Michael McFadyen's Scuba Diving Web Site
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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.
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    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
    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.
    Sydney Dive Site Hints
    "The SS Hilda is a nice wreck within reach of experienced divers"
    Bellerive Beach, Hobart
    The main cricket ground for Tasmania is Belerive Oval. It is situated at Belerive which is on the eastern side of the Derwent Estuary, the harbour for the capital city, Hobart. Belerive Oval is right on the beach, and this beach has a fantastic dive site that is quite unique. Handfish! These quite strange and beautiful fish can almost certainly be found at this location, probably the best spot in Australia to find them.

    If you are in Hobart, cross the Tasman Bridge and take the exit to Belerive. Follow the signs and once in the main street of Belerive, go to the end and then follow the one way street that is adjacent to the water's edge (Victoria Esplanade). Eventually, you will come to a beach and ahead, you will see the southern stand of the Belerive Oval. Of course, to do this dive, you will need to make sure that there is no cricket on as you will not be able to do this dive if there is as you will have no where to park.

    Park in the first angled car park spots you see on your right, this is right next to the dive site. The beach is Belerive Beach and it roughly runs east to west. You are at the western end of the beach. Gear up and walk down to the beach. As this is a very shallow dive, you might need to add a little extra weight.

    Australian HandfishAustralian Handfish
    The first Australian Handfish I foundThe second Australian Handfish I found

    Enter the water and swim out a few metres before dropping to the bottom. The depth here is less than two metres. The bottom is composed of a sandy bottom which deeper becomes a little silty. The reef is a mixture of large low rocks and a lot of smaller rocks. There is kelp and weed on the rocks.

    Australian HandfishFlathead
    The third Australian Handfish I foundOne of the many flatheads seen

    Follow the reef edge as this is where the handfish live. As you can see from the attached photographs, the handfish are sort of like anglerfish that we get in Sydney but are skinnier and have an extra pair of hands at the front. The handfish can be found on the sand, sometimes out in the opne, sometimes under the sides of the rocks.

    As soon as I entered the water I saw an eagle ray. This took off and I did not even get a chance to get a photo. Within four minutes I found my first handfish. These are Australian handfish. These are also found in southern NSW and Victoria, but as far as I can see are best seen at this site.

    As I moved deeper, the visibility which was about five metres dropped a bit here and there. Most of these was from fish stirring up the bottom. The depth gets deeper very slowly, reaching a maximum of about six metres after 25 minutes. I am not sure what it gets to if you keep going.

    StarfishBiscuit star
    There were hundreds of these starfishI saw quite a few of these biscuit stars

    Anyway, as I get deeper I see lots of starfish, all of a type I have never seen before. I also see a biscuit star that is paler and different to any I have seen. There are some banded stingarees, a small ray, on the sand. There are also lots of bastard trumpeters, a few large flathead and other fish.

    I turn around after 25 minutes as the water has got quite dirty and visibility has dropped to about two metres. Also, as I am diving solo and Kelly is waiting for me, I think that I had better get back within the 45 minutes as I promised. On the way back the visibility improves.

    Shaws CowfishStarfish
    One of a few Shaws cowfish I saw hereThere were a few of these starfish

    As I approach the place where I found the first handfish, I find another smaller one. This fish is very hard to photograph as once I take a shot, it takes off really quickly under my body and I need to find where it went to take another photo. This goes on every time I take a shot.

    I continue on and soon find another one. It is similar in size to the first one and I am not sure if it is indeed the same specimen. However, once I looked at the photos, it is not the same fish. Eventually I exit the water, fully satisified with this dive.

    A great and extremely easy site that produces some great fish.

    Copyright © Michael McFadyen 1990 to 2017
    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!