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
    "The Monuments is a great place to find sea dragons"
    Pistol Crack
    Michael McFadyen's Scuba Diving - Pistol Crack
    Pistol Crack View
    A satellite photo of the coast showing the Pistol Club and the Pistol Crack dive site
    The Sydney coastline provides some magnificent dive sites, both for shore and boat dives. Virtually all of the coast is able to be dived and you are limited only by your imagination and the means to access the sites. One of the least dived areas of the coast is the section of coast to the north of Botany Bay. The main reason for this was the total absence of any dive charter boats operating in this area. I could never fathom this, as there are some really untouched dive sites out of Botany Bay. However, since the discovery of grey nurse sharks at Maroubra, a number of charter boats are operating on a temporary or permanent basis in this area. Try Frog Dive, Pro Dive or Sydney Dive Academy. However, the best way is to use your own boat as the charter boats do not seem much interested in anything but the sharks.

    One of these sites is the Pistol Crack. The northern headland of Botany Bay is known as Cape Banks (named after Sir Joseph Banks of course) and is part of Botany Bay National Park. A few hundred metres north of Cape Banks in the national park is the Sydney Pistol Club. This is located on an old rubbish dump and is adjacent to a fissure which was also filled in with rubbish in the 1960s.

    Run out to GPS reading latitude 33ΒΊ 59' 44" S and longitude 151ΒΊ 15' 08" E. Note that all the GPS Readings on my Web Site are taken using AUS66 as the map datum. If you use another datum you may be about 220 metres off the site. See my GPS Page for more details and how to convert readings. From the water, the fissure (or crack) is clearly visible from the water as are the mounds behind the targets. To find this dive site, line up with the crack at a depth of about 15 metres (the crack continues underwater) and run north until the depth comes up to 12 metres. Turn to the east and when the depth drops again to 15 or 20 metres, drop anchor.

    The anchor should be right on the edge of a three metre wall. To the east is another wall of five metres. Try diving along either of the two walls in a northerly direction before returning back to the anchor area. Head south to the crack itself and then follow it out to deeper water. You can reach 27 metres or so but 23 metres will give you a real good experience. There are some very nice sponges along the sides of the crack, especially in the 22 to 27 metre area. Come back up the crack and in the 18 metre area on the north side of the crack there is an excellent tunnel under a huge rock, a bit like The Whorehouse in Jervis Bay. After examing the swim-through, if you have time and air you can head towards the shallows where you will find the remains of rubbish from the old tip.

    The fishlife on this dive can be excellent. Huge schools of yellowtail, seapike and nannygais hang over the crack while red morwong line the bottom. At this time of the year, Port Jackson sharks visit the area and can be found near the swim-through.

    If you have access to a boat, give the Pistol Crack a go.

    Copyright © Michael McFadyen 1990 to 2024
    Non-commercial use of an article or photograph is permitted with appropriate URL reference to this site.
    Dive shops, dive operators, publications and government departments cannot use anything without first seeking and receiving approval from Michael McFadyen.
    This web site has been wholly thought up, designed, constructed and funded for almost 30 years by Michael McFadyen without any help from the Australian Dive Industry.
    Website created 1996!