Michael McFadyen's Scuba Diving Web Site
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St George Scuba Club
Some of my Best Photos
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Kelly Talking on ABC Sydney about Shipwrecks
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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
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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

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How Weather Affects Diving in Sydney
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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
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  • My Yachting Adventures.
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    Michael's 4WD Trips
    Click here for a list of my Four Wheel Drive and Camping Trips.
    Current Kareela Weather
    A summary of the current weather conditions at my 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
    "The Colours is a spectacular dive site"
    My Recent Dives - April, May and June 2020
    3 April 2020 - Clifton Gardens
    First dive after returning early from Philippines due to COVID-19 and 14 day quarantine. Good to get outside. Due to new isolation rules, only two people are allowed to be together and only for limited reasons. Diving qualitifes under exercise exemption. Went in from W end of beach to net, then along till huge hole and then crossed to the outside. Many huge holes in the net! Saw Whites sea horses right from start, over a dozen and I was not even looking for them. Some nudibranchs, a few butterflyfish, some moray eels, two mating octopus, another large one and two blue-ringed otopus. All the usual fan-bellied and pygmy leatherjackets, lots of bream and other leatherjackets. Went to end of the whark, lingered a long time here. A pineapplefish there too. At the end came back into pool via another huge hole, saw a seamoth, tiny. Very nice dive. Visibility poor.

    5 April 2020 - Inscription Point
    NW winds, millpond sea. Outgoing tide but not too strong. Went very slowly, so got cold despite it being 18.1°C. A Bare Island anglerfish, a black anglerfish, two sea dragons, a few nudibranchs and some deformed firebrick starfish. Lots of smoothered reef due to the weed, but most appears to have died off. Saw Rox and Jason underwater. Nice relaxing dive. Visibility fair.

    7 April 2020 - Inscription Point
    Again dived here due to limited places we can dive. Went a bit fast at the start and a bit further. Found both the Bare Island and black anglerfish again. No sea dragons though. Plenty of nudibranchs, including lots of pink okenia and a species that I am not sure I have seen before. Back slowly into the current which was a bit stronger than Sunday. Swell a bit more but okay. Nice dive again. Visibility fair.

    9 April 2020 - Shiprock
    Ended up 7 SGSC members diving here all separately. Quite a high tide so strongish current. Very clean, at least 10 metres I reckon. Quite wamr at over 20C. Went left at start to deeper section and stayed there for quite a while. Found some small starfish living on bottom of a bigger starfish, never seen this before. Back to bommies, a larger boxfish then a small yellow one. Both very cute. Moray eel on top of last bommie, over to plaque and then back along wall. Others saw five pineapplefish but we did not go that far to see. Also saw a frogfish at start, lots of pygmy and fan-bellied leatherjackets, a huge school of striped catfish, biggest I have seen. Only one nudibranch on whole dive! Convict gobies in normal spot. Nice dive, although more life would have been great. All beaches in Shire closed over Easter, so this may be closed too from tonight. Visibility good.

    15 April 2020 - Inscription Point
    Bid swells last few days and over Easter most places, including here, closed due to COVID-19. Conditions better than expected, viz at least five metres. Just after low tide, so viz got better. Found two Bare Island anglerfish and the black anglerfish. No sea dragons, quite a few different species of nudibranchs. Nice, easy dive. VIisbility poor to fair.

    17 April 2020 - Bare Island 15 Metre Reef
    A bit of SE swell and also very strong SW wind. Just before low tide, no current at all. Went in just past Carol's plaque. Went up gully and then over reef top, lost Ron, Donna and Jason here. Found them again at 45 mins at Sea Horse Corner! Went to sand and then 15 Metre Reef. Back normal way. Saw plenty of octopus, four pipefish, one pygmy pipehorse (PPH), two red Indianfish (RIF), a small wobbegong shark, some squid, plenty of nudibranchs, including pink okenia and one-red-lined flabellina. A very nice, long (83 mins) dive. Visibility poor.

    18 April 2020 - Bare Island 15 Metre Reef
    A bit of SE swell and also very strong SW wind. Just before low tide, no current at all. Went in just past Carol's plaque. Went up gully and then over reef top, lost Ron, Donna and Jason here. Found them again at 45 mins at Sea Horse Corner! Went to sand and then 15 Metre Reef. Back normal way. Saw plenty of octopus, four pipefish, one pygmy pipehorse (PPH), two red Indianfish (RIF), a small wobbegong shark, some squid, plenty of nudibranchs, including pink okenia and one-red-lined flabellina. A very nice, long (83 mins) dive. Visibility poor.

    20 April 2020 - Bare Island Isolated Reefs
    Went in from plaque again. Seas down a bit but still a little too much for W point. Three hours after high tide but far worse visibility than last dives here. Only 3-4 m at most. Went down and found the tony yellow painted anglerfish that Jason found on Saturday. Kim reckons it is not the same one she has been seeing about 40 m away. Lost Ron and Donna near cave. Went around both reefs, zig-zagging on N side. Very dark and gloomy here. Saw some nice nudis, including a white/yellow/black one. A tiny yellow boxfish as well. On main reef and at end of IR2 lots of small yellowtail. On S side not much tidal current. I lost Kim and Jason near main reef, waited a bit but did not see them (they went further along to Sea Horse Corner). I had to hightail it back to shore as ended dive with very little air. Visibility very poor.

    22 April 2020 - Bare Island Deep Wall
    Eight in total diving from club, but in pairs. Went in from W point and to Deep Wall. Then around rocks and back normal way. Better viz than Monday, a very slight outward current as just after high. Some nice nudibranchs, a few octopus, a RIF on RIF Reef. A rarer nudi right near it. Some red-lined flabellina, a pipefish and apparently some PPH on 15 Metre Reef. At Sea Horse Corner, Paul only had 50 bar left so we had to high-tail it back to shore. Stopped for a minute to show him the tiny yellow painted anglerfish which had only moved a few cm. Very good dive, but would have been better without rushing back. Visibility poor. 

    24 April 2020 - The Monuments
    Another brilliant day, just after high tide as we entered water. New whale sculpture near entrance! Went E for a bit and then W and then back to starting point. What a dive! Possibly the best I have had here. Viz was 15 m at least and warm, almost 20C. So many species of nudibranch and flatworm. Blue-ringed octopus, three wobbegong sharks, heaps of pygmy leatherjackets, some saw PPH but not me, a very ugly Bare Island anglerfish (another one I did not see), a sea dragon, a large cowire, orange mantle, many bubble shells and much, much more. Brilliant! Visibility very good.

    25 April 2020 - The Monuments
    Eight divers. Incoming tide, blue water but got dirtier as we turned at W end of dive. Entered water about 75 metres E of normal spot. Then NE to sand and back W. At least 15 m viz and 20C water. So many species of nudibranch and flatworm. Plenty of pink okenias and all the normal species. A fine-lined nembrotha eating an ascidian and another one nearby. One PPH, three anglerfish, a tiny pink one that Kim found at W end on rock near sand. Also a black painted angler and one Bare Island anglerfish. Four sea dragons. Some saw a eagle ray. Lots more. Brilliant! Visibility very good.

    26 April 2020 - The Monuments
    NIne divers. Incoming tide, blue water and lots of yellowtail. Entered water about 75 metres E of normal spot. Then NE to sand and back W. At least 15 m viz and 20C water. Again so many species of nudibranch and flatworm. Plenty of pink okenias and all the normal species. A fine-lined nembrotha eating an ascidian like yesterday. Two PPH, one a tiny red one near the wall where we turned around. The large cowire, orange mantle, was still there too. Four anglerfish, the tiny pink one from yesterday as well as an orange/yellow small one and two Bare Island anglerfish. A Port Jackson shark, a yellow boxfish, a clingfish with eggs, two sea dragons and lots more. Brilliant! Visibility very good.

    27 April 2020 - The Leap
    Decided to dive here as viz so good past few days, but not as good. Still okay. A bit of swell with S change, but okay. Very warm on top (22C) but only 20.1C on bottom. Not a big tide, 1.3m, so very little current. Lots of yellowtail all through the dive. Saw one sea dragon, one PPH, one black painted anglerfish, a yellow boxfish, quite a lot of nudibranchs, including dozens of pink okenia and one orange flabellina type species. Still a nice dive. Visibility good.

    28 April 2020 - Bare Island Deep Wall
    Did not dive yesterday to have a day off. Millpond seas so went off W point and SW to wall. No current at all. Lots of yellowtail down on wall and also shallow, with ladder-finned pomfrets shallow too. RIF on RIF Reef like last Wednesday. A few firefish, an ornate ghost pipefish SW of 15 Metre Reef, juvenile. Plenty of red-lined flabellina, especially on this reef. Also pink okenia everywhere and a few other rarer species. No PPH but others saw some before 15 MR when I was deeper. Two pipefish at NW end of the reef. Took 60 mins to get to Sea Horse Corner, a record slow trip, got down to NDL of 8 mins. The tiny yellow anglerfish was not where it was last week. An excellent dive. Visibility fair.

    1 May 2020 - Bare Island 15 Metre Wall
    Too strong W wind to go off W point, so went past Carol's Plaque (her birthday today). Then cut up gully and around back of main reef to sand near 15 Metre Reef. Not as clean as yesterday and also over one degree colder. Looked for the ornate ghost pipefish we saw Wednesday. Found it, still on same sponge. Jason also found a small yellow White's sea horse, all spiky. Kim found a clingfish with eggs on a blue throated ascidian. Back normal way, three RIF, a white PPH, lots of nudibranchs including pink okenias, red-lined flabellinas and more. Could not find the tiny yellow anglerfish nor the one Lynne and Tordis found yesterday. Despite the cold air after, it was a great dive. Visibility fair.

    5 May 2020 - The Monuments
    Very strong winds last few days and big swell since Saturday. Went in at normal spot and into outgoing tide and exited at W end. Surgy even at 13 m, but not too bad. Viz only 3-5 m. No anglerfish but lots of nudibranchs, especially purple dragons and pink okenias. One purple nembrotha. Also a large green turtle next to the first shear wall. Three sea dragons, a nice gobie in a hole. Not a bad dive considering. Visibility poor.

    8 May 2020 - Bare Island 15 Metre Reef
    Went in off W point just after high tide. Headed down to 15 Metre Reef, viz about 7 m. Water still a warm 19.3C. Looked for thorny sea horse and orante ghost pipefish but could not find them despite looking in the right spot. Went to reef then back normal way. Four lined pipefish, three PPH, another fatter pipefish. Lots of red-lined flabellinas. On way back, three more PPH, lots of nudibranchs, a larger spotted yellow boxfish, silver sweep and yellowtail. A huge flathead near exit. Really good dive. Visibility fair.

    9 May 2020 - Bare Island 15 Metre Reef
    Went in off W point, just before high tide. Went W again. Viz still about 7 metres. Donna found a tiny orange painted anlgerfish in the fork of an orange sponge. A nice yellow spotted boxfish, six PPH, could not find the sea horse or ornate ghost pipefish or the pipefish from yesterday. Three RIF down near RIF Reef, a huge wobbegong shark near SH Corner, a few octopus, lots of red-lined flabellinas and a few other rarer species which I do not know names of. A really good dive again. Visibility fair.

    12 May 2020 - SS Tuggerah
    First time out on boat for about 10 weeks due to COVID-19 restrictions. Two on boat and Phil took his too. Anchored at bow, no current and W wind dropped from 12 knots to about 7 while we were in the water. More than a hundred kingfish as I hit bottom. Went to stern, two large wobbegong sharks in front of boiler. Fixed Phil's anchor as I went past. Around prop and back. Some moray eels, lots of yellowtail, seapike, ladder-finned pomfrets and nannygais. Really good dive. Visibility good. 

    13 May 2020 - Bare Island 15 Metre Reef
    Went in off W point, just after low tide. Headed W and then back via RIF Reef and 15 Metre Reef. Did not find the tiny anglerfish from last week but did find the thorny sea horse. It has moved about 20 metres to S. It is S from the small concrete block about 30 seconds swim. In an orange flatish sponge. Two RIF near large concrete block, a tiny sea moth and a spiny gurnard too. Back to 15 M Reef, some small pipefish and the larger brown one from last week. Also three PPH. Then to SH Corner and back. Another RIF, and near the PPH from Saturday we could not find the tiny yellow anglerfish that Ron found yesterday. Back normal way. Very good dive again. Visibility good at first but then only fair.

    15 May 2020 - The Monuments
    A bit too much wave action and low tide to get in at normal spot so started to E but still had a hard swim out to deeper water. Incoming tide. Surgy for first 40 mins, viz about 10 m till 26 mins then 5-7 m. No anglers seen at all, spent a good deal of time looking for pinky. Two sea dragons, a huge cuttlefish, one frogfish, one yellow spotted boxfish, lots of pink okenias and two opera house nudis. Came all the way back in. A nice easy 72 min dive. Visibility fair.

    17 May 2020 - Pizza Reef
    First boat reef dive in over 10 weeks! A bit bumpier than expected considering no wind yesterday or last night. However, was still okay. Les's first dive in that time so went to Pizza as so easy. Blue warm water, could clearly see MakCat from anchor at 26 metres. Anchored on W side S of cave. Went S and then up the gully to N and back past cave. About 10 smaller kingfish at S end, but at the N end, wow! A school of 20 good sized bream, thousands of smal seapike, a few dozen bastard trumpeters, yellowtail, silver sweep and near cave, old wives. One donut nembrotha out from cave. Ron and Donna saw a blue devilfish at the N end of gully. A brilliant dive. Visibility excellent.

    19 May 2020 - SS Tuggerah
    No wind and very flat seas meant quick run down to the wreck. Very little current from N, anchored on W side towards bow. Phil and his crew dived first, then we did. Bluish water but a bit milky. Could see boat from over 20 m. Lots of nannygai and big-eyes, a few large wobbegongs. Went to prop and then back to bow. Did 21 mins on bottom, the last couple dragging the anchor to the prop area so that it could drift down current. Used a bit of air doing that. Another great dive. Visibility good.

    20 May 2020 - The Split
    Club boat dive. Not as good seas as yesterday, a bit of a sea from NE. Wind dropped off from NW and water conditions were similar to yesterday, milky blue, could see boat from about 20 m. Anchored S end of Split on reef and had to move anchor as it was just laying there. Then went N up Split. There was a medium cuttlefish there that was very friendly, both Les and I went right up to it. Then a Moorish idol and probably another one outside reef (May have been same one). To end and then back on sand. Lots of mado all over the place. No donuts at all. Plenty of combfish and bastard trumpeters near anchor. A really good dive. Visibility good.

    23 May 2020 - Shiprock
    Huge seas since Thursday night, a lot of rain too. Viz only 2 metres at the most. First dive with my new Seaskin drysuit. Same weight as old drysuit, went well, no water at all thru neck or wrist seals. Valve worked good too. Went to N first and then S. Followed wall as too hard to navigate to bommies. Saw five pineapplefish, one small one bny itself near pyramid rock, the others in normal spot. Lots of bream and small yellowtail. A terrible dive. Visibility very poor. 

    29 May 2020 - The Monuments
    Raining, very heavy at times. Went in from E of normal spot and drifted all the way in. Viz 10 m at first but then 5-7 m. Drysuit again went okay, but a little light in shallows at end. Saw a sea dragon, one small orange painted anglerfish, but some saw another one and a Bare Island anglerfish. Lots of nudibranchs, including some sulphur noumea. Group after us saw a small turtle. Nice relaxing 90 min dive. Visibility fair.

    31 May 2020 - M & K Reef
    A bit sloppier outside than I expected, NE wind must have blown last night. No current at all. Water a blue milky 7 m viz, great considering last weekend's seas and visibility. Anchored just off wall. Went N, Kelly found a PPH and on way back I found its partner. She later found a tiny one. Lots of yellowtail, seapike and one-spot pullers. Not so many nudibranchs. Need a bit more weight for boat dive to stay at 5 m for safety stop. Nice dive. Visibility fair.

    1 June 2020 - Barrens Hut
    Much better seas today than yesterday when we went out, but while under the wind came up and it got much rougher. Anchored in normal spot, water same milky blue as yesterday. Les's weight belt came off as he descended and he carried it to the bottom. Paul and I put it back on him, hard as not much space under BCD. Went to Tunnel and thru and then past Cave to small crack where lots of bastard trumpeters, one-spot pullers and some red morwong. Also saw a blue morwong in cave. Back to anchor and up. After dive saw lots of whales, two came past pretty close and one was doing spiral jumps. Fantastic site. 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 April 2020 00:00 · Print
    My Recent Dives - January, February and March 2020
    3 January 2020 - SS Tuggerah
    No wind and flat seas, ran down at 20 knots or so. Anchored first go, well not really as when I got to bottom it was just laying on the sand next to wreck towards front on western side. No current either. However, very overcast with smoke and cloud and a dirty layer from 20 to 35 metres meant it was like night on the bottom. Aaron took 5 mins to get to bottom and then was not keen to leave anchor (it took me ages to work out which way was the boiler). I went to boiler and prop and back. Then up. Got a bit better towards end as the sun came out from the cloud. Strange dive. Visibility fair.

    4 January 2020 - Pizza Reef
    Club boat dive, 3 boats and 14 divers. Little wind and no current, but a bit of NE swell and sea. Anchored on NE corner, actually on rocks off it. Moved to main reef. Clear to 10 m and then filthy. Viz on bottom less than 5 metres. Went across N side to cave and back. Found a blue devilfish near cave, same one we have seen a few times lately. Only one bastard trumpeter, no donuts. Lots of ladder-finned pomfrets and silver sweep at cave. Kelly found a tiny pipefish in front of cave. Back at anchor we went S to SE corner and back. Probably worse visibility since 2018 or earlier. Visibility very poor.

    8 January 2020 - The Monuments
    No boat dive as wind forecast very strong S. A little swell here and surgy most of the dive. Water much cleaner and warmer than the weekend, over 20C. Tide going down from high so got a bit dirtier towards the end. Went to 14.4m before turning around. Lots of normal nudibranchs, nothing special. Ron found a sea horse and a Bare Island anglerfish. A huge bullray back towards exit. Also a wobbegong near exit and half a dozen squid. Visibility good.

    11 January 2020 - Shiprock
    Blew 60 knots last night so did not plan to take boat out today. Ten members diving, only us here. Went in right at Fort Denison high tide, very slight current, almost non-existent whole dive really. Strange! Saw four moray eels, four pineapplefish, two small cuttlefish doing mating dance, a wobbegong shark, lots of kingfish through most of the dive, plenty of bream and small snapper shallow. Very nice easy 76 min dive with 21C water. Visibility fair.

    15 January 2020 - Middle Ground North
    Club boat dive. Smooth sea and no wind, but a little swell, long period, so a little bit of surge on bottom. Dirty on top but cleaner on bottom, perhaps 7 metres or so, could see reef from 10 m above. Reasonable 18.1C on bottom. Went SE first, lots of pieces of fine sea algae floating just off bottom. Some wandering anemones on sea whips at end, possibly tiger anemones. Back to anchor and then NW. Saw a pineapplefish just past here. Thousands of yellowtail and seapike here. Some nice nudibranchs and leatherjackets as well. Back to anchor and then up. Two mins of deco. After dive went to see seal which was sunbaking over Middle Ground. Nice dive. Visibility fair.

    19 January 2020 - The Leap Deep
    Had to cancel yesterday's club boat dive due to extremely strong S winds. Today no wind but large SE swell and very sloppy. Tried Whale Watching and Henry Head, too much wave action at HH, so came over here. Anchored off The Leap entry spot and then went E on bottom. Very warm, 21.0C! Two sea dragons, two small cuttlefish, a large cuttlefish, lots of madao and old wives, some black reef leatherjackets and plenty of nudibranchs. A really nice dive. Visibility good.

    21 January 2020 - Bare Island Right
    First totally sunny day for months, blue sky, no smoke. Went in past plaque and went down to just past the cave. Very warm, 22C shallow and 21 deeper. However, quite dirty, 3-4 m viz. Saw one RIF, one PPH, lots of nudbranchs, including doto, red-lined flabellina and the species we saw at Henry Head a month ago on the crimson flat sponge. A small moray eel, a large octopus, nice easy dive. Visibility poor.

    22 January 2020 - JD Reef North
    First time diving here since late November 2017. Artificial reef which was put down in October 2017. Consists of a star-shaped pattern, with four structures in the N, S and middle sections and three in the E and W ones. They are about 40 metres apart. We anchored near S section. I ran a rope to the middle section. Huge amount of growth now, lots of mado and similar fish on them, plenty of yellowtail on surfacing near them. Quite a few crabs and one crayfish. I did not have a good look as I was running the ropes. Need to go back again. Good dive. Visibility good.

    25 January 2020 - Barrens Hut
    Club boat dive to Tuggerah wreck, 3 boats, but two other clubs boats out as well. Very sloppy seas despite little wind all night. Anchored on wreck but very strong current. Decided not to dive, managed to get anchor out. Anchored behind Cave at Barrens. Still a strong current here, even on bottom there was some. Very warm 22C. Went N in false split, lots of bastard trumpeters and a couple of six-spined leatherjackets. Then back on outside to S of Tunnel. Did not go thru ass Phil did not have torch. Then to Tunnel and back to anchor. Had to move our anchor at start and end. Also moved Craig's into a hole as it was bouncing around. Nice dive, but a long day! Visibility very good.

    1 February 2020 - Henry Head
    Once again windy, strong NE which got even stronger. Also NE swell. Very dirty and 20C top 7 m but then clean and cold, 16.4C. No current as about low tide. Went S, saw six sea dragons, two of which were larger juveniles. One RIF, half a dozen reasonable sized squid. Back to anchor then saw two more sea dragons. Lots of nudibranchs. Excellent dive. John lost his fin at start but later Abyss found, gave to Wayne H, so he will get back tomorrow. I went down for a search at end as I did not even realise he lost it (he got back as someone found it). Visibility good.

    2 February 2020 - Bare Island 15 Metre Reef 
    Club shore dive, Carol Martin's Memorial. Only had 165 bar in a 9 litre tank! Went in thru pool then S and SW to sand edge. Very dirty but warm 22C on top, below 7 metres cold 16.7C but over 10 m viz. Then to 15 Metre Reef and back from there. A tiny moray eel, lots of red-lined flabellinas, one RIF, some pink okenias, two dwarf firefish, some squid, usual friendly blue groper, a nice flathead, plenty of other nudibranchs, mado and more. Really nice dive followed by great lunch. Visibility good. 

    5 February 2020 - JD Reef North
    Club boat dive. Decided to dive the artificial reef again to connect up two more groups of structures. Tried to anchor on centre ones but ended up on eastern ones. Water very warm 22C on top and 20C on bottom, but very dirty. Could not see from one structure to another, just a faint shadow. Went round these and found there are three like the map says. Then ran a reel across towards W and found the centre ones with the line I put down two weeks ago. Ran then end of this back towards the E-most one of this group then connected new ropes up and ran back to the E group. Then went back and collected the reel. Took all the dive. Now we have 13 structures connected, so next dive will be purely for looking. Lots of crabs like last time. Visibility very poor. 

    26 February 2020 - The Split
    Club boat dive, 2 boats and 8 divers. First dive for three weeks due to record rainfalls, huge seas and then very dirty water. Today, flat seas, no wind, almost blue water, even in Port Hacking. Anchored S of Split. Went N, and then outside. Saw a few small kingfish, lots of silver sweep and one-spot pullers all over the place. Two donut nembrothas on first rock to S of end of Split. Back near anchor, found a tiny 2 mm nudi on purple ascidian, dark colour with orange or red dots and skirt. Perhaps a newborn donut nembrotha. A really great dive, considering we were not expecting much. Visibility very good.

    29 February 2020 - Minmi Trench
    Club dive, four boats and 16 divers. Little wind and no current despite incoming tide. Dirty top to bottom, but at times was cleaner. Was 5 to 7 m on bottom at first then less than 5 m. Strange. Anchored on top, a bit too far from wall than I would have liked, dragged anchor about 10 m closer, but easy to find way to wall and back. Went NW along sand to cave, then back a bit and into trench. Almost had a head-on with a very large wobbegong shark here. Back to SE end of trench and back to anchor. Lots of one-spot pullers and silver sweep. Only a reasonable dive, but better than nothing. Visibility poor.

    1 March 2020 - SS Undola
    Flat seas and little wind which came up a bit around 9 am. Tried to dive SS Tuggerah but a boat was fishing right over the boiler. Went down to Undola as did Peter Fields. Anchored second go on bow. Very dirty top to bottom, cold 16.8C on bottom, 21 on top. Went to stern where I saw Peter's divers. Back to bow and up. Two of my divers had gear problems so one did not dive at all and the other went straight back up. Hardly worth the effort really. Not too bad a run back in 10-16 kt NNW. Visibility poor.

    6 March 2020 - Middle Ground
    Belated club dive this week due to work. Big swell from ENE so had to dive deeper. Slight surge on reef top but none over sand. It was only 17.5C on top and a cold 15.2C on bottom. Viz was over 10 m. Somehow computer was on air when I had 32%. Used other OSTC as guiding computer. Went around reef, lots of silver sweep, seapike, one-spot pullers on N side especially. A bit dirtier on S side though. A really nice dive. Visibility good.

    Dives from 11 to 16 March 2020 in Ticao Island, Philippines

    11 March 2020 - San Miguel Island West
    First dive of Philippines trip. Located on W side of San Miguel Island which is north of Ticao Island. Anchored in 8 m, dropped in and to W and slopping wall. Headed N, then back shallower to boat. Huge gorgonia at start deeper, some banded pipefish, a robust ghost pipefish, lots of species of nudibranch. Two small eels, a stonefish which was colorful. Very nice dive. Visibility good.

    11 March 2020 - Udok Island East
    Dropped into shallows and then to slopping wall. Went S. Two pipefish, then a very small eel. Ron found a huge anglerfish, black. A school of tiny black fish on bottom and lots of small sliver fish up higher. Lots of nudibranchs, some shrimp, one under a starfish, another in a featherstar. No deco on other computer. Boat picked us up about 150 m away. Another good dive. Visibility good.

    11 March 2020 - Manta Bowl
    Manta Bowl is right in the middle of Ticao Pass. It rises up from 200 m to 14 m. Dropped right on top of the shallowest spot then swam NW eventually getting to 24 m (but I was about 2 m above bottom). No manta rays or whale sharks! Swam back a bit but nothing, although Ron thought he saw a thresher shark. Visibility poor.

    12 March 2020 - Manta Bowl
    Did similar dive to yesterday and ended up at the same spot. Very strong current, had to pick in at 7 mins. Saw lots of trevally here and when ascending. Other boat saw 2 whale sharks and they must have been close to us because we heard their DM signaling. Visibility fair.

    12 March 2020 - Manta Bowl
    Current a lot less, almost non-existent deeper. Ended up W of this morning, a bit deeper. Saw 2 blacktip reef sharks and one white-tipped reef shark. Lots of trevally as well and some barracuda. Then saw a medium sized whale shark, but it did not come real close. Got some poor video and photos. Others also saw one. More trevally as we ascended. Visibility good on bottom.

    12 March 2020 - Bobbys Wall
    This dive site is on NE corner of San Miguel Island. We went from a small bay to N and around the tip a bit.Quite a steep wall which was very, very colourful. Lots of clownfish and anemones, heaps of small yellow sea cucumbers, thousands. A large brown sea horse and a tiny one too. Plenty of colourful fish, short-finnned bannerfish and more.An orangu-tan crab in anemone. A reasonable current once we hit the N end of the island. One of the most colourful walls I have dived. Great dive. Visbility good.

    13 March 2020 - Bobbys Wall
    Started where we ended the dive yesterday. Whole dive we only went about 75 m at the most. There were a number of caves on wall, one a huge one with a back cave as well. Just as colourful as yesterday. Two pipefish, a few firefish, some nice pufferfish, lots of short and long-finned bannerfish. Some huge gorgonias and lots of seawhips. Finally worked out how to get camera and strobe to work on large distance objects, manual power and 1/2 setting. Excellent dive. Visibility good.

    13 March 2020 - Manta Bowl
    Did similar dive to others. At the cleaning station saw Shaggy, the huge 14 m whale shark. Not close though. Saw another smaller one but mostly tail. When ascending saw a small manta. Visibility good.

    13 March 2020 - Manta Bowl
    Same as other dives, only saw a small manta at start and an eagle ray near the end. Between this and the previous dive snorkelled with a whale shark and got very close. Visibility fair.

    14 March 2020 - Parola (Lighthouse)
    Right on N tip of San Miguel Island. Dropped into 8 m and went east till the steep slope. Headed N and then W around the tip. Slope more gentle on W side. Glass shrimp, porcelain crabs, dancing shrimp, banded shrimp, clownfish and anemones. Plenty of nudibranchs including a large green one. Very nice dive. Visibility good.

    14 March 2020 - Heaven and Hell
    Located on west side of the small island between San Miguel Island and the next island. Dropped into 7 m and swam to the slope which is quite gentle. A lot of damage from last typhoon, but some nice stuff. Saw lots of dancing shrimp, some glass shrimp in an anemone, many nudibranchs, some puffer fish and butterflyfish, a small snail. Visibility good.

    14 March 2020 - Manta Bowl
    Same as other dives here. Saw possibly tail of whale shark or a manta, then a close encounter with a large mantra ray. Got pretty good video and some photos. Others saw more as normal. Visibility very good on bottom.

    15 March 2020 - Hallea
    Located SE corner of San Miguel Island. A sandy slope with some small walls and bommies. Went N. Three firefish in a small cave which also had blue garden eels, a pipefish and lots of colour. Also saw a small banded sea snake, a small eel, heaps of clownfish and anemones, plenty of nudibranchs. At the end some big bommies from 11 to 5 metres. Plenty of soft coral on here. Another good dive. Visibility good.

    15 March 2020 - Bobbys Wall
    Did same as dive 4227. Some garden eels at start. Saw the brown sea horse again, all the yellow cucumbers are still there. Heaps of different nudibranchs, a hairy shrimp and more. Really good dive. Visibility good.

    15 March 2020 - Manta Bowl
    This time we stayed around 16 m rather than go to the bottom. Very little current. Viz was best so far, bluish top to bottom except as doing safety stop. We had a large whale shark come from left and came quite close, got good video and photos. Brilliant. Near end huge amount of trevally, tuna and other species. Fantastic experience. Visibility very good.

    16 March 2020 - Bellinos
    Located W side of Udok Island near south end. Abellino was the first divemaster on Ticao Island. Very sharp limestone rocks on the shore here. Anchored in 7 m and dropped from here down a gully to a wall that went from 28 m or so to who knows what. I went to 34 m as some really large gorgonias down there, possibility of pygmy sea horses, but none seen. Lots of sea whips too, most with gobies on them. Plenty of nudibranchs, anemones and clownfish. Some dancing shrimp next to a bright pink round anemone, glass shrimp in anemones and a very fine sea spider. A few separate walls, at least three. Gradually worked our way up to 14 m and then back shallower to anchor. Great dive, with best visibility of trip. Visibility excellent.

    16 March 2020 - Bellinos
    This time we went south. There was a gradual slope with sand and coral outcrops. Same things seen as first dive but no gorgonias. Orangutan crab, glass shrimp, sea whip gobies, firefish, small eel. Ended up on slope from island. Water was warmer this dive, another very good dive. Visibility very good.

    16 March 2020 - Manta Bowl
    Jumped in a snorkelled with a whale shark before the dive. On dive stayed at 12 to 14 m. Saw probably four whale sharks, three definitely. One came within a metre or so. Got some great photos and video.Brilliant dive. Visibility very good.

    Now in home quarantine due to corena virus, cannot leave home till 2 April.

    Click here to see details of dives including profiles.

    For more details about these dives and other dives this year, click here.
    Michael on 03 January 2020 11:00 · Print
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