Michael McFadyen's Scuba Diving Web Site
Home Contact Me Sydney Reef Dive Sites Sydney Shipwrecks NSW Dive Sites Australian Dive Sites Overseas Dive Sites Dive Accidents and Incidents My Yachting Adventures 4WD Trips Weather Search 20 July 2024 06:46

About Me
My Diving
Web Links - Dive Clubs
St George Scuba Club
Some of my Best Photos
Contact Me

Dive Sites
Sydney Reef Dive Sites
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
GoPro HD Hero Video Camera
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.
  • Login


    Forgotten your password?
    Request a new one here.
    Michael's 4WD Trips
    Click here for a list of my Four Wheel Drive and Camping Trips.
    Home Brewing
    Click here for an article about Home Brewing.
    Sydney Dive Site Hints
    "A seal can often be seen at Middle Ground"
    Bare Island - Sea Dragons
    Michael McFadyen's Scuba Diving - Sea Dragons of Bare Island


    Bare Island is the most amazing dive location. There are at least 10 different dives that can be done with only small sections being repeated (on the way to or from the main aim of the dive). The marine life is astounding considering how we have treated Botany Bay since Lieutenant James Cook, RN, first entered the Bay in April 1770 and his compatriot, Captain Arthur Phillip, RN, bought the First Fleet into the same Bay in 1788.

    Bare Island has some many different types of marine life that help make it so special. One of these are common or weedy sea dragons. Back in 1988 when I started diving Bare Island, sea dragons were only ever seen on the eastern or left side of the island. They were never in really large numbers and it was not till 1992 that I started to see more than one on a dive. We never saw them on the western or right side or the Deep Wall.

    In 1996 we started seeing them on the western or right side. The numbers also increased on the left side, I saw 12 on a dive there on 17 January 2001. From about this time it was not uncommon to see half a dozen on a dive to the Deep Wall or the Isolated Reefs. I saw 10 on 12 December 2004 and 20 August 2006. On 20 March 2008I saw 12 on the Deep Wall.

    From mid-2012 numbers dropped dramatically and by the next year we were seeing none. This corresponded with dredging to expand Port Botany. It is obvious that sea dragons (or their food source) do not like silt, as it was very silty from then on for a number of years. I saw only a total of 9 sea dragons at Bare Island from 2012 to 2023, despite many hundreds of dives there.

    In October 2023 I saw a juvenile sea dragon near Sea Tulip Rocks on the right side of the island. This was the first one I had seen since 2016. It is not a spot where we had previously seen them. This sea dragon has moved between here and down deeper towards the Cave since then. As of 12 December 2023, it is still near Sea Tulip Rocks. One other sea dragon has been seen during this time.

    A link toRight Side of Bare Island.

    The following are some photographs of sea dragons, all taken at Bare Island.

    Bare IslandBare Island
    This was the first sea dragon I had seen for seven years - seen 12 October 2023Here is the same sea dragon, seen on 12 December 2023
    Seen in same general location as before

    For more information about the dives, go to the Bare Island Dives index.

    Copyright © Michael McFadyen 1990 to 2024
    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 for almost 30 years by Michael McFadyen without any help from the Australian Dive Industry.
    Website created 1996!