back to anchor. Rest of time spent around here. Reasonable dive. Visibility fair.

    12 March 2019 - Marley Point

    Club bobat dive, early as tomorrow forecast bad. Very smooth seas but a slight SE swell. No wind. Anchored W of normal spot. Les watched boat as cannot dive yet. We went NE along reef, saw two yellow boxfish, a largish wobbegong, lots of kingfish through most of the dive. At 20 minutes we went shallower and headed back. Big schools of bullesyes, ladder-finned pomfret, yellowtail and silver sweep in this area and for next five minutes. Back through swim-through behind high rock. Then SW past anchor (did not see it) and then back to anchor. Water quite cold 17.4C to SW, over 20C where we turned at 20 mins. Also raging current out past the point and on dive it was going NE deep and SW shallow. Very good dive. Visibility fair deep but very good shallow. 

    23 March 2019 - The Wanderers

    Club deep dive. Wind from NW and no current on surface. At least 35 m viz up top (23.8C), but not as good on bottom at 44 metres, perhaps 15 m (19.87C). Anchored on bottom at 42 metres. Strong current coming over wall from N here. Went E along wall, nice gully and overhang, to 44 metres. Back to anchor area. Lots of striped leatherjackets that kept biting my fingers. Thought one had drawn blood! Greg was bitten on cheek. Followed me all the way to about 25 metres. Very annoying. Saw a dozen or so large kingfish when I got to the bottom. The second group lost their way and had to ascend from bottom about 150 metres from where we were anchored. No idea how they could do this. Good dive. Visibility good.

    27 March 2019 - Bare Island Right

    No boat dive due to forecast. Too rough to go in off point, so went in next to Carol's plaque. Went very slow and only reached Cave. Saw a few PPH, two looked pregnant. Mandy found a small Bare Island anglerfish just past SHR. I found a black anglerfish on rocks in front of Cave. Also saw a RIF, a squid, lots of whiting, small snapper, bream and other fish near Cave. Lots of other interesting things as well, octopus, friendly blue groper as normal, some pink okena and other nudibranchs. Great dive. Visibility fair, but was poor in one area.  

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    Michael on 01 January 2019 00:00 · Print
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