Michael McFadyen's Scuba Diving Web Site
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Shearwater Predator and Heinrichs Weikamp OSTC 2N
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My Old Dive Boat - Le Scat
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Marine Life
Rarer Sydney Marine Life
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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
    "The SS Undola has great fishlife"
    Clam Gardens - Ribbon Reef No 4.5
    Clam Gardens
    Moorish idols at Clam Gardens
    This dive site is located between Ribbon Reef No 4 and Ribbon Reef No 5 (called Ribbon Reef No 4 1/2). It is 125 kilometres north-north-east from Port Douglas. The GPS Reading for the site is S15° 23" 49.4' E145° 45" 46.7'. This is using WGS84 as datum. This small reef runs north south and is just south of a main inlet from the open ocean. The reef drops from about five metres to about 40 metres (or more), sloping gradually on a sandy bottom. The slope has some small coral bommies spread from 35 metres right up to the main reef edge. There is also one large bommie.

    There is no permanent mooring but boats that dive here attach one to a dead coral section in five metres. Drop to the bottom and go to 30 metres or so. The sand here has garden eels. There are hundreds of them, swaying to and fro in the current. They must be one of the most difficult fish species to photograph, dropping back into the sand as you approach. My tip is to have your camera ready, take a large breath, swim slowly up as close as you can and take a photo before breathing again. This way I got a couple of decent photographs. Other than that, you have to wait ages for them to come back up and unless you are diving here a number of times, you will not have the time to waste doing this.

    Anyway, the very small bommies have some live coral on top which can make a good photograph with the main wall or open water in the background. We also saw a few white-tipped reef sharks in this area. As you go (the direction will depend on the current - into it) come a little shallower as you proceed. Examine all the bommies and you may find firefish and blue tangs. On the sand you may also see some giant clams. A few of these are very large specimens, at least a metre long.

    Clam GardensClam Gardens
    Jason Coombs and Peter Trayhurn
    examining the reef at Clam Gardens
    Kelly McFadyen and a Giant Clam at Clam Gardens

    When you get to about 15 minutes, turn around and head back towards the mooring. You can stay at this depth all the way back, skirting around the larger bommie. Once past the mooring keep going for about 10 minutes before going right up to the reef. From here, head back to the mooring and past it again. Return back to the mooring area and spend your remaining time in this area.

    Clam GardensClam Gardens
    Garden eels are numerous at Clam GardensOne of the many clownfish at Clam Gardens

    As the name implies, there are lots of clams on this dive. As well as the large ones you may have already seen, look for smaller ones on the main reef. There are lots of anemones, clownfish and small reef fish. We also saw some decent coral trout, titan triggerfish and other interesting species.

    A very nice dive site, with at least 30 metre visibility.

    Return to Main Great Barrier Reef Index Page.

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    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!