Michael McFadyen's Scuba Diving Web Site
HomeContact MeSydney Reef Dive SitesSydney ShipwrecksNSW Dive SitesAustralian Dive SitesOverseas Dive SitesDive Accidents and IncidentsMy Yachting Adventures4WD TripsWeatherSearch 29 January 2022 21:13
Navigation
Home

General
About Me
My Diving
FAQ
Downloads
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
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
    Username

    Password



    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.
    Welcome
    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.

    NOTE:

    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
    "The Leap is named after the high jump into the water to start the dive"
    News
    My Recent Dives - January, February and March 2022
    1 January 2022 - Bare Island Isolated Reef 1
    Millpond seas and high tide, in water 7:42 am. Below 12 m temperature dropped to 17.3C, other computer said 16C. Viz 10 to 12 m. Swam to start of IR1 and looked for the grey BI anglerfish. Found it, same one I looked for about 2 months ago. Then to N side of IR1 for a bit and slowly back. Four PPH, including red ones, could not find the small orange BIA, moved again. Two RIF, some whiting in shallows, lots of nudibranchs. Really nice dive. Visibility good.

    4 January 2022 - Bare Island Isolated Reef 1
    Could not dive two days ago as had crooks stomach, much better today. Others only went to grey anglerfish. Extremely high 2.1 m tide today and large swelled from ex-cyclone which came in while we were underwater. Lots of water all over the rock platform at the end, would have been worse later. The Monuments huge waves. Swam straight to start of IR1 (only two short stops to look for other anglers, see later). The grey BI anglerfish in same place as NY Day. Then we went along S side of IR1 looking for the two sea horses but no luck. Ron and Donna lost me here (Flocked me) but I did not loose them as I was behind around the reef and along first section of N side. Then they lost me! I went back to grey BIA and it had moved 2 m to main rock. Then back and refound Ron and Donna off First Cave. After a lot of looking the huge painted angerfish they found yesterday was spotted, what a fat pig. Then a few more PPH, some already see, another RIF, back via SHR where two upsidedown pipefish, the small orange painted anglerfish and back. A really good dive, but cold 17.3C. Visibility fair deep, rest poor.

    7 January 2022 - Bare Island Isolated Reef 1
    Dirty and warm on top, but very cold 16.4C on bottom. Viz deeper 10 m. Went straight to SHC, could not find the small orange painted anglerfish on the way down. Could not find the grey BIA from last dive. Then went around IR1 and also could not find the sea horses which I especially looked for. Back on the sand edge and outer rocks. Could not find the huge painted anglerfish either! The two red PPH were there, also two upsidedown pipefish under SHR. Some nudibranchs, lots of yellowtail at start of IR1. Finally found the small anglerfish hidden under a grey sponge. Good dive, but cold. Visibility fair.

    8 January 2022 - Henry Head
    Club boat dive, two boats, 9 divers, was supposed to be Shark Pt but NE wind forecast and huge seas past few days put paid to that. Here little wind and no swell. Incoming tide but even that was not strong. Less that a metre viz on top, but 10 m on bottom but very cold, one computer said 14C! Went S as normal. Saw one sea dragon with eggs, lots of nudibranchs, not much else as I forgot my torch. A few black reef leatherjackets. Back to anchor and others went up as they were cold. I stayed about 7 mins more. Saw another two sea dragons. A good but bloody cold dive. Visibility fair.

    11 January 2022 - Pizza Reef
    A bit sloppy as NE blew last night, little wind now and no swell. No current. Anchored on N middle section. Very dirty at about 10 m, then a little clearer but cold 15.7C. Some bastard trumpters between anchor and Cave. No donut nembrothas anywhere. Went right around reef and down the middle. Some black reef leatherjackets, a lot of one-spot pullers on W side. Not the greatest dive. Visibility poor.

    13 January 2022 - Bare Island Isolated Reef 1
    Rained over 55 mm last night. Overcast now. Went in off W point, very dirty at all depths, cold again on bottom, 17.1C. Went to 15 Metre Reef then to start of IR1 to look for grey BIA. No luck. Got lost here coming back to main reef, no idea how, ended up halfway along IR1. Had to use compass to find way back to off SHC. Then okay. No PPH at all, even the ones we have seen regularly. One RIF, one spiny gurnard, two tiny yellow boxfish, one small cuttlefish, two large octopus, some nudibranchs. The small orange painted anglerfish is still there, about 40 mm long now. Not a great dive. Visibility very poor.

    21 January 2022 - Shiprock
    No diving for 8 days as weather awful, strong winds, big seas and dirty water. Still not the best weather today (or coming weekend as cancelled boat dives). Went in a few minutes early but current okay. Viz about 4-5 m, far better than 1-2 m of last dive. Temp back up to 21.6C! Did the normal dive, did not see any moray eels, frogfish, pineapplefish or cuttlefish. Did not see any nudibranchs till 55 mins and then saw quite a few, although only two species. Saw a few small kingfish, a few large seapike, lots of whiting in shallows. Eddie's gobies are still there. Not as many fish as normal either. Donna saw a pineapplefish and Ron saw a couple of morays. Once again a disappointing dive, only did it because I was dry! Visibility poor.

    22 January 2022 - Inscription Point to The Monuments
    Late organised shore dive when we cancelled Henry Head dive. Ended up forecast wrong, could have done it easily. A bit too rough to get out at Inscription Point so did a drift from here to beach at The Monuments. Easy getting in when calm. Viz was at least 10 m for first 45 mins then 3-4 m. Saw 7 sea dragons before reaching the eastern end of The Monuments, at least 10 all up, one was way up towards end of dive. Ron saw two more. Donna found an orange BIA, another group saw five! A tiny yellow boxfish, a smaller firefish, lots of seapike and trevally in shallows. A really good dive, better than expected. Visibility good.

    23 January 2022 - The Leap
    Large number people at The Leap, Inscription Point carpark full. Not as good viz as yesterday, but still good. Saw 13 sea dragons, four PPH, four big belly sea horses, one firefish, one pineapplefish, one fiddler-ray, one dead shovel-nosed ray, two horned sharks, some octopus and much more. Ran into lots of dives around 13 m mark. Bit hard getting out, but okay. Probably my best dive here for at least 3 or 4 years. Visibility good.

    25 January 2022 - The Split
    Bigger swell from NE and longer period, so very surgy. Bottom two metres very sandy, in spots only a metre or so viz. Better above. Tried to go along Split but too dirty, stayed on top except for the last 20 m when it was a bit better. Outside to N, 2 m viz in spots, no donuts, others saw one sea dragon here. Back to anchor and hung around here, better 7-8 m viz. Pretty awful dive. Visibility very poor generally.

    26 January 2022 - The Monuments
    Club Australia Day dive. Tim Rigg's first dive in Sydney for probably 22 years and first for about 10. Used a bit of air, but otherwise went okay. A bit of wave action knocked me and others over getting in, but not too bad. Low tide so viz not great, 4 m probably max, still surgy. Went E and then W and then back to exit. Saw two sea dragons, one PPH, two BIA. A few interesting nudibranchs. A good dive considering. Visibility poor.

    27 January 2022 - Middle Ground
    Club boat dive. After the surge from two days ago, decided to go deeper to Middle Ground. No wind, no current, no surge. Blue 25 m viz to 13 metres, then dirtier, then clean on bottom, at least 12 m viz, but cold 16.7C. Anchored off E side on rocks. About 20 juvenile PJs on northern side, one donut nembrotha. Thousands of yellowtail and hundreds of seapike all over the reef. No wobbegongs, lots of old wives and small leatherjackets. A really great dive. Visibility good.

    28 January 2022 - 15 Metre Reef
    Millpond seas, outgoing tide. Went in off W point, warm 21C above 10 m and a bit dirty, below this viz 10 or so m and 18.3C. Went to Shallow Wall, then on sand off it, to 15 Metre Reef and then back. Two RIF, no PPH at all, one BIA, the smaller one past SHR, now on rock off SHR. Lots of small rarer nudibranch, a few box-type fish, a large flathead, lots of ladder-finned pomfret in shallows. Quite a few octopus too. Ron saw upsidedown pipefish. Skeleton shrimp, small sea spider and more. Very nice dive. Visibility fair.

    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 January 2022 00:00 · Print
    My Recent Dives October, November & December 2021
    9 October 2021 - The Leap
    First dive since 17 June as I went to Birdsville and due to Covid lockdown in Sydney, stayed 13.5 weeks in Queensland and South Australia. Glad to be back diving again. Tide was not particularly high but the current was perhaps the strongest I have had on this dive. Never needed to kick till near the end. Viz pretty good, 8-10 m. I saw 3 sea dragons and 2 big belly sea horses, but Ron saw 2 and 3 more respectively. He also saw a Bare Island anglerfish. He dropped a bit behind us so we did not see. Some PJs, lots of nudibranchs too. A very nice dive. Visibility fair.

    14 October 2021 - Henry Head
    Club boat dive. Forecast of strong NE winds and large NE swell. However, wind from N or NW and not so strong. Seas not too bad here. Anchored a bit shallow in 13 m. Blue water below about 10 m but cold 16.5C. Went S and then back past anchor area and back to anchor. Vishal low on air so dive a little shorter than planned. Saw 4 sea dragons, 3 sea spiders, a very small thin red pipefish. A few large black reef leatherjackets as well as normal fish. A really nice dive. Boat went perfectly. Visibility very good.

    15 October 2021 - Bare Island Right
    First dive at Bare Island since May. Very strong W winds when we went in but dropped a lot. Cool 17.7C, visibility 5 m or so. Went to just past first cave. Saw three PPH, one of which disappeared after I took first photo and we could not refind. Two upsidedown pipefish, one RIF, lots of nudibranchs and a very hidden Bare Island anglerfish. A really nice 95 minute dive. Visibility poor.

    16 October 2021 - M & K Reef
    Little wind and flat seas when we went out. Blue water and little current too. Anchored a bit to E of normal spot. Went to wall and then S. Around to the back caves. Came back past both main caves. Two blue devilfish, one in each cave. Kelly also found a pipefish and tiny yellow boxfish. Went to S end and then back to anchor as Andrew low on air. We stayed on the smaller deeper wall for another 7 mins. Very nice dive. After we ascended, the wind really picked up and when second group left bottom, the anchor dragged a few times under the W wind. Got it up okay though. Very rough trip back across Botany Bay to Sans Souci. Visibility good.

    19 October 2021 - Bare Island Isolated Reef 1
    Swell not as bad as Sunday when we decided not to dive, but still some water coming over the rock platform, not easy to get out. Quite surgy, even at 15 m. Made it hard to look for small stuff. Went down to SHR and then I went alone to start of IR1 to try to find a grey Bare Island anglerfish on a rock off the reef. However, could not find despite spending 10 mins in the area. Back normal way. Saw one PPH, one RIF, the orange BI anglerfish we saw last Friday. No pipefish. Still a nice dive. Visibility poor.

    20 October 2021 - Bare Island Right
    Last minute decision to dive when weather was much better than the forecast. As such, I forgot to take my computers! Anyway, Kim loaned me one. Swell down a lot from yesterday, less surge, sun out and slight SE wind. High tide so lots of water over platform still. Went down to near Cave. Found one PPH, the one that disappears while photographing it. Got some photos, may have been giving birth. One RIF, the orange BI anglerfish, no pipefish. Lots of interesting nudibranchs. Good dive. Visibility fair.

    22 October 2021 - Middle Ground
    Only suitable day this week for a boat dive. Wind was stronger and swell bigger than forecast, so this was best site to dive. Current from N, was stronger than 12-15 kt S! Not too bad going down, little current on bottom. Blue water, 15 m viz. Anchored first go on S side but ended up on sand so moved to N side. Went around reef. No wobbegongs, some silver seep and seapike, but not the numbers we normally see here. Still amazed everytime how many great gorgonias there are on this site. Nice dive. Wind dropped after dive. Visibility good.

    23 October 2021 - Barrens Hut/The Split
    Tomorrow's club dive day and BBQ cancelled due to high winds and seas. Today was calm and little wind. However, strong current from N. Anchored in normal spot, but was on a tiny lip and moved it to a large rock. Went up The Split to end and back outside to Cave and then back to anchor. Bastard trumpeters in normal spot with silver sweep and red morwong. No donut nembrothas. Lots of black reef leatherjackets. Lots of sand has been removed on reef edge. After dive had to rescue two divers from Abyss boat who had not made it to the anchor line or bottom and who drifted off. Found them 550 m south. Took them back to the boat one at a time. Nice dive. Visibility very good.

    26 October 2021 - Clifton Garden
    Large swell so most places out of the question. Took well over an hour to get here. Dirty 2-3 m viz, but warm at 19.2C. Went to net and then followed it to the hole and then outside. At first corner Carole found the tiniest White's sea horse, perhaps 3 mm long. Got two poor photos. Also saw a frogfish. Had ear problems, so had to keep going up and down. Finally cleared at 55 mins so went out to middle of the bay and followed the huge chain in all directions. Not much seen. Back to wharf, a White's sea horse, the only adult I saw. Earlier some different nudibranchs, a reasonable sized flathead, two very small rays. Not the greatest dive. Visibility very poor.

    28 October 2021 - Pizza Reef
    Really different conditions to Saturday. No wind, flat seas and only a very slight current from the south. Viz way down too, only 5-7 m. Anchored north of crack. Went around reef, heaps of yellowtail, seapike, silver sweep, one-spot pullers and old wives. One blue devilfish but no donut nembrothas. Quite a few bastard trumpeters to NE of cave. Nice dive. Visibility poor.

    29 October 2021 - Bare Island Deep Wall
    Flat seas, no wind, although it blew up very strong W as we got out. Four other members diving here separate to us. Viz 7-8 m deeper and 5 less than 14 m. Went off W point to Deep Wall, then back via RIF Reef and 15 Metre Reef. No sea horses, only PPH (Ugly as Kim calls him), one RIF, lots and lots of nudibranchs, some rarer ones too. NIce, relaxed dive. Visibility fair.

    2 November 2021 - Barrens Hut/The Split
    No wind or current. Slight swell but seemed to pick up in the 90 minutes we were diving. Anchored in normal spot, but boat hung to W. Had leak from neck, ended up totally soaked down to my socks! I think I had undergarment collar up in neck seal. Cold too! Was about 5-6 m here and up The Split, at least 3 dozen PJs. Outside, viz got worse and on way to look for donuts was only 1-2 m. Back along reef edge, got better to 2-3 m. To Cave and back. Some silver sweep at N end, bastard trumpters and red morwong in Cave and normal spot S of anchor. Back up. Not a great dive. Visibility very poor to shithouse.

    3 November 2021 - Inscription Point
    Much stronger NE winds than forecast but not too bad. Reasonably strong outgoing tide too. Viz a lot better than I thought it would be, 7-10 m. Did the normal dive but not as far as knew we would use a fair bit of air on return to exit. Saw two sea dragons, one big belly sea horse (others saw two more), three PPH, a large bullray. Plenty of nudibranchs. Visibility fair.

    4 November 2021 - Maccas Reef
    No wind, calm seas, very slight current from N. Anchored on wall. Cold clear water, much better than Tuesday's dive. Went N for 5 mins without Kevin, he later caught up with us, he was underweighted and had to get more lead from boat. Heaps of seapike and yellowtail up here. Back to anchor and S a bit. Then back and around anchor. Lots of purple ascidians but no donut nembrothas. No sea dragons either. Enjoyable dive. Started raining as we went to leave. Visibility good.

    6 November 2021 - Henry Head
    Supposed to do Bypass Reef as a club dive, but current was at least 1.5 kts from N. Also very sloppy, swell from NE instead of SE. Back to Henry Head. Very cold 15.7C. Went S to the corner, strong incoming tide current. I saw three sea dragons but others saw two more at least. A few red/yellow sea spiders too. Lots of nudibranchs, black reef leatherjackets and more. Very nice dive. Visibility good.

    7 November 2021 - Henry Head
    Trouble with starboard engine, problems starting and also later. Turned out to be bad isolator screw on battery. Similar to yesterday. No wind, smaller seas and less surge but similar current. Very cold again, 15.6C. Anchored a little N from yesterday. Went S, saw 7 sea dragons, three with eggs or remains. Lots of sea spiders, red and yellow and yellow and grey. Plenty of ladder-finned pomfrets at N end. A really nice dive. Visibility good.

    9 November 2021 - Bare Island Right
    Could not get a crew for a boat dive, lucky, as wind much stronger S than forecast. Went in at Carol's plaque. Water much warmer at 18.1C. Down to almost SHC. The ugly PPH was home, then a tiny orange painted anglerfish before SHR. Also a PPH here too. Then further on some interesting nudibranchs, including a pink okenia and an opera house out in open. The Bare Island anglerfish was not on rock near Cave. However, I found a tiny yellow painted anglerfish to W of this rock. It had red circles on back and grey spots. So cute. Another much larger BIA was on top of rock near SHC. This turned out to be one I saw on 23 Sept 2020 in front of Cave, but now is more orange than yellow. Another PPH, and one more BIA back on same rock as the first painted anglerfish. A great dive. Visibility fair.   

    13 November 2021 - Bare Island Right
    Very strong W wind, hit 37 knots at Kurnell. Glad we were not out boat diving as forecast was only 12 kts. Six club members. Went in past plaque and also exited there as ramp was too rough. Water much dirtier than Tuesday, only 5 m at most. Lots of divers in the water, including a whole bunch inexpicably with twin 12 litre tanks! Also a very selfish photographer spending over 5 mins taking photos of the tiny yellow painted anglerfish. Anyway, we all got separated at first BIA and I spent the rest of the dive with Paul. Went down to find the yellow Bare Island anglerfish (YPA) and then to SHC. Could not find the other BIA we saw on Tuesday. Back to YPA. Found three PPH, including Ugly which had moved to next bunch of weed. Also a large wobbegong, two sole, lots of nudibranchs including some red-lined flabellina and a wandering pink okena. A nice dive despite the divers. Visibility poor.

    14 November 2021 - The Monuments
    Windy again, not as bad as yesterday. Flat seas and easy entry/exit. Went E at first and then W and back to exit. Viz ranged from 4-5 down to 2-3 metres. Very little current, outgoing tide. Two sea dragons, a lot of nudibranchs. No PPH or sea horses. An average dive. Visibility very poor.

    17 November 2021 - Inscription Point
    Had to cancel boat dive due to illness of one crew and unable to get a replacement. Lucky as wind was up to 18 kts S rather than the 7-8 kts forecast. Blue water but a lot of whale snot. Saw three big belly sea horses and two sea dragons. No PPH or BIA. Lots of nudibranchs. Nice relaxing dive. Visibility fair.

    18 November 2021 - SS Tuggerah
    Two boats and 8 divers. Little wind and no current but a bit of slop from many directions. Anchored first go about half way to bow on E side. Lots of bailer shells, especially near anchor. Went to stern after securing anchor. Large wobbegong shark under prop and two moray eels in steering gear. Then to anchor. Maxine went up and I went to bow where Peter T showed me a large crayfish. Back to anchor which had just come free. Had to drag it back to near where I had it and reset. Did almost 22 mins on bottom, 2 more than I planned. Easy deco. Great to dive the Tuggerah again, first time this year. Visibility fair.

    20 November 2021 - Shiprock
    Club shore dive. Original forecast bad so did not take my boat out. Went in a few minutes late and slight incoming tide. However, at 25 mins it turned dramatically, no slack, and ran out very strongly. Hard to swim against. Don't think I ever had it do this. Water warm 18.3C and viz about 7 m. Went normal route, the middle buoy has been moved too close to a large bommie and the chain has destroyed 75% of the growth on it. Fisheries really are idiots, a marine reserve and they are killing so much of it. Only got to just past the last buoy before the tide changed. Very quick trip back. A few moray eels, octopus. a large bullray, many numbrays, only one nudibranch, no pineapplefish. A disappointing dive once again, I really do not know why I dive here now. Visibility fair.

    30 November 2021 - Bare Island Right
    First dive for 10 days as weather has been rubbish. John up from Melbourne, so decided to organise a dive here. Not much swell but a little surge. Nine members all up. Went in at Carol's Plaque. Water dirty after the rain and big seas, but got better at SHC. I did not see any anglerfish, but second group did. Three RIF, an upsidedown pipefish, a bright red PPH, many different nudibranchs. Ron saw some fine-lined tamjas. A large flathead, many friendly blue gropers, lots more. Nice dive. Visibility very poor.

    1 December 2021 - The Split
    Sloppy seas but better after, no wind, reasonable current from N, blue water, 18.1C. John didn't make it to deco line first go. I set anchor and then went looking for him and up. He was back on boat, Ron added extra line to mermaid. Second go all okay. Went up Split to look for donut nembrothas, found one. Back to anchor on outside. Lots of one-spot pullers and a few bastard trumpeters near anchor. Nice dive. Visibility good.

    2 December 2021 - Bare Island 15 Metre Reef
    Went in off W point, others went in at Carol's Plaque. Very dirty top 4 m here and above 7 metres near exit. Much warmer there too. We went to sand edge, then to 15 Metre Reef and back. Slight outgoing current. Saw the others near first cave. Lots of nudibranchs, one PPH, two firefish, no RIF, could not find the anglerfish others saw on Tuesday. Lots of other things too. Very nice dive. Visibility good.
      
    3 December 2021 - Bushrangers Bay, Shellharbour
    Impromptu dive organised to dive with GNS and have lunch afterwards. Millpond seas and no wind but wind picked up to over 30 kts while we were underwater, no effect here. Went slowly out of bay, saw first grey nurse shark as soon as underwater. Saw most at about 12 m or so. I think there were about 6. All small apart from one medium. Some came quite close and got good photos. Went out to sand but none there, only a large bullray. Back slowly, saw more GNS (same ones) and then back to shore. Really nice dive. Visibility good.

    7 December 2021 - Inscription Point
    Only really nice day for weeks, sunny in afternoon but rained a bit as we geared up. Going bad again from tonight. A bit of wave action and also very high tide meant waves right over all the rock platform. Back using wetsuit as sick of getting a bit wet through inflator, 19.2C, so all good. Went in just before high tide, over 1.9m, but little current. Went down to Little Big Rock, then Kev and I came back. Saw two PPH, no sea dragons, one Bare Island anglerfish, lots of interesting nudibranchs. Two big belly sea horses, others saw one more and some extra PPH. Great dive. Visibility very good.

    10 December 2021 - Bare Island Right
    100th dive for the year, not bad considering I did not dive for 4 months as away in outback. Conditions better than expected, although storm hit after we left site. Slight seas, viz 4-5 m and perhaps a bit more near First Cave, 20.0C and some surge. OSTC rebooted on bottom so this is from Perdix. Lots of nudibranchs, one PPH, one RIF, one painted anglerfish (the small red one from 4 weeks ago). Very nice dive. Visibility poor.

    15 December 2021 - Middle Ground
    Club dive. Best seas for ages after third weekend in a row with strong winds and big seas. Flat but a little rolling swell, tiny bit of surge on bottom at times. Viz 10-12 m, 19.5C and slight current from N. Anchored on NE corner. Went around as normal. Lots of yellowtail and a few very large seapike. Two wobbegongs, one huge. Very nice dive, first time here for almost two months. Visibility good.

    16 December 2021 - Bare Island Right
    SE wind and small swell, but flat as entry and exit. Viz apparently better than yesterday and much better than Kurnell, 20.5C. Went down to before First Cave. The orange painted anglerfish has moved to rock before the large one it has been on. Lots and lots of nudibranchs, heaps of less common species too. A few very small flatworms and two red PPH near each other, including the bright red one that Donna found on 30 November. One RIF, quite a few ladder-finned pomfret at turn-around. A really good dive. Visibility poor.

    17 December 2021 - Bare Island Right
    Swell up a bit from yesterday and higher tide meant more water over rock platform. Overcast again, little wind, viz less than yesterday, maybe 3-4 m. Warmer at 21.4C. Did similar dive to yesterday, 101 mins. Over 20 species of nudibranch, so at least 25 species seen yesterday and today. The orange painted anglerfish moved further NE along the rock it was on yesterday. Carole found a Bare Island anglerfish, small, to W of SHR. The two red PPH in same spot. A small wobbegong, an upsidedown pipefish under SHR, a small cuttlefish and some octopus. Another really nice dive. Visibility poor.

    18 December 2021 - Henry Head
    Wind from NE was up earlier than forecast and outside was very lumpy. Came back to here. Still a little bumpy, some swell and surge on bottom at 20+ m. Viz about 10 m, although some spots worse. No current, even after tide turned only very, very slight at surface. Colder than nearby Bare Island, only 19.2C. Went to S end and back past anchor and back to anchor. Only two sea dragons, both with eggs, and no sea spiders. Quite a few yellowtail and some seapike and small trevally. A large bunch of old wives too. A really nice dive. Visibility fair. 

    22 December 2021 - Bare Island 15 Metre Reef
    Went in at Carol's Plaque and then went via the Bypass Cutting to West Wall. 18.4C on bottom but 21.3C shallow. Here Kim found a very small Bare Island anglerfish in the fork of a white sponge. Then zig-zagged to 15 Metre Reef. Mandy found a PPH just before and I found another one on same rock. Then along reef to end. At SHC, I found a pregnant male white PPH. Should be two here apparently. Then back via First Cave, then Outer Rocks (one red PPH only) and the small BI anglerfish from last Friday. Here I had to head to shore as low on air by now. The small orange anglerfish is still on same rock and Kim showed me the ugly PPH, same spot as normal but I could not find last 4 or 5 dives. Also a large flathead, some octopus, lots of nudibranchs. A great dive. Visibility fair.

    23 December 2021 - The Monuments 
    Supposed to be strong SE winds but last night changed to nothing. Dived here anyway. Went in next to Humpback Whale and headed NE. Warm above 10 m (21.7C) but colder 18.0C on bottom. Saw 2 sea dragons when we hit sand. One had eggs. Then went E into reasonable current. for 12 mins. Back and once past sea dragons current dropped off a lot. Some nudibranchs, one big belly sea horse, a tiny yellow boxfish and a larger one. Two horned sharks, one smaller. A large cuttlefish, all the normal fish here. Once past the first turn, visibility dropped from 15+ m to 7 m. At the end of the Long Wall, I went too far SW as computer compass was a bit out I think. Long swim back to the beach. Surfaced near the large marker on the way. Visibility good.

    24 December 2021 - Bare Island 15 Metre Reef
    Similar dive to Wednesday. Much warmer though, 20.3C min. Similar viz. Could not find the sponge with small BI anglerfish. Also could not find the yellow BI anglerfish. Seems to be the day to move, three PPH also moved from their spots. Went back same way, no PPH near SHC, but two Ugly PPH, no idea there were two there and have not even been able to find one for weeks. A large cuttlefish on West Wall, one RIF, lots of nudibranchs, including two fine-lined tambjas. A nice dive. Visibility fair.

    29 December 2021 - Bare Island Right
    Big seas last few days, dropped heaps. Viz only 3-4 m, little surge. Went in at Carols Plaque and then slowly down to before First Cave. The orange painted anglerfish on top of rock now. I found a small PPH next to SHR, then refound the small BI anglerfish we could not find last dive. Lots of nudibranchs as normal, out to the outer rocks and refound the bright red PPH that has been missing the past few dives. Also found the other red one here. No ugly PPHs. Some large flathead, lots of seapike near Sea Tulip Rocks (STR). Despite being very gloomy and poor viz, an excellent dive. Vicki also found a grey BIA on her dive before us. Visibility very poor.

    30 December 2021 - Shark Point
    Got too many divers for tomorrow's dive so decided to go out today. W winds so great run up to Clovelly. No current, little wind, viz 20 m. Could see the boat from 23 m. Went E a bit deeper and then N and back to anchor and S a little. Two wobbegongs, some cuttlefish, a few other fish. A nice dive, though no sea dragons. Other group saw a PPH! First place they were ever seen by Akos! A great dive. Visibility very good,

    31 December 2021 - Truck Tyre Reef
    A new site. Slight current and little N wind when we started. Decided to look around where Wayne was anchored yesterday, but a but further out and NE. Reef 18 m deep till it drops to 23 m. Further out 25 m. Not as good viz as yesterday,. Anchored near a large tunnel. Went deeper and north then back to anchor. Great colourful walls and lots of tyres, mostly from trucks. Probably came from the council dump at Pistol Crack. A moray eel in a tyre, a fiddler-ray, some cuttlefish, a few nudibranchs. A really nice dive, fixed marine life the best thing. Lots of sponges, sea squirts etc. 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 October 2021 00:00 · Print
    Copyright © Michael McFadyen 1990 to 2022
    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 over 25 years by Michael McFadyen
    without any help from the Australian Dive Industry since 1996!