Michael McFadyen's Scuba Diving Web Site
Home Contact Me Sydney Reef Dive Sites Sydney Shipwrecks NSW Dive Sites Australian Dive Sites Overseas Dive Sites Dive Accidents and Incidents My Yachting Adventures 4WD Trips Weather Search 25 July 2024 10:01

About Me
My Diving
Web Links - Dive Clubs
St George Scuba Club
Some of my Best Photos
Contact Me

Dive Sites
Sydney Reef Dive Sites
Sydney Shipwrecks
Sydney Dive Visibility, Swell and Temps
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
Free Shipwreck Books

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
Site Map
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.
  • Login


    Forgotten your password?
    Request a new one here.
    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
    "There are grey nurse sharks at Magic Point"
    Sandy Canyons
    Michael McFadyen's Scuba Diving - Sandy Canyons The reef that runs west from the main entrance to Port Moresby Harbour, Basilisk Passage, is called Sinavi Reef. It runs up past Fishermen's (Dango) Island and is on the southern side of the island. To the west of Fishermen's Island there are numerous dive sites. One of these is The Pinnacle and another is Sandy Canyons. To get to this site you can run inside the reef and island till you are north of the dive site. You can exit out to open water here through a very shallow channel (not suitable for anything other than small boats).

    On the western end of Sinavi Reef where the reef turns north and creates the channel, there is a spectacular dive site.
    Huge ray
    This ray is huge, but without a reference point,
    it is a bit hard to appreciate
    After anchoring on the reef top in three metres, you drop over the wall to 8 to 10 metres. This has a number of indents and is not exactly straight. After dropping to the sandy bottom, you will see that the sand slopes quite steeply to over 60 metres. Off the wall to the north or north-west of the anchor location, the bottom of the wall is deeper at about 20 metres. This is only recent as the depth used to be more like 10 metres but the sand has either slipped or been washed away. You can see on the wall the level where the sand used to be as there is no growth below 10 or 12 metres and the bommies on the slope are totally bereft of growth. More about these later.

    From the anchor spot, head to the south and go deeper. You will see some bommies and around here there are a lot of fish, including a couple of clown triggerfish and a titan triggerfish. After five or six minutes you will see that the wall has turned to the west for a short distance before turning to the south again. The depth off the northern side of this small section of wall is 32 metres. Continue along the wall to the south and the depth increases to 45 metres or so. In this area we saw the biggest ray I have ever seen (or, in fact, any of us has seen). It is at least three metres across and perhaps five metres from the tip of its body to the end of the tail. Huge!!

    You are probably in deco by now so it is time to start a slow and gradual ascent as you move back to the wall. You will only have a minute or two but on the way back you will probably clear and then re-enter deco a number of times.

    Return back along the wall and near the anchor spot you will see the first of a number of canyons that gives the name to this dive site. Enter the canyon and you will soon see that there are intersecting canyons, much like the cracks between bricks. You can swim up and down them, although some come to dead ends. There are a couple of swim-throughs and small arches that add to the adventure. The depth in these canyons is about 8 metres or so.

    Once you have finished exploring the canyons, you can head north from the anchor spot to where the sand has been washed away. We saw a couple of grey reef sharks here. After exploring the small bommies, return to the wall and follow it back to the anchor spot. There are lots of anemones and clownfish on the top and excellent fishlife over the edge of the wall.

    This was an excellent dive, visibility on the bottom well over 35 metres (although poorer in shallows due to roughs seas that day) and water temperature 25.8°.

    Dive Operators:

    The dive operation in Port Moresby does not dive this site as they have their boat based south at Bootless Bay. The only way you can dive the plane is with the Port Moresby Sub Aqua Club (contact President Mark Palmer) who would be more than happy to take you out diving if you are visiting Port Moresby.


  • 28 November 2003
  • 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!