Michael McFadyen's Scuba Diving Web Site
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Below is a list of links to the main pages about my yacht, Catlypso and 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.
    Welcome
    I established this Web Site about scuba diving in Sydney, NSW, Australia and the South Pacific, as well as a few other places, in June 1996.

    Since then it has gone through a few different versions. This latest version is the fourth and was completed in July 2006.

    The site has grown from a few pages to well over 900 separate pages. More than 650 dives are covered, mostly in detail and most with photographs and some with maps.

    I am fairly confident that this is not only the largest diving related web site in the World, it also has more hits than any diving related web site in Australia.

    This site is a non-commercial site and is unrelated to any dive organisation. It is purely here to provide divers with an information source to increase their enjoyment of scuba diving, shipwrecks and marine life in general. I hope that my experiences can help you when you are planning a dive trip, whether it is locally in Sydney, New South Wales, somewhere else in Australia or the Pacific Ocean region.

    Any and all comments are welcome, as is any information to enhance the pages, especially more information about ships or shipwrecks or corrections to pages.

    I have also included some articles on non-diving related interests, especially four wheel driving and camping. Starting 2014 it will have information about our yacht, a Lightwave 38 catamaran.

    NOTE:

    This site is best viewed using a screen sized at 1024 x 768 pixels. If you use a smaller screen, some photographs may force a page that extends off the screen and cause printing problems. I cannot avoid this problem. It may also cause some photos to run over top of text. If you find any of these, please let me know as I should be able to fix.

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

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

    Sydney Dive Site Hints
    "Pygmy pipehorses can be seen at Bare Island at various places"
    News
    My Recent Dives - January & February 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.


    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 2019 00:00 · Print
    My Recent Dives - November & December 2018

    1 November 2018 - SS Tuggerah

    A bit calmer than yesterday and hardly any wind. Still sloppy but a good run down to wreck. Took three goes to anchor as a bit of a current from N. Blue water down to 18 m, then dirty, then clean on bottom, probably almost 15 m. Went round to prop, spent some time there, then back to boilers and then towards bow. Only 17 mins on bottom due to having to do decompression in current. Was not fun, hanging onto deco line at 30 degrees to vertical, at 3 m I was holding the 6 m spot on line! Great dive, could hear humpback whales the whole time. Visibility good. 


    3 November 2018 - M & K Reef

    Wind from W at about 10 to 15 kts but later was 20 to 30 kts as we came across the bay, hard going. Flat seas due to wind but colder water on top (17.3C) and very cold on bottom (14.9C). Had to move anchor once down as only held by kelp, used a lot of air pulling into the wind. We were just off the wall, so went W and then N. Passed the two caves (the other group saw a blue devilfish in one), Kelly found a small red PPH at the end. Went around the back heere, never done this before, a small cave there too. Lots of one-spot pullers and silver sweep here. Then back to S where Kelly found a white PPH. I found a sea dragon nearer to anchor in the kelp. A very nice, if somewhat cold, dive. Visibility good. 


    4 November 2018 - Henry Head

    Tried to go outside but lot rougher than yesterday, even though there was no wind. Swell from SE and NE and slop as well. Came back into the bay and dived here. Swell from SE only and jsut after high tide. Anchored a bit to W of normal spot due to waves. Found a sea dragon near anchor, then went S. Kelly found two red and yellow sea spiders, then another walking around. A few Port Jackson sharks, another sea dragon, lots of yellowtail in spots. Very colourful as normal. Little current on bottom, only to S, but a reasonable surge at times and cold again (15.3C). Very nice dive. Visibility fair. 


    7 November 2018 - Middle Ground

    Forecasts a bit mixed for the morning, possibility of strong S winds, so did not want to go far. Little wind when we went out, but soon was 10 kts and by the end 15 kts. Seas calm but got a little sloppy at anchor. Very dirty on top down to at least 18 m. Bottom better, about 7 -10 m but very dark due to overcast and dirty water. Cold again (15.4C). Went right around reef, large seapike on SE corner, some turmpeters and red morwong NE corner. A gurnard and some maroon sea spiders near anchor SW corner. Still a very nice dive. Visibility fair.


    11 November 2018 - Bypass Reef

    Club dive day, 6 boats doing 2 dives each. No wind, no current on surface and flat seas. Anchored a bit W of wall in 30 m. Headed W and hit wall, then S. Saw lots of divers from the other boats. Quite wamr on bottom compared to recently, 18.0C. As usual, fantastic fixed marine life. Lots and lots of Port Jackson sharks, some small. Kelly foudn two pygmy pipehorses (PPH). Quite a few leatherjackets too. A really good dive and also a great day, great BBQ! Visibility good.


    14 November 2018 - Hungry Jacks

    Club boat dive. Very strong NE wind yesterday and last night but calm when we went out. Still a bit sloppy but it got better while we were out. Water cold on bottom (15.6C) but clear. Went N into a moderate current. Found 3 donut nembrothas, first time here. Lots of silver sweep and small trevally, as well as some yellowtail. Black reef leatherjackets, red morwong and some mado as well. One cuttlefish under a ledge. A really nice dive, most fish we have ever seen here I reckon. Visibility good.


    19 November 2018 - SS Tuggerah

    Diving on Phil's boat. No wind at all but a bit sloppy. Very, very slight current from S. Anchored in front of boiler. Saw a very large seal while gearing up and saw him on bottom too. Made all the fish cling to wreck! Clear and warmer (18.6C) to 15 m and then dirty but clean on bottom and cold, 15.9C. At least 15 m on bottom! Huge amount of fishlife, most seen for ages. One wobbegong. The seal came near us at prop. Back on deco there was a second seal, much smaller. Both of them played around us the whole time apart from when they went to bottom to see Phil and Aaron. A fantastic dive! Visibility very good.


    21 November 2018 - Pizza Reef 

    Club boat dive. Wind was less than predicted, calm, but later came up about 7 kts from N. Calm seas. Dirty warm layer on top but cold (15.4C) clean 15 m on bottom. Also a slight current from N on bottom only. My nephew Scott drove boat and watched while we dived. One donut nembrotha out from cave and two more at S end. A spiny gurnard on reef. No bastard trumpeters at all! Some large seapike over cave and a huge wobbegong inside. Others saw a blue devilfish at S end. Nice dive but not as good as most dives here. Visibility very good.


    1 December 2018 - Barrens Hut/The Split

    A beautiful day after a week of awful weather and rain. A bit sloppy but okay. A samll shark was near boat before and afer dive, perhaps a hammerhead. Very clear and warm on top, 19.7C, very very slight current from N. Anchored S end of Split, hooked onto a shell! Saw a medium cuttlefish near anchor. Went N and saw 3 donut nembrothas. Lots of silver sweep around as well. Back along reef edge, one more donut. After Cave, in back channel, lots of bastard trumpeters, red morwong and also one blue morwong and some black reef leatherjackets. A really nice dive. Visibility good. PS. others dived Tuggerah and saw sunfish on bottom. Jealous.


    2 December 2018 - The Monuments

    Club Xmas Party. A small wave every now and then at entry, but easy. Went W into tide but really nothing at all. Later the tide was behind us but should not have been. A bit dirty at first but then about 8 m viz. Saw lots of different nudibranchs, including pink okena. One frogfish, two moray eels, a very large octopus, some silver sweep and yellowtail. No PPH, sea horses or sea dragons! Nice dive, with excellent lunch afterwards. Visibility fair.


    5 December 2018 - Pizza Reef

    Club boat dive. A lot rougher than expected, with wind from the S but only 8 kts or so. Some very large swells and quite surgy even at 27 metres. Anchored on S end, went right around as normal. Dark on bottom due to heavy overcast and dirty water (viz perhaps 7 m) but 19.2C on bottom and 21C on top. A large blue devilfish on N side. Saw about 12 bastard trumpeters in gully, also on SE corner. Probably same ones as they moved as we watched. Thousands of yellowtail, seapike, silver sweep all over the reef. Some seapike were very large. Also lots of old wives. One donut nembrotha. The sand is starting to cover the low reef where they live on S side. Will soon disappear I reckon. A very nice dive despite visibility. 


    8 December 2018 - Bare Island Deep Wall

    Cancelled club deep wreck dive due to very strong N winds. Very calm here. Went in off W point and out to wall. Dirty on the way but on sand viz was at least 15 m. Did the usual route back. No PPH, others saw 2 RIF. One Blue devilfish near first cave. Lots of nudibranchs, but nothing special. Despite this, a very nice 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 November 2018 00:00 · Print
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