Michael McFadyen's Scuba Diving - Bare Island Locations
PHOTOS TO COME
Bare Island has such a vast number of dives that are able to be done via many different routes. As such, there are many locations that I refer to in my articles that can sometimes be confusing to divers. The following is summary of the many features with a description and their location.
As the name suggests, this is the western-most point of the island. It is an entry point only, do not even consider exiting here as it is too hard. Used to access the Deep Wall, Isolated Reefs and the main Bare Island Right dive. Only use if the seas are calm and if you are experienced in diving Bare Island. Better at mid-tide, at high tide can be difficult in even calm seas as waves wash over the rock platform. You cannot giant stride intot the water as it is not deep enough. You need to flop in.
Again, this is the south-eastern point of the island. You enter off the eastern side of the point rather than the southern side. If seas are up a little or it is high tide, you will need to come back a bit to the north. It can be a bit shallow in spots, so look before you leap. It is also normally very slippery, so be careful. Do not use as an exit except in emergencies as it is too hard to get out of the water. Used for dives to the Bombora, Bare Island Deep Wall Drift and Bare Island Left. Do not use for the first two dives unless you are experienced with Bare Island and good on your air.
This is located towards the western-most point of the island and is a possible entry point when the seas are too rough to use the western point. It is not recommended to exit here, but you could if low on air.
The boat ramp is the normal exit site for all dives on the western side of the island. This is located immediately to the right of the southern end of the bridge. Can be used in all but the hugest seas. Is also used by beginners as an entry point. If this is the only spot you can enter the water due to big seas, then it is probably better not to dive at all. The exit can be found by turning right when you see the line of rocks on the sand.
As far as I can see, this point has no offical name. It is the point to the west of the bridge and south of the right-angle car park. This is used to access Bare Island Isolated Reefs and the Larpa Point dives. It is a good entry and exit point and normally can be used when the Western Point is too rough.
This is the way down to the rock platform on the north side of the bridge. It starts from the road to the bridge just before it turns to the left. It leads to the rock platform. This is how we used to dive the right side of Bare Island before the stairs were built on the island (there only used to be a ladder - you had to climb over the fence and go down a pipe ladder - very hard). use only for dives along the mainland, exiting at Larpa Point.
BELOW WATER - RIGHT SIDE
This is a piece of aluminium from a boat wreck. It is shaped like the dorsal fin of a shark, only the ^ bit sticks up out of the sand. It is located next to a small overhang at about 5 to 6 metres. If you follow the sand from the Boat Ramp to teh west and north-west, you see it at the spot where you turn left (to the west) from the sand and go over reef. On the way back from a dive, it is where you turn right and follow the sand edge back to the exit.
Sea Horse Rock
This is located at about 12 metres on the Bare Island Right dive route. It is a flat rock about two metres wide and threee metres long. On the western side it is about one metre out of the sand and on the eastern side about 250 mm. On the eastern side there are two pieces of pylon from the bridge, both about 750 mm in diameter and hollow. There is copper shearing on parts. This was the spot where three big belly sea horses lived for about three years in the mid 2000s.
Sea Horse Corner - also Sea Horse Cave or Point
This is near the end of the Bare Island Right dive and is located at about 14 metres. At this spot the wall running west does a right angle turn and heads south. It is a very prominent feature, with a large overhang creating a cave. In the mid-2000s before the bay was dredged, there were up to seven big belly sea horses found on the sea tulips and other sponges under and on the rocks. You pass this spot on the way back from the Deep Wall.
The Cave is located about 20 metres or so to the east of Sea Horse Corner. You pass by here on all dives to the western side of the island.
The Anchor is a smallish old Admiralty style anchor. It sits about 750 mm out of the sand, standing on one fluke and the head. It is located on the Deep Wall, immediately west of the Western Point of the island. The depth is 18 metres. To the north-west of here is the turnign point to head back to the exit.
The Bubbles are floats that are attached to a very old trawling net. The ropes of the net were caught up on the rocks and all that remains visible are the plastic floats that still hold loops of rope free of the sand. They are located at 18 to 19 metres on the sand at the northern end of some small boulders. These are north of some larger boulders. They are about 20 metres off the main wall. To get here it is immediately south-west of the Western Point. There are normally pygmy pipehorses on the rocks near here. It is about 50 metres from here to The Anchor.
This is located less than 10 metres south of The Bubbles.
This was located about 20 metres west or north-west of Sea Horse Rock. However, I have not seen since mid-2010. It was a bit of steel shaped like a large weight-lifters dumb-bell. The depth is about 13 or 14 metres.
The Timber Piece
This is a large piece of timber from the bridge. It appears to move every now and then. It used to be not visible, probably buried under the sand. In about 2008 it appeared about 20 metres past the start of the sand after you come over the reef west of the Shark Fin. However, in late 2010 it moved about 30 metres west or west-north-west and is now located just east of the last set of rocks that are off the wall as you come back from Sea Horse Corner. The depth is about 8 metres.
44 Gallon Drum
This now only consists of the rims of the top and bottom and a small amount of the wall of the drum. It is half buried in the sand and is located at about 8 metres, next to the Timber Piece.
Small Admiralty Anchor
This is located on the northern side of Isolated Reef 2 towards the western end. The depth is about 18 metres. It is a tiny anchor, probably from a small rowing vessel. There are other bits of metal in this area.
BELOW WATER - EAST SIDE
This is the water between the island and the mainland. You need to use this to start and/or end a dive on the eastern side.
This gutter heads from the south-eastern end of the Channel to the south. it is formed by huge boulders off the wall and the wall. It has some boulders in it.
This cave is at the southern end of the gutter.
There is an Admiralty anchor located on the eastern side. This is much larger than the two on the western side. It is located about 10 metres off the reef edge to the immediate east of the Southern Point. It is hard to find.