Michael McFadyen's Scuba Diving Web Site
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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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    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 1,060 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 - April, May and June 2024
    2 April 2024 - Bare Island Deep Wall
    Millpond seas and threatening rain which fell while we were down and after we finished. Went off W point and on the wall had 10-12 m viz but very cold 17C. Only 4-5 m back shallower than the Cave. Was just after low tide and had very slight incoming current. Three BBSHs, two on wall and one on the large rock. Came back via 15 Metre Reef and SHC. Four PPHs on BR, the two yellow/gold ones are beautiful. Could not find the striated anglerfish others saw on Saturday. Four upsidedown pipefish, two sawtooth pipefish, a few small moray eels, heaps of yellowtail near BR, octopus all over the place and a few small cuttlefish. The RIF was near OHR but on main reef, no sea dragon. A really nice relaxing dive, no other divers here except someone who left the water before we went down. Visibility good.

    3 April 2024 - Bare Island Isolated Reefs
    Millpond seas again, before low tide. Went off W point to W and then to IR1. Went around both reefs clockwise. Visibility not as good as yesterday, only 6-8 metres and cold again at 17C then 18C shallower, very little current and already incoming. Lots of yellowtail all through the dive and a large school of silver sweep between IR and main reef. A few dwarf lionfish, including a tiny 30 mm one. Plenty of octopus again. The yellow/gold PPH still there but only one of the red ones nearby. Upsidedown pipefish still there, although I did not look for all of them. Not many nudibranchs really. The RIF was in same spot as yesterday and no sea dragon again. Nice relaxed dive. Visibility fair.

    4 April 2024 - Inscription Point
    Dive with Peter and Jacki and three of Peter's friends from Norway. They have been diving Sydney this week with him. A little bit of wave action but okay, a slight incoming tide and a bit of surge. Viz 5-6 metres and mostly 18C but a bit of 17C. We were looking for sea dragons for the Norwegians and found one very soon after the start of the dive. Some more seen later. Went slowly and showed them some big belly sea horses, pygmies and Bare Island anglerfish. Jacki showed me the yellow one on the sea horse rock and also another one a bit past this. I looked for the grey one but it has moved again, I could not find it. The other divers were cold and used a lot of air so they headed back with P&J. I did not and came back alone. On the way back I looked again for the black/pink BIA and I found it about 15 metres to the SW of where it was before, on the W side. I put a rock on top of the rock it is on. Saw some more sea dragons on the way back. 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 April 2024 13:00 · Print
    My Recent Dives - January, February and March 2024
    2 January 2024 - Bare Island Deep Wall
    Millpond seas and fine for once. Went off W point and headed SW, saw a fiddler-ray right at the start. Over the wall and found the first BBSH, the lighter one. Then to the rocks to the yellow one. Went over the rocks and Ron found a tiny, PPH, could not get it in focus. Tide should have been running in but was still running out here. Two upsidedown pipefish (USDP) under the bottom of the next wall. Another PPH I think. Ron went over RIF Reef but nothing of interest. A spiny gurnard at the Deep Block. Then to 15M Reef. I found a tiny yellow nudi with red rhinopores, not sure I have seen before. Then to SHC, no USDP. The white PPH is still there and the dark BBSH still on same rock nearby. Back via outer edge, a dozen squid, a flathead, some sole, a tiny PPH on OHR and the RIF is back on Long Rock. Could not find the sea dragon (others are seeing) nor the black striped anglerfish seen yesterday and this morning by Vicki. A really nice dive. Visibility good deep and fair shallow.


    3 January 2024 - Bushrangers Bay (Shellharbour)

    Club dive organised a few days ago. Had 11 members diving and two non-members and sausage sizzle after. Carpark full by 0715. Went slowly to 9 metres, viz really good there, less shallower. Lots of sharks, at least 20 I reckon, maybe even 30. Got some great photos and also used GoPro to get timelapse video. Came out really good. Maybe two large females, rest juveniles. A couple of the juveniles had hooks. Great dive. Visibility very good.


    3 January 2024 - The Gutter (Shellharbour)

    Second dive of the day, lots of parking spots in small carpark. Very strong NE wind blowing but entry and exit easy. Below 15 metres visibility went up to 18 to 20 metres and cool at 18C. Went out to Beauty Point which is to N of Gutter. Went via the gully on west side. Not a huge amount seen. No photos as camera lens fogged up. Back by compass and hit wall W of Gutter and then followed back to exit. Only an average dive. Visibility very good. 


    4 January 2024 - Bare Island Deep Wall

    Went in off W wall as millpond seas and just after low tide. Incoming current unlike Tuesday. As I went in a weight pocket must have fallen out as when I descended, I was too light. Went back and got rolled around a bit and then Ron found it about 3 metres from where I went in. Headed SW to Wall. Cold here but 10 m viz. My computers said 16 and 18C, but I reckon closer to 16C. Found the two BBSH and then another that Vicki found yesterday. Then back normal way, no PPH except the white one at Block Rock. No upsidedown pipefish, including the ones seen on Tuesday. There was a blue devilfish under Smaller Deep Wall. On Block Rock there were some fine-lined tambjas and a small Parramatta nudi. Then to 15MR where I found a couple of interesting nudibranchs, including a pink ceretesoma. Then to the other BBSH and back via the RIF. Ron found the sea dragon at Sea Tulip Rocks, on the S side near main reef. Then he found the black striated anglerfish that Vicki told us about on Tuesday. In kelp near the second orange sponge. Then back to exit. A really great dive. Visibility good deep but poor shallower.


    6 January 2024 - Inscription Point

    Reasonable S wind and swell, some wave action at entry/exit. Only two other divers in the water and no more till we got back. Very dirty shallow and not much better deeper, surgy too. Outgoing tide but not strong. Went to just past LBR. Saw one sea dragon with eggs, two BBSHs, the white BIA, only a couple of small PPH. At turnaround Erick found the miamira nudibranch, not in a good spot to get a photo. On the way back did not see the other BBSHs as we turned a bit before them. Erick found another BIA, yellow. I think it is Little George. Then back to exit. Not the greatest dive but okay. Visibility very poor.


    7 January 2024 - Bare Island Not So Deep Wall

    Went in off W point and W to NSDW. Then followed wall and 15MR to SHC and back normal way. Very dirty shallow but reasonable at NSDW. Cold though. Found two PPH there, a few interesting nudis. Went down to Deep Block but the Parramatta nudi was gone. Lots of fine-lined though (plenty on OHR and STR). Back to 15MR and then to SHC. A nice blue devilfish in the cave. Then to white PPH, dark BBSH. Then looked for the tiny orange painted anglerfish we saw 19 December. It has moved from where it was to the main cave, but we could not find it. Also didn't see the BIA that is near here. Then back, RIF in same spot as is the sea dragon. Could not find the black striated anglerfish near orange sponge though. A nice dive. Visibility fair deep but very poor shallow.


    9 January 2024 - Bare Island Not So Deep Wall

    Went in off W point just after high tide. A bit of outgoing current at times. Very very cold, 15C almost the whole dive. Viz a reasonable 7-8 metres. Found a few interesting nudibranchs again, but not the two PPHs on NSDW. Went to Deep Block but again, no Parramatta nudi. Then to 15MR and over to main reef about half way along. Went up a little on the reef behind some of the big boulders looking for BBSH, none. No blue devilfish at SHC and looks like the upsidedown pipefish have left here for good. The white PPH is still there and searched for the tiny orange painted anglerfish. I found it between Block Rock and Main Cave! Then to BBSH and then looking for the yellow and green nudibranch people saw in recent days, no luck. Across to some of the rocks towards Anglerfish Rock and I found a beautiful pink PPH. Then back via OHR, SHR and LR. RIF gone but the sea dragon was nearly at SHR. Then looked for things at STR but only fine-lined tambjas. No striated anglerfish again. Saw a few very large flathead deeper, some large octopus, a few small cuttlefish and all the usual fish. A very nice but cold dive. Visibility fair.  


    10 January 2024 - Inscription Point

    Got in near high tide, not the easiest exit as very high and a bit of swell. Also surge most of the dive. Water about 6-7 metres but very cold at 15C (despite what my computer says). Went past LBR and then back. Looks like upsidedown pipefish are gone but the small pipefish is there, also another one further on. Only saw the first two BBSHs and not many PPHs. Two sea dragons, one with eggs. Finally refound the grey BIA anglerfish near the white one which has started to go a bit yellow. Also saw George, the little yellow BIA, but not on the same spot as Saturday. Hard swim back as the current had picked up a bit. Warmer and dirtier shallower. Very good dive. Visibility fair.


    13 January 2024 - The Leap

    Club dive, seven divers. Very busy at both car parks. Very dirty shallow and also dark on the sand. Only lightened up about halfway through the dive, viz 3-4 metres. Really strong current, so ripped along and did not really see much small stuff. About 7 sea dragons, 2 with eggs. Missed the BIAs but Ron saw them. Saw the two BBSHs on Split Rock, a couple of small cuttlefish, a flathead, half a dozen squid. Saw a large mirror leatherjacket and a six-spined leatherjacket. Not really much else. Only average dive. Visibility very poor. 


    14 January 2024 - Bare Island Right

    Very strong SE wind and swell more S than NE like forecast. Easy in but very high tide meant wave action over exit, not too bad though. Not many divers when we went in but dozens seen near end and on island. Visibility worse than past few days, 3 metres at the most. Still cold 17C deeper and some spots I swear were colder. Found a new black striated anglerfish in outboard motor, looked for a tiny red painted anglerfish just past here but not seen. Sea dragon in same spot as last Sunday. No RIF and only two PPH. The tiny orange painted anglerfish is still in same spot as Tuesday. The dark BBSH there. Also saw a small fiddler-ray near STR and a Parramatta nudi on the largest one STR. Mandy showed me some allied cowries on cauliflower soft corals. Could not get great photos as camera housing fogged up due to the high humidity yesterday. Despite conditions, a nice dive. Visibility very poor.


    18 January 2024 - Bare Island Deep Wall

    Conditions much better than the forecast. Went in off the W point and to wall. About 8 metres viz at least, cold 17C. A fiddler-ray in kelp on the way. Could only find one light BBSH and the yellow one. Back normal way, no upsidedown pipefish and no nudis on the Deep Concrete Block. Along 15MR and then to SHC. The blue devilfish was there again. Then to white PPH and also the golden one. Tiny orange painted anglerfish on same rock as well as the dark BBSH. Then to rock near Anglerfish Rock, a red PPH. Back normal way, not RIF but found the sea dragon in same spot, the Parramatta and punk nudis as well as a few FLT. Then near here a largish black striated anglerfish. Nothing else seen from here on. A few horned sharks seen, some moray eels, a large octopus and an eagle ray near STR. Viz not as good from SHC, perhaps 6 m. A good dive. Visibility fair.


    20 January 2024 - Inscription Point

    Club dive, eight divers in all. Just after high tide, very slight current. Viz was about 5-6 metres but warmer at 19C. A large octopus in the place where the upsidedown pipefish used to be. Missed the first two sea horses somehow, but saw them on the way back. Saw four sea dragons, one with newish eggs and one with old remains. Some interesting nudibranchs, including honey coloured okenia, a couple of yellow ones. Also four moray eels, a few PPHs, the other two sea horses, a yellow boxfish and a very colourful small cuttlefish. Despite lots of divers here, only saw two others underwater. Good dive. Visibility poor.

    21 January 2024 - Bare Island Right
    Very early dive as hot day and yesterday carpark full very early. Viz 7-8 m and very cold at 16C, a bit of surge and strong current near Cave. Went very slowly down, over 33 minutes to SHR. Found a few interesting nudibranchs on the way, looked for the black striated anglerfish without luck. The sea dragon was there but not on the way back. The Parramatta nudi is growing quickly but the punk nudi is gone. A red blood nudibranch near Long Rock. A new very small PPH on NW end of OHR. Then went quicker to Cave and the orange painted anglerfish was in a spot where I could not take a photo. Back from here most direct way. A few more nudibranchs on the way back too, about five very good ones seen today. A few moray eels, various sizes, a lionfish, a couple of large octopus and all the usual things. Very good dive. Visibility fair.

    23 January 2024 - Bare Island Right
    Seas much better than the forecast and little wind. Very high tide early so went four hours after high. Viz only 3-4 metres but got even worse on way back, 2-3 m, quite surgy. Warm though, 21C! Went slow again. Could not find the black angler but I found a weedfish in the kelp. Then it disappeared so Mandy couldn't get a photo. Parramatta still on STR. No sea dragon or RIF. Two PPH before OHR, could not find the one on there. Then to Orange Anglerfish Rock where the red PPH is. Across to Cave and found the tiny orange anglerfish and then to the white and gold PPHs. Back via dark BBSH and most direct way. Viz got bad back near the Cave. Found three UDPF in two overhangs. Looked again for sea dragon, black anglerfish and weedfish, no luck. Mandy found the small orange painted anglerfish before outboard. Not exactly where I was told it was. Also saw a few large flathead, some moray eels and octopus, cardinalfish with eggs. Good dive despite the viz. Visibility very poor.

    24 January 2024 - Bare Island Right
    Better conditions than yesterday, viz 4-5 metres but colder at 18C. Did similar dive, found the first orange painted anglerfish, moved a little. No weedfish or black striated but other divers said near 44 Gallon Drum. Parramatta nudi there, no sea dragon or RIF but Ron was later shown one hidden at STR. Saw all the PPHs we saw yesterday and four upsidedown pipefish, one extra. Went to the other painted angler and Ron found another tiny one near it. Back via the shallow reef above the Cave. No cowries there. On the way back I found a cauliflower soft coral with three squat lobsters in it. Other things seen included a few flathead, a small cuttlefish, some octopus and a large wobbegong shark at OHR. Good dive. Visibility poor.

    25 January 2024 - Inscription Point
    Overcast and a bit of swell every now and then. Easy in but a little harder out. Viz about 4-5 metres and cool 18C for most of the dive. Very strong outgoing tide and lots of surge. Saw two sea dragons, four BBSHs, one of which had given birth, perhaps this morning. Heaps of PPH, 11 seen in total, all over the place but most shallower. Saw three BIA, one of which was Little George (last seen 10 January but in a totally different location) near the white and grey ones. One miramara nudibranch, a small lime green one and a spiky red one as well as a purple-lined nembrotha. A few pink okenias as well. Hard swim back into the current. Saw a small eagle ray on the way. Nice dive despite the cold, current, surge and exit. Visibility poor.

    26 January 2024 - The Monuments
    Club Australia Day dive and BBQ. Nine divers. Went in next to whales and exited there too, high was 9:40 am or so, but tide actually turned about 9:10 am, but it was weak. Little surge. Water cold at 16-17C, viz at least 15 metres for most of the dive. Went to E first, two PPH and a smallish sea dragon. Then a BBSH. Went this way till 18 mins and then headed W. Another large sea dragon and later one with eggs. Ron saw two more BBSH. Some interesting nudibranchs and all the usual ones. Some lionfish, a few small moray eels, an eastern frogfish, a white crab on a sea urchin and more. Very nice dive with a great BBQ afterwards. Visibility good.

    28 January 2024 - Bare Island Isolated Reef 1
    SE wind which picked up while we were down. Some surge, but not bad. Viz was 5-6 metres but warm 19C (mostly 20C). Headed down normal way, saw the first orange painted anglerfish and then a RIF on STR. No Parramatta nudi though. Then via OHR and way down past here we saw the sea dragon, has moved a lot. First time seen in 10 days. A few dwarf lionfish, the red PPH near AFR. Out to IR1 and the W edge of IR2. A frogfish and another RIF on the way. Two pineapplefish there as well as a blind shark, a small horned shark and also a fiddler-ray. Back via Block Rock, the two PPH are there, found the second orange PA but not the third or forth ones. Back along the main reef, two of the upsidedown pipefish I have seen recently there. Lots of yellowtail around different parts of the site. A very nice dive. Visibility poor.

    30 January 2024 - Bare Island Deep Wall
    Flat seas, very overcast, some light drizzle around. Went off W point to wall, perhaps 8-10 metres there and cold 17C (and dark) but warmer and dirtier above 13 m, still okay. Found the yellow BBSH on rock and after a bit of searching, the two light coloured BBSHs on wall. Then back normal way. Looked for RIF on RIF Reef (some seen there last week) but none seen. Some interesting nudibranchs, including a short-tailed ceratosoma on 15MR. The three PPHs seen recently are still there and found the two tiny orange painted anglerfish near cave. Two upsidedown piepfish seen but no sea dragon or RIF on the way back. A Parramatta nudi on STR and the third painted anglerfish is still near Fin, has grown a bit. Very good dive. Visibility fair.

    31 January 2024 - Bare Island Right
    Much windier today and swell coming around corner a little. Went in before Carol's Plaque. Visibility mostly 3-4 metres, some bits better. Warmer at 20C! Went very slowly down. Found the painted angler near Fin then a black striated anglerfish near rocks at 44 gallon drum. Not the same one we first saw 4 January and two other times since in different spots. There were two Parramatta nudis on STR and the sea dragon was back at its normal spot SW of the rocks. No RIF but Mandy found four PPHs on a rock I have never looked at just past SHR. Then to OHR and to the red PPH past AFR. Jumped from outcrop to outcrop and then to dark BBSH. Then to the two orange painted anglerfish. Back slowly from there. An orphan cowrie on a small cauliflower soft coral, a wobbegong shallower, two fiddler-rays nearer to Fin, two large octopus, three dwarf lionfish and some moray eels. A very good dive. Visibility very poor.

    1 February 2024 - Inscription Point
    A little bit of swell but easy in and out. No wind compared to last two days. Much better conditions, viz was 15 metres at least and 22C all dive. Swam into slight incoming tide, little surge. Mandy found a new BIA, sort of lemon colour. This was before LBR. She later found a grey one closer to exit. The white one is still in exactly the same spot where I first saw it on 3 November 2023. The grey one that has been on the same rock has moved to a nearby rock. Only three BBSHs, the first two and then another. Not that many PPH, I think we saw about six. Two honey-coloured okenia and a large short-tailed ceratasome. On the way back we saw a small wobbegong which had a fish hook in its mouth. I cut the sinker part off while Mandy held the line. Later a very active blind shark. No sea dragons but Mandy saw one near the end. A few lionfish, moray eels and small cuttlefish. A very good dive. Visibility good.

    2 February 2024 - Bushrangers Bay, Shellharbour
    Seven of us went to Shellharbour to dive the grey nurse sharks and then have lunch. Parking gone by 8:30 am but later some left. Went out to 6 metres and spent a lot of time there, plenty of sharks, but viz not great, perhaps 3-4 metres at the most, sometimes less. After 20 minutes went to 8 metres and then to 16 metres. Cleaner here but no sharks. Back to 6 metres and stayed there for 25 minutes before heading back. I counted at least 35 sharks, all juveniles with a few large females. Only one with a hook. Also saw half a dozen squid. Very nice dive again and good lunch at Waterfront Hotel. Visibility very poor on average.

    6 February 2024 - Bare Island Right
    Very heavy rain this morning, over 30 mm at my place and similar here. Wind had not come up much when we went in but was over 30 kts S at end. Still not hard to get in or out. Not too bad viz considering how large the seas were on Saturday when we had to cancel dive here for Carol's Anniversary. Did the normal dive, the three painted anglerfish are still in their relevant spots, although the one nearest the Cave has moved to the adjacent rock. Two Parramatta nudis, the sea dragon near STR, no RIF, some more PPHs, at least 7 all up, but a couple missing from last dive including Goldie. Four upsidedown pipefish, the ones I have seen recently. One small wobbegong, a nice nudibranch, the BBSH and an orphan cowrie. A nice dive despite conditions. Visibility poor. 

    7 February 2024 - Lilli Pilli
    Wind and seas up for quite a few days so no much choice in diving, got desperate. First dive since December 2022 when I found the gun and ammunition. Went around net which is brand new. Not a single bit of growth on it and no sea horses there or anywhere else. Went around wharf, found about 10 knives on the sand! Then back to corner pylon and then N-W. At 12 metres I found a large, 2 metre long stature of a diver. Has a real scuba tank on back on sand and a mask on forehead. I have never seen it before despite diving here numerous times and mostly going past this spot. From here to N to ledges and then NE and E to shallows. Then back at this depth to pool. Not much seen apart from a large whiting, a flathead, a few small bream near the pool and some other fish. Very boring! Will be a while before I come here again. Visibility very poor at depth but poor overall. 

    8 February 2024 - Clifton Gardens
    Wind and seas too big for most places so ventured over to the northside of Sydney Harbour. Went in from beach and out to net. Then along the net and through one of the 12 holes I saw big enough for a diver (and of course, a shark). Then under the wharf to end. Found a nice yellow striated anglerfish walking fast, then a gobby in a bottle. Lots of fish, bream, whiting and leatherjackets under the wharf. Plenty of large octopus too. A black striated anglerfish off SW side of the end of the wharf. Back under the wharf and got hooked by a bait catching line, twice! Cut the line both times. Then a Whites sea horse on a pylon and two more striated anglerfish, one yellow and one pale orange. Both these look a lot different to the normal ones we see. Then headed out to the newish concrete block reef. There is a statue of a diver here and then closer to net an Easter Island statue. Back to wharf, then along net to SW. A large pipefish. Then to the sea horse hotels, most have fallen totally apart. One sea horse on a newer one that has not collapsed. Then to net and back inside to the beach. Nice dive. Visibility poor and very poor in a couple of spots. 

    9 February 2024 - Shiprock
    Went in a little after we should have, very big difference between tides either side of high, 0.3 to 1.8 to 0.1. A bit of tide against us at first, but once at the large rock, it was with us but much diminished. Flooded my housing again, operator error. Camera okay. A dead starfish (maybe, eaten anyway) and a very dead stingray. Then to plaque, I used stainless steel wool to clean the graffiti on it that someone put there a bit over a week ago (JAYNE). Got rid of all but A. Tide stopped about 20 mins into the dive and restarted about 15 mins later, but very slight. Took some timelapse video with GoPro, moray eels, hermit crab, pineapplefish, catfish and sabretooth blenny. Back along the wall, five pineapplefish. Other than a lot of bream, whiting, leatherjackets and some schooling catfish, not a great deal there. Very easy dive. Visibility fair. 

    25 February 2024 - Inscription Point
    Club shore dive. First dive in 15 days as away in Victorian High Country. Almost high tide, easy in and out. Little current at all, some on the way back running in, but a fair bit of surge. Viz about 8 metres, 22C. Only had 170 bar to start, exited with 30 bar. Saw three big belly sea horses, six pygmy pipehorses, one Bare Island anglerfish. This was the grey one past Little Big Rock which has now taken up the spot the white one was living in for many months, although recently was on a nearby rock. Quite a few dwarf lionfish, at least 8 I think. Also saw an eagle ray at the start, one sea dragon (most seem to be in kelp now). A very nice dive. Visibility fair.

    28 February 2024 - Barrens Hut/The Split
    Boat dive on Phil's boat, MakCat still out of action and may never be used again. A bit sloppy and wind was not up till after the dive. A very slight current from the north. Lots of surge and also much sand floating, especially near the reef edge. Could see the boat very clearly from well over 20 metres. Anchored on flat area south of The Split southern end. Went thru Split to N and tried to find donut nembrothas, Only one, all the purple ascidians are gone, did not see any apart from the one the donut was on. Quite a few kingfish, lots of seapike, two wobbegongs and two PJs. The bastard trumpeters were not in usual spot as there was a large wobbie there. A good dive. Visibility generally good, but very poor in a couple of spots.

    29 February 2024 - Bare Island Deep Wall
    Flat as a tack, cannot get any better surface conditions. Just after low tide, so not much incoming current. Viz was at least 20 metres on the wall. Found two of the three BBSHs on the wall. Back normal way. No RIF, sea dragons, upsidedown pipefish or anglerfish. They all seem to have moved since my last dive here three weeks ago. The white PPH is still in same spot as it has been for months, but could not find any of the other ones I have seen recently. Lots of yellowtail, especially in the very shallow water. Two fiddler-rays, quite a few octopus and a couple of moray eels. One very large Parramatta nudi on main Sea Tulip Rock, a few fine-lined tambjas here and there. A jorunna nudi and a few more nice ones. Visibility very good deep but only fair shallower. 

    2 March 2024 - Bare Island 15 Metre Reef
    Last minute dive organised by me. No camera as housing has a small leak somewhere. Extremely flat but too many fishers at W point. Went in past Carol's Plaque. Went down via outside of reef and back via the wall and edge. Viz was 4-5 m shallow but 10 m at least near 15MR, only a little surge. Colder at 18C there too, 20C elsewhere. Could not find the three orange painted anglerfish but Jasmine found another E of Cave. No sea dragon or RIF either. Two fiddler-rays, a few dwarf lionfish, many octopus, a couple of moray eels. No Parramatta nudi at STR either. Some yellowtail out deeper. A really nice relaxing dive. Visibility fair. 

    3 March 2024 - Inscription Point
    Easy in and out, right at low tide. Viz about 8 m or so. Very slight incoming current on the way back. Found the black BIA that was at Exit Rock. It is now S of the two BBSHs which were actually on the rock next door to normal spot. Another yellow one on this rock too, but did not know that till after the dive. Five PPHs, the mirmara was on a rock on sand line. The grey BIA is in same spot as last time. Another BBSH in normal spot shallower. A few dwarf lionfish, octopus and moray eels. On the way back heaps of other divers, we were the first ones in. A very good dive. Visibility fair. 

    8 March 2024 - Bare Island Isolated Reef 1
    Went in from before Carol's plaque. Clean shallow, 5 m or so down to IR1 when dropped to less than 3 metres. A little surge. Went right around the sand edge to IR1 and then around it and back via the main reef. The sea dragon was in the normal spot, first time I have seen in a month or more. No RIF, only a couple of PPH. A couple of fiddler-rays, a large wobbegong, some moray eels and octopus. One octopus grabbed my arm when I went to pick up an old bottle! Re-found the orange painted anglerfish from Saturday on same rock. I checked photos, I first saw it in June 23 on OHR, then in July and August, then this year in January near Cave. The white PPH is gone after over four months. Only saw the gold one on top of the rock. A huge crayfish near the angler, biggest I have ever seen in Sydney. Back to exit, no sea dragon this time. Nice easy dive. Visibility poor and very poor on IR1.

    9 March 2024 - Henry Head
    Club dive day and BBQ. Two boats, 19 divers, I was on Greg and Shelly's new boat. Beautiful day but filthy water, despite reasonably flat seas. Anchored a bit to N of normal spot. Dirty all way down but far worse on bottom, lots of sand floating from big swell earlier in the week. Went SE then back, Didn't really see anything worth commenting on. At least the BBQ and socialising was good. Visibility very poor.

    12 March 2024 - Bare Island Deep Wall
    Very flat seas, went in off W point and headed S to wall. Came back along the wall, only one sea horse on rocks off the wall. Back to Nearly Deep Wall, a couple of very small pipefish in with a small moray eel. Went right around the outside of RIF Reef and then N to the end of 15 Metre Reef. Then across to SHC. The two PPH (gold/yellow) are on top of Block Rock, but the white one is definitely gone. Then back along wall. Two upsidedown pipefish and then another two. The orange painted anglerfish from last week is gone, not seen by others since Saturday. Lots of octopus, a few moray eels, a PJ and a horned shark, plenty of yellowtail. Also a few dwarf lionfish. Visibility fair but poor shallow.

    14 March 2024 - Bare Island Isolated Reef 1
    Very flat seas at entry but changed while down, swell up and W point was impossible then. Very surgy, even below 15 metres. Also very bad visibility, 2-3 metres at the most and cold 18C all the dive. Went around the sand edge. Three PPH on OHR, a horned shark, sea dragon in STR, quite a few yellowtail in places. The yellow and gold PPH on Block Rock were out of their hole. BBSH is still on its sponge. A few upsidedown pipefish seen as well. Other than that, not a very nice dive. Visbility very poor.

    16 March 2024 - Clifton Gardens
    Second trip here this year, wow! $10 an hour parking, $15 tolls, great value, NOT. Anyway, only ones here, relatively clean, 4 m or so. Went into pool and there is still one hole in the net large enough to swim through. Went through to the outside and then to wharf. Mistakenly went around the corner and realised was getting shallow. Turned around and went to the wharf. Zig-zagged to the end. Saw three striated anglerfish, two were next to each other, a small one and a very fat large one. There was another one I did not see. No sea horses. Went back from the end and then W and then to the net. Then followed the litter trail to the sea horse hotels. No sea horses on them, but saw a small yellow Whites near. Also a large tiger pipefish. Back to net and then inside and to E and then back W and followed the net and then back to shore. A nice dive, anglerfish the highlight. Visibility poor. 

    23 March 2024 - Inscription Point
    Club shore dive. Six members but one had reg free flow and left shortly after start. High tide and outgoing current, viz about 4-5 metre and 19C but then 20C after 30 minss. Quite surgy and exit had to be timed. Went to normal turnaround point. The two BBSH are still in same spot, a small grey BIA on rock next to where the white one was for months. Quite a few PPH, octopus, a small moray eel, a few dwarf lionfish, a half dozen squid. No sea dragons but a small school of yellowtail. Easy swim back into the current. Nice easy dive. Visibility fair. 

    24 March 2024 - Bare Island Isolated Reef 1
    High tide and some waves over the W point so could not go in there. Went in before Carol's Plaque. Dirty shallow, 3-4 m at most, but near IR1 was 10 -12 metres. Also in some spots on the way back. Mostly 20C but 19C in clearer water. Four PPH, one RIF, no sea dragon (was near orange sponges near Shortcut apparently) and no anglers. The brown BBSH is gone! Went around IR1 clockwise, little current if any. All through the dive there were large schools of yellowtail. Some small cuttlefish, moray eels and lots of octopus, including one in the cairn I have been building near exit. Also four upsidedown pipefish as we have seen on recent dives here. Nice easy dive, lots of divers despite rain. Visibility fair deep but poor elsewhere.

    26 March 2024 - Shiprock
    Forecast was for long period in ocean, but only small swell. Entered right on high tide, no current at all till the tide changed. Went from Pool down and over the Pyramid to last bommie. Then to Plaque and along the sand off wall. Found a black striated anglerfish past last small bommie. Then right along the wall to the wharf. One pineapplefish and a frogfish here. Back along wall, another two frogfish, a yellow spotted boxfish and two more pineapplefish, up higher than normal. Another one in the normal place. Back to exit but forgot I had set up my GoPro to do timelapse on a hermit crab. Had to go back into the current. Turned out it was boring footage. Then straight up to Pool, safety stop there. One of the better dives here in the past 10 years. Visibility fair. 

    28 March 2024 - Inscription Point
    Was supposed to dive SS Tuggerah on Peter Fields' boat but wind was 15-19 kts rather than the forecast 7 kts. Decided to solo dive here. Calm when I went in but a bit rougher exiting. Before high tide but no current at all. Viz around 8 metres, no surge and 20C. Found the black and pink BIA near the two BBSHs. Forgot to look last dive. A few squid near here, the BBSH and the other one later. No PPH at all. The grey BIA moved back to where the white one was before. A few nice nudibranchs, including a punk one. Also a large six-spined leatherjacket. Came back shallower and then went W a bit around the kelp islands. Found one sea dragon here. Then out. A nice easy dive. Visibility fair.

    30 March 2024 - Bare Island Right
    Club dive I organised on Thursday, 9 members. Went in before Carols Plaque and went normal way down. Visibility was only 3-4 metres, but warm 21C and no surge. Heaps of octopus out in the open. Found the RIF same place as last Sunday. Saw three PPH, including the yellow and gold ones on Block Rock. No sea horse but Gits found a yellow striated anglerfish just near BR. Saw five upsidedown pipefish and two tiny pipefish. Lots of yellowtail out near SHC. A few small cuttlefish, a horned shark but not many nudibranchs. Nice dive. Visibility poor.

    31 March 2024 - Inscription Point
    Not many divers around considering perfect weather and seas, only three others and later a few more. Viz was 4-5 metres and a bit of surge. Could not find the black/pink BIA near the two BBSHs, looked everywhere. Was there yesterday apparently. Also could not find the yellow/orange BIA on Little Big Rock but found the grey one past there, has moved from last Thursday to its original location on the other side of the rock. A few PPHs, some dwarf lionfish, the other BBSH but could not find the miramara nudibranch that was also said to be still around. Some yellowtail and had a numbray almost hit me in the head! Nice relaxing 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 02 January 2024 13:00 · Print
    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.


    12 December 2023 - Bare Island Right

    Just after high tide. Cleaner shallow than deep, 3-4 metres viz, but a hoard of jellyfish cut to a metre in spots. A strongish outgoing current from Cave on. Went normal way, no PPH, no RIF and did not find the sea dragon, although earlier divers saw. Only the yellow BBSH and not many nudibranchs. A couple of small schools of kingfish near Cave and a dozen small squid here too. A couple of fine-lined tambjas on OHR. Just an average dive. Visibility very poor.


    15 December 2023 - The Leap

    Drift dive from The Leap to Inscription Point. Way before high tide but no current whatsoever on the bottom, so had to swim all the way. Some surge. Visibility started okay at perhaps 10 metres but with whale snot. Cold 16-17C depending on which computer you trust. Visibility got less the closer we got to the exit. No sea dragons at all, but saw the yellow painted anglerfish for the first time in 6 or so weeks. Three sea horses, one Bare Island anglerfish but no pygmies. Also saw the large miamira nudibranch. A bit rushed due to no current and one buddy (long time no-see buddy now living in Queensland) getting low on air. A little trouble exiting due to the high tide. Finding the painted anglerfish made what was till then a boring dive, quite good. Visibility fair overall.


    16 December 2023 - Middle Ground

    Smooth seas but a 12 second period, so did not dive planned site of Osborne Shoals. Anchored on N side, NW wind and current from SE, but wind dropped when we ascended. Cold 17C again! Dirty on top but not too bad on the bottom. Went around, huge numbers of yellowtail for the first half of the dive. A large wobbegong, one small upsidedown pipefish on SE corner, not the same one we saw last dive here. Back to anchor. On top of the reef here there were dozens of swimming anemones on sea whips. A reasonable dive. Port engine mucked up on way back, but then ran. Visibility fair.


    19 December 2023 - Bare Island Deep Wall

    Dive with Mandy and her two friends from Hawaii, Bob and Deb. Tim was late getting to W point so the others went in, Tim and I followed when he arrived (too hot to wait - 28C). Caught up with them on Deep Wall. Saw one of the BBSHs on the wall, the others saw both. Then back along wall, not around the rocks. Some nice nudibranchs and a PPH. Near Deep Block, Tim was down to 75 bar so I took him to SHC and he went back from there. Then I went back to 15MR and caught up with the others. A nice pink ceretosoma here. Then to SHC, two upsidedown pipefish in normal spot. The white PPH and gold one on Block Rock. Then to the two BBSHs, but today only the dark brown one. Looked for the tiny orange painted anglerfish but did not find. Back via OHR, a small PPH and a fine-lined tambja. Lots of pink okenias around. Found the RIF on Long Rock but no sea dragon. Very nice dive. Visibility fair to poor. 


    19 December 2023 - Bare Island Right

    My 200th dive of the year, first time in 36 years I have achieved this!! Went in from before Carol's Plaque as high tide. Went down to RIF to show the others who missed first dive. Then to OHR to show them the PPH and fine-lined tambja. Then to look for the tiny orange painted anglerfish. Mandy found it, about 10 mm long. Then to BBSH, still only the dark brown one. To Block Rock again and then back via the anglerfish and the main wall. Mandy found a interesting yellow nudibranch near RIF, not sure I have seen before. Then back looking for sea dragon (also on the way out) but not seen. Another good dive. Visibility fair.


    23 December 2023 - Inscription Point

    Blue water at entry point but very dirty on sand line, about 3 m, but a little better above the rocks. However, 21C water. Large bullray as we descended. Outgoing tide and a bit of surge, went almost to Big Rock. Lots of divers, but only two others seen underwater. Saw four BBSH, three PPH, no sea dragons, but Kyle saw four. One upsidedown pipefish, a large wobbegong shark and an epulet shark. Also a juvenile horned shark and a large fiddler-ray. The white BIA is still in the same spot. Did not get far enough to see the yellow painted anglerfish. Only an average dive. Visibility mostly very poor but poor in 10-12 metre range. 


    27 December 2023 - Bare Island Right

    Arranged a club dive, six divers. High tide and a bit of swell and very strong S winds, the wind was not predicted and the swell was supposed to be less. Very rough in open ocean and some swells coming under bridge. Went in at Boat Ramp and then headed normal way, mostly 20C with one patch of 19. Visibility 8-10 metres deeper. No sea dragon, the RIF is gone from where it was last week. Could not find the PPH on OHRs either. Then to look for the tiny orange painted anglerfish, no good. Then to sea horses, only the dark brown one as per last week. Then to Block Rock where at least the white PPH is still there. Could not find the gold one though. Just after here, one buddy came to me and said was having problems getting air. It was dark due to heavy overcast so when he showed me his SPG (which showed 75 bar), I did not notice that when he took a breath it fluctuated. I gave him my ocky and we all then headed back to exit with him breathing from my tank (hence a very high air consumption for the dive of 15 l/min compared to normal 10.x l/min. Easily made it back. We surfaced at exit and he told me what had happened, sure enough, his tank was only just turned on. Exit was difficult but not too bad. Not a great dive. Visibility fair. 


    28 December 2023 - Bare Island 15 Metre Reef

    Sunny for once and swell and wind way down. Still highish tide but easy in and out. Minimum of 21C! Visibility only 4-5 m at most, a lot down on yesterday. Still not many divers here, although the usual early suspects were and a dive shop later. Went in past Carol's Plaque and did normal route then across to 15 MR and down it and back to main reef. Followed back to exit. Ahmad headed back early from SHR as he was hitting his head on his regs, fixed up and did a dive by himself. Same as yesterday in relation to missing creatures. No upsidedown pipefish either, but a couple of large flathead, a large cuttlefish near Cave. A few interesting nudibranchs, including punk nudi and the pink Ceratosoma brevicau. Very relaxing simple dive. Visibility poor.


    29 December 2023 - Inscription Point

    Lots of divers here, we were the first in I think. Swam into the very slight incoming tide. Blue water and got to 15, maybe even 18 metres visibility out the end. Saw two sea dragons, one with eggs. Saw four BBSH, the white BIA, lots of nudibranchs, but no PPHs at all, despite searching everywhere. Did not see the upsidedown pipefish, but there was a small pipefish in there. Came back shallower as normal. A few cuttlefish too, some in mating dance. So many divers passed us as we headed back. Visibility very good.


    30 December 2023 - Inscription Point

    Carpark was pretty full, with most already in the water. Different to yesterday when we were the first in (arrived at the same time). Swam into the incoming tide, strong for first five minutes then much less. Blue water again and got to 18, maybe even 20 metres visibility out the end, but a cold 18C again. Earlier divers reported less viz. Saw four sea dragons, two with eggs, one brand new. Saw four BBSH, the white BIA, lots of nudibranchs, but again, no PPHs at all, despite searching everywhere. Did not see the upsidedown pipefish, but there was the small pipefish in there. Came back shallower as normal. A few cuttlefish too and some moray eels, one tiny. So many divers passed us as we headed out, opposite to yesterday. Saw none after that. A very good dive. Visibility very good.


    31 December 2023 - Inscription Point

    206th dive of the year! A record. Heaps of divers here, most already in the water when we arrived. Dived about the same time before high tide as yesterday but totally different conditions. Visibility was only 4-5 metres at the most, but a warm 21C. Very little current. Went only as far as the white BIA. Saw the two BBSHs on the way, then the BIA, a purple lined nembrotha, no miamira although others saw near the nembrotha. Saw four PPH, a nice white one too. They were on rocks I had searched the past two days too! Three more BBSHs, two pregnant. A sea dragon, the small pipefish, a tiny yellow smooth boxfish. Looked for a grey BIA that someone said was near a red starfish near start of reef. Found the starfish I think, but not the BIA. Very good dive. Visibility poor.


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    Michael on 01 October 2023 13:00 · Print
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