Michael McFadyen's Scuba Diving Web Site
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My Diving
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St George Scuba Club
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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
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Australian Dive Sites
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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.
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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
    "Clifton Gardens has lots of White's sea horses on the net"
    The Chimney
    Michael McFadyen's Scuba Diving - The Chimney A weekend dive trip to Batemans Bay on NSW's South Coast would not be complete without a dive at The Chimney. Like the other dives on the southern side of Black Rock (The Arch and The Tunnel), the dive site's name is most descriptive and apt. The reef here is composed of igneous rock (basalt I think) and is quite rounded and worn from the action of the sea. The reef is covered in a brilliant purple growth that make the dive sites immediately memorable.

    Northern MarkWestern Mark
    Northern Mark - Black RockWestern Mark at boat ramp

    About three minutes from the boat ramp is The Chimney. The GPS marks for the site are 35° 47' 04"S 150° 14' 51"E (note that all my GPS Readings are using AUS66 - if you use any other datum, you will need to convert the reading - see my GPS Page for more details). See the marks at left for details on how to find the site.

    This dive site consists of a large sand gutter that runs in a north-westerly direction (with maybe a bit more north in it) into the reef. The dive boats generally anchor on the ridge to the south-east of The Chimney. Normally it is a matter of swimming to the south or west until your drop over a shear wall to the sandy/rocky bottom. As you swim along the gutter to the north, it resembles the cutting leading into The Tunnel. Even the depth is the same, 21 metres.

    The Chimney
    Dive site diagram I drew in early 1990s

    Along the gutter there are overhangs on both sides covered in gorgonias and zoanthids. As you approach the end of the gutter, you can see a darkened cave. This is the entrance to The Chimney. After five to ten metres, the cave opens out into a hole (The Chimney) that exits the reef though the top of the cave. The depth comes up from 18 metres to 15 metres or so. Just behind The Chimney is a higher section of reef (12 metres).

    From here you can swim over the reef to the east and the depth increases to just over 18 metres. Follow the wall to the north and you will soon see a large hole in the reef. This is three or four metres across and filled with sand. Is this another chimney connected via a tunnel to the sand over which you are now swimming? Unfortunately we will probably never know the answer to this question.

    About 20 metres further on there is a corner and the wall gets higher and turns to the west. You can follow the wall and it turns to the south when you will be in a sand gutter that runs away to both the right and left. Follow it to the left and it opens out into a more open area. There are a lot of large rocks here on the sand and a bit further on there is a ridge of rock that sticks up two metes or so. The ridge and gutter here runs to the south-south-east. After 20 minutes of bottom time, turn around and swim back to the north. When you reach the large vertical wall there is another series of walls a short distance to the north across the sand/rock bottom. If you have time, explore it quickly.

    You can either return to the boat along the wall or go directly over the reef to the south. If you get a bit disoriented, swim to the east and you will come back to the wall. Any time you might have left can be spent examining the walls and overhangs of the gutter as well as the reef top.

    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!