Michael McFadyen's Scuba Diving Web Site
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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
    "If you are very fit, you can shore dive the grey nurse sharks at Magic Point"
    News
    My Recent Dives - October, November, December 2023
    1 October 2023 - Bare Island Right
    What a difference a day makes! After yesterday's totally wrong forecast, over 3 m swells and long 13 secs period, today was flat and calm, only a little surge. Went in just past Carol's Plaque and went quickly to Sea Tulip Rocks then slow to SHC and then to 15 Metre Reef. Went along the reef to its end and then back the most direct route. Still many fine-lined tambjas on STR. Lots of nudibranchs, the same small school of seapike near the cave, lots of juvenile snapper near the end and a spiny gurnard on 15MR. Plenty of leatherjackets, including some eating a jellyfish. A few moray eels, one in a sponge near SHR. A nice relaxing dive, although a bit harder to get out as tide was high then. Visibility fair.

    10 October 2023 - Inscription Point
    A little wave action and outgoing tide, but little current. Visibility was 5 metres with lots of sand and jellies. Real surgy too. One of the six sea dragons we saw (one had eggs) at first view seemed to have no tail. However, closer examination showed it was almost totally in the sand. After taking a few photos I took hold of it and pulled it out of the sand. Relieved, it quickly swam away. I dug in the sand to try to find what had hold of it. Could not find anything, perhaps a serpent eel or a bobbit worm, who knows. Very strange. Saw two BBSH, a dwarf lionfish and two PPH. Possibly the most species and numbers of nudibranchs I have seen in Sydney for many years. Little Big Rock had at least 10 species, some were rarer ones including the soft coral mimic. Despite the conditions, a very nice dive. Visibility poor.

    11 October 2023 - Pizza Reef
    Club boat dive. Seas sloppy but not too bad. Very dirty on top but better on bottom, say 5 metres. Lost Shanus as he flooded mask when descending and then drifted off from descent line as he fixed. Ended up on sand, surfaced and was a long way from the boat and swam back. Tim and I went to Cave, no donut nembrothas in front but lots of bastard trumpeters and yellowtail. A large flathead on W side and the two upsidedown pipefish are still in same spot as four weeks ago. No donuts on the S side either, but plenty of purple ascidians. Then back to anchor and cutting, a large eastern blue devilfish there. Then up. A good dive. Visibility poor.

    12 October 2023 - Bare Island Right
    Flooded drysuit as I forgot to zip up before going in, wondered why it was hard to put on, idiot! Dived once Mandy zipped me up, water everywhere, left boot full, right leg very wet but boot okay. Only got cold when the water went to 17C, okay once back in 18C. Colder water was 10 m viz, but rest was 5-7 m. Went normal route. An eagle ray before orange sponges and then a bullray. Then a sea dragon, small male, at Sea Tulip Rocks, not there on way back. A RIF past OHR. Then went on the rocks to near IR1 and then over to 15MR. A PPH here. Then back via SHC and Cave. No upsidedown pipefish. All the normal nudis and fish, plus a small sole shallow. A really good dive. Visibility good.

    14 October 2023 - The Leap Deep
    Club Frenchmans Bay BBQ Day. Three boats, 24 divers. Too rough at Henry Head, large S swell, so did a dive here. A bit of surge. Anchored to E of the main wall and went W into outgoing tide which was not strong. Viz was about 5-7 metres. Cold though, 17C. Then back. Saw a small yellow boxfish, schooling catfish, a blue devilfish, one horned shark. Not a huge amount of fishlife. Back to anchor and up. Still a nice dive, great BBQ afterwards. Drysuit leaked like a sieve, found a hole in the left ankle. Huge amount of water in left leg. Visibility fair. 

    15 October 2023 - The Leap
    Steve V had to pull out as one fin strap broke as he put it on. Viz similar to yesterday and drifted in slight current. No sea dragons till near Inscription Point turnaround. Saw three all up, one with eggs, two big belly sea horses and quite a few nudibranchs. A small bullray at start and apparently another at end, but I did not see. Quite cold back in the wetsuit! Saw a lot of divers near the end and after the dive at least 30 arrived from a shop! Glad we were not diving later. A nice easy dive except for exit, high tide meant lots of water coming off the rocks. Tide appeared to change early, perhaps 9:00 am rather than 9:23 am. Visibility fair.

    21 October 2023 - Bare Island Deep Wall
    Last minute dive planned when the actual weather was much better than the forecast. A little bit of wave action off W point but easy to get into the water in between the sets. Went a bit more SW than normal and ended up near the S end of the wall. Viz was 8-10 metres mostly and a warm 20C. Went back to the S and found a pale yellow big belly sea horse on a sea tulip on a rock next to wall. Then, a bright yellow one on the large rock on the side nearest to the wall. Then normal way back. A few opera house nudis, a bright red PPH on the end of 15MR, a small fiddler-ray near The Cave. A few schools of luderick at the start and some of seapike near caves. Found the RIF near OHR but could not find the sea dragon near STR. A very good dive. Visibility good. 

    24 October 2023 - Bare Island Right
    Too rough to go in off W point so went in past Carol's Plaque. Viz only poor above 12 m but perhaps 10 m below, but a degree cooler at 18C. Went to STR and looked for the sea dragon but could not find. Then went via outer rocks to SHR and then to OHR. Still lots of dead kelp here. Some interesting nudibranchs there. Then to the next rock where I found the smaller RIF but on the S side of the rock, not N like Saturday. Then went out over the dead kelp looking for sea dragon but again, no luck. Cut across to reef near IR1 and then to Concrete Block Rock (CBR). Kevin found a pure white PPH here. Then back via Cave and normal way. A few opera house nudis, but only their appendages, clinging to a hydroid. Strange! A few interesting nudis on the rocks and then the sea dragon which was in the kelp near OHR. Near here was the other larger RIF. Then back normal way, didn't really stop as by now had been down 75 minutes and low on air. Very good dive. Visibility good. 

    25 October 2023 - Inscription Point
    Big southerly change early this morning but not affected here. Quite a strong outgoing tide, only 0.8 m difference so strange. A little bit of surge, lots of small jellies and some lion's mane jellyfish. Viz only 7 m and 19C. Did the normal route down, no sea dragons at all. Found the two BBSHs on the normal rock and another on the way back on the other rock. One red PPH and lots of nudibranchs. On the way back went higher up on the sand than normal, a huge bullray. Also a small wobbie under a rock. Did not see any anglerfish despite looking and only the one PPH. Could hear whales for second part of the dive but could not see any when we surfaced. A bit disappointing really. Visibility fair.

    31 October 2023 - Bare Island Right
    Started before high tide, out after. Not too bad getting in but much different getting out. Water right up under the bridge but worse was the fact that the wind was blowing over 30 knots from the west rather than the 10 knots when we started the dive. Waves were rolling in! Visibility varied from 4 to over 10 metres in three distinct areas. Best was near Sea Horse Corner, worst was from Opera House Rocks to The Cave and in between from entrance to Sea Horse Rock. Temperature mostly 19C but a degree cooler in the cleaner water. A new big belly sea horse seen thanks to directions from Vicki, don't think I've ever seen one quite that colour before. Also PPH, two white ones, a bright red one and a very gorgeous gold one (red and gold on 15MR). The smaller RIF near OHR, a flathead shallow, a few nudis, no sea dragon despite searching, but was dirty there. Glad we went, was worth it despite the exit. Visibility fair overall.

    2 November 2023 - Shiprock
    Bob H organised a dive. We went in six minutes before high and drifted for 30 minutes when the tide started running out. Did the normal route. A huge sole at start and then another one not as big. Two large flathead as well. Very few nudibranchs, I only saw some white with black edges. Plaque is totally unreadable now, no point keeping it clean as I have for almost 35 years. A large moray eel after turn and another back near pineapplefish. I saw three pineapplefish, two in normal spots, one under Bubble Cave and Ron saw another. Lots of leatherjackets as normal, a few whiting in theh shallows. Not the greatest dives. Visibility fair. 

    3 November 2023 - Inscription Point
    Raining as we got there but stopped as we geared up. A little sloppy in and out but okay. Incoming tide but nothing felt till 35 mins into dive and then slight. Surgy though. Found the small black angler fish at Exit Rock, 8 m. One sea dragon, four BBSH, one PPH. Shown a whitish BIA just past Little Big Rock and Ron found another yellow one above higher sand area SW of the two anchors. Quite a few small cuttlefish, a large moray eel, heaps of nudibranchs but nothing special. A good dive. Visibility fair. 

    4 November 2023 - Middle Ground
    Very sloppy and slow run out. Anchored off SE corner. Looks like some huge rocks have been moved just N of there. Viz 7-10 metres, mostly 20C but was 19C for a few minutes. Went around normal way, a few wobbegongs, although next group reported seven! One tiger anemone on S side, two donut nembrothas on S side (never seen there before) and a small cone shell on a gorgonia. Kelly found a tiny upsidedown pipefish on SE corner. Could not get a photo. Lots of seapike as well. Saw whales on the way out and heard all through the dive. A pod of 20 dusky dolphins swam near boat after the dive. A very good dive despite the seas and threatening weather. Visibility fair.Very sloppy and slow run out. Anchored off SE corner. Looks like some huge rocks have been moved just N of there. Viz 7-10 metres, mostly 20C but was 19C for a few minutes. Went around normal way, a few wobbegongs, although next group reported seven! One tiger anemone on S side, two donut nembrothas on S side (never seen there before) and a small cone shell on a gorgonia. Kelly found a tiny upsidedown pipefish on SE corner. Could not get a photo. Lots of seapike as well. Saw whales on the way out and heard all through the dive. A pod of 20 dusky dolphins swam near boat after the dive. A very good dive despite the seas and threatening weather. Visibility fair.

    7 November 2023 - Inscription Point
    What a great dive! Flat seas, just after low tide, 20C and very little current but a little surge. Viz of up to 10 metres deeper. Saw at least 7 PPH, three BBSH, two painted anglerfish, orange/red and orange/yellow, tiny. Both past Big Rock. Another BIA before. Others saw two more, the ones I saw last Friday. Two tiny upsidedown pipefish just near sand edge, bigger than Saturday's one, but not by much. Some really good nudibranchs too (honey-coloured okenia and yellow-ridged ceratosoma now called Miamira flavicostata) and a few cuttlefish. One of my last dives with this wetsuit, 8 years old, as I ordered a new one yesterday! Visibility fair to good.

    8 November 2023 - Bare Island Deep Wall
    Millpond seas, went in off W point. Hit the Wall a bit S of normal spot. Water 19C here but 20 m viz. Ron found the BBSH on the large rock, had moved from N side to S side. Mandy found the other one, moved about 5 m S. Quite a few PPH, including two on the rocks near the wall. A large cuttlefish here too. Two very small upsidedown pipefish back on the smaller wall and annother PPH. A few good nudibranchs here too, a large moray eel and a small cuttlefish. On the Deep Concrete Block there were at least five fine-lined tambjas. On 15MR there were more nudis, two pipefish (not sure what species, could not photograph as normal) and the gold PPH. The white one could not be found. Then across to SHC, two large upsidedown pipefish in the normal spot, hid before Ron could see them. Then the white PPH on Concrete Block Rock and the dark brown BBSH that we first saw 8 days ago. Running a bit low on air by now as over 60 mins in the water. Looked for RIF and sea dragon but none seen. Could not find the white PPH on OHR but there were some nice nudibranchs. Two bottom stirring divers seen here, dirtied the water up all the way back to STR. A great dive. Visibility very good deep and fair shallower. 

    9 November 2023 - Inscription Point
    What a great dive! Flat seas, just after low tide, 20C and very little current but a little surge. Viz of up to 10 metres deeper. Saw at least 7 PPH, three BBSH, two painted anglerfish, orange/red and orange/yellow, tiny. Both past Big Rock. Another BIA before. Others saw two more, the ones I saw last Friday. Two tiny upsidedown pipefish just near sand edge, bigger than Saturday's one, but not by much. Two sea spiders as well. Some really good nudibranchs too (honey-coloured okenia and yellow-ridged ceratosoma now called Miamira flavicostata) and a few cuttlefish. An excellent dive. Visibility fair to good.

    10 November 2023 - Inscription Point
    Earlier dive so closer to high tide. Cold again below 5 m, but almost 20 m viz till we got back near exit when it dropped to 12-15m. Very little current but still some surge. Went all the way past Big Rock but long constant swim back as Ron low on air by then. Saw at least four PPH, two new ones not seen on past two dives. Saw the three BBSH but no sea dragons at all. Lots and lots of nudibranchs, all common species but some were very young ones. The black BIA was not on Exit Rock and could not find any of the other anglerfish seen this week. They seem to have moved. A good dive, but nothing like the others this week. Visibility very good.

    11 November 2023 - Henry Head
    Was supposed to be Bill Rowland Memorial Tuggerah dive but had to cancel as forecast was strong NE winds and NE swell. It was just that, rough and 13 kts NE. This was totally protected and we dived right after high tide, very cold 17C on bottom but 15 m viz. Much warmer on safety stop, 20C, but dirtier. A bit of outgoing (S) current but not too bad, a little surge. Went S on sand and back closer to the main reef wall. A nice sea spider although Kelly said she saw 9. A few small moray eels, lots of nudibranchs, a great yellow bubbly nudibranch the highlight. No sea dragons, PPH or RIF which is still disappointing as we used to see them here all the time. All the usual other species here, especially black reef leatherjackets. A nice dive. Visibility good.  

    14 November 2023 - Inscription Point

    High tide and a bit of wave action, easy in, harder out. Surgy too, but not real bad. Mostly 20C but 19C on the sand. No sea dragons. Tried to take some time lapse video but somehow it reverted to normal video. WIll try again. Saw five PPH, including a new red one with huge belly up near upper sand area. Another smaller brown one with it. Three BBSH, the others saw the white BIA but I missed it due to videoing. The miamira is still on the same rock as last Thursday. Two other great species black spot jurunna (two of them) and Cadlinella ornatissima (yellow with pink tipped white cerata). The black BIA is still missing. Nice dive. Visibility fair.


    19 November 2023 - Inscription Point

    Huge seas on Friday so amazing that by yesterday it had dropped to enable diving yesterday. Today was even better apparently. Went in from lower rock. Lots of whale snot, especially shallower. Deeper it was 10-12 metres viz and blue, temp 21C for most of dive but dropped to 20C for the last quarter. Slight incoming current, high after noon. Lots of nudibranchs, only two sea dragons but four BBSH, two of which are new, E of Big Rock. Found a crested horn shark with an egg partially out. I grabbed the tendrils and it came out, so I put it in a hole. The miamira was on another rock next to where it has been for the past month. A bit surgier once we got above 15 metres or so. Dirtier closer in as well. A nice easy dive. Visibility good.


    22 November 2023 - Bare Island Not So Deep Wall

    Went in off W point, easy, just needed to judge it as coming to low tide. Went W to NSDW and then back via 15MR. Viz was 7-8 m deeper and above 12 m was 4-5 m. Also warmer by 2C in shallower water (19C deeper). Quite a few nudis, could not find the white or gold PPH on 15MR but did find a smaller brown one. The upsidedown pipefish is still at SHC, has eggs, didn't have two weeks ago. Then to the white PPH on Block Rock and then to the brown BBSH and there is now a smaller yellow one as well. Then to the top of reef above Cave, a spindle cowrie. Much warmer here. Then back over wall to look for RIF and sea dragon, none seen. no PPH on OHR either. Then back to exit, Ron found two tiny pipefish, one near outboard and one near his exit. Very nice dive. Visibility fair.


    23 November 2023 - Inscription Point

    First dive with new close-up lens. Worked good once I got used to it. Southerly wind and SE swell. Quite calm and looked good from the surface but very dirty in the water and a fair bit of surge. Also at times lots of sand floating around, perhaps from the wharf construction. Water was warmer at 20C, two days ago it was 17C here. Looked for the baby sea dragons others saw here a few days ago but no luck. Two sea dragons with eggs, one with growth on them and the other mostly missing eggs. Saw five big belly sea horses as per Leap Dive on Sunday with the extra one being one seen for ages. Lots of nudibranchs, including Limacia ornata. Could not find the miamira nudibranch. A few large flounder/sole, three or four PPH, no anglerfish but saw a small pipefish. A nice dive despite the poor conditions. Visibility poor.


    25 November 2023 - Pizza Reef

    Club boat dive, Greg had to pull out as one diver got sick and since his son was coming too, they were down to just the two of them. Too rough to go to Osborne Shoals so did Pizza. Mostly smallish slop but every now and then some real big ones (2.6 m) came through, ENE. Dirty and warm on top but cleaner and colder (18C) on the bottom. Reasonable current from N. Anchored NE corner and had to move anchor to better spot, but problems with this after the dive! Lots of yellowtail and one-spot pullers on N side, bastard trumpeters near cave and also two large kingfish. Four donut nembrothas, three in front of cave. Others saw some N of anchor. A nice pygmy pipehorse and refound one of the tiny upsidedown pipefish we saw six weeks ago. Still the same size. Then back to the anchor. Did not have camera due to rough conditions, so no photos. Good dive. Visibility fair.


    25 November 2023 - Pizza Reef

    Could not get the anchor out, tried heaps of times but no go. Went down and found the chain was wrapped around the rock and the anchor had slipped into a corner where it would never have come out. Freed chain and then anchor and sent it up on lift bag. Did a bluewater ascent and Kelly picked me up. Eight minute dive with two minutes safety stop. Visibility fair. 


    26 November 2023 - Henry Head

    Totally different conditions to yesterday, sunny most of the time, flat seas. Anchored right near the Admiralty anchor. Gary lost his TG-6 which fell out of the housing as it was not closed properly. Probably under boat, will look for it next time. Viz about 6-8 m but cold 17C. Went S with slight tide, just after high. Lots of sea spiders, I saw at least four. Many nudibranchs but did not see some that club members who dived here yesterday saw. A few schools of yellowtail, more nudibranchs, a tiny tiny yellow boxfish, no photo as it moved too quickly. A very nice dive. Visibility fair.


    1 December 2023 - Inscription Point 

    First dive with my new Seatec wetsuit, got 8 years out of the last one. Cold 17C today and I was so much warmer than last weekend. A bit of wave action as nearing high tide. Quite surgy, especially above 10 m. The black BIA is back and we also found the grey one past Little Big Rock. Four BBSH, although did not find the second one on the split rock till coming back. Two sea dragons, both with remanents of eggs. Three PPH, all near each other past LBR. Came back shallower, the second sea dragon up here. A cuttlefish, lots of nudibranchs, plenty of other fish too. A really nice dive but the surge not so great. Visibility fair.


    2 December 2023 - Barrens Hut/The Split

    Much better seas than last weekend, but still a little sloppy. S wind but slight current from the N meant we hung facing the land with anchor back under the boat. Got to the bottom and found I had flooded my camera housing. Oring sticking out again! Luckily the camera and housing survived. Went up Split to N and then N again. Lots of changes here, at least a metre of sand missing. Looks so different with boulders that we previously only a metre out of sand, now over two metres and triple the size lengthwise. Even where the donuts are found has changed, rather than close to the sand it is standing high. None seen at all, even most purple ascidians are gone. Back along the sand edge, more changes and can swim through under the huge rock and main reef where fuel tank is. Has not been like this for at least 25 years. Then to Cave. Lost buddy here and had to come back to find him. Then to anchor and up. Buddy did not dump air so he dragged the crossover line to the surface and me with him! Went back down and did safety stop. Came up way too quick but luckily both okay. A nice but uninteresting dive. Visibility poor.


    3 December 2023 - The Monuments

    Club Xmas Party. About 16 divers I think. Millpond seas, dirty on top but colder 18C below, perhaps 4-5 metres. Drifted W in slight current. Two sea dragons, one yellow BBSH, one pink PPH, a few nice nudibranchs and flatworms and all the usual ones. Camera could not be used as fogged up as must be still damp in housing. Lots of moray eels, at least 8, one huge and two very small ones. A few cuttlefish and all the usual fish. A nice dive. Great party afterwards. Visibility poor.


    5 December 2023 - Pizza Reef

    Flat seas and little wind, slight current from N. Anchored N end of the gutter. Dirty to 20 m then cleaner, but on way back up cleaner from 12 metres. Still cold at 17C, but 21 on surface. Went to Cave, two donut nembrothas in front, lots of seapike and some bastard trumpeters. Second group saw a blue devilfish in the cave. Then down W side, another donut, then the tiny upsidedown pipefish, still no bigger. No donuts on the S end, lost Geoff here and refound him NE corner. Then out in front of main reef on N side, four more donuts. Then back to anchor and up. Nice dive. Visibility poor. 


    7 December 2023 - Bare Island Isolated Reef 

    Relatively flat seas but not the best visibility. Ranged from 5-7 metres in the shallows to 2-3 metres deeper with some 3-4 metres patches. Did Isolated Reef 1, no current despite outgoing tide. Water 18C deeper and 22C shallow. Found the elusive sea dragon, near STR. Also two pipefish near there too. A nice bright red PPH on OHR. No RIF. Some nice nudibranchs all over the place, but nothing exciting. The white PPH is still on BR (Block Rock) near SHC and yellow BBSH in same spot, but the brown one was missing. An boarfish near the Cave and a tiny yellow thingamajig (idiomysis) near the Outboard. Also quite a few small cuttlefish, a large sole, a large octopus, Was still a great 76 minute dive. Visibility very poor.


    8 December 2023 - Barrens Hut/The Split

    Double dive on Russ Jones' new boat. Went well. Anchored right at S end of The Split. Dirty to 20 m and then cleaner, much better than last Saturday, still cold at 17C but mostly 18C. Went up Split and then N, found one donut nembrotha. Back on the outside to Cave and through. Then back to anchor. Lots of one-spot pullers all over the place, bastard trumpeters, red morwong, blue morwong and a wobbegong. Good dive. Visibility good.



    8 December 2023 - Reka 5

    Reka dived in Phil's wetsuit as her drysuit flooded first dive. Amazingly it almost fitted her and she did not get too cold. Russ didn't have GPS for Pizza and we ended up here which is halfway between Maccas and Hungry Jacks. Went N and then back a bit shallower then back out deeper and then N again, found anchor a little shallower. Huge amount of fish. Yellowtail, one-spot pullers, silver sweep all over the reef. Saw a dozen blackfish or luderick go flying past too. Lots of purple ascidians and I saw a donut nembrotha but Reka saw four. A great dive. Visibility good. 


    9 December 2023 - Inscription Point

    Did not get enough divers for the club boat dive to get any in my boat, so I organised a shore dive. A few waves coming in when we arrived but it was an easy entry and exit. Dirty above 10 m but only a little warmer at 19C. 17C on the bottom and 4-5 metres viz, outgoing tide. Black BIA not there, but found four of five BBSHs. Saw a total of 10 PPH, 6 on two rocks just past LBR and 4 more shallower on the way back. No grey BIA, two sea dragons, two small upsidedown pipefish that I first saw on 7 November. A couple of small cuttlefish, lots of nudibranchs, a nice dive. Visibility poor.


    11 December 2023 - Inscription Point

    My 200th dive with Ron Walsh. We did a great 92 minute dive this morning. Visibility was over 10 metres just after high but by the end of the dive had dropped to perhaps 5-7 m. Water temperature up significantly to 20C with occasional 19 patches. Five big belly sea horses, only three pygmies, no idea where the rest went, two upsidedown pipefish (same spot for over 6 weeks), one sea dragon and heaps of nudibranchs, including some rarer ones. Also saw the white BIA but the black one is still missing. Some small cuttlefish and at the end 10 smallish squid. Very good dive. Visibility good.


    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 2023 13:00 · Print
    My Recent Dives - July, August, September 2023
    8 July 2023 - Middle Ground 
    First dive from MakCat since 3 December 2022 as starboard engine was RS and needed rebuilding, took that long to get fixed. All went well. Very windy day forecast for later, so decided to do a short deep dive to get back before wind came up too much. First dive with new Garmin Descent G1 Solar computer/watch, worked well. Fin came off as I descended!! OSTC died last week. Anchored on rocks off NW side. Went around anti-clockwise, viz 15 m. Not a lot of fish, but plenty of wobbegong sharks. My torch did not work, no batteries in it! At the end of dive went to move the anchor a bit as it had moved, the anchor took off and I had to put it in a spot down wind. Used a lot of air. Visibility very good.

    12 July 2023 - Bare Island Isolated Reefs
    Went in off W point, some wave action and had to time it right, got hit by a wave just after I got in but all okay. Headed NW and then along 15M Reef. Then clockwise around the Isolated Reefs. Visibility out here varied, from 7 to 12 m. Back shallow it was over 15 m. Lots of yellowtail on IR, near the end a large boarfish. On the northern side Erick found a blue devilfish. Back normal way. More yellowtail, then to OHR where the Parramatta nudibranch is still there, much bigger. Also heaps of fine-lined tambjas., also bigger. Back to shore, found the red/orange painted anglerfish, still on same rock. A very good dive. Visibility good overall.

    15 July 2023 - Marley Point
    Club boat dive, only my boat. Little wind and small swell, ran full speed down to site. Saw dolphins and two seals on the way, also whales after the dive, breaching. Anchored normal spot. Had ear problem near bottom and too four minutes to get the last few metres to the bottom. Went E and then back shallower. Then W, thru cave and back past anchor and then back. Not a great deal of fishlife, some moray eels, Port Jackon sharks, a large bullray and one wobbegong. Also a Moorish idol near anchor. Nice easy dive, but not exciting. Visibility very good.

    16 July 2023 - Henry Head
    Took boat out again as too many divers yesterday. Wind from SE over 10 knots and got stronger. Just after high tide, slight outgoing current. Viz almost 20 m. Anchored in 13 m, much shallower than normal. Went S and then back past anchor and back. Some yellowtail, a few cuttlefish and moray eels (big and tiny). Some nice leatherjackets, mosaic and black reef mostly. A few nudibranchs, no sea dragons or sea spiders. Nice dive. Visibility very good.

    18 July 2023 - Bare Island Deep Wall 
    Went off W point to Deep Wall. Very clear, 15 m at least. Mandy found a big belly sea horse here. Also some nudibranchs. Then back normal way, no pineapplefish and the green nudibranch gone from the northern end of the wall near the wheel. An upsidedown pipefish here and another one at SHC. Back up the Sand Gutter and dozens of small fine-lined tambja (FLT) on the Concrete Block. Also a spiny gurnard, another one later. More nudibranchs, including red-lined flabellinas. Back via OHR and the Parramatta nudi is still there as well as dozens of FLT. I could not find the red painted anglerfish but Mandy found it after I left. No PPH or RIF. A very good dive. Visibility good to very good.

    22 July 2023 - Shiprock
    Too windy and rough to take boat out or dive anywhere open to the ocean. Went in 10 minutes before high, drifted for 30 minutes and then back. Viz only 4-5 m and cold 16C. Not much out on sand and near bommies. The plaque is unreadable now, no point in cleaning as engraving is not visible really. Went to neat ET's wharf. Back along wall, lots of fish, leatherjackets of many species, plenty of small yellowtail, bream and snapper. I saw 10 pineapplefish, but Donna said 12. Lots of small cuttlefish, very few nudibranchs, I only saw one. Easy but cold dive, but not exciting. Drysuit still leaking, cannot find the leak at all. Visibility fair. 

    27 July 2023 - Middle Ground
    Club boat dive. Yesterday a big swell and long period came up, was worried that today it might still be around. There was still a largish swell, but no surge at all. Think I found the main leak in my drysuit at last. Still a little water, but small amount. Dirty on the way down but bottom was much cleaner than I expected, 7-8 m. Anchored on eastern rocks, took me a while to figure out where we were as I expected to be near NW. Went to main reef, then N a bit, no donut nembrothas. Saw quite a few wobbegong sharks and a spiny gurnard. Then went back along the crack to the SE corner and then back near to where we started and across to anchor. Lots of yellowtail in a few spots. Much better dive than I imagined. Visibility fair. 

    28 July 2023 - Isolated Reef 1
    Went in off W point but a wave caught Mandy and she lost a fin. Could not find it, so she dived with only one. Went down near the Pool and then went to the start of IR2. Did not find the small red painted anglerfish on the way out but Mandy found it on the way back. The Parramatta nudi has disappeared and less fine-lined tambjas than before. No RIF or PPH. Quite a few PJs. A large flounder, a medium kingfish by itself. A nice dive. Visibility varied, mostly fair.  

    29 July 2023 - Whale Watching Platform
    Anchored first go. Calm seas and viz 8-10 m. Mostly 18.0C but one spot of 17.0C. Went S first and then back to anchor. Found two blue devilfish here. Then N. A large green turtle under a ledge but took off quickly. Lots of PJs and horned sharks. Black reef leatherjackets, plenty of one-spot pullers and a few nudibranchs. Came back following the wall but missed anchor and ended up W and then S of it. Back to wall, not where we were at the start of dive, headed N and ended up surfacing to find the boat as running out of time for others to enter water. We were only 15 m or so from the boat. Back down and to anchor line and up. Nice dive. Visibility fair. 

    1 August 2023 - The Monuments to Inscription Point
    Outgoing tide so started next to the whales. Viz 3-4 metres and cold 17C. Went W for about 12 minutes and then with tide, very strong. Saw a big belly sea horse and PPH in the first bit. Then some nudibranchs, six sea dragons and a small black painted anglerfish. Quite a few PJs, plenty of silver sweep and the usual fish. Current stopped near exit. Nice dive. Visibility poor.

    5 August 2023 - Bare Island Not So Deep Wall 
    Went in off W point. Fairly clean deeper (7-8 m) but only 5-7 m shallower. Quite a few PJs and small cuttlefish. Lots of fine-lined tambjas but no Parramatta. The upsidedown pipefish was near SHC as usual. Saw a few small moray eels, a small liofish and some cuttlefish. Found two PPH on rock near First Cave, a small RIF near OHR and the small orange/red painted anglerfish in normal spot. Plenty of other usual fish. Nice dive. Visibility poor.

    9 August 2023 - The Split
    Club boat dive. What a contrast to last Wednesday, flat seas, no wind, sunny and even better, great visibility. Went to Barrens Hut/The Split, but really only did The Split section. At least 15-18 metres viz for most of the site, warm 17-18C. However, some surge and a little sand in the water. Went N up The Split then back to anchor near S end of The Split. A big change since I was last there in 2022, the purple ascidians have mostly disappeared. These are what the donut nembrothas feed on. We did see two, but they were moving across the sandy topped rock where I have mostly found them. Heard whales all through the dive with a baby very loud towards the end. A few PJs, some seapike, a few other nudibranchs. The stainless steel fuel tank is now almost totally exposed and can easily swim thru above it. A great dive. Visibility very good.

    Next four dives at Jervis Bay.

    12 August 2023 - The Crossroads 
    Club trip to Jervis Bay. Dropped in at the northern end and did a drift dive to the south. Water 12-15 metres viz and 17C. Very shear wall, in places over 10 m high. Hit 40 metres, but deeper further east. Many small ledges, some PJs, a lot of yellowtail at one spot. Started back a bit shallower and then headed SW to get to 25 metres which is the top of the reef. Then a bluewater ascent and waited for the boat to collect us. Noting really special, but a nice dive. Drysuit leaked again, despite very little on Wednesday. Visibility good.  

    12 August 2023 - Cathedral Cave
    Anchored in about 30 metres, went down and cut acroos to the reef before bottom. Then east to cave entrance. Went into the cave, very clean, more than 20 metres inside. Went right to the back and then to the left to the end. Some sharks up high. Then back to the entrance, rest of the group passed us here. My camera would not take a photo for some reason (later showed not properly in housing) so used my GoPro. Then back towards anchor and then north near sand edge. Some yellowtail, one-spot pullers. Back to anchor and a nice swim-through here. Then up. Good dive. Visibility good, but very good in cave.

    13 August 2023 - The Arch
    My 500th dive deeper than 40 metres. Very rough seas but little wind. However, picked up while underwater and stronger and larger, hard to get back on the boat. Water 12 metres viz and 17-8C. Anchored south of The Arch, had to drop over wall and head north to find it. Then back past anchor to south and back again. A few PJs, but not much else. When I got to the anchor, I saw that the start of the rope was caught in a hole and would never come out. Bram pulled on the rope and I used my torch to bash it down, this worked and I got it out. Used a lot of air! Then around anchor and up. Very hard to stay at deco stop. A nice dive, but quite stressful. Visibility good. 

    13 August 2023 - North Bowen Island Drift
    Went over to Bowen Island and after morning tea, did a drift from Little Egypt to The Wall. The water was millpond here. Visibility similar to last dive but cooler at 17C. Saw two large bullrays, one with no tail. Also a sea dragon, many male and female king wrasse. About halfway we saw a huge green turtle under a rock. First I have ever seen this far south. Ended up back at The Wall and safety stop on the top. Really nice dive. Visibility good.  

    Next dives in Anilao, Philippines.

    22 August 2023 - Bubble Point
    This spot is a short distance SW from first one. A sandy bottom which slopes to NW and E. Anchored in 5 m. Went NW and then E and SE, gradually got to 24 m after 12 mins. Lots of small rocks. Came across a large rock/coral with two huge anglerfish on it, one with orange spots on it. Also there was a crocodilefish and heaps of nudibranchs on it. Started working way shallower to W and then N. Found a few Shaun the Sheep nudibranchs on the green leaves. A nice eel, small cuttlefish, heaps more different shrimps and shrimps. An anemone with clownfish with very black colour. Guarding eggs on a piece of coral. Some tiny fish with bright pink eyes. Then back to N and safety stop as we went to boat. Another very good dive. Visibility fair.

    22 August 2023 - Secret Bay
    No camera as battery dead, despite charging it last week. Located around the other side of the peninsula from Buceo Anilao. Anchored in 9 m on sandy bottom. Slopes to shear wall from 22 to 30 m. We went E to the bubbles that give the site its name, from volcanic action. Water also coming out hot. Then to the wall and N, very slight current against us. Some overhangs and small gorgonias and lots sea whips, a nice banded sea snake here. Lots of nudibranchs, a yellow spotted boxfish, many shrimps including new species. Some crabs too. Wall runs N and then sort of ends after maybe 50 m. From here worked out why shallower and then back S on sandy slope/top. Some rocks and rocky/coral outcrops. Back to boat and did safety stop on the sand. Very nice dive, visibility fair.  

    23 August 2023 - Sun View
    Located 6 mins NNW from resort. Sandy slope to W that goes to 30+m. We went W and then S going at 22 m and dropping to 24 m. Lots of small rocks with coral and growth, and a few larger rocks. Sea whips with gobies and shrimp, a few different species. Also soft corals, some with soft coral crabs. Some mantis shrimps, one in the open. At depth a large light pink gorgonia. It had three tiny pygmy sea horses on it. Very hard to see, impossible without a torch. Hard to get a photo of these ones as hiding behind parts of the gorgonia. After this headed N and gradually came back shallowed over the next 25 mins. Last bit under the boat, lots of nudibranchs here. A really good dive. Visibility good, 12-15 m.

    23 August 2023 - Twin Rocks
    Original plan was to dive a site near the previous one, but too much current. So went closer to resort into a bay. Two bommies coming up from 12 m to near surface. Moored to S of them. Went down and NW fairly quickly to 18 m. Then dropped to 21 m and later 23 m. Bottom again sandy but less rocks, only bits of coral mostly. More nudibranchs, seawhip gobies and shrimp, mantis shrimps, octopus and more. Another large light pink gorgonia, this time with two larger pygmy sea horses, one of which I found. Got good photos of these ones! Also saw some acoel flatworms on a blue sea star. Never seen them before. From gorgonia gradually ascended to 15 m and then eventually to 5 m. Went past the bommies. A juvenile ribbon eel near boat but my camera battery dead. Another very good dive. Visibility good.

    24 August 2023 - Kirbys Rock 
    Located at N end of Caban Island about 20 mins run W across strait. Was 13-15 knots SW when we left but calm here and also after dive. Site is a bommie that comes up from 41 m to above water and another bommie to 18 m. Only 30 or so m off the island. Anchored on the top. Went down SW side and there was a largish white anglerfish. Also there when we came back up. Went down to 24 m and then over to the other bommie. Around it, hit 26 m. Then back to the main bommie and anti-clockwise around it. Stayed mostly under 25 m for 25 mins and then started a gradual ascent as we worked our way up the bommie. Whole area is covered in the small yellow sea cucumbers that we saw in Ticao in 2020. Thousands of featherstars as well, very colourful wall. Lots of nudibranchs, eels of many species, shrimps (anemone, gorgonia, featherstar) and crabs on coral. Around the other side a yellow gorgonia with two very small pygmy sea horses. Came back clockwise and then anti-clockwise again to the safety stop area. A great dive. Visibility very good.

    24 August 2023 - Olympic Point
    Located on Marikaban Island to the south of the previous dive and E of the Olympic Point Resort. Bottom at anchor is 5 m and then slopes to the N to 9 m and then a steeper slope to 14 m and slight slope to over 20 m. Bottom is sand with small rocks and the occasional larger rock/coral outcrop. Rubble ends at 20 m or so. Went N to deeper water and then W for a while, zig-zagging as we went. Then back to E and then S back to the boat. A juvenile ribbon eel near boat and another a little deeper. More eels, nudis, shrimp and crabs. A small anemone with two tiny white pipefish, fantastic.! Some lionfish, shrimp in anemones and on featherstars. A very small orange hairy anglerfish which kept swimming around, hard to photograph. Another very good dive. Visibility very good.

    25 August 2023 - Dari (Daryls) Laut
    Located on the W side of Coban Island, went via the small channel between it and Maca Island. Took about 20 mins. Anchored in 4 metres only 20 metres off the island. Bottom drops from 7 m to 14 m quite quickly and then gentle slope to at least 30 m. There is a wreck here, main part is a huge box like structure, only the frame left. Apparently was a floating casino set on fire for insurance. The top is in about 12 metres and the bottom in 25 m. There is also another piece of wreck, looks like a section of hull at a bow, perhaps it was part of the main wreck. We went along the dropoff, two electric clams. Then to 29 m to get photos of the wreck. Then worked our way back. Batfish on deep corner, wreck is very colourful with lots of growth. Many nudibanchs, a small crocodilefish, some anemones and clownfish. Went to shallow part of wreck and then to top and back to the top deeper and back again. Then to reef wall and up. Very good dive. Visibility very good.  

    25 August 2023 - Agahuta
    Located east of Olympic Point Resort and around the corner. Anchored in 5 metres. The sandy top drops in a slope to ? metres. We went to 24. Bottom sandy with old dead coral rocks and boulders and some large bits. Lots of featherstars of all colours. Went N to deeper area then W and then back E and back to boat. Saw two huge anglerfish, about 25 metres apart. Thousands of the small blue triggerfish, finally got a photo. Pufferfish, moray eels, a juvenile ribbon eel, nudibranchs, shrimp, anemones with clownfish, including Nemo. Viz was varied, sand floating and also some small thermoclines. Great dive due to the anglerfish. Overall viz was good. 

    26 August 2023 - Aphols Point 
    Very windy, 15-17 kts, so went across strait to S to this spot on Marikaban Island. Possibly due to a typhoon off northern Philippines. A bit more protected here but still windy and bumpy. A couple of bommies and slopes to N to 25+m. Went N and then W into a slight current. Bottom mostly sand with some coral rocks and some larger boulders. Lots of barrel sponges, heaps of featherstars and some small sea whips. Saw a smallish white anglerfish on the way deeper and a few lionfish. Went till we saw s smallish gorgonia. This had a tiny pygmy sea horse on it, but I could not get a decent photo as it kept hiding. Back E getting shallower, saw a banded sea snakke, a few lionfish, a juvenile sweetlips, a spotted stingray, some cowfish and clownfish. Then some starfish shrimps and featherstar shrimps. Ended up near the bommies for safety stop. Another excellent dive. Visibility very good.

    26 August 2023 - Mainit Corner
    When we surfaced from previous dive it was much windier and rougher, so resort said we had to come back across strait and dive near resort but around the corner. This was to W of second dive of the trip. At least 12 dive boats here, but I only saw one diver underwater. The site is a bommie that breaks the surface and drops to over 30 m. We stayed around 9 metres for 10 mins and then N and dropped to 20 m over the next five mins. Saw lots of nudibranchs, especially nembrothas. More lionfish, two more juvenile sweetlips, a small yellow spotted boxfish, a few cowfish, anemones and clownfish. Starfish and featherstar shrimps. A really good dive. Visibility good. 

    29 August 2023 - Buceo Anilao 
    First dive since Saturday due to Super Typhoon Goring off N Philippines causing very strong winds and rough seas. Boats still not allowed out, so shore dive in front of the resort. Slope from 4 m down to 30+ metres, sandy bottom with small rocks all over the place. Also the moorings for the dive boats. Went to 28 m to NW and then S and then back to N shallower. Saw three anglerfish, all small/medium sized. One white, one orange, one tan. Some nudibranchs, a sea moth, a few lionfish, shrimp of various species, gobies, octopus, crabs, orangutan crab. Very good dive. Visibility very good.

    29 August 2023 - Buceo Anilao
    This time went to 22 m and then to the N into a slight current. Some more nudibranchs, shrimp, mantis shrimp, lionfish and clownfish in anemones. The clownfish were all very aggressive, attacking me as I tried (unsuccessfully) to photograph them. Went back up to 10 m and came back at that depth. Not as good a dive as the first one. Visibility good. 

    Next dives are at Sabang (Puerto Galera)

    1 September 2023 - Shark Cave
    First dive at Puerto Galera. Raining but not too windy. Went to the E of Sabang to point and dive off the eastern side. Live drop into the water. Dropped to 18 m and then gradually headed N to the cave. Bottom sandy with coral bits. A few nudibranchs and small gorgonias and some featherstars. At the cave, a few larger gorgonias and a lot of colour. Nothing in the cave really, but colourful. A small overhang really. Then headed NE a bit deeper to a large bommie with a smaller one. Did a clockwise circle around it, very colourful on top and on N side. S side is shear wall. Then back to SE and gradually got shallower just staying out of deco (we were on air). Ended up in 10 m and then did safety stop in blue water with guide sending up SMB. Nice dive. Visibility excellent, but less above 16 m. 

    1 September 2023 - Hole in the Wall
    This dive is off the same headland, but to the NE. We were actually supposed to dive The Canyons, but our guide could not find, although we may have done the end bit. We descended to 7 m and then to 16 m. Here there were thousands of jacks, swirling all around us. There was a reasonable current from the E and we drifted with it. At times I stopped to take a photo and my heart rate went from 60 to 77 bpm. Had the jacks for a long time and then again later. We came across the Hole in the Wall which was supposed to be part of the dive anyway. Some nudibranchs, anemones and clownfish, featherstars and sea whips. Ended up in 6 m just off the point. Visibility good.

    2 September 2023 - The Canyons
    Tried again to dive here but big problems. Very strong current to 24 metres which was also very dirty. Below that it was 30 m viz, but!!! John had a free flow after hitting the bottom at 15 m. He lost most of his air. I did not see him for 4 mins as all I could see was dive guide. He came to me and showed he had only 50 bar and we were at 25 m or so by then. Started to ascend. Told Jay and he gave John his long reg. We ascended, a bit too quick as there was an updraft. Ended up at 5 m at 8 mins and did 3 min safety stop before ascending. I took over giving John air before Jay sent up SMB. We had travelled a huge distance. A total crap dive with huge air consumption. Visibility very poor.

    2 September 2023 - Hole in the Wall
    We checked John's reg and found no problems. We think it must have been the current that caused the ocky to free flow. We kept watch on him the whole dive, a tiny dribble from ocky when he took breath. Next dive I turned the ocky mouth piece down and it did not do it. This dive is in the bay opposite all the dive resorts. Dropped in and went NW against slight current. Bottom sandy with lots of small coral bits and a few larger. Also some moorings and where we turned, two aluminium boats, about 7-8m long and upsidedown. Saw quite a few nudibranchs, a few mantis shrimps, a few moray eels and many anemones and clownfish. Also a large school of medium sized silver fish. Went back SE and ended up in 6 m and did safety stop there. Visibility good.

    2 September 2023 - Dungon Wall
    This dive is the small headland west of the lighthouse headland. Started to the E of it and drifted in slight current to the W. A steep slope to 40 (?) m but we went to 20 and stayed at this level. Bottom sand and larger coral sections. After 10 mins came to the wall, shear from shallow to over 40 m. Dropped to 24 m and stayed that depth for the next 15 mins when the wall ended, then shallow ascent to 15 m and then again to 6 m. Before the wall there was a large gorgonia. I found two tiny pygmy sea horses! Got a few reasonable photographs. Lots of nudibranchs, a large school of fish off wall, a smaller one of small chevron barracuda shallow. Lots of anemones and clownfish, some moray eels, including one with a "companion" fish, never seen this before, it followed the eel wherever it went. One anemone had bright red tips and beautiful clownfish. A really good dive. Visibility very good. 

    3 September 2023 - Sinandigan Wall
    No wind and flat seas! Site is to the south of lighthouse headland and goes around the next headland. Started on the SW side of the headland and went N. Entered the water in 5 m and went ENE to about 24 m and then turned more NE or N and dropped to 30 m. Slight current. Bottom is sand and almost totally covered in small rocks. Some growth on them. After a few mins ascended a little to 26 m and at 15 mins came to the wall, this went for about 50 m. Had some nice small gorgonias and lots of featherstars. Also plenty of the small yellow sea cucumbers. Dropped to 28 m for three mins then started a gradual ascent to safety stop, heading back a little more N or NNE. Some larger coral outcrops here. Saw a few nudibranchs, a moray eel, a porcelain crab, a lot of long-finned bannerfish, many anemones and clownfish, a few pufferfish, one very large. A very nice dive, if somewhat unspectacular. Visibility excellent.

    3 September 2023 - MC Alma Jane
    This wreck is NW from the dive shop. Sits in 30 m on sand. A small coastal freighter, twin props (removed), lying E-W. Has a mooring on the stern. Dropped to stern and over the back. Dozens of batfish here, some followed us around. Went through the space in front of the rudder to the N. Beautiful colours. Went to bow and then off to get a photo. Back along port side where the ship's hull has collapsed inwards. Then to inside bow and back to stern. Some large sweetlips at stern and a large octopus. Then swam SE above sand till we hit the reef at 27 m. Slow ascent eventually to six m. Some nudibranchs, a few moray eels, Moorish idols, long-finned bannerfish, anemones and clownfish. Nice easy dive. Visibility fair to good.

    4 September 2023 - Boulders
    My 4700th dive! This is located 4 km from the resort and well south-west from the lighthouse headland. Dropped into 4 m and went S down a steepish slope to 26 and then to 30 m. Some large boulders here and a large gorgonia. I found two pygmy sea horses on it and Jay another one. Not great photos though. Then worked our way back to 24 m where more large boulders. Some nudibranchs, a shrimp on a seastar, gobies on sea whips, featherstars everywhere. A tiny colourful sea cucumber like one we saw yesterday. Plenty of small gorgonias too. A large boulder had an overhang and there was a plaque to someone there with beer bottles. Then back shallow and more boulders. Very nice dive. Visibility excellent.

    4 September 2023 - Kilima
    This spot is north of Sinandigan Wall and where we ended that dive yesterday. As I went in my GoPro came off and dropped. I saw it and went after it but Ted got there first. This was at 23 m! Then went E to 29-30 m and headed N. Bottom was gravel and we were looking for thresher sharks. Saw two, or one twice. Got a poor photo of the second one. John saw four humpheaded wrasse but I did not. Also some tunas. Then headed shallower after 17 mins to 13 m, then gradually to five m. Only a few nudibranchs, some of the yellow sea cucumbers, some Moorish idols. Near the end a large banded sea snake on the bottom, got good photos. Excellent dive. Visibility good.

    5 September 2023 - The Canyons
    Tried again for the third time. Less current than the previous two, about 45 mins after low tide. Drifted straight into the first canyon. It is 24 m on top and 26 on the bottom. After a few mins there we went over ridge at 21 m to the next one at 27 m. Spent 8 mins here. Then over ridge at 24 mins into the next one at 29 m. Huge numbers of jacks here, swirling all over the place. Stayed here 6 mins and then around the next ridge to the huge Admiralty anchor. Very old. Spent a few mins here and then drifted off in current to E and ascended to safety stop over 5 mins. Ended up about 600 m away. Excellent dive, excellent visibility.

    5 September 2023 - Kilima
    A repeat of yesterday's second dive. However, water was one to two degrees warmer, no thresher sharks or humpheaded wrecks. Went N at 30 m for about 10 mins and then shallower for another 5 mins. Then headed SW back into the bay and shallows. Lots of anemones and clownfish, some nudibranchs. All the usual suspects. Ended up in 6 m for safety stop. Visibility good. 

    5 September 2023 - Monkey Wreck/Ernies Cave
    Dropped into 16 m and then headed E into slight current getting deeper to the wreck at 24 m. A small trader about 10-12 m long, no superstructure. Then E again across sandy/coral rubble bottom. Some garden eels here, no photos of course. Then to the reef. Came up to 21 m on the sand and then back to 23-24 m on the reef. Very nice coral, with featherstars, heaps of gorgonias, some large, no pygmies though. A really big white with yellow skirt nudibranch and more other species. Anemones and clownfish, all the usual suspects. At 37 mins we turned around and went up to 16 m and headed back W. Came to Ernies Cave, very low overhangs. Then W getting shallower as we went. Ended up in 6 m on some small coral outcrops. Very nice dive. Visibility very good.
     
    6 September 2023 - 
    Went in at Sabang Point which is the nearest point to the E. Current was supposed to go W but was going E. I had ear trouble descending and took ages to get down. Then okay. Current reasonably strong so high air usage when staying still and higher heart rate than normal. Went at 22 m over coral rubble/sand bottom. Lots of garden eels. Above there were the fish that feed on the plankton and open their mouths real wide. Came to the Monkey Beach wreck but did not really stop. Came back up a bit before that to 19 m and then back to 23 m till almost 30 mins. A mantis shrimp out hunting, some small eels, a few nudibranchs. Lots of colour and tropical fish. From here ascending to 10 m with one drop to 14 for a few mins. Then up to reef top. Nothing really special. Visibility good.

    6 September 2023 - The Atoll
    This was at lighthouse head and started off the NE tip. The Atoll was the bommie we went to on second part of the first dive over here. This time we came from the N till we reached it after 9 mins. Went around it clockwise, would have liked to stay longer. So much colour on the bommie, but we didn't see any nudibranchs unlike last dive. At 14 mins headed across to the main reef and stayed at 24 m for next 10 mins and then up in steps to 18 m. Lots of nudibranchs, some very interesting and new. A nice flatworm too. The gradual ascent to 8 m and then safety stop. Also sea whip gobies, two large octopus, lots of colourful fish and reef very nice. Good dive. Visibility very good. 

    7 September 2023 - MV Alma Jane
    Current from E on top and stopped for ages just down for unknown reason, I wanted to get down while my ear was okay. Finally on bottom at 3.5 mins. Went around stern deck, a few sweetlips here and dozen or more large batfish. Went over starboard side and the to bow and back to the break. A nice nudi on top here. At 21 mins we left and went to reef. Before that a small cuttlefish next to wreck. It was a 12 min swim to the reef to SW. An orangutan crab, nudibranchs, some porcelain crabs, a sea spider on an anemone and some nudibranchs. On the way shallow came across more moorings and an upsidedown front end loader scoop or similar. Nice dive. Visibility very good.

    7 September 2023 - Sabang Bay
    This spot is NNW of dive shop. Strong current from E, dropped to 17 m and then to 23m. After 8 mins back to 20 m and very slowly rise to 16 m over next 35 mins. Lots of coral pieces on the bottom. A white Rhinopios, a small banded sea snake, two orangutan crabs, some porcelain crabs in anemone, mantis shrimp in open, heaps of nudibranchs, a turtle with very scratched shell and a banded sea snake. Lots of moorings and other junk, some coral outcrops. Ended up in 6 m for safety stop. Very good dive. Visibility good.

    7 September 2023 - Sabang Bay Wrecks
     This is straight out in front of the shop. Dropped down into 16 m and then to 19 m where first a wrecked fibreglass "tinny". Next a 10 m yacht on port side. Can go inside. On the side was a giant black anglerfish. Quite a few fish around it. Saw more orangutan crabs, a few nudibranchs. Also a lionfish, a small darting fish, cannot remember its name. Towards the end a large turtle with three remoras on its shell, very clean! A very good dive. Visibility good. 

    8 September 2023 - Ernies Cave
    Dropped in shallow and headed deeper and W in current. Didn't actually visit the cave this dive. Got to 24 m after 8 mins and current was running the opposite direction, so we turned and headed E. Got deeper to 28 m over next few mins and then back up a little. Bottom is sand with some coral boulders. Lots of featherstars, at least three very large gorgonias but no pygmy sea horses. At the start a large coral rock with seven lionfish under it. A huge number of nudibranchs, many species. A large pufferfish, a large batfish, a moray eel, many anemones and clownfish. Plenty of tropicals, including flutemouths, butterflyfish and more. An excellent dive. Visibility very good but was excellent where we turned.

    8 September 2023 - Sabang Point
    Dropped in at the point and headed E even though little current till very end in shallows. Went to 25 m and then up to 22 and then 20 till 45 mins. Mostly 30 C except for some small spots near end. Again, heaps of nudibranchs, two egg cowries, very colourful, especially the first one. A tiny white pipefish in an anemone but I could not photograph it. A huge porqupinefish and a huge pufferfish. A really colourful large flatworm, lots of tropicals again and a turtle right at the end. An excellent dive. Visibility very good.

    9 September 2023 - West Escarceo
    Went in off stairs in bay and dropped from 9 to 18 m and then 24 m. Drifted towards W. Not a great deal of nudibranchs. One featherstar shrimp, one moray eel, orangutan crab (John found it). Bottom sand and coral pieces and the occasional little coral rock. A school of small silver fish like yellowtail. Not the greatest dive. Visibility very good.

    9 September 2023 - Lalaguna Point
    This is the W most point of Sabang Bay. Went in N of the point and from 9 to 15 m. Headed NW getting to 19 m. Into a slight current over a sand and coral pieces bottom. A few small outcrops. Ended up at a huge memorial for a dead Korean diver, a concrete beer bottle with plaque. Turned around here and went a little shallower to the SE. At 50 mins went S into shallows and a wall that went almost to the surface, this was off the last resort in the bay. Another uninspiriing dive. Visibility good.

    9 September 2023 - Sabang Point
    Started off the NW side of point this time. Drifted to W at 24 to 27 m. A large turtle with remoras deeper. Turned at 18 mins and went shallower to 22 m and started to E getting gradually shallower. Some nudibranchs between 15 and 18 m, an octopus, a nice lionfish, plenty of tropical species. Up high there were lots of schooling fish, not sure what species. Some were large. Near the end another turtle swam past and then settled on the bottom. Another average dive except for the turtles. Visibility good.

    10 September 2023 - Dry Dock
    This is a smallish dry dock that has been scuttled off Scandi Dive Resort in the bay to the west. It is a series of box compartments joined in the middle by girders. Dropped down to 30 m and drifted onto the wreck. It sits on a slight slope with the shallowest section 25 m. Worked our way up. Some nice growth, including a large gorgonia. From here at 10 mins we headed S to the shallower area, took ages, 12 mins at least. Then started a gradual ascent to 12 m and stayed there for 25 mins. First it was just sand and coral pieces on bottom but then a few larger bits. Ended up in reef and at the end, a nice wall. Some shrimp, nudibranchs, dancing shrimp. Came across two boxes of beer bottles that were tied into the box and now a reef. Some gobies inside them. At the wall a small cave with four flutemouths and two tiger pipefish. A good dive. Visibility good.

    10 September 2023 - Kilima Drift
    Went back here again but this time started further south and went shallower. Went to 23 to 26 m and drifted E and then N. We really flew, current was strong. A few nudibranchs, shrimps, moray eel and lots of the silver fish that eat plankton. Also some sea whip gobies, two porcelain crabs on anemone. A good dive. Visibility only fair for most of the dive but good out of the current and shallow.

    11 September 2023 - Montani
    This is located in the channel to the west of Sabang. We entered towards the south and drifted N under a very slight current. Sandy bottom at first and deeper some coral pieces. A water pipe running parallel to the shore with a few offshoots. Some larger coral rocks and at least one tree stump. Lots of nudibranchs, some flatworms, side-head slugs as well. A large cowfish with long tail, dancing shrimp on anemone, a few clownfish. Other group saw a flamboyant cuttlefish! A very good easy 81 minute dive. Visibility very good.

    11 September 2023 - Hole in the Wall Drift
    Went in a fair way west of the point and drifted in a reasonable current E. However this died off as we got closer to the point. Drifted at 22 to 24 m for 33 mins and then up to 13 m. Arrived at the HITW at 45 mins. Through it and spent the rest of the dive there. Lots and lots of nudibranchs and flatworms, a few moray eels, an octopus and more. An excellent dive. Visibility good.

    Back home in Sydney

    16 September 2023 - Pizza Reef
    Club boat dive. Reasonably flat seas but an 11 second period so a bit of surge even at 27 m. Anchored on W side. Forgot weights at first, so had to get them and try to go down again. Headed anti-clockwise around the reef. Kelly found two upsidedown pipefish on the S wall. There were four fat donut nembrothas on low rocks on S side. Kelly also found a pygmy pipehorse, a sea spider and a spindle cowrie. There were four more donuts in front of the cave. Some yellowtail and a few bastard trumpeters near and in cave. A nice dive. Visibility fair.

    17 September 2023 - Henry Head
    Flat seas and about high tide. Water temp 18C but very hot day, 26C at start but 30C by the time we finished. Anchored a bit shallower than normal, had to move anchor from top to about 3 m deeper. Then went W to sand and then S. A slight current still coming in. Went this way for 20 mins, then back past anchor and back to anchor. Lots of nudibranchs, no PPH or sea dragons or sea spiders. A large PJ, many yellowtail and Kyle saw some kingfish. A few moray eels, including two large ones out in the open. A good dive. Visibility fair.

    27 September 2023 - Bare Island Right
    First dive here since 5 August. A bit of surge, especially above 10 m. Went slowly to SHC and then to start of IR1 and back. Lots of nudibranchs. Best ones were opera house, pink okenia and heaps of fine-lined tambja on Sea Tulip Rocks. A small bullray without tail at 44 gallon drum, quite a few seapike near main cave. Viz was strange, probably 10 m but lots of particulates meant really less than that. Temp was 19C till 52 mins when dropped to 18C. No RIF or PPH but a flounder, the normal blue groper and some nice wrasse. A nice, relaxing dive. Visibility fair. 

    28 September 2023 - Inscription Point
    Well, I stuffed up but luckily no lasting problem. Entered the water and descended and checked camera, flooded! Took to shore and washed it in the rainwater, still seems to work. O-ring hanging out big time. Harry was there and he took up to my car. Still appears to work hours later, go to love TG-5s. Went back and then dived normal way. Very surgy and quite dirty near sand, temp mostly 19C but a couple of 18C near the end. About five sea dragons, one BIA, one tiny orange painted anglerfish, three red wide-bodied pipefish, at least 8 PPH and three sea big belly horses. Andrew saw five sea horses, a new one he named Michael!! Not named after me though. Quite uncomfortable due to the surge, but a nice dive anyway. Visibility poor.

    30 September 2023 - Bypass Reef
    Club boat dive. Was supposed to be to Red Flag and Magic Point but once outside there was a much larger swell running than the forecast showed. Some waves were 3 m and the period was 13 secs compared to the 10 secs it was supposed to be. Decided to do Bypass Reef. Knew there was a current but was a bit stronger than I thought. However, easy to get down. Anchored a bit deeper and to E than normal so went E over the small wall to the sand. Then N and then back S. Then W a little and back to anchor. Very surgy on the bottom, lots of sand being circulated. A PJ, some yellowtail and that's about it. Not a great dive. Visibility poor.

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    Michael on 03 July 2023 00:00 · Print
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