Michael McFadyen's Scuba Diving Web Site
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Noel Hitchins 1951-2005
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Below is a list of links to the main pages about my yacht, Catlypso and My Yachting Adventures:
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    Click here for a list of my Four Wheel Drive and Camping Trips.
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    Welcome
    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.

    NOTE:

    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
    "TSS Currajong is right under the main shipping channel in Sydney Harbour"
    News
    My Recent Dives - October, November December 2022

    22 October 2022 - Bare Island Right

    First dive in 7 weeks after hurting my ear. Overcast and strong N wind, but calm here. Went in at Carol's Plaque (need to clean it!). Only got down to near First Cave. No problems with ear at all. Drysuit leaked again, this time through a repair. Some current near Cave and also very dirty for about 20 metres before there. Viz reasonable considering the rain of past few weeks, 4 metres or so. The tiny painted anglerfish is still in the same place as early August when it was found. Now about 40 mm long. A pineapplefish under SHR, four moray eels, two crested horn sharks, one wobbie, one frogfish. Still no RIF or PPH. Quite a few nice nudibranchs. Good dive. Visibility fair.


    23 October 2022 - Bare Island 15 Metre Reef

    Similar conditions to yesterday but far less wind and cooler water. Went in before Carol's Plaque and then via Shortcut to above Deep Wall. Then back via sand and 15 Metre Reef. Quite a few PJs out here on sand. More nice nudibranchs too, including red-lined flabellina. Two tiger pipefish and a small ornate ghost pipefish under small overhang at SHC. A bit of a current against us on 15 Metre but then behind us going back. Saw the same things as yesterday except for the frogfish. Another very nice dive. Visibility fair.


    29 October 2022 - Tumbledowns

    Lots of rain in past week and also huge seas in middle of the week. Water very green and dirty, 4-5 metres at the best. Calm when we got out there but wind went SW instead of W and over 20 kts, got very sloppy. Went to S and then back past anchor to N a bit and back. A few small schools of yellowtail, some nudibranchs and Kelly found a large purple/silver pygmy pipehorse. Only tiny bit of water in drysuit. Not the best dive. Visibility poor.


    3 November 2022 - The Monuments

    Dive with Donna, Ron recovering from more skin cancer removals. W wind blowing which dropped off during dive, millpond seas, low tide 1045, no current at all till last 35 mins. Dirty on top but 4-5 m below. Went E for 23 mins and then back past entry and back again. No sea dragons, sea horses or anglerfish. A few interesting nudibranchs, a friendly blue groper and at the end a tiny orange bug of some sort. Got very wet again, think it is the neck seal that is leaking, will glue up and see next dive. Nice easy dive. 


    5 November 2022 - SS Tuggerah

    Club deep wreck dive for Bill Rowland memorial, 4 boats but one went to Undola. Flat seas, little wind, very slight current from S. Had to wait till Abyss left, but their anchor stuck so I had to free it. Kelly did not dive as she broke the insert on tank valve! My anchor was on sand E of boiler so hooked into a small piece of wreckage. Went to bow to release the anchor and then realised I had lost my torch. Maxine found it. Back to stern and then to anchor. Lost Maxine, she went up Phil's anchor. Not a great dive due to very dirty water on way down, dirty on bottom and no torch. Visibility poor.


    8 November 2022 - Inscription Point

    Went in just after high tide. Little wind and calm seas. Back to wetsuit, was not too cold even though I forgot my undergarment. At least 10 metre visibility. Went E for 40 minutes, very little current the whole dive. Saw five sea dragons, none on sand. One had new eggs and another the remnants of eggs. Two volutes, a large crayfish, two big belly sea horses, a few interesting nudibranchs and a small very colourful cuttlefish. Also a school of salmon. Very nice dive. Visibility good. 


    9 November 2022 - Barrens Hut/The Split

    Calm seas, no wind and no current, dirty on top but cleaner on bottom. Anchored right on S end of Split. Went N along Split and then once outside to the donuts area. Found five all up. On the way lots of silver sweep, one-spot pullers and some yellowtail. Back along the outside. I swear one of the huge boulders has moved closer to the reef! Back through Cave and bastard trumpeters and red morwong in normal spot. Very nice dive. Visibility fair.


    15 November 2022 - Mackeral Run

    Couldn't dive yesterday as too windy. No wind today and calm seas. Started at outer Anemone Bay mooring. Lots of fish, but quite dirty water. Current was strong for first 15 minutes or so, then slightly against and then none. Saw a grey nurse shark as we rounded the point and Ron saw another. He also saw 4 turtles but we saw none. A nice porcelain crab in anemone, a yellow and red spotted nudibranch, some other nice nudibranchs. Good dive though. Visibility fair.


    15 November 2022 - Fish Soup

    Same conditions as last dive. Went through gap, very surgy. Also very dirty. Lots of fish as we got to the other side. Also a large eagle ray. Some kingfish, plenty of bream and surgeonfish. Back to western side. Went south and found a small turtle that did not move and I got shots of Shelley with it. Then back to boat. Not the best dive here, possibly the worst. Visibility poor.


    16 November 2022 - Bubble Cave

    Much calmer this morning, but wind came up after. Better visibility, 10 metres. Went to west over gullies. Saw a few interesting nudibranchs, a porcelain crab, not much else other than normal tropicals. Back to mooring and around there for a bit. Nice easy dive. Visibility good.


    16 November 2022 - Anemone Bay

    Southerly hit and had to dive here. Much cleaner water also much warmer at 21C. At least 15 m viz. Went around to outer mooring from inner one. Saw a very large grey nurse shark on the way. Also some large kingfish, some large black cod. Back to mooring and west and south. Saw another grey nurse shark, much smaller. Also another one when doing safety stop. Then saw a turtle and some eaglerays, one eating coral. After leaving there saw a huge shovel-nose ray a couple of times. Back to mooring and a leaf fish there. Very good dive. Visibility very good.  


    17 November 2022 - Anemone Bay

    What a dive! Very rough on the way out as southerly blew all night and got stronger while we were out there. A bit rough here, no current today. Went in from inner mooring and swam to outer mooring. On the way saw a large bronze whaler shark which we saw a number of times in first 20 minutes. Also saw a large turtle and an eagle ray. Headed back and saw a grey nurse shark with humpback and damage on there. Back across bay and saw a medium shovel-nose ray and then the very large one we saw yesterday. Also another smaller one later. A couple of large bullrays one with no tail. Then in the dead end gully, saw another four bullrays, from small to medium. Then perhaps another one. Also another eagle ray. An egg cowrie too. All the normal fish including kigfish, bream etc. A brilliant dive. Visibility very good.


    17 November 2022 - Anemone Bay

    Not as good a dive as the first one, visibility and temperature down, but still great. Again from inner mooring and swam to outer mooring. At the mooring saw the large bronze whaler shark once. Also a bullray. Headed back via the back gutter and then across the bay. Saw a medium shovel-nose ray and some bullrays. Back the same way as first dive, saw two egg cowries. All the normal fish including kigfish, bream etc. A very good dive. Visibility good.


    25 November 2022 - Shiprock

    Very high tide but not much water movement. Did usual route, only got to past last bommie. Saw a huge bullray before first bommie, some large flathead, two pineapplefish under Bubble Cave, lots of moray eels, a few nudibranchs, some octopus. Once again, a disappointing dive really. Visibility poor.


    26 November 2022 - Inscription Point

    Dive was planned for Bare Island and we went there. However, too much swell and wind (much stronger than forecast), so went to Kurnell. Lots of people here. Very dirty in the water, lots of dead algae/weed floating around and some surge. Incoming tide was not too strong, water colder than yesterday, 18.3C v 19.0C. Saw two sea dragons and one big belly sea horse, a few nudibranchs. Had to cut dive early as one buddy only had a 185 bar fill. Shortest shore dive for a long time. Visibility poor.


    27 November 2022 - Henry Head

    Club boat dive, one boat. Was going to try Bypass Reef but very rough there. Wind blowing a little out there, so went towards Whale Watching but same. Henry Head flat. Litte current on surface but down a few metres very strong from E and from S on bottom. I did not hold onto the line so hit the sand and had to swim across. Kelly and Shelley had to move anchor from sand to reef. Used a lot of air. Viz at least 10 m but cold 17.3C. Headed S. Hard going in spots, also some surge. Not a great deal seen, some pink okenias, other nudibranchs, a moray eel, an octopus, some blue groper. Kelly saw some sea spiders but she was back a bit from me. Flew back from turn around spot, 22 mins there, 8 back. Nice dive though, the sponges are in excellent condition. Visibility good.


    30 November 2022 - Inscription Point

    Shore dive as not enough interested in boat dive this week. Went in mid-incoming tide. Was slight till past Little Big Rock and then much stronger. Heaps of the dead algae stuff floating again, very annoying, viz only 3-4 m. It was 2C warmer than Sunday! Saw five big belly sea horses, one was a small one. Saw the same one as Saturday and two of the ones seen 8 November. No BIA. Two sea dragons as well. A few nudibranchs, friendly groper and more. Very nice dive. Visibility 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 01 October 2022 00:00 · Print
    My Recent Dives - July, August, September 2022

    No dives in July


    5 August 2022 - Bare Island 15 Metre Reef 

    First dive for over 5 weeks due to rain and also camping trip. Went in at Carol's Plaque. It was also totally covered in green algae, could not read at all. Cleaned a little with my boot. Need to fix it next time. Was supposed to go via Shortcut but I missed it as adjusting my neck seal as leaking. Ended up going to SHC and then SW to end of 15 Metre Reef. Back normal way. Lots of yellowtail near SHC and a blue devilfish in the cave. Plenty of nudibranchs, opera house, purple dragons, red flabellinas and all the normal ones. Lots of PJs, two upsidedown pipefish (UDP) and very friendly blue groper. Huge amounts of sand has disappeared, some timber an metal pieces visible that I have never seen in 34 years. Back towards exit a huge wobbegong shark, 2 metres. Very slippery exit at ramp. Very nice dive. Visibility fair.

     

    6 August 2022 - The Balcony

    Club boat dive, three boats and 12 divers. First time here for over three years, finally had flat seas. Little wind too. Went N and then to The Balcony, huge numbers of ladder-finned pomfrets there and to the S in shallow area. Some PJs, a few nudibranchs, a few small boxfish. Nice dive. Visibility good.


    7 August 2022 - M & K Reef

    Forecast similar to today but swell much bigger and seas choppier. Was going to Shark Point but too rough to go that far. Slight current from N down to about 10 metres. Similar viz to yesterday, about 10 to 12 m. Anchored on top of wall, dropped anchor to bottom in front of cave. A blue devilfish in cave, then around to back. Gary found a yellow knuckled sea spider here. Back to anchor and then S. Back again to anchor, another sea spider. Nice dive. Visibility good.


    11 August 2022 - Bare Island 15 Metre Reef 

    Last minute dive to farewell Gary from Australia before he moves to Canada. A bit of swell still running but no wind. Water very cold on top and shallow section reasonable viz. However, below 7 metres awful, 2 metres most of the way and some spots of a metre. Quite surgy, stirring up the silt. Went along reef edge. Kim found a tiny orange anglerfish last Sunday and I refound it. Near SHR. Went down to cave and then to 15 Metre Reef. Lost the others there and came back my myself, they were already out. A few nudibranchs, the two upsidedown pipefish, a starfish shrimp and that is about all. Still did 71 minutes, but a poor dive. Visibility very poor.


    14 August 2022 - Shark Island

    Good seas and not much wind, ran up at 22 kts. Slight current on top but a bit stronger on bottom. Cross-over line was caught on a knot on anchor line, had to go and fix it up. Went N for 18 mins and back in about 10 mins. Then S a little and back to anchor. Not much seen, a few nudibranchs, a blue groper or two, that's about it. Average dive. Visibility poor.


    14 August 2022 - Magic Point

    Second dive using same tank. Anchored 15 m S of main cave. One GNS in this cave and a diver from URG!!!! Should not have been in there. Then to SE cave, four GNS in there and one more out a little deeper. Back to main cave and then up. Much better than first dive, made up for that one. Very windy when we surfaced. Visibility poor.


    18 August 2022 - Inscription Point

    Overcast and incoming tide just after low tide. Water 16.4C, tide was reasonably strong. Went very slow so did not go far. Two huge bullrays, 10 PPH, no sea dragons, one big belly sea horse, a few nudibranchs and one Bare Island anglerfish. Lots of the invasive weed around, more than last time. A really good dive. Visibility fair.


    20 August 2022 - Bare Island 15 Metre Reef 

    A large swell predicted but did not really start till we were in the water. Much rougher after, also much stronger W wind than forecast (hence not boat dive). Quite cold, 15.6C, but 7 to 8 m viz, a bit of surge deeper and also incoming current. Went slowly down, refound the tiny anglerfish from last Thursday, appears to be a little bigger. Lots of nudibranchs, some interesting ones like pink okenia, opera house and more. No RIF, no PPH but one upsidedown pipefish, one of the two we have seen the past few dives here. Very friendly blue gropers, a few PJs. Some very bad divers on the way back, viz dropped to 2 m where they had swum. A very nice dive again. Visibility fair.


    28 August 2022 - Pizza Reef

    Originally going yesterday but forecast changed and also could not get a crew. Today no wind and calm seas and very slight current, although this ebbed and waned. Did normal dive. No donut nembrothas, but half a dozen crested horn sharks, a shovel-nose ray and a very skinny shark of some sort. A few nudibranchs, some yellowtail, some bastard trumpeters and blue morwongs. A nice dive. Visibility good, but sometimes only fair.


    30 August 2022 - Inscription Point

    Seas bigger than forecast, so a bit of effort getting out, but did it without problems. Warmish water (17.3C) and no current as almost at the top of the tide but quite surgy. Drysuit leaked again, found another pinhole near the inflator valve. Only saw one PPH compared to 10 last time, but saw a sea dragon. Refound the Bare Island anglerfish, although upsidedown. Saw one big belly sea horse too. Some nudibranchs as well. Nothing really exciting, but a nice dive. Visibility fair.


    31 August 2022 - Bare Island Right 

    Millpond seas, no wind, no current, near high tide. Went in before Carol's Plaque. Found a small pineapplefish under SHR, then refound the tiny anglerfish, now about 10 mm. Continued down to SHC. At least half a dozen PJs here in a cave just around the corner. Back normal way. A blue groper followed me for half the dive, very friendly. No RIF or PPH still, no pipefish at all. Still, a nice dive, a very interesting nudibranchs. Visibility fair.


    11 September 2022 - Middle Ground

    No wind, no current and calm seas. Water 17.4C on top but 16.2C on bottom. Anchored NE corner. Visibility about 5-7 metres. Went around, lots of PJs and yellowtail. One wobbegong shark, but no donut nembrothas. Ascended okay but when back on the boat my right ear was full of liquid, not water. No hearing at all. Not dizzy at all like last time in 1998. Was a bit better later same day, lots better by two days later. Not full now but hearing down and funny. No diving for a while. Anyway, was a nice dive. Visibility fair.


    Click here to see details of dives including profiles.

    For more details about these dives and other dives this year, click here.
    Michael on 01 July 2022 00:00 · Print
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