Michael McFadyen's Scuba Diving Web Site
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About Me
My Diving
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St George Scuba Club
Some of my Best Photos
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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
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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
    "Bare Island Deep Wall has pygmy pipehorses if you look closely"
    North Ribbon Reef Number 5
    The gap between Ribbon Reef Number 5 and Ribbon Reef Number 6 is quite large compared to some of the other entrances to the inside of the Great Barrier Reef. This dive was planned as a drift dive from outside the Reef through the gap to the inside lagoon.

    We were dropped off about 200 metres to the south of the entrance. The GPS Reading for this location is S15° 19' 48.6" E145° 46' 57.7". It is 132 kilometres from Port Douglas. Once we entered the water we discovered this was not such a good plan, as the current was running from north to south rather than south to north. It was about 0.5 knots, hard to swim against, but not impossible.

    North Ribbon No 5North Ribbon No 5
    Kelly McFadyen on the wall at North Ribbon No 5Some of our group swim past the cave at North Ribbon No 5

    Where we hit the bottom the reef was a shear vertical wall. It dropped to about 35 metres right on the wall and then sloped to over 45 metres out further. There are a few really nice gorgonias and sea whips on the bottom and wall. The depth right on the wall bottom comes up gradually over the next 10 minutes (if you have a current behind you or 20 minutes if you have to swim into the current) to about 20 metres. About half way along this section there is a cave at about 15 metres. This is really an L shaped tunnel, the top of which seems to come out on the top of the reef. You can get some nice visual effects on photos taken looking out and up.

    North Ribbon No 5North Ribbon No 5
    A large school of double-headed parrotfishLooking up the wall at North Ribbon No 5

    A bit futher along the reef on the edge of the wall drops back to 25 metres and a ridge runs off north while the main reef turns north-west. The depth comes back up to 18 metres and later about 12 metres.

    As we were swimming against the current, we did not make it back inside the reef nor did we even make it to the main part of the entrance. There were ridges out to the north of us and the main reef to the south was some distance off (it was a gradual slope back to it). We ended up ascending here and were picked up by the boat.

    Along we way we saw huge schools of double-humped parrotfish. These were not the biggest I have seen, but the school number 50 or more. We either saw this same school again or another one. I also saw a grey reef shark and a couple of white-tipped reef sharks. There were also a lot of barracuda and all the normal fish.

    Visibility was at least 50 metres, as good as it gets. A pity the dive was not better organised.

    Return to Main Great Barrier Reef Index Page.

    Copyright © Michael McFadyen 1990 to 2023
    Non-commercial use of an article or photograph is permitted with appropriate URL reference to this site.
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    This web site has been wholly thought up, designed, constructed and funded for over 25 years by Michael McFadyen
    without any help from the Australian Dive Industry since 1996!