25th Anniversary of Michael McFadyen's Scuba Diving Website
Posted by Michael on 01 June 2021 01:00
June 2021 marks the 25th anniversary of when I started this website. Back in June 1996 the internet was in its infancy, with no-one except big business having anything but dial-up access via a modem and a phone line. I do not think think there were any dive shops in Australia at that time using the internet to publicise their business and there were certainly no other information dive websites in Australia and probably not even in the world.
In early June 1996 I had an operation and while I was recovering, I decided to build a website that contained all the articles I had written to date about my diving experience and the sites and shipwrecks I had dived. As many people would know, from 1990 to about 2015 I wrote for DIVE Log and Sportdiving Australia. All this was to help other divers gain from my experiences.
The first articles I ever wrote were about Sydney shore dive sites, especially ones that people did not seem to dive nor were documented. I also included boat dives as we explored the coast of Sydney, especially the southern side where I have always lived. I included maps of sites and photos of the typical fish and terrain seen at these sites. This was all a first.
Over the years I dived the whole coastline from Wedding Cake Island south to Wattamolla in Royal National Park. Along the way we discovered many sites that previously were not dived and which today are regularly visited by private dive boats and charter boats. Many of the sites that people now dived were named by me or my friends.
I then decided to undertake more research on the shipwrecks of Sydney, then NSW and Australia and finally the Pacific. In many cases, by placing the information on my website I was able to be contacted by many people who had previously unknown information about the ships and their sinking. I added all this to the wreck pages.
As I mentioned, my sole aim in creating the website was to assist other divers. I make no money from the website, I have nothing to promote other than how great diving is in Sydney and NSW. Over the past 25 years I have spent at least $10,000 on the website software, hosting etc. Despite this, some dive shops have ripped off my articles and photographs to promote their own businesses despite my explicit prohibition under copyright law.
Not once has anyone in the dive industry ever offered to assist in my costs, despite the fact that they all use it and refer their customers to it. In fact, the dive industry lobby group once attempted to sue DIVE Log and myself for defamation over some articles I wrote (back then you could not defame a company or organisation, so they had to back down).
Today I am confident that my website is the longest running scuba diving website in Australia and perhaps even in the world. It is certainly one of the largest sites of its type in the world, with well over 1,000 separate web site pages with probably 5,000 A4 pages of information and many thousands of photographs, mostly taken by me.
Anyway, I hope that you have gained some benefit from my website over the years and I intend to keep it going as long as I am physically and mentally able to. I doubt however that it will reach its 50th anniversary under my direction!
As I have always said, there is no such thing as a bad dive, only some that are better than others. Enjoy!