Michael McFadyen's Scuba Diving Web Site
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Shearwater Predator and Heinrichs Weikamp OSTC 2N
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Purchase of New Dive Boat
My Dive Boat - Mak Cat
My Old Dive Boat - Le Scat
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Make Your Own Car Tank Rack

Marine Life
Rarer Sydney Marine Life
Bare Island Pygmy Pipe Horses
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Bare Island Marine Life
Encounter with Southern Right Whale and Calf

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How Weather Affects Diving in Sydney
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Diving Weather and Sea Conditions
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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.
    Home Brewing
    Click here for an article about Home Brewing.
    Sydney Dive Site Hints
    "Minimum water temperature is normally 15 degrees Celcius"
    Aztec Reef
    Michael McFadyen's Scuba Diving - Aztec Reef Jervis Bay has literally hundreds of dive sites. Some are deep (over 30 metres), most are over 20 metres but only a few are shallow. Two of these are The Nursery and Aztec Reef. Aztec Reef is located on the northern side of the north-western corner of Bowen Island. Travel to this corner of the island to GPS Reading 35° 06' 49"S 150° 45' 58"E. Note that all the GPS Readings on my Web Site are taken using AUS66 as the map datum. If you use another datum you may be about 220 metres off the site. See my GPS Page for more details and how to convert readings. Once you arrive at the point, anchor as close to the point as seas permit. In flat seas, anchor on the northern side and in rougher seas, anchor inside the point. Be aware that in big seas the waves can break off and around the point. If seas are too big, you may need to anchor to the south-west of the point. The depth here will be from 15 to 7 metres or so, depending on where you have anchored.

    Aztec Reef gets its name from the strange drawing-like designs on the rocks in this area. They look like Eqyptian or Aztec writings, but in fact are some sort of algae growth that are almost all the same shape and design.

    Once you have descended, if you are in the 7 metre area, head to the west till you drop over the small wall to about 15 metres. If you are in 15 metres, head south-east till you hit the wall. Follow this wall to the north and east for as long as you wish. This is where the "drawings" are most common. In outgoing tides, there can be a strong current in this area. Explore all the rocks, all the small overhangs. You will find some sea dragons in this area, including sometimes juveniles (in March 2002 I found 5 150 mm long sea dragons within 10 metres of each other).

    You can get to over 20 metres if you wish, but I would not go past about 18 metres. Once you have spent enough time in the deeper water, follow the wall back to the south and explore the boulders off the wall as well as the cracks and overhangs. Then go to the top of the reef. Here you will see hundreds and thousands of yellowtail, seapike, luderick, one-spot pullers and bream. As well, there is are cuttlefish in the overhangs, a huge resident ray and many other fish. This spot has some of the most impressive fishlife I have seen anywhere. Spend a lot of time here, it is worth it.

    This spot is normally only dived in rough seas as it is very protected. It is an excellent dive, worth doing even in good seas.

    Copyright © Michael McFadyen 1990 to 2024
    Non-commercial use of an article or photograph is permitted with appropriate URL reference to this site.
    Dive shops, dive operators, publications and government departments cannot use anything without first seeking and receiving approval from Michael McFadyen.
    This web site has been wholly thought up, designed, constructed and funded for almost 30 years by Michael McFadyen without any help from the Australian Dive Industry.
    Website created 1996!