Michael McFadyen's Scuba Diving Web Site
Home · Contact Me · Sydney Reef Dive Sites · Sydney Shipwrecks · NSW Dive Sites · Australian Dive Sites · Overseas Dive Sites · Dive Accidents and Incidents · Our Yachting Adventures · 4WD Trips · Weather · Search 26 October 2014 13:51
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
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
My Boat
My Dive Gear
GPS and Diving
Make Your Own Car Tank Rack

Marine Life
Rarer Sydney Marine Life
Bare Island Pygmy Pipe Horses
Bare Island Sea Horses
Bare Island Nudibranchs
Bare Island Marine Life
Encounter with Southern Right Whale and Calf

Other Dive Info
How Weather Affects Diving in Sydney
Visibility and Wave Averages in Sydney
Waves and Diving
Diving Weather and Sea Conditions
Tide Tables
Dive Accidents and Incidents
Dive Book Reviews
Site Map
Noel Hitchins 1951-2005
Lloyd Bridges - Mike Nelson in Sea Hunt
Our Yachting Adventures
Below is a list of links to the main pages about our yacht, Catlypso and our Our Yachting Adventures:
  • Purchase of Catlypso
  • Details about Catlypso
  • Cleaning/Repairing Catlypso
  • Our Yachting Adventures.
  • Login
    Username

    Password



    Forgotten your password?
    Request a new one here.
    Michael and Kelly's 4WD Trips
    Click here for a list of our Four Wheel Drive and Camping Trips.
    Current Kareela Weather
    A summary of the current weather conditions at our house at Kareela, Sydney, is below. Click here for more Detailed Diving Weather and Conditions. Weather from Michael McFadyen's Tempe Weather Station


    Conditions at
    5:54 on 25/10/14

     
    Temperature 19.5°C
    Humidity 82.0%
    Barometer 1008.5hPa
    Rate 0.6hPa/hr
    Wind Speed: 0 km/hr
    Wind Direction W
    Rainfall for Today 0.0mm
    Rainfall last hour 0.0 mm
    Rainfall last 24 hours 0.0 mm
    Rainfall at Start of Month 683.5 mm
    Rainfall this Year 812.5 mm
    Today's Extremes
    High Temperature 21.3°C at 0:00
    Low Temperature 19.4°C at 4:44
    Peak Wind Gust 2km/hr at 5:41
    Weather from Michael McFadyen's Kirrawee Weather Station
    Yesterday's Extremes
    High Temperature 26.9°C at 14:50
    Low Temperature 18.1°C at 7:05
    Rainfall at Start of Yesterday 812.5 mm
    Rainfall at End of Yesterday 812.5 mm
    Weather from Michael McFadyen's Tempe Weather Station
    Astronomical Data
    Sunrise 6:04
    Sunset 19:19
    Moonrise 6:48
    Moonset 20:33

    Home Brewing
    Click here for an article about Home Brewing.
    Sydney Dive Site Hints
    "SS Woniora was discovered by Max Gleeson and John Riley"
    The Pinnacle - Forster
    Michael McFadyen's Scuba Diving - The Pinnacle The Mid North Coast of NSW has some great locations for holidaying, not the least of which are the twin towns of Forster/Tuncurry. Located four to five hours drive from Sydney, the twin towns sit at the mouth of Wallis Lake, most recently infamous for a health scare with polluted oysters. However, do not let this disturb you as the waters of the lake normally look quite clean and the source of the pollution has now been located and rectifications underway.

    The southern town of Forster is the better known of the two towns (there is a "famous" slogan on T-shirts that reads "Where the F... is Forster?") and it is bigger and better serviced. As well as been a celebrated holiday and retirement location, Forster has fame for its scuba diving sites. As the lead off point for diving with the grey nurses sharks at nearby Seal Rocks, the diving at Forster itself is of the highest quality.

    Probably the best dive site at Forster (and in fact the best reef dive here and at Seal Rocks) is The Pinnacle. Located three or so kilometres off Cape Hawke, The Pinnacle is a section of reef that rises quite steeply from 50 metres to a minimum of 24 metres. However, your minimum depth will very much depend on where you dive and the depth normally will only reach 36 or so metres.

    "Rotten" Ronnie Hunter of Fishermen's Wharf Dive Centre has installed a mooring at this location and this makes it a much better and easier place to dive as you are always right on the best spot. The GPS Reading is 32° 13' 48"S 152° 36' 02"E (using AUS66 as datum - see my GPS Page for more info). As soon as you descend to the bottom you are likely to see grey nurse sharks. On a trip here in early April 1999 I saw about 30 sharks within 10 metres from the mooring and this was just the start of the dive.

    “The
    A map of The Pinnacle
    Courtesy of Ron Hunter, Dive Forster

    The reef drops off on the eastern side into a couple of gutters and then onto a boulder bottom. Around this area there are sometimes huge schools (200 plus) of giant Jewfish interspersed with a up to a hundred yellowtail kingfish. Some of these fish are also giants. At times they seem to be herding the Jewfish around. As well as these fish, there are large schools of yellowtail. On one of my dives here in 1999 I saw a small marlin swoop in and scatter the smaller fish. It then followed the mooring line up to about five metres, did a few circuits and then disappeared.

    On these dives I saw a total of about 40 separate grey nurse sharks. The visibility was 30+ metres and there was also fantastistic fishlife. In January 2001 I saw at least seven sharks and hundreds of huge kingfish and jewfish.

    A good dive plan here is to drop to the bottom of the mooring. If there are grey nurse sharks to be seen here, then I would suggest spending some time with them right at the start of the dive. After five minutes or so, move to the north or north-east and follow the small gutter in a rough north-west direction. After a short distance the gutter ends. From here, turn right and go around the huge rock back to the mooring area. It is a bit deeper in this area (36 metres) and the bottom composed of small and large boulders. You will probably see more sharks here. When back near the mooring, ascend a bit and go past the mooring to the top of the ridge. On the western side there are normally more sharks.

    This section of the reef is one piece of rock and flatter in parts. As you swim along, look for grey nurse shark teeth on the rocky bottom. When I have dived here I have always found teeth, including more than 15 on one weekend.

    Due to the depth of this dive, you will only get about 13 to 16 minutes of bottom time. If you stay on the top of the reef you will be about 19 to 20 minutes (using an Aladin computer). I normally run a couple of minutes into decompression when diving here.

    As well as the grey nurse sharks and other fish mentioned, you will see firefish, red morwong, silver sweep, leatherjackets, combfish, huge bull rays, eagle rays and blue gropers. There are also some very nice nudibranches But most people never see them as they are looking for sharks.

    This is an excellent dive, only for the experienced diver (due to depth and possible currents). Make sure you do it, preferably in the autumn/winter period when grey nurse sharks are prevalent.

    On my trips to Forster, I have always dived with "Rotten" Ronnie Hunter of Dive Forster. Ronnie has a large comfortable cat to dive from. Ronnie also has cheap but neat accommodation in a house centrally located to all facilities. Contact "Rotten" Ronnie on 61 2 6554 7478.

    NOTE:
    Michael McFadyen’s trip was totally funded by himself, with no assistance from anyone. Therefore he reserves the right to write about the dive operator that he actually used.

    Copyright © Michael McFadyen 1990 to 2014
    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!