This dive is located just to the south of the entrance to Botany Bay and is one of the few decent boat dives sites in Sydney that can be safely done in strong southerly or even south-easterly winds.
Once past The Leap, turn south a follow the coastline for about one kilometre to GPS point xxx (to come). Note that this uses AUS66 as a map datum (if you do not understand datums, click on the GPS Page from the menu at left).
This location is just off the Yena Gap Picnic Area in the Captain Cooks Landing Place section of Botany Bay National Park. It is too far out to do from the shore.
To locate the dive site, go to the GPS co-ordinate and run in towards the shore. The dept will come up from 22 metres or so to 15 metres and then back to 22 and back up to 18 metres. When you are on the first rise, drop anchor (depending on the wind).
This site consists of a rocky reef which has a sand finger/gutter extending up a section for at least 100 metres. This creates a sort of rock island. You should be anchored near the southern end of the "island" and the head of the sand gutter.
|A starfish on the reef at Yena Gap Outer Reef||Another shot of the reef|
Once on the bottom, head to the east and you should find yourself drop over a small wall to about 23 metres on a sandy bottom interspersed with small boulders and lots of kelp. The reef should have a bit of kelp on it. Follow the wall either south or north for a while. There are some small overhangs and some nice sponges and sea squirts.
After about 7 minutes return back past where you first joined the wall and explore the northern section for about another 7 minutes. For a first dive here, you should return back to the anchor area but once you know the area a bit better, you could head west over the the top of the reef and come back up the gutter to the anchor. Leave that option for a later dive once you have been here a few times.
Once back at the anchor, head to the west till you come to the sandy gutter. You can follow the western side (on your left) towards the north for a while. The wall here is less prominent and there are no overhangs but some small cracks and larger boulders. There is a bit more kelp here and less sponges, but still quite a few sea squirts.
|Two yellow nudis mating Yena Gap Outer Reef||A couple of biscuit stars at Yena Gap Outer Reef|
After another five minutes, head across the sand to the east and within a minute you should hit the reef again. Follow this to the south and within five minutes you will be back at the anchoring area. Finish off the dive here.
A nice dive, but not an outstanding one, that is worth doing if the winds and seas make your preferred dive site out of bounds.
Note that as this site is close to the entrance to Botany Bay, it should be affected by dirty water at low tides and after rain so it is probably better on an incoming tide. However, I have dived here after 50 mm of rain at low tide and still had in excess of 15 metres visibility.