Michael McFadyen's Scuba Diving Web Site
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About Me
My Diving
Web Links - Dive Clubs
St George Scuba Club
Some of my Best Photos
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.
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    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
    "Wobbegong sharks are now increasingly rare"
    Cape Hauy Seals
    In Australia there are a number of places where you can dive with seals on a regular basis. Even in Sydney, we see seals every now and then and sometimes even see them during a dive. I have even seen them a couple of times on the wreck of the SS Tuggerah at 48 metres.

    In New South Wales you can dive with seals at Montugue Island off Narooma and near Jervis Bay you can see them (less guaranteed) near Wreck Bay. In Victoria they are seen around Portsea and the entrance to Port Phillip Bay, but I am not sure there is a location where you can see all year round.

    In Tasmania there is a location that has seals all year round. This is located at Cape Hauy. Cape Hauy is located to the south of Eaglehawk Neck (the nearest populated area and the location of the dive shop). It is to the east of Fortescue Bay, a location where you can launch a boat and camp. It is a good four to five hours walk out to Cape Hauy from Fortescue Bay and even then, you cannot get close to the seals as the cliffs are very high.

    From Pirates Bay boat ramp at Eaglehawk Neck, it is about 13 kilometres to Cape Hauy. This takes about 20 minutes or so. At Cape Hauy there are two islands situated one after the other and separated by about a 10 metre gap from the mainland and from the first island. The western-most gap has on the southern side two amazing structures. The first is called The Candlestick and the second The Totem Pole. The first is a huge, round rock that juts like a candlestick out of the ocean. The Totem Pole sits between The Candlestick and the mainland and is a thinner and small version. It is worth the boat trip down here just to see these.

    Cape Hauy SealsCape Hauy Seals
    The kelp in the shallowsOne of the seals

    This first gap is located at 43Âș 08' 17.5"S 148Âș 00' 13.9"E. There are about 30 seals at this site. The second gap is located at 43Âș 08' 11.9"S 148Âș 00' 22.6"E (both using WGS84 as a datum). At this location there are about 40 to 50 seals and they are generally more active here. The seals are mostly New Zealand Fur Seals but there are also Australian Fur Seals. Both sites are what are called "haul out sites" which means they are all males and obviously a non-breeding site (although at least one birth has been observed in this area).

    If you go to the second site, anchor just off the shore in about 10 metres. You will see that the seals are generally lounging around all over the rocks, some in spots that seem very difficult to get to. Some of the younger males at times stage little "fights".

    Even if there are no seals in the water, once you enter, some will come in to look at you. Drop to the bottom and swim over to the shore. There is some very interesting kelp that comes up from about six to eight metres and lies on the surface. You can get some good photographs of the sunlight coming through the kelp. There are normally lots of small fish swimming in and out of the kelp.

    Cape Hauy SealsCape Hauy Seals
    Another sealPeter Trayhurn getting a photograph

    Go through the kelp towards the shore. It is about three metres here. You should see one or more seals on the surface. They will float around with their heads down looking at you. Gradually the seals will get a bit more inquisitive (remember, they do not get that many divers in the water with them), dropping down under the water and swimming closer. Stay where you are as they will come to you.

    You can try making noises through your regulator as this seems to attract their attention. I found that exhaling very quickly and making a lot of noise as you did got a couple to swim right up close. After a while change locations and see if there are any more in the water.

    On our dive here, Kelly and I agreed to get out of the water and just after I surfaced a seal came right up to Kelly and for the next 10 minutes, she and the other divers still in the water were treated to the best encounter of the whole dive. Damn!

    A great experience, probably best done as a second dive after a deeper dive (say the SS Nord). Visibility was about 12 metres or so in the shallows. Water termperature in March was about 15ÂșC).

    I dived here with Eaglehawk Dive Centre and can thoroughly recommend their service.

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    Website created 1996!