Michael McFadyen's Scuba Diving Web Site
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About Me
My Diving
Web Links - Dive Clubs
St George Scuba Club
Some of my Best Photos
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Dive Sites
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Sydney Shipwrecks
Sydney Dive Visibility, Swell and Temps
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
Free Shipwreck Books

Dive Related Equipment
Shearwater Predator and Heinrichs Weikamp OSTC 2N
Uwatec Aladin Dive Computers
Apollo AV1 Underwater Scooter
Bauer Compressor
DIY Oxygen Stick - Nitrox
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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.
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    Michael's 4WD Trips
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    Home Brewing
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    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 1,000 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. There is also information about my yacht, a Lightwave 38 catamaran, that I owned from 2014 to 2019.


    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
    "Wedding Cake Island has some nice sites on the north-west side"
    My Recent Dives - April, May and June 2023
    5 April 2023 - Bare Island Right
    Better weather today after not good over the weekend. Similar dive to the last two but went to SHC. Water conditions better, 5-7 m in spots, mostly 4-5 m. Less surge and lots warmer at 21.0C. Refound all three tiny orange painted anglerfish and also the yellow striped anglerfish which moved onto sand. Also the two brown and one black striped anglerfish. I did not see any PPH but Mandy said there were three. A fiddler-ray at Sea Tulip Rocks (STR), a few interesting nudibranchs but not a lot, heaps of yellowtail swirling around and in front of Second Cave. Another great dive here. Visibility fair.

    6 April 2023 - Bare Island Right
    Calmer than yesterday, similar visibility near Cave but less for the rest. Warm again. Still some surge. Could only find two tiny orange painted anglerfish, the one near First Cave was missing. The yellow striped anglerfish was also not able to be found. However, did refind the three PPH near where the yellow sea horse was. Found the other three striped anglerfish. Went to top of Second Cave, no anglers but did find a nice spindle cowrie on a sea fan. A few good nudibranchs but not many around really. A wobbegong above Cave, a large snapper near start and three lionfish, one only 15 mm long. Another great dive here. Visibility poor.

    7 April 2023 - Bare Island Right
    Swell up a bit from yesterday but much worse getting in and out. Swell coming around under the bridge due to high tide. Very surgy all the dive, stirred up the silt and made visibility much worse than yesterday, only 3 metres maximum. Two new members as buddies and another 6 members diving as well. Lots of divers today. Very dirty all the dive, especially near Cave where everyone seemed to meet up. Saw the two tiny orange painted anglerfish, three PPH, then there was a black and brown striped anglerfish together. So many divers here and one buddy reached half, so headed back. Saw two more striped anglerfish, the huge brown one and another black one. Then back. Despite all the divers and dirty water, a nice dive, but not great. Visibility very poor. 

    8 April 2023 - Inscription Point
    My 100th dive here. After yesterday's very dirty dive, we decided to dive the opposite side of Botany Bay. Surprisingly, the visibility was about 10 metres, even after high tide, only a slight current. Flat seas and sunny, totally different to yesterday. Did the normal dive, saw three big belly sea horses, only one PPH, one pipefish, a few octopus, only a few nudibranchs. Mandy found the juvenile Bare Island anglerfish, it is so small and upsidedown. Has not moved apparently for a month or so. A really good dive, we were the only ones here apart from some we saw heading back about 20 minutes into the dive. Visibility good.

    11 April 2023 - Clifton Gardens
    Huge seas and strong S/SW winds, so not many places to dive. Quite a bit of surge, some even at 8 m. Meant dirty shallow and bashing into pylons and net. So many holes in the net! Went from left side to wharf and along this to the end. Saw 7 Whites sea horses and a few small cuttlefish and Mandy found a weedfish. There is now a PVC garbage tube here to put stuff in (I had collected a plastic bag and added). Then went to SW a bit, shallower and back to wharf. Found a reef made out of besser blocks and a garbage tube. Back here Kim showed me a striped anglerfish and I then showed her another one next to it! Carole showed me a blue-ringed octopus, apparently two more were also seen. Then I made my way back to the net and then went to the huge tyre and sea horse hotels. Some are falling apart and as usual, no sea horses. Then back through a hole in the net and along but too surgy to see anything. Nice dive, will be another 18 months though before I bother again. Visibility poor.

    15 April 2023 - Inscription Point
    Better weather today than the past few days. Water very dirty on top and not much better on the bottom, although it did improve as the dive went on, despite it coming to low tide. A fair bit of surge as well, stirring up the sand. Saw 4 sea dragons, 3 big belly sea horses, no PPH, two tiger pipefish, a wobbegong, a few cuttlefish, various sizes and a pair of large black reef leatherjackets. Shorter dive again due to buddy's air consumption. Nice dive despite all this. Visibility poor.

    16 April 2023 - Bare Island Not So Deep Wall
    Flat seas and bluish water, visibility was at least 15 metres for most of the dive on an outgoing tide, 21.7C. Only three anglerfish seen but four PPH. A black striped one near the former home of the grey BIA, large brown one near First Cave and only the first orange painted anglerfish. Went to the top of the reef but nothing special there except lots of yellowtail. Back near Sea Tulip Rocks, a large snapper. Also saw many other interesting things like a blue devilfish and some starfish shrimp. A very good dive. Visibility good.

    19 April 2023 - Bare Island Right
    A little bit of swell when we went in but gone by the time we got out. High tide just before we started. Went in at normal spot. Viz generally 8-10 m. Went normal way to SHC. The first orange painted anglerfish was out in the open for the first time, got nice photos. Then to OHR but no anglerfish. Then around the outside rocks, only one PPH on the normal rock. Big brown striped anglerfish was in normal spot. Just past here a medium wobbegong shark came up off the bottom and almost hit me in the face! For about 10 minutes around here, there were tens of thousands of yellowtail circled around and went off in streams and then came back. Amazing! Some kingfish also came in through them. Then to SHC, no black anglerfish from Sunday. Two upsidedown pipefish in normal spot, no blue devilfish in Corner Cave. Back closer to reef, a large black painted anglerfish near where the other anglerfish were before. Then back. A great dive. Visibility fair.

    21 April 2023 - Bare Island Isolated Reef 1

    Swell a bit more than Wednesday but less surge and much cleaner shallow, about 20 m. Deeper about 7-8 m. Went normal way to IR1 and around clockwise. Tiny orange anglerfish near SHR appears to have left, nowhere to be seen. Two PPH on the rock before Big Rocks. The brown striped anglerfish was on sand on E side, I did not see it but Mandy did. Then along the edge to IR1. Visibility a bit better out here, not much outgoing tide. Back to exit normal way. No more anglerfish, from max 8 two weeks ago to 1 today. Saw two fiddler-rays, one at start and one near PPH. A small lionfish, two large snapper again, a large flathead, three kingfish but only a few hundred yellowtail. Nice dive. Visibility fair.

    Next Dives are all in Tulamben, Bali, Indonesia

    24 April 2023 - USS Liberty Slope 

    First dive of trip to Tulamben, Bali, Indonesia. A bit of wave action today but not too hard to get in or out. No visibility whatsoever above 4 metres. However, very good deeper, at least 20 metres. Followed the ridge down to 25 m and then zig-zagged back and over to the wreck. Some shrimp, crabs, nudibranchs and all the usual small things like blind shrimp and gobies. Also two barracuda on bottom in the shallower area. Nice dive. Visibility very good.

    25 April 2023 - Gerombong
    Located NW of Tulamben past Kubu. Rocky beach with toilet, shower and tables. Lots of divers here. The site consists of some rocky ridges that run N from the beach down to who knows what depth. In between there is black sand. We slowly went down, zig-zagging as we went. Leon found the most colourful anglerfish I have ever seen, tiny too. Lots of nudbranchs of course, most very small or tiny. Some crabs, sole, cuttlefish and dancing shrimp. Went to 26 m and then worked our way back up. Similar things seen on the way up. Excellent dive. Visibility good.

    25 April 2023 - Gerombong
    Did similar dive to first one, but went more to SE to near a large wall that runs from the point. Again we slowly went down, zig-zagging as we went. We saw two more of the colourful anglerfish! Once more, lots of nudibranchs, most very small or tiny. Also saw a pompom crabs, another sole, more dancing shrimp, a gurnard type fish walking and lots more. Went to 23 m and then worked our way back up closer to the wall. Another excellent dive. Visibility good.

    26 April 2023 - USS Liberty Slope 
    Calmer than last two days but a raging current below about 10 metres. Was running SE to NW but in gullies was heading out deeper. Used a lot of air compared to my normal dives. Went to 26 metres again and then came back up but moved towards wreck a bit, did not see it though. Hard to go back SE if someone found something. Lots of nudibranchs, some shrimps, a few clownfish and anemones plus all the usual stuff. Nothing really special. Most of the nudibranchs are tiny, I would never find them. Not a comfortable dive, glad it was over in the end. Visibility very good.

    26 April 2023 - USS Liberty Slope
    What a difference 90 minutes makes, Very little current at all. Did similar dive but so much easier, air consumption 1.7 litres a minute better. Saw similar to first dive, but also a juvenile garden eel, glass shrimp in anemone, Moorish idols in shallows (saw last two dives here too). Really good dive. Visibility very good.

    27 April 2023 - Gerombong
    Much calmer than Tuesday, not as many divers either. I dived solo for the first half of the dive, then met back up with Kim and Karma. Went down to 26 m and then worked my way shallower. A few different species of shrimp, crab, plenty of nudibranchs. Some sole, Moorish idols and even a few butterflyfish. Went right over to the wall and found that there was an overhang with huge barrel sponges, sea whips and small gorgonias. Nearby a large deep cave. Got some nice photos around here, very colourful. Then back shallower and to shore. Very nice dive. Visibility very good.

    27 April 2023 - Gerombong
    This dive went to the left and found there was another wall, but not as high or extending as deep. Then back to middle and up to 13 m and then dropped back to 20 m as guides found some stuff. Similar to last dive, but more nudibranchs. Some very interesting shrimp too. A very good dive. Visibility very good. 

    28 April 2023 - Batu Niti
    Raining but eased off a little and stopped when underwater. Millpond when we got in but waves breaking as we exited. A slope running from a black sand beach down. Not ridges, but lots of rocks in some spots, like slides. Went to 25 metres and then stayed around that depth for 17 minutes and then back to 20 for 10 mins and then up to 16 for five and then again up in steps. More razorfish, have seen on most dives. A few large trevally, some sole, a nice anemone with clowhfish and flutemouth. As usual, plenty of crabs, squat lobsters, some shrimp, nudibranchs and one of the tiny colourful black anglerfish. Also the strangest nudibranch I have seen, looks like jellyfish. Another great dive. Visibililty excellent.

    28 April 2023 - Batu Niti
    A little calmer when we got in and timing it well made it no problem at all. Same when getting out. Now relatively fine, just high overcast. Did similar dive, only went to 23 metres. Came back to 15 but then dropped back to 21 m when Deppin found something, I forget what. Saw similar to last dive, but also a nice eel, some larger nudibranchs, especially shallower. Quite a few mantas shrimp, some bit, some small. One was swimming around but could not get a photo, only one poor one of a smaller one, they all pulled back. Another very good dive. Visibility excellent.

    29 April 2023 - Batu Ringgit
    Site located SE of Gerombong. Beach with lots of fishing boats, they had about 30 huge tuna they were putting on ice. Rocky shore and then flat for 2 mins at 3.5 m then slope. A few ridges with some rope from moorings on the bottom. Went down left ridge and cut across to right one to 25 metres. Then back up this ridge. Some trevally, stingrays deeper. Plenty of nudibranchs, crabs, shrimp, squat lobster and similar. Also a large barrel sponge with six lionfish. Shallower there were butterflyfish, Moorish idols and some nudibranchs, even in the surgy bit. A very nice dive. Visibility very good. 

    29 April 2023 - Batu Ringgit
    It rained as we entered the water but sunny when we surfaced. Swell came up a bit, but timing it was not too hard. Same at the end. Water a bit dirtier and also colder, with some even colder patches that did not record on computer. Went similar way but went further SE to another higher ridge and followed that back. An anemone with lots of clownfish, similar things to first dive. Probably more nudibranchs. A nice dive too. Visibility very good (just).

    30 April 2023 - Sidem
    Located SE from Tulamben, past Batu Niti. Rocky and sand beach, long flat 4-6 metre area. Followed a large rope out to a mooring where the slope starts, no ridges. Visibility about 25 metres but less at times. Not many divers when we went in, but heaps towards end. Stayed above 18 metres for almost 25 minutes. Saw some Moorish idols and large lionfish near the mooring block. Later a tiny 10 mm black anglerfish, a robust ghost pipefish, a pipefish and some more lionfish near another mooring. Then got attacked by tiny cleaner wrasse, kept hitting my head. They then attacked a school of razorfish that came near. Then went down to 26 m. Saw two of the tiniest starfish I have ever seen, only 3-4 mm. Another interesting fish and some nudibranchs. Not a huge number of them. A snake eel in the shallows and also a pom-pom crab. A very good dive. Visibility very good.

    30 April 2023 - Sidem
    This dive we went right side of the rope, there is a rocky reef there. Did not go that far though. Went to 13 metres and stayed there for about 7 minutes where there was a pipehorse. Not as nice as our Sydney pygmy pipehorse. Then dropped to 23 metres. Some nudibranchs along the way there and back up. A very nice shrimp on a featherstar shallower. When coming back at 5 metres, found a large anemone which had a large decorator crab in it. The largest clownfish picked it up and threw it out. The crab went back in again. This time I videoed it getting thrown out! Very funny. Then back to start. A good dive. Visibility very good.

    1 May 2023 - Gerombong
    Pouring rain from 0700. Did similar dive to last dives here. Went slowly down to 18 metres and stayed there for 15 minutes, then up to 16 m and then to 22 for a short while. Back up to 10 m and then a drop to 14 for7 mins before gradual ascent. Saw another of the black with many coloured spots anglerfish, lots and lots of nudibranchs, sole, pufferfish, a few clownfish, some mantis shrimp and a few other shrimps and crabs. A very good dive. Visibility very good but dark for most of the dive.

    1 May 2023 - Gerombong
    Sunny now, had stopped raining while underwater on first dive. Again, similar to this morning's dive except went slowly to 22 metres before a slow ascent, zig-zagging all the way. Saw an orange/pink anglerfish, tiny as normal. Lots more nudibranchs and shrimp and a few crabs. All the normal fish shallow like razorfish, Moorish idols etc. Another very good dive. Visibility very good. 

    2 May 2023 - Batu Ringgit
    New guide since my previous buddy wanted her own guide! Unfortunately I was with a Chinese bloke and nearly all the other divers at this site were also Chinese. They all took forever to take a photograph, I swear a minimum of five minutes and even as long as ten! Even then, they only appeared to take a few photos, as I hardly saw a flash go off. In addition, they stirred up the bottom so at times the viz was awful. Anyway, saw some interesting nudibranchs but my strobe started to die as I did not charge batteries and over the past three days had taken probably 750 photos. Saw a few Moorish idols, some anemones and clownfish, mantis shrimps, sea whip shrimps and gobies and some butterflyfish. Despite all this, a nice dive. Visibility good.

    2 May 2023 - Batu Ringgit
    Went straight to 23 metres to see the anglerfish I could not get near on the first dive. Strobe completely dead after a few photos, got one of the orange painted anglerfish and that was it. Another yellow anglerfish on the slope to SE, very cute. Not a great photo as no flash. Some more interesting nudibranchs, managed to get some photos using torches. Stayed away from my buddy so I did not get too many dust storms. Guide showed me things first as he knew I would take photos in under 30 seconds. Stayed around 20 to 23 metres for 18 minutes and then up a bit with a few drops back down to take photos. Then gradual ascent to shallows over next 30 minutes. A very good dive, would have been better with strobe working. Visibility good.

    3 May 2023 - Kebu Wreck
    New guide and buddy from Ireland. Lots of wave action, haqd to be careful entering and exiting the water. The purpose sunk wreck is 80 m long and points to the shore. It is ENE of the entry point and you swim parallel to beach at first and then towards it. Nice reef with lots of huge barrel sponges. Wreck is at 18 m at bow and 35 metres at stern (on deck) and over 40 metres on sand at stern. Went from bow to stern and then back halfway. Then into the hull and along bottom level to bow. Then up a level 23 m and back to 27 m towards middle and then up to main deck. Back to bow. Left wreck at 21 minutes. Lots of things put on wreck, large oxygen cylinders, portholes, a Buddhist statue, other things as well. Rocks in bottom as ballast to help sink upright. A large fake steering wheel on top deck towards bow, nice photo opp. Back across to reef to SE, not the way we came. Stayed at around 22 m for 8 minutes and then gradual ascent. Lots of small reefs on the way. Nice fish and gorgonias. Visibility good.

    3 May 2023 - Kebu Artificial Reef
    This is not the same Kubu Reef we dived years ago, closer to Tulamben. Entered water and then headed SE to some bicycles and a motorbike. Then deeper to more things. Some are steel structures with large netting, some like square tables and different levels with coral and stuff planted on them. Lots of barrel sponges on the sand as we came across to 24 metres. Then some moorings and then more steel and concrete structure, some with bike and car tyres and lots of drink bottles floating on ropes, so many things. huge gorgonias everywhere with fishlife very abundant. Gradually came up to about 17 metres and then headed back, going to 12 and then 8 metres and getting shallower for last 15 minutes. Lots more to see too. Unfortunately a reasonably strong current on the way back. Excellent dive. Visibility very good.

    4 May 2023 - The Dropoff
    Much calmer today but water dirty above 15 metres due to the swell yesterday. Above, probably 15 m, below, 25 metres. Went deep till around the corner and then started ascending to 16 m. Stayed around this depth all the way back till reached the sand. Still a really nice dive site, lots of gorgonias, sponges and soft corals. Not many sea whips and not many small things seen. Lots of fish though. A pity not many nudibranchs like last trips. However, still a very nice dive. Visibility very good deep.

    4 May 2023 - USAT Liberty
    Like last dive, dirtier shallower, above 20 m was mostly 15 to 20 metres at best. Below it was 25 m. Went to stern as usual and then around the deeper sections to the bow. Lots more damage than 2014, especially behind bow and the bow itself. Also more damage nearer to boilers. Came back behind bow and then through the middle of the wreck, inside at times. Then to the stern and through under the rudder and back to exit. Still a very colourful site, with lots of soft corals and some gorgonias. However, not as many as 2014. Did not see anything of interest on the wreck, no pygmy sea horses or anglerfish unlike 2012 and 2014. Nice easy dive. Visibility good mostly.

    5 May 2023 - Malasti
    Sandy beach and then small rocks down to about 5 metres. Much dirtier than all other dives, only 15 to 18 metres at the best. Was a thermocline at about 16 metres and cooler and cleaner below. Went left and down to 24 metres and spent about 20 minutes around that depth. Lots of nudibranchs, shrimp, squat lobsters and more. Plenty of sole in the shallows. Really nice dive. Visibility good. 

    5 May 2023 - Malasti
    This time walked about 100 metres to the right and entered water there. Similar water conditions to the last dive. We were looking for donut dotos but none. Instead saw a small pink anglerfish, I found a sea horse, lots more nudibranchs including Shaun the Sheep. Saw a dancing shrimp cleaning a large pufferfish, never seen them doo this before. Some very nice squat lobsters too. A very good dive. Visibility good.

    6 May 2023 - Bali Hai
    Dive site is sand beach and then rocks and lots of reef to 6 m. Also reef deeper to the right. Water same as yesterday, cooler too at 29.9C. Went to 28 metres and then back up in steps to 26 m, 22 m and some stops at 16 and 13 m. Lots of large rope at start, also some sort of fish trap deeper, made from bamboo. Now a reef. No current till 35 mins and then reasonable till 55 mins. As usual, nudibranchs, shrimp and similar. Not as many as some other sites. Worked our way further to the right before coming back between 16 and 12 metres. Lots of tropical species near the rocky reef. Plenty of barrel sponges, some large, hard corals, and large ones too. I found a ribbon eel on the way back. Also a nice blind shrimp and its goby. A nice dive. Visibility good.

    6 May 2023 - Cantik Point
    This site is so close to Melasti really just the left side of it, apparently new. Sandy beach, small rocks and then some larger ones to 6 metres. A rope running out to some floats and tree pieces which appear to be a reef structure. Another one deeper. Also a rope heading back from deep almost parallel to beach but ascending further left you went. Went to 27 metres and then up to 21 metres for 10 minutes and after that a gradual ascent. Went to left for whole dive till towards end. All the usual suspects, and I found a nice robust ghost pipefish. Back shallow to exit. Another nice dive. Visibility good.

    7 May 2023 - Coral Gardens
    Millpond seas today and no wind. Water warmer at 30.6C and clearer. Went to left at first to the I Love TULAMBEN sculpture, large letters on concrete bases. Was not here in 2014. Dolphin, humpheaded wrasse and sunfish sculptures and heaps of other structures. Lots more now, but did not see the airplane one, probably rusted away. Went to 20 m and then to 24 m. A few nudibranchs and a lot of barrel sponges. A large spotted eel next to one, then further on a very bright pink leafish on a pile of tyres. From 35 minutes a gradual ascent to 8 metres. Lots of growth along the way. In the shallows there were heaps of fish, and a huge area of anemones. Lots of clownfish, including quite a few Nemos. A good dive. Visibility very good.
    7 May 2023 - Liberty Slope
    Similar condition to last dive. Lots of divers on the shore but only a couple seen underwater. Went straight down and then slowly across to near the wreck. Stayed at 24 metres for first 25 mins with a drop to 27 for a few minutes once. Then up to 18 m with a few drops to 24 and 22 m. At 50 minutes had to ascend to 8 metres as nearing decompression. Many more nudibranchs than the first dive, some shrimp on featherstars and in anemones and a hairy one and a strange creature on a starfish, no idea what it was. Finished with lot stop shallow. Quite a good dive. Visibility very good.

    8 May 2023 - Bulakan
    Located further south than other dive sites. Long trip in from the main road. A sandy and pebble beach and then small rocks once in the water. Further out there are large rocks. It takes over 5 minutes to reach the sand and then it slopes down. There are no rocks at all on the slope, only black sand. I slowly went down, stopping at 12, 16, 22 and 24 metres before reaching 25 m. Then slow ascent in steps back to safety stop area. Saw so many Shaun the Sheep nudibranchs, they were everywhere on green leaves. Sometimes there were 6 or 8 on the one leaf. Some other nudibranchs, including a very beautiful yellow and blue one. Got some great photos. Also some interesting worm type creatures, shrimp and a few other things. Very good dive. Visibility good.

    8 May 2023 - Bulakan
    This dive went further to the right when going down. Slowly worked our way to 23 metres over 26 minutes and then slow ascent back. Temperature was 31.0C for the first 25 minutes but then dropped to 30.5C for the rest of the dive. Similar to first dive, but a few more shrimp, another every interesting nudibranch with black rhinopores. Also a small eel of some sort in the sand, could only see the top of its head. At the end a young tutlre, eating weed off rocks. Also a small eel in shallows but it kept moving. Another very good dive. Visibility good.

    16 May 2023 - SS Tuggerah
    First dive back in Sydney since Bali and first dive on Tuggerah since November 2022. Calm seas, very little current, if any. Milky top to bottom, five metres maximum visibility. On the bottom very dark as thousands of yellowtail over the wreck, a bit lighter towards the bow. Anchor next to boiler, had to move it, took a bit of effort. Then to stern and around along hull bottom to the front section. Along this almost to bow. Then back via the wreckage on western side to boiler, then engine room and back and then up. Two very large wobbegongs, another smaller one, Ian said he saw two more. A nice easy dive despite visibility being poor.

    Click here to see details of dives including profiles.

    For more details about these dives and other dives this year, click here.
    Michael on 05 April 2023 15:00 · Print
    My Recent Dives - January, February and March 2023
    10 January 2023 - Inscription Point

    First dive of the year. Incoming tide but little current, warm 21.5C, viz 5-7 m. Saw four big belly sea horses, missed one. Only four sea dragons, one with eggs and another with white patch. No PPH or BIA. One tiny yellow boxfish, a few nudibranchs, not a great deal else. Very nice easy dive. Visibility fair.

    11 January 2023 - Old Mooring - Bass Point

    Dive on Tammalee's boat. Went from Shelll Cove boat ramp, good ramp. Located north of Bass Point Island. Sandy gutter running NW-SE and reef coming up from about 30 m to 28 m. Lots of sandy gutters and some small walls to the E of the anchor spot. Apparently there is an old mooring here, but we did not see it. Went SE for 10 minutes and then came back on top of the reef and then explored the gutters. Back to anchor. Saw a couple of horn sharks, one small wobbegong, one small fiddler-ray and lots of small leatherjackets. Beautiful sponge garden, heaps of sea squirts everywhere. A very interesting dive site. Visibility excellent, could see boat from 30 metres.

    11 January 2023 - Coral Rock - Bass Point

    Second dive. Located north of The Gutter at Bass Point. Sandy bottom and to the S of this mark a small bommie (Coral Rock) that comes up from 23 to 20 metres. Lots of sponges and sea squirts on it and also a few small gorgonias. Around this there are lower reefs and some sand patches with a bit of kelp. Near the anchor there was an extremely friendly eastern blue devilfish which came right up to the camera. Apparently people may feed it. not as good as the last dive. Visibility excellent.


    12 January 2023 - Bare Island Deep Wall

    My 3,000th dive in Sydney! Just after low tide and flat seas. Went off W point and to Deep Wall. Very dirty across here but 3-4 metres on bottom of wall. Warm 21.9C. Hit it a bit S of normal spot. Then back, two big belly sea horses on the large rock off wall. Back normal way, still no RIF seen since February, even on RIF Reef. Saw two fiddler-rays there and a spiny gurnard nearby. Back via 15 Metre Reef to SHC. Some small moray eels, lots of nudibranchs. A pineapplefish on the Deep Wall and the normal one under SHR. Another BBSH near cable, a small yellow one in a large yellow finger sponge. Then back. A very good dive. Visibility poor.

    13 January 2023 - Bare Island Deep Wall

    Similar dive to yesterday. Went off W point and to Deep Wall. Very dirty across here, worse than yesterday. However, once over the Wall was about 10 metres but some surge till back a bit. Warm but 1.3C less than yesterday at 20.6C. Saw the two big belly sea horses on the large rock off wall and the pineapplefish on the next smaller wall near where old Admiralty Anchor was (forgot to put in yesterday's post). Back normal way, again no RIF. Saw one fiddler-ray too. Back via 15 Metre Reef to SHC. Some small moray eels, lots of nudibranchs. Saw the other BBSH near cable, a small yellow one in a large yellow finger sponge. The normal pineapplefish under SHR and four PPH above. More interesting nudibranchs here too. Then back. A very good dive. Visibility good.

    15 January 2023 - Bare Island 15 Metre Reef 

    Absolutely millpond. Outgoing tide but no current felt. Went off W point to Not So Deep Wall, then 15 Metre Reef and back. Clean again down the bottom, a bit less than Friday. Dirtier on the way back. Two PPH on 15MR holding tails, could not find the grey BIA but Carole did. Saw some interesting nudibranchs and a yellow barnacle, the yellow BBSH, 4 more PPH, the pineapplefish, a spiny gurnard, a huge wobbie near Cave (seen last two dives too) and a smaller wobbie. Another very good dive. Visibility fair. 

    17 January 2023 - Bare Island Right 

    A bit rougher than Sunday with some surge out deeper and also a current running to the W before SHC. Temperature cooler at 18.5C deeper than 10 m but 21 above and very dirty. Only 3-4 m viz deeper. Went in past Carol's Plaque and down to near SHC. I lost the others when I stopped to take a photo and must have passed them as I came back after finding the grey BIA and they were near yellow BBSH. Then went again to grey BIA and looked around for the rumoured red painted anglerfish. No luck. Saw some very interesting nudibranchs, a firefish, three of the five PPH on SHR, the pineapplefish, a tiny flathead, some moray eels and cuttlefish and more. Another very good dive despite viz. Visibility poor.

    18 January 2023 - Bare Island Right

    Calmer seas than yesterday, Did similar dive to yesterday but slower going down to SHC. Quite clean shallow at start but very dirty by the end. Visibility also worse deeper and cold 18.8C. Some more interesting nudibranchs, the grey anglerfish was gone, could not find it anywhere. There were a few moray eels, all small, octopus, a medium sized wobbegong shark, the yellow BBSH, only two PPH, one is hiding under some weed and hard to find. The pineapplefish is still there. A few other divers around, most of whom we knew. Last dive for a few days as weather going bad tonight. Another nice dive, but not as good as the past four here. Visibility poor. 

    24 January 2023 - Bushrangers Bay, Bass Point

    Late day trip to Shellharbour. Ten divers from club, dived in two groups. A little surge but not too bad, shallows viz only 3-4 m but at 17 m it was 20 m or so, warm 22.5C. Lots and lots of grey nurse sharks, all female or juvenile males. I think there were at least 30, we saw 12 at one time and 11 later, plus more deeper. Most were very small, one had a hook. Went very slowly to 17 m and then back. A really good dive, so many sharks and very close. Some cuttlefish, a lot of squid and plenty of one-spot pullers. Great dive. Visibility very good deep, poor shallow.

    24 January 2023 - The Gravel Loader, Bass Point

    Went from the boat ramp, NW for about 7 minutes. Then to the end of the loader and hung around there for a while, E and W. Blue water but milky, visibility about 7-8 m. 22.9C. Saw a nice crocodile fish, a leaf fish, a short-finned conger eel and a few nudibranchs. Also some cuttlefish, large and small. A nice easy dive. Visibility fair.

    25 January 2023 - Bare Island Deep Wall
    Calm seas but high tide coming in, needed to time correctly to get in. Went to Deep Wall, dirty on the way but visibility 5-7 m there. Also nice 21.3C. Was a little S than normal, then to the two big belly sea horses. A large school of kingfish her too. Then normal way, slow. Pineapplefish on wall to the N, then via RIF Reef to 15MR. Quite a few interesting nudibranchs. One PPH at the end of 15MR. Then to SHC and back normal way. No grey BIA still. The yellow BBSH is still there, but no PPH at SHC. Another pineapplefish there though. Back quickly as all getting low on air, did 83 minutes. Great dive. Visibility general fair.

    26 January 2023 - The Monuments
    Club Australia Day Dive. A total of 17 diving in four groups. Went in and out next to Whale. Temperature 22.3C shallower but 21.4 deeper with cleaner water. Went E first, incoming tide but current easy at first but by the time we turned at 30 mins it was strong. Eased off as we came back a bit. Surgy most of the dive. Saw three sea dragons, two eating shrimp. Some saw a lot of squid but I did not. A few nudibranchs, some small bailer shells, a few interesting small clingfish. Then had a great BBQ brunch. Very good day. Visibility varied, fair at 30 min area, but poor elsewhere.

    28 January 2023 - Bare Island Right
    Went in at Carole's Plaque and swam straight to just past The Cave without really stopping. About 2 m viz at first then 3-4 m. Warm 22.4C. Some surge on the way back. Then slowly to SHC and looked all over for the grey BIA, but still cannot refind it. Came back very slow. No PPH at all, some moray eels, octopus, a small lionfish, plenty of nudibranchs, some tiny 1 mm isopod bugs on jewel anemones and the yellow BBSH. Also saw an upsidedown pipefish near SHC. Despite very poor visibility shallow, poor deeper, a very good dive.

    29 January 2023 - Bare Island Right
    Similar dive to yesterday. Water a lot cleaner above 5 m, similar to 14 m and past there over 10 m viz. Went straight to area near First Cave. Looked for the orange/red anlgerfish but no luck. Then to SHC and S a bit on reef wall and then on top. Then across to 15MR. Found the PPH here, very clean water. Then back to main reef and back normal way. Some nice nudibranchs, including pink okenias. Also another lionfish, some moray eels, a few wobbegong sharks, the yellow BBSH, some skeleton shrimp and more. Saw a huge flathead with three females near exit. Another good dive. Visibility poor overall. 

    2 February 2023 - Bushrangers BayClub shore dive. 10 divers and 2 non-divers, very dirty shallow but got better below 5 metres, 22.4C. Not as clean as last time deeper, but better between 5 and 10 metres. Saw lots of sharks, I reckon about 25. Two with hooks, only one or two large females, all the rest smaller juveniles. They come so close to you, much better than Magic Point or even SWR. A butterflyfish, a lot of squid. Another really good dive. Visibility fair.

    4 February 2023 - Bare Island Right
    Club Carol Martin Memorial Dive. About 16 divers and lots of non-divers. Very strong W wind that was not forecast, quite choppy and very high tide, not so easy getting in and out. Went in at Boat Ramp. Viz poor at first but then okay. Went to Cave and then slow to corner (lots of yellowtail) and then to 15MR to show new members a PPH. Maxine found the grey BIA here! Then back to SHC, an upsidedown pipefish there but very timid. Then back. A few small moray eels, the yellow BBSH, a velvetfish, lots of nudibranchs, a wobbegong, a fiddler-ray and a few large sole. A really great dive with a great brunch afterwards. Visibility fair.

    6 February 2023 - Fly Point
    Week camping trip to Nelson Bay. Blue water and 23.3C with 8-10 m viz. Very little current, so did not travel all that far. Headed N out to 22 metres and then back. Lots of bream, silver sweep, yellowtail, luderick, especially on the wall. A few nice nudibrachs, some small moray eels, four pineapplefish, a few blind sharks, pufferfish, a spindle cowrie and more. A very nice relaxed dive. Visibility good.

    7 February 2023 - The Pipeline
    Forgot my weights at car, had to go back so behind the others. Found them after a few minutes. Very slight current, viz 8-10 metres and warm 23.3C again. Went to Sea Horse Hotels, but none there. Then slowly back, zig-zagging. Ended up at Pipeline in the valley. Not so much the eastern side as lots of damage from algae and sand over things. Saw a blue-ringed octopus, some nudbranchs. On western side lots more things, including a large eagle ray on the sand which took off as we neared, a lot of large silver drummer, more nudibranchs, including armina, short-tailed ceretasoma, a red-line bubble, a yellow sea horse (near Leanne's Sea Horse) and more. A very nice relaxing dive. Visibility good.  

    8 February 2023 - Fly Point
    Visibility a bit less than the last two days buts still very acceptable. Perhaps 7-8 m. Went very slow and not as deep as Monday. huge number of different species of nudibranch, a lots of rarer ones too. Lots of yellowtail, bream, old wives plus some whiting. A few moray eels, some octopus, a long-fin bannerfish, blind sharks and the four (not three) pineapplefish. Donna found a small White's sea horse in the shallows at safety stop, we did not see it. A great dive. Visibility fair.

    9 February 2023 - Little Beach
    Went in a bit before high but the current was going out, must be an eddy. Fairly strong at first, but easily handled. Cooler at 22.8C and viz only 5-7 metres. Kim, Carole and Leon also dived here and near us. Stayed 10 to 12 metres but did not get to the barge. Saw over 30 spindle cowries, only one platypus though, but others saw more. A few interesting nudibranchs, Kim found a tiny 10 mm long White's sea horse. I found a blue-ringed octopus. Two very small wobbegong sharks, lots of whiting, bream and flathead in the shallow sea grasses. An excellent dive. Visibility fair.

    10 February 2023 - Fly Point
    Very little current at all, but water colder at 21.8C and viz back up to 10 m. Did same dive as two days ago. Lots of nudibranchs, one blind shark, plenty of bream, whiting, etc. Four pineapplefish again, a few tropicals, a sea spider, a few octopus and small cuttlefish. Another very good dive. Visibility good.

    11 February 2023 - Bare Island Deep Wall
    Went out through The Pool as a series of larger waves on W point more often than not. Then SW to Deep Wall. Viz in top four metres less than a metre but then opened up (huge rainfall on Thursday). At bottom of the Wall was 5-7 m but dark. We ended up missing the sea horses as I did not realise we were so far N. The pineapplefish on the N smaller wall is still there. Went right over RIF Reef but no RIF at all. Then to 15M Reef. Nice, three PPHs at the NW end. The grey BIA not there. Then to SHC, the upsidedown pipefish not seen. Back normal way. The yellow BBSH is gone, not seen anywhere near where it was. A few inertesting nudibranchs, a few moray eels, lionfish, and another three PPH. Back to exit, filthy and could not even find the way to the exit from the sand. Good dive. Visibility fair.

    11 February 2023 - Bare Island Isolated Reefs
    Went out through The Pool and W and then to IR1. Similar visibility and temperature to first dive. Followed S side to Marco's Basin on IR2. A large school of fish here, many species. When we left and headed back on N side of IR1, a large school of kingfish and eastern Australian salmon circled us for a few minutes. Saw at least three moray eels, lots of nudibranchs, octopus and more. Back near the E end of IR1, I found a large black painted anglerfish. Fantastic! Back normal way, saw three lionfish, one with yellow colour. Similar to the second part of the first dive. A very nice dive. Visibility fair.

    17 February 2023 - Bare Island Isolated 1
    Two days ago reports of 1-2 m viz after the rain from a week ago. Quite clean when we got in, then 2-3 m viz till STR, then opened to 8-10 m but back to 3-4 m or worse. From there it varied every few minutes, going from over 10 m deeper to 2-3 m then back to 8-10 etc. Weird! Went from near Carol's Plaque. Started off with SOB but left them to go to IR1 as they were going too slow. Went looking for the black anglerfish from last dive. Could not find it. Back to main reef and back normal way. A couple of large wobbegong sharks, two huge octopus, some moray eels, lots of yellowtail on IR1 and silver sweep back shallower. No PPH, a few species of nudibranch, some interesting tiny bugs. Very nice, 100 minute dive. Visibility varied, mostly poor.
    19 February 2023 - Inscription Point
    Just after high tide, strong outgoing current, strongest for years. Calm when we got in but a bit sloppy when we got out. Cold 17.9C but clear 8-10 m. At 40 mins it got dirty but warmer at 20C. Two BBSH, one was Donna. Two sea dragons, one with damaged head. No PPH. Two small yellow boxfish and a butterflyfish. On the way back thousands of yellowtail passed us for three minutes or so. Hard swim back. nice dive. Visibility fair then poor.

    21 February 2023 - Bare Island Deep Wall
    High tide and water very high over the rock platform. Went in S of normal spot, dropped a glove before getting in and had to go after it, then dropped a fin. All good! Went SSW and ended up S of normal spot as planned. Found the two big belly sea horses. Then back normal way. A large wobbegong off the wall further on and one more later. Two PPH on end of 15MR and two more past where the yellow sea horse was. An upsidedown pipefish, a few moray eels, more nudibranchs. No pineapplefish anymore. Had to go back quick as low on air. Stopped in 5 m to photograph the stiliger nudibranchs. Also my other computer which was on air went into deco, but my main one was on 25% Nitrox and never went close. A good dive. Visibility poor with some fair.  

    25 February 2023 - Bare Island Right
    50th Anniversary of St George Scuba Club dive, 11 divers in three groups! Went in before Carols Plaque, quite dirty shallow and only a bit better below 8 m, perhaps 2-3 m, but warm 22.3C. However, at SHC it was around 10 m. Newish divers so only a 62 min dive. Saw some wobbegongs, two PPH, a few octopus, a few species of nudibranch. On the way back a huge flathead with two smaller ones. Did not see all that much as I was supervising the other divers. Still a nice dive. Visibility very poor overall.

    1 March 2023 - Inscription Point
    Just after high tide but no current at all. Warm 22.2C and viz of 5-7 m. Went E for 60 mins. Saw three sea dragons, three big belly sea horses (Cam, Emily, Donna), six PPH, a fiddler-ray, a red pipefish in red weed, three pipefish under a small ledge, two yellow box fish, a few species of nudibranch, dozens of large jellyfish and a school of large unidentified fish. A really good dive. Visibility fair.

    2 March 2023 - Inscription Point
    Right at high tide, also no current at all. Warmer at 22.9C and better viz of 8-10 m. Went E for 46 mins but went faster and further. I only saw one sea dragon but four big belly sea horses (Cam, Emily, Donna and ?) Seven PPH, a fiddler-ray, a red wide-body pipefish in red weed, three pipefish under a small ledge, one yellow box fish, a few species of nudibranch, only one large jellyfish unlike yesterday. A really good dive. Visibility fair.

    4 March 2023 - Bare Island Right
    My 600th dive at Bare Island! Very overcast and a much larger swell than predicted, coming right under bridge and up onto rock platform. Water not too bad shallow but the deeper we went, the worse the visibility, only 2 metres in spots, but mostly 2-3 m. Dived with three new or newer members while others in three groups. Total of 13 divers I think. Found a large brown striped anglerfish before Cave. Donna found a tiny black one and a tiny orange one, but she could not refind this last one to show me. Vikki also told me after the dive the grey BIA is back in same spot as last year. Some pipefish seen, a few interesting nudibranchs, a blue groper that followed us for half the dive (with apparent spear damage!), a huge flathead and more. Despite surge and visibility, a good dive. Visibility very poor.
    6 March 2023 - Fly Point
    Club camping and dive trip at Nelson Bay, next six dives here. Went in just before high tide, slight current for 10-15 mins then nothing. Did normal dive. Viz not great, 3-4 m but warm 23.2C. Six divers all up. Lots of nudibranchs and some flat worms. A few moray eels, a blind shark, fiddler-ray, large flathead. A few tropicals, butterflyfish, Moorish idol, four pineapplefish, lots of bream and some whiting. Good dive. Visibility fair.

    7 March 2023 - The Pipeline
    Went in four minutes after high but tide ran in for at least 60 mins. Much cooler at 21.0C today. Went to Sea Horse Hotels, 13 new ones about 10 m to SE of existing 3. Were not there four weeks ago. Then drifted W. huge amount of dead algae floating and caught on stuff. Went way to W of Pipeline. Saw two small yellow Whites sea horses, one spindle cowrie, a few decorator crabs, some moray eels and another mosaic eel (I think). Also quite a few small cuttlefish. David Atkinson put a new plaque on Leanne's sea horse. A reasonable dive. Visibility poor. 

    8 March 2023 - Halifax Park
    First dive here for almost 10 years, maybe longer, due to the damage from the sand. Sand has now moved away from the shore at the starting point, but plenty of sand down further. However, all did not go to plan. Got to 22 m and discovered one buddy missing, turned out he had ear problems. Went back to shore but could not find him, only 15 min dive. A woman on a SUP found the bubbles and we went over. Ended up one buddy went with him and the other with me for second dive. Visibility fair.

    8 March 2023 - Halifax Park
    As per previous dive, a woman on a SUP found the bubbles and we went over. Ended up one buddy went with him as he was closer and the other with me for second dive. Went W for a bit, got to 24 m. Viz was probably 7-8 m, cooler 21.4C, only 26 mins. Didn't really see much as we did not really know where we were due to strange starting point. Saw a few butterflyfish, moray eels, flathead, some large silver drummer and plenty of small bream etc. Little current. Ended up finding the old exit guides of the two pyramids with pipe through them. Might have to do again some time. Visibility fair.

    9 March 2023 - Little Beach
    Went in about 5 mins after high, still had to swim into current most of the dive. All up there were 8 divers, one was a ring-in. Not sure what happened to him, must have done a short dive and left. Only saw four spindle cowries compared to over 20 last month. Also a fiddler-ray, a large kingfish, many small cuttlefish and some large octopus. Four pineapplefish in the A-frame. Some nice nudbranchs near the barge, including three large purple nembrothas. Back near the wharf, saw two tiny yellow boxfish. Under the wharf huge numbers of fish, many species. Also some very large flathead, including one with a fishing line hanging back. Plenty of flutemouths too, one large one with a crooked back. Very good dive. Visibility good.

    10 March 2023 - Fly Point
    Lots of divers here today. Went in just after high, current ran very slight for about 20 mins, then nothing. Did similar dive to Monday. Lots of nudibranchs, one very nice flatworm, some large moray eels, many small cuttlefish, blind shark, four pineapplefish. Huge number of bream, a lot of whiting, luderick, silver sweep and other species. Very good dive. Visibility fair. 

    11 March 2023 - Henry Head
    Club Frenchmans Bay day, only two boats as mine is stilled stuffed. Went on Craig's boat. Fairly clean on bottom, around 10 m, but cold 19.6C. Went S and then back to anchor and N and back. Found one sea spider, a few different nudibranchs, lots of black reef leatherjackets, but not a great deal else. No sea dragons. A good day. Visibility fair. 

    16 March 2023 - Bare Island Right
    Millpond seas, warm 23.2C, clean then dirty to 9 m then 5-7 m viz. Went to Opera House Rocks and looked for the tiny orange anglerfish, I found it. Some interesting nudibranchs here too. Then around the outside rocks to the large rock before Cave. Two very large brown striped anglerfish, one on top of the rock and another on the side of the adjacent rock. The two PPH are still on the next rock back. Then to the top of the Cave. Donna found an even smaller orange anglerfish, perhaps 5 mm. Then spent a lot of time up here near the sponges and cauliflower soft corals. Two cowries, one a spindle, the other one on the CSC. Then went looking for grey anglerfish but could not find, back to top. Later we dropped down again and Ron found the grey BIA, no idea how I missed it. No black anglerfish seen. Some more interesting nudibranchs and I found a couple of starfish with shrimp. Back via the other anglers. Saw a large snapper on the way back, first one for 10 years or more anywhere. A fantastic 104 minute dive. Visibility generally fair.

    17 March 2023 - Bare Island Right
    Did the same dive as yesterday, similar conditions but a little cooler in spots. Forgot my camera! Millpond seas, warm 22.4C, dirty to 10 m then 5-7 m viz. Went to Opera House Rocks, fiddler-ray on the way. Then looked for the tiny orange anglerfish, I found it again. Then around the outside rocks to the large rock before Cave. Two very large brown striped anglerfish, one on top of the rock and another on the side of the rock, not on the adjacent rock like yesterday. Also a smaller black striped anglerfish here. The two PPH are still on the next rock back. Then to the top of the Cave. I refound the smaller orange anglerfish. Then spent a lot of time up here near the sponges and cauliflower soft corals. One spindle cowrie. Then went looking for grey anglerfish but could not find it as it was not wherre it was yesterday nor nearby. I also found the upsidedown pipefish at SHC and two lionfish. Back to top. Later we dropped down again and Carole found the grey BIA, now about 15 m to E outside the main cave. On the way back, Kim found another tiny orange anglerfish and then another black striped anglerfish. A total of 8 anglerfish seen, by far the most I have seen here. There are at least two or three more around at the moment, one on IR1. Some more interesting nudibranchs and again I found a couple of starfish with shrimp. A fantastic 104 minute dive. Visibility generally fair.

    18 March 2023 - Inscription Point
    Organised by Eric. Flat seas and variable viz, started at 5-7 m but by the time we turned to come back it was well over 12 m. Thousands of large jelly fish like 2 weeks ago. Saw 2 sea dragons, but other saw 2 more. Also four sea horses, two PPH, one a very cute small red one. Also two yellow boxfish, two moray eels and a huge octopus. Also saw the 2 saw-tooth pipefish again. Lots of other things as well. I noticed last time that there are nowhere as many giant jelly ascidians as there was before all the rain last year. The only ones around are quite small. Freshwater/silt must have killed them. A very good dive. Visibility good.

    19 March 2023 - Bare Island Not So Deep Wall
    Huge numbers of divers here, arrived at 7:15 am and had to park a fair way along the Loop. High tide so went to W point. Headed W to NSDW. Some other divers arrived here just after us. Cool 19.8C compared to over 22C last few days, but at least 12 m viz. Went back via 15MR. A few cuttlefish, some moray eels, octopus but few nudibranchs. Back via SHC and could not find the grey BIA but others did. Looked for the tiny orange anglerfish above Cave but it was not there. Back via the three striped anglerfish, the PPH (only one seen) and then the other tiny anglerfish on OHR. It was there. Had to come back from there, only 54 minute dive as one buddy was low on air, the other two stayed longer. A nice dive. Visibility good.

    22 March 2023 - Shiprock
    Decided to dive Shiprock as swell up a bit. Slight current and reasonable 7-8 m viz. Dredge went by about 5 minutes into the dive and again at 30 something minutes, only transiting. Did usual route, some amenia nudibranchs on sand near large bommie, a speckled eel here too. Some more interesting nudibranchs further along. The moorings for the reserve buoys have been moved further away from the reef, good. A frogfish and a small wobbegong near the end as well as a solitary kingfish. On the way back 10 pineapplefish, 3 in crack, 3 below, 2 in normal spot and 2 at Bubble Cave. Found a saw-toothed pipefish in a hole on the wall towards the normal spot where we come back up the wall. A nice dive. Visibility fair.

    23 March 2023 - Shiprock
    Decided to dive Shiprock again. No other divers here, two yesterday. Again only a slight current and reasonable 7-8 m viz. Dredge went by about 35 minutes into the dive. Today we went a little quicker to try to get further to the SW. Ended up just before ET's wharf. Ron found a tiger pipefish S of plaque, no other pineapplefish at the end. Lots of leatherjackets as normal, including some eating jellyfish. Saw the 10 pineapplefish as yesterday, Two small yellow boxfish, some moray eels, a few larger octopus, a nice cowrie, some whiting and lots of bream and some small snapper. Found the saw-toothed pipefish again. A nice dive. Visibility fair.

    28 March 2023 - Bare Island Right
    Millpond seas but overcast, quite dark. Viz only 4-5 m at most and colder at 19.5C. Went very slowly to SHR, 27 minutes. There was a brown striped anglerfish just past Sharks Fin but I did not see, was not there on way back. Found a tiny PPH on SHR. Then to tiny orange anglerfish on Opera House Rocks, then around the outside rocks. No PPH at the spot they have been lately and only one dark brown/black striped anglerfish rather than the three seen lately. Then to Cave, huge number of yellowtail circling for ages and many striped seapike in Cave. Then back following wall, another PPH, some nice nudibranchs, a tiny tiny umbrella shell and many moray eels and octopus. A very nice dive. Visibility poor.

    30 March 2023 - Bare Island Right
    A lot different to Tuesday, a bit of swell coming around corner as well as SW wind making slight chop. At least sunny today. Water dirty above 12 m and a bit cleaner below, but cold 18.9C. Went normal way, and I found a tiny 3-4 mm orange anglerfish just before SHR. The red PPH is still on SGR and the tiny orange anglerfish on OHR as well as a frogfish under W end. Continued on and refound the two PPH before yellow finger sponges and I also found a tiny 10 mm long PPH there. The blackish striped anglerfis was still in same spot and a large brown one E of First Cave. Below the cave Carole found another orange anglerfish, a bit bigger than the others. Went to top of Cave and then SHC and I found the upsidedown pipefish and even got photos for once. Nothing interesting up there. Back normal way. Quite a few moray eels and octopus, two fiddler-rays, one medium wobbegong shark and one PJ. A really good dive. Visibility poor, but some better bits.

    31 March 2023 - Bare Island Right
    Similar dive to the last two, only did not go past the First Cave. Same water conditions, although not as rough, more surge and a tad warmer at 19.5C but felt colder as we did not swim as far. Refound all three tiny orange painted anglerfish and also found a yellow striped anglerfish out past OHR. Five PPH as well, including new one before SHR. A frogfish, some nudibranchs and all the usual fish. Another great dive here. Visibility poor.

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    Michael on 10 January 2023 13:00 · Print
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