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 March 2020 08:33

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
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


    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.
    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
    "North Head has numerous dive sites with excellent sponge life"
    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
    My Recent Dives - October, November & December 2019

    6 October 2019 - Bare Island 15 Metre Reef

    Cancelled yesterday and tomorrow's club boat dives due to bad weather. Today perfect!! Flat seas so went off W point W to 15 Metre Reef. Then back from there. Lots of nudibranchs, I photographed at least 16 different species. One PPH and perhaps a tiny, tiny baby on the back of a small nudi. Looks like it in photo but hard to tell for sure. No RIF, one firefish, two moray eels, the blue groper followed us for 30 mins as usual. Lots of divers here but we only saw a couple near the end of the dive. Water warmed up near end, obviously warm water off the coast coming in on the tide. Great dive. Visibility fair.

    8 October 2019 - Bare Island Right

    Too windy yesterday to take boat out, so shore dive today. A bit too much wave action off W point so went in at Carol's plaque. Quite dirty shallow but okay deeper, a bit of surge made it hard to take photos. Went gradually to almost 16 m then back. Lots of nudis like Sunday, some I had not seen before or for a long time. Also 3 PPH, 2 of which I found. Very nice cruisy dive. Visbility fair.

    13 October 2019 - Shiprock

    Was going to take MakCat out but yesterday the starboard engine would not start, battery or starter motor problem. Today it started! Anyway, we decided to dive Shiprock. Did usual route but only got past second buoy. Not many nudibranchs, none on outward trip at all. Only two species. Three pineapplefish, a moray eel on last bommie as usual, one small cuttlefish. All the normal surgeonfish, leatherjackets etc. In shallows thousands of small snapper and a small school of large whiting. Easy dive, but not the most interesting. Visibility fair. 

    19 October 2019 - M&K Reef

    Club deep dive but there was a 1 to 1.5 knot current on surface when we pulled up to anchor. Dived here instead. A bit sloppy and some large swells from SE too. Cold on bottom, 15.8C and a bit cleaner than top (7 m viz). Anchored just off N end of the wall, went S. Two blue devilfish two medium cuttlefish, lots of large seapike, silver sweep and one-spot pullers over the wall. Went right to end and then back. Nice dive. Visibility fair. 

    22 October 2019 - Middle Ground

    Club boat dive. Was only going to dive tomorrow but so many wanted to dive and I could not get another club boat, I decided to dive today as well. No wind and a smooth sea but a large long swell from SE. Went to Middle Ground to minimise surge, but there was a bit on bottom at 30+ metres. Also a reasonable current on surface, 18.7C, but only went to 5 metres or so. Had to untangle crossover line on the way down, took 2 mins. Anchored on W side, tried to move anchor to N but current too strong, went back a bit and found a spot. Used a lot of air. Then we went around S side of reef to E side and back. Dark due to dirty water above. One large wobbegong and three PJs, but second group saw three wobbies. As mentioned, quite surgy so hard to take photos (saw a pink okenia). Not the greatest dive but a brilliant day on the water. Visibility poor.

    23 October 2019 - Pizza Reef

    Club boat dive. Swell less than yesterday and no wind at all. Anchored on N side of E section of reef. Much cleaner than yesterday and less surge. Also less current. Went around W reef, three donut nembrothas, some bastard trumpeters on N end of gap and outside cave. A couple of six-spined leatherjackets, a blue devilfish near anchor (we did not see), plenty of yellowtail and seapike. A really nice dive. Visibility fair. 

    26 October 2019 - Henry Head

    Forecast was for under 8 kts NW with not much stronger during the night. At 0330 it started to rain and the wind went up to 30 kts NNW. By 0530 it had dropped back to 12-15 kts NNW. Decided to go as the wind was not supposed to really get up till 1100. Bit of swell outside and worried that wind might go SW, we decided to dive here inside Botany Bay. Anchored on W wall. Slight current from NW on top but nothing on bottom, but cold again at 15.9C. Went S, lots of different species of nudibranch, including pink okena. Others saw a sea dragon but I did not. One horned shark, but not many fish unlike last time. A good dive though. After the dive the wind gusts came up at 0900 to 30 kts and stayed that way or more all day. Only two seals on port wall. Rough trip back across N side of bay and then down W side. Visibility fair.   

    27 October 2019 - Bare Island Right

    Seas up a lot from yesterday but wind far less. Could only get in at Carol's plaque. Surgy all dive, hard to take photos of very small things! Went down to 15 metres and then back, took 45 mins to get there (81 mins total dive). Saw some fin-lined tamja, first I have seen for years, but they were very hard to photograph as under small overhang. Lots of other nudibranchs, including some doto about 2 mm long and another rarer species that I cannot identify. Also a large flounder on way back. Very good dive. Visibility poor.

    3 November 2019 - Henry Head

    Club boat dive, only my boat as it seems the other one pulled out. Forecast early yesterday was strong NE but then changed to about 12 kt NE. Decided to dive Henry Head rather than Whale Watching Platform in case it came up strong. Anchored N of previous dives, warm 19C on top but 15.1C on bottom! Clean though. Went S into a slight current. Lots of nudibranchs but little fishlife. Came back past anchor to N and saw a sea dragon although Michael saw two more. About 30 m N there were huge numbers of yellowtail and ladder-finned pomfrets. Came back and found a strange pink anemone. Camera decided not to work, would not save to card. Very nice dive. Visibility good.

    10 November 2019 - Shiprock

    Had to cancel club boat dive and BBQ due to very strong W-SW winds. Was light when we went in but very windy later. Good decision. Followed Eddie to N first. Some nudibranchs and a moray, but not much else. Then went S but I lost him and Kevin. More nudibranchs, but only 4 species. The usual moray eel on last bommie. Refound them here but lost again! Then continued SW to second buoy. Back along wall, three pineapplefish in usual spot. Also a large octopus and a medium cuttlefish. Convict gobbies on slope, lots of seapike in shallows. Not the greatest dive but better than nothing. Visibility poor.

    16 November 2019 - Six Fathom Reef

    Wind 15 kts SE when should have been under 10, very sloppy. Decided to dive here but even then a bit rough. Also surgy on bottom away from main wall. Anchored on top of wall. Back in wetsuit, 6kg weights. ent deeper and to NW but got very dirty, so came back to anchor and then N. A few small schools of yellowtail, a large wobbegong N. After Les went up, we went S and some red morwong and a couple of bastard trumpeters. A few species of nudibranch. Second group saw some moray eels. Not the greatest dive. Camera and strobe now working good for wide angle. Now have magnet in Inon strobe and this seems to work. Visibility fair mostly. 

    20 November 2019 - Middle Ground

    Club boat dive. Wind blew very strongly SE early last night but dropped off to about 10 kts this morning. A bit sloppy but got better while we were there. Anchored on SE corner, went N and then back and then W. Lots of seapike and yellowtail, especially at NE corner. A large cuttlefish, sweep, old wives and leatherjackets. Very good dive. Visibility good, almost very good.

    27 November 2019 - The Split
    Wind was a lot less than forecast (SW) but seas were very large, some at least 3 metres, also sloppy. Les decided to not dive due to seas. On top of the reef it was very surgy but on sand it was okay. Went up Split to N and then N again. Donut nembrothas there. Came back along sand, more donuts on rocks. Saw a total of 8. Quite a few black reef leatherjackets S of Split, an eagle ray went past. Not many fish, but some bastard trumpeters, red morwong, yellowtail and silver sweep. An okay dive despite the seas. Visibility fair.

    1 December 2019 - The Monuments
    Club Xmas Party dive. Flat seas and bluish water, incoming tide. Went in E of normal entry. Drifted to W. Saw two sea dragons, one with eggs. Lots of nudibranchs, including one opera house and one purple-lined nembrotha. A firefish, Ron saw two anglerfish, one Bare Island and one striped. Really nice dive. Visibility fair.

    3 December 2019 - Pizza Reef
    Club boat dive. A day early as I have to work tomorrow. Yesterday very, very strong W winds, forecast this morning for winds to go to 17 kts W after 0900. We got outside and very little wind, mostly smooth sea but the occasional large swell from SE. Anchored on sand on W so moved to reef about 10 m away. Just S of here a blue devilfish. No donuts at all, checked all the usual spots. On E side lots of large seapike and then some yellowtail. On N side many more as well as bastard trumpeters and red morwong. Back to anchor. A surprisingly good dive, actually excellent, considering the winds yesterday and reports from boats that dived Sunday. Visibility good.

    6 December 2019 - The Monuments
    Millpond seas, no wind but very smoky still. Water a warm 20.0C, low tide. Went in from normal spot, but headed NE, then E a little. Then W and back to exit. Saw a huge number of species of nudibranch, and many of each species. Three purple-lined nembrotha, at least six pink okena, plus three new species to me and a few rarer ones too. Ron found the Bare Island anglerfish he saw on Sunday, very nice. Saw a school of small squid towards end. One sea dragon but not the one I saw on Sunday. A great dive. Visibility fair.

    7 December 2019 - M&K Reef
    Club boat dive, two boats, eight divers. No wind but a bit sloppy from wind during night. Blue water, 20.4C on top and 19.34C on bottom, but a couple of colder patches at end, perhaps old water from shallows as tide hit low. Anchored right in front of S cave. My camera would not save photos again! Went N and saw two upsidedown pipefish, one with eggs. Then two blue devilfish together N of the other cave. Lots of nannygais around corner. Back to S and two pygmy pipehorses in separate spots. Some silver sweep and yellowtail, a large cuttlefish and a moray eel. On safety stop a lot of jellyfish and a few salmon (?). A great dive, could see boat from metres and divers on bottom at 24 m from safety stop. Visibility very good.

    8 December 2019 - SS Tuggerah
    Once again my camera would not record to SD card, will have to try another one, works on land though!! Wind stronger than the 7 kts forecast, perhaps 10-11 at first and then at end up to 15 kts or so NE. Made a rough trip down and especially back. Sea was very sloppy, worse than yesterday. Anchored second go in front of boiler. Blue water to 24 metres, then dirty, but cleaner on bottom. Went to stern and then to bow. At least 20 bailer shells, most laying eggs. Lots of nannygais and bulleyes. No wobbies. NIce dive. Visibility good.

    10 December 2019 - Bare Island 15 Metre Reef
    Very smoky, when we got out you could not see Henry Head or Port Botany. Flat as a tack, outgoing tide. Went off W point W to sand edge. Dirty and warm above 10 metres, then colder (16.7C) but clean. Then to 15 Metre Reef. Some current here and also around Sea Horse Corner. Lots of nudibranchs, including red-lined flabellinas. Saw some newer species to me that Kim knew where they lived. Most were tiny, 1 to 5 mm. A tiger pipefish under overhang on 15 MR, a pregnant upsidedown pipefish under SHR, two brown pygmy pipehorses. A great dive. Visibility good.

    11 December 2019 - Inscription Point
    Cancelled today's club boat dive due to very strong S winds. Good decision! NPWS are redoing stairs at top, but can still use. Just after high tide, water warm 18.9C. Eddy found a Bare Island anglerfish almost as soon as we hit sand. Orange one. Then two big belly sea horses, no sea dragons, lots of nudibranchs. Very nice cruisy dive. Visibility fair. 

    16 December 2019 - The Leap
    Very strong S change early this morning so pretty rough at The Leap but not too bad at Steps. Submerged almost as soon as we hit the water. Had a problem with o-ring this morning, replaced it with new but when setting up it blew numerous times. Ended up loosing 70 bar, I thought it was only 20 bar as did not have glasses on. Ended up having to end dive early and head into shallows and exit at 43 mins. Before that, a really good dive. A red PPH, two sea dragons, a huge school of kingfish which circled us. On the way back another school (or same one) went past us. Apart from the air stuff up, a great dive. Visibility very good.

    17 December 2019 - Middle Ground North
    Club boat dive. Wind was up a little, 10 kts S and a bit sloppy. We decided to go to Middle Ground but to the little dived North Reef. Have not been there for many years. Anchored on the NW end. No current and wind dropped. Warm 19.3C water on bottom, over 20C on top. Could just make out the boat from 31 metres. Went SE along the eastern side of reef where there are lots of overhangs. Three medium cuttlefish in them, the second group saw at least one blue devilfish, we did not. Heaps of yellowtail and mado, all over the place, some leatherjackets, seapike and sweep. A really easy dive, excellent time. Visibility very good.

    21 December 2019 - Pistol Crack 
    Club boat dive, 3 boats and 14 divers. Wind was a bit stronger than forecast (NNE 13 kts) and seas a little bit sloppy. Slight current from north on top, water here 20+C. However, on bottom water was 16.4C! Clean though, could see boat from 23 metres. First time here for probably 10 years. Anchored on S corner of crack. Went N across mouth of crack, then back S around a sort of point. Much better here, lots of small overhangs. Saw a fiddler-ray, a very large cuttlefish. Second group saw a blue devilfish but we did not. Some yellowtail and other reef fish, but not a huge number. Huge number of jellyfish shallow. A nice dive. Visibility very good.

    24 December 2019 - Middle Ground North
    Little wind but a long swell from NE. Blue 19.6C water on top but 16.7C on bottom and dirty. Also very surgy. Ahmad seasick so he stayed on the boat. Anchored near last dive, went along E side a bit but then cut back to anchor and Les went up. We then explored a little of W side, not as good. Lots of yellowtail, many leatherjackets. Nothing special. Could see boat clearly from 26 metres. Reasonable dive. Visibility fair.

    27 December 2019 - Bypass Reef
    Ended up with three boats diving on a Friday! A bit of a current from the N, only really on the top. Les lost his mask as he rolled in but caught it. He went down to 12 m and I held him so he did not float away while he put it back on. Not bad work for an 80 year old. Bluish to 20 m then a bit dirtier, not too bad though. Anchored about 15 m off wall. Had to move anchor a bit, hard work. A bit of fibreglass wreckage near here as well as a moray eel. Kelly found two upsidedown pipefish on the wall. All the red morwong in caves, some blue morwong and bastard trumpeters too. Back up a bit early so that I could get out first and helpl Les back on. All went okay. Visibility good. 

    28 December 2019 - Barrens Hut/The Split
    Boat dive, NE wind dropped from yesterday afternoon and night but picked up again while we were out there. Went from RMYC for the first time, very crowded too. Anchored in normal spot. Very cold on bottom, 15.2C, about 16.5 on safety bit 20.8C on surface. Went up Split to N. Outside Kelly and Judy saw a turtle but we did not. There were 13 donut nembrothas on the various rocks off wall, most on the flat bommie near the exit from Split. Went back past anchor to Cave and then back to anchor, lots of bastard trumpeters and red morwong. Visibility was a bit better back here for some reason. Veyr nice dive. Saw a shark when we were back on boat! Visibility good.

    30 December 2019 - Henry Head
    Well, lucky to be able to dive as I broke ladder on Saturday when I tried to reverse trailer with it down! Luckily found a welder who repaired it yesterday. Works as good as new. Quite sloppy with NE wind blowing. Decided to dive here. Incoming tide. Very dirty on top but clean 10 m on bottom, increased to 20 m near end of the dive. However, very cold 16.0C. Had to move anchor about 5 m, hard work. Went S into reasonable current, lots of nudibranchs, including some on the pink okenia sponges, may have been red-lined flabbelina, but never seen before on these. One sea dragon, a huge octopus, plenty of black reef leatherjackets and other leatherjackets. Very nice, but cold dive. Visibilty good then very good.

    31 December 2019 - Henry Head
    Quite sloppy like yesterday, but no NE wind blowing. Largish NE swell though. Again decided to dive here. Incoming tide. Very, very dirty on top but clean 10 m on bottom. However, even colder than yesterday, 15.5C. Had to move anchor about 10 m. Went S into reasonable current, lots of nudibranchs, including those on the pink okenia sponges, Kim reckons they are may Trinchesia species. Kelly found a large sea spider. Also saw,a small moray eel, one sea dragon (different to yesterday), a large octopus, plenty of black reef leatherjackets and other leatherjackets and a large school of yellowtail. Excellent dive, but cold! Visibilty 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 06 October 2019 14:00 · Print
    Copyright © Michael McFadyen 1990 to 2020
    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!