Michael McFadyen's Scuba Diving Web Site
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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
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

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
Our Dive Boat - Mak Cat
Our 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
Our Yachting Adventures
Below is a list of links to the main pages about our yacht, Catlypso and our Our Yachting Adventures:
  • Purchase of Catlypso
  • Details about Catlypso
  • Cleaning/Repairing Catlypso
  • Our Yachting Adventures.
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    Michael and Kelly's 4WD Trips
    Click here for a list of our Four Wheel Drive and Camping Trips.
    Current Kareela Weather
    A summary of the current weather conditions at our house at Kareela, Sydney, is below. Click here for more Detailed Diving Weather and Conditions. Weather from Michael McFadyen's Tempe Weather Station

    Conditions at
    23:49 on 23/1/17

    Temperature 25.6°C
    Humidity 65.0%
    Barometer 1003.4hPa
    Rate -0.3hPa/hr
    Wind Speed: 0 km/hr
    Wind Direction S
    Rainfall for Today 0.0mm
    Rainfall last hour 0.0 mm
    Rainfall last 24 hours 0.0 mm
    Rainfall at Start of Month 814.6 mm
    Rainfall this Year 827.0 mm
    Today's Extremes
    High Temperature 31.2°C at 15:48
    Low Temperature 20.9°C at 6:27
    Peak Wind Gust 0km/hr at 0:00
    Weather from Michael McFadyen's Kirrawee Weather Station
    Yesterday's Extremes
    High Temperature 27.5°C at 17:11
    Low Temperature 19.8°C at 6:29
    Rainfall at Start of Yesterday 827.0 mm
    Rainfall at End of Yesterday 827.0 mm
    Weather from Michael McFadyen's Tempe Weather Station
    Astronomical Data
    Sunrise 5:06
    Sunset 19:05
    Moonrise 1:09
    Moonset 15:04

    Home Brewing
    Click here for an article about Home Brewing.
    I established this Web Site about scuba diving in Sydney, NSW, Australia and the South Pacific, as well as a few other places, in June 1996.

    Since then it has gone through a few different versions. This latest version is the fourth and was completed in July 2006.

    The site has grown from a few pages to well over 900 separate pages. More than 650 dives are covered, mostly in detail and most with photographs and some with maps.

    I am fairly confident that this is not only the largest diving related web site in the World, it also has more hits than any diving related web site in Australia.

    This site is a non-commercial site and is unrelated to any dive organisation. It is purely here to provide divers with an information source to increase their enjoyment of scuba diving, shipwrecks and marine life in general. I hope that my experiences can help you when you are planning a dive trip, whether it is locally in Sydney, New South Wales, somewhere else in Australia or the Pacific Ocean region.

    Any and all comments are welcome, as is any information to enhance the pages, especially more information about ships or shipwrecks or corrections to pages.

    I have also included some articles on non-diving related interests, especially four wheel driving and camping. Starting 2014 it will have information about our yacht, a Lightwave 38 catamaran.


    This site is best viewed using a screen sized at 1024 x 768 pixels. If you use a smaller screen, some photographs may force a page that extends off the screen and cause printing problems. I cannot avoid this problem. It may also cause some photos to run over top of text. If you find any of these, please let me know as I should be able to fix.

    In addition, some wide screen monitors (newer laptops especially) may have a screen that is too wide for the page and this may cause photos to appear in strange places. If you find this, let me know and I will see if I can fix.

    I have now added a Search facility to the site. You can access this by clicking on Search on the menu at the top of the page.

    Sydney Dive Site Hints
    "Osborne Shoals West has excellent fishlife and sponge life"
    My Recent Dives - July & August 2018

    1 July 2018 - Henry Head

    Club boat dive, two boats. Took new member and new diver Paul diving. For only 18 dives, very good. Incoming tide and visibility 15 m, 17.0C. Drifted in on tide, saw 2 sea dragons, 2 PPH (1 tiny), a few nice nudibranchs, a butterflyfish. Lots of yellowtail in spots. Nice dive. Visibility very good.

    4 July 2018 - Barrens Hut/The Split

    Club boat dive, two boats. Very large swell, average 2.4 m with 4.2 m highest. Had to go right around bommie as breaking right between there and mainland. Westerly wind and some surge on bottom but not too bad. Anchored at S end of Split. Went to Tunnel and then Cave. Back to anchor and Paul and I went up Split and back. Lots of bastard trumpeters, some red and blue morwong, lots of black reef leatherjackets. Also some PJs. Pretty good dive considering the swell. Saw a few humpback whales, one surfaced only 50 m from us. Visibility good.

    7 July 2018 - Bare Island Deep Wall

    Cancelled club boat dive due to forecast very strong W winds but they came late and we could have dived. Went in off W point to wall and back normal way. Lots of PJs, Kelly found two very small PPH. We saw 5 RIF, all over the place. Some pink okenias and pink flabellinas. Plenty of bream and some small snapper. A small wobbegong, a very friendly blue groper and more. Despite it being low tide, visibility was good.

    11 July 2018 - Pizza Reef

    Club boat dive, 2 boats, 9 divers. Huge seas two days ago (9+m) but average today less than 2. Little wind and no current. Stacks of whales seen and could hear them all through the dive, very loudly at times. First dive with drysuit since 2014, new neoprene seals. No leaks! A bit surgy on bottom, but better than expected as was visibility (8 m). Went right around, lots of bastard trumpeters outside cave, hundreds of seapike, one-spot pullers and silver sweep at southern end. Quite a few yellow-finned leatherjackets and the usual black reef leatherjackets. Half expected to see a whale! A really nice dive. Visibility fair.

    14 July 2018 - Shiprock

    Club shore dive. Seas too big to take boat out. Quite dirty considering how clean the water in Port Hacking has been. Did not see a single nudibranch! Saw one pineapplefish and also a frogfish. Lots of leatherjackets, one small butterflyfish, some small surgeonfish (and big ones) and many bream. At the north end dozens of large sand whiting. Only a reasonable dive, no water in suit so looks like it is all okay. Visibility poor.

    25 July 2018 - Fish Rock Cave - Fish and Chips

    No wind, flat seas and only a slight current. Went out to F&C, saw at least 10 GNS on the way there and back, mostly in the main gutter. Two were very large pregnant females, one with a white mark on right side of body. Also a shovel-nose ray. Plenty of yellowtail, silver sweep and bream near F&C. Then went towards the shallow entrance to cave. Saw about another 8 GNS. Back to mooring area before ascending. Great dive. Visibility very good.

    25 July 2018 - Fish Rock Cave - Shallow Entrance

    Saw more humpback whales in surface interval and after the dive. This time went to the shallow entrance to cave. Saw at least 30 GNS on the way and in the gutter and cave. Found two teeth as well. Spent a little time in mouth of cave before heading deeper again and then drifting back with current to mooring. Used a bit more air as had to fight current a few times. Back around mooring area before ascending. Fantastic dive. Visibility very good.

    26 July 2018 - Fish Rock Cave - Fish and Chips

    First part of dive similar to yesterday, then cut across towards Black Forest and then towards Shallow Entrance and back to mooring. Less sharks than yesterday in main gutter, but a couple in blind gutter and on the outside. Also some long-finned bannerfish, Moorish idols and one small clownfish. Not as many fish out at F&C. A few very inquisitive blue gropers as well. Water a bit colder (16.2 v 16.9) and also cleaner in spots. Nice dive. Visibility very good.

    26 July 2018 - Fish Rock Cave - Western Drift

    Very little current. Started at The Pinnacle and went S into Colorado Passage. No sharks there but a few kingfish and other fish. Came back to The Pinnacle and then went around it on the south and east side then south along the western slope. So many fish. Baitfish and lots of other species, all being harassed by hundreds of large kingfish and a seal. Seal came down past us twice. Back towards Shallow Entrance a huge school of bannerfish and then plenty of GNS (some along the way as well). Also quite a few bullrays, including one huge one. Two eagle rays early on and then another three near cave. Then back to mooring and more GNS. Brilliant dive. Visibility good to very good and excellent near mooring.

    27 July 2018 - Fish Rock Cave - Western Drift

    Calm as last two days. We went in again at The Pinnacle and after swimming around it, headed S. Not as many fish or kingfish today, no seal, but five Queensland gropers, altogether. One was huge. Quite a few GNS and over a hundred wobbegong sharks. A medium sized bullray and heaps of long-finned bannerfish like yesterday. In the Shallow Entrance Gutter, heaps of sharks, at least 30. Then back to S mooring. Another fantastic dive. Visibility very good, but darker as a bit cloudy.

    27 July 2018 - Fish Rock Cave - Black Forest

    Went from mooring to SW to wall, then followed this SE to near Black Forest. Lots of black coral trees, far more than the last time I went out here. Then went over the ridge to NE and into the Blind Gutter, amazed that we were only at the end of it! Saw the loggerhead turtle again. Then to Main Gutter and over to Fish & Chips. Little fish action here at all. Came back via the Deep Entrance Gutter and Main Gutter. No GNS seen at all. Then towards Shallow Entrance, some GNS seen, batfish and more. Very good dive. Visibility very good.

    8 August 2018 - Bare Island Deep Wall

    Boat out of action due to longer than expected repairs to steering so did a shore dive with Jason. Millpond seas and little wind at start, but stronger W later. Forgot my weight pockets first go, so had to get out and go and get them, idiot! Went from W point to wall and then back normal way. No RIF, PPH and hardly any nudibranchs. Lots of PJ and horned sharks, a few small cuttlefish, some cowfish but that is about all. If not for the visibility, would have been a rotten dive. No idea where everything has gone, but much colder than last ocean or near ocean dive in Sydney 3 weeks ago, 14.8C v 16.6C. Visibility very good.

    14 August 2018 - Inscription Point

    Flat seas and little wind. Went in a bit after high tide, very clean and warmer than last week (15.4C). Not a lot seen really, one sea dragon, one purple-lined nembrotha, a few other species of nudibranch. Did not seen any of the grey nurse sharks that have been seen here over the past month. Despite this, better than staying at home! Visibility very good.

    15 August 2018 - The Balcony

    Club boat dive. Strong NW wind but flat here. First dive here for over 4 years. Went along sand edge to NE and then across to main wall and into The Cutting area. Back to the main part of dive. Thousands of yellowtail, one spot pullers and lots of ladder-finned pomfrets. A few horned and Port Jackson sharks as well. A few blackfish up high near breaking water. Back to anchor and still lots of fish, including a large school of old wives. Water cold (14.6C) but still a great dive. Visibility very good.


    Click here to see details of dives including profiles.

    For more details about these dives and other dives this year, click here.
    Michael on 01 July 2018 00:00 · Print
    My Recent Dives - May & June 2018

    2 May 2018 - The Split

    Very calm seas and little wind, best day for months. Current from N, stronger on bottom but not too bad. An eastern blue devilfish out in open near anchor and a large cuttlefish there too. Went N along Split and then N again, but no donut nembrothas. Back along sand edge to anchor. Went thru the cave here, first time for probably 10 years. Over 30 bastard trumpeters outside, with red morwong a few blue morwong. Lots of silver sweep in various spots. Saw 3 humpback whales after the dive, one huge only 100 m away. Second group saw a large turtle near The Tunnel. Visibility fair.

    4 May 2018 - Bare Island Deep Wall

    Millpond seas and a bit of W wind. Went in from W point and headed SW. Water a bit milky but okay. Did the normal dive, saw lots of red-lined nembrothas again on 15 Metre Reef, Dick found a RIF (apparently) on RIF Reef. Kim showed us a small white anglerfish near The Cave. Nice. The white PPH is still near the white sponge and I found a RIF at the last set of rocks. Lots of leatherjackets, but no other PPHs. Nice dive. Visibility fair.

    5 May 2018 - Barrens Hut

    Very sloppy sea despite W wind, must have blown S during night. Not too bad though. Saw 2 more whales, 50 m away heading S! Anchored exactly same spot as Wednesday, but no devilfish or cuttlefish. Went to The Tunnel. I found a tiny PPH and Kelly found two upsidedown pipefish near entrance to Tunnel. Then to The Cave and back via the crack. At least 30 bastard trumpeters and lots of red morwong. Kelly found a red PPH near anchor. Very nice dive. Visibility good.

    9 May 2018 - Marley Point

    Club boat dive. Starboard battery a little flat at start and the port one after dive, had to jump it. Later check showed water low. Flat seas although a bit of rolling swell later, ran down at 22 knots. No whales today, but heard a penguin again. Somehow my computer was on CCR and air, no idea how this happened, changed to EAN32 when I noticed. Went E thru cave and saw a small boxfish. Before this saw a school of small kingfish. Some ladder-finned pomfrets and quite a few blue gropers. Back shallower, saw two very large cuttlefish in upper cave and a Moorish idol. After Les went up, Geoff and I went W. Heaps of yellowtail, so many it got dark. Also more pomfret shallower and a large kingfish. Back to boat and up. Visibilty good but milky. 

    19 May 2018 - Middle Ground

    Light wind from W and no current. However, a long period swell (15 seconds) from SE of about 2.5 metres. This goes to over 50 metres, so at 32 we had a fair bit. However, the bottom sand was not stirred up at all. Lots of wobbegong sharks, I counted 6 in total. One was huge and two were swimming around. Also lots of yellowtail and seapike all over the reef. Kelly found some spindle cowries on a gorgonia. A nice six-spined leatherjacket in one of the cracks. Ended up in deco it was that nice, excellent. Visibility good.

    31 May 2018 - Shiprock

    First dive for almost 2 weeks due to very strong S winds and huge seas most of the time. Over 15 months since I have dived here, must be a record. Quite cold, 16.2C, compared to 18.5 last dive. Did the usual dive, cleaned the plaque which was fairly clean on the face but getting overgrown on edges. Since viz was great, we went out on sand a fair bit, lots more bottles visible and way out, more wooden wharf piles than before. Lots of sand must have been moved (it is really shallow to east). Turned around at normal spot and came back along the wall. Saw one pineapplefish, S of normal spot, two frogfish, a small cuttlefish, three unfriendly moray eels, four long finned bannerfish and Gary saw four butterflyfish. Huge numbers of yellowtail, seapike and silver sweep along the wall. Did not see one nudibranch! Lots of leatherjackets and morwong as well as plenty of small bream and snapper. Also quite a few medium bream. At N end saw a school of a more than 100 sand whiting! A nice dive. Visibility very good.

    9 June 2018 - Yellowfish Reef

    After a few weeks of very strong S winds and big seas, a much better day, although it was raining and very overcast. Went to Bypass Reef but looked green (almost low tide) so went north to behind Long Bay Rifle Range. This is a new spot S of Red Flag and North of Tyre Reef. No current and little wind. Bluish water. Very spectacular bottom, lots of large boulders and a wall, some small caves/overhangs. Went N for 15 mins (22-18 m) and then back S a little shallower (17m). Found a larger cave with Moorish idol and a blue devilfish. After turning around, saw some huge schools of thousands of yellowtail, hundreds of one-spot pullers and ladder-finned pomfrets and some kingfish. Saw two more MI, Kelly saw some butterflyfish, I saw ab out 20 large blackfish. Lots of leatherjackets, some large blue morwongs, two cuttlefish, one very large. Ended up going S of anchor for a bit and abck. An excellent dive, best we have done for a few months. Visibility good.

    13 June 2018 - The Split

    Club boat dive. Flat seas and little NW wind, very slight current from N. Anchored in normal spot. Went N along Split and then N again. Two PJs in Split, two donut nembrothas outside and N. Quite a few black reef leatherjackets and some silver sweep. Saw lots of squid eggs and then at least half a dozen large squid. A few blue morwongs along the dive. A very good dive, water still 18.5C. Visibility very good.

    16 June 2018 - The Colours

    First dive out of Sydney Harbour for 9 years! NW wind, millpond seas, no current. A seal swam within a few metres of boat before we went into water. Anchored on 26 m level. Went N along reef edge. Lots of one-spot pullers and silver sweep. Saw a blue devilfish, some nice nudibranchs, plenty of other fish including some large blue gropers. A pretty good dive, need to dive more here (despite the 40 min drive). Visibilty good.

    27 June 2018 - Pizza Reef

    Club boat dive. A large swell running but smooth, thought it may be surgy but was not. Little wind and slight current from N and water still 17.8C. Saw some whales before and after dive, probably five. Took 5 mins to descend as had problem clearing my right ear. Anchored in canyon, so went around from here. Plenty of bastard trumpeters, yellowtail and silver sweep. Saw a male eastern king wrasse, first one I have seen in Sydney for many years. Lots of fish near cave and one donut nembrotha out from here. Back to anchor. Excellent dive. Visibility very good.

    Click here to see details of dives including profiles.

    For more details about these dives and other dives this year, click here.
    Michael on 01 May 2018 00:00 · Print
    Copyright © Michael McFadyen 1990 to 2018
    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 by Michael McFadyen
    without any help from the Australian Dive Industry since 1996!