Michael McFadyen's Scuba Diving Web Site
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St George Scuba Club
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Kelly Talking on ABC Sydney about Shipwrecks
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Dive Related Equipment
Shearwater Predator and Heinrichs Weikamp OSTC 2N
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Apollo AV1 Underwater Scooter
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Purchase of New Dive Boat
My Dive Boat - Mak Cat
My Old Dive Boat - Le Scat
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Make Your Own Car Tank Rack

Marine Life
Rarer Sydney Marine Life
Bare Island Pygmy Pipe Horses
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Bare Island Marine Life
Encounter with Southern Right Whale and Calf

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How Weather Affects Diving in Sydney
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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
    "Osborne Shoals West has excellent fishlife and sponge life"
    Chinamans Reef
    Chinamans Reef is one of the closed reefs to Port Douglas. It is 48 kilometres north-east of Port Douglas and on liveaboard dive trips it is one of the spots that you may do your last dive. The site I dived is on the north-eastern corner of the reef. Here the reef runs south and the plan was to do a drift dive in this direction. We were dropped at about GPS Reading S16° 12' 40.6" E145° 48' 44.0" using WGS84 as datum.

    After been dropped close to the reef, we descended to see that the reef wall dropped to 35 metres and then sloped a bit further to 40 metres plus. From here it was sand. As this was our second dive of the day and some had to fly the next day, we took it easy and only went to about 25 metres. The wall at first was a bit bare of growth but a bit further along some gorgonias and sea whips started appearing. Some of these were simply brilliant in colour, with bright reds prominent.

    Chinamans ReefChinamans Reef
    Two shots of the reef wall at Chinamans Reef

    Along the wall we drifted but I saw no sharks and very few big fish. A large turtle was seen but that was about it.

    After 30 minutes of drifting at a gradual pace (you could swim against it - say 0.25 knots) the depth of the bottom comes up a bit (to say 25 metres) and around here you will come to a bay (well, that is what it looks like underwater) with large bommies. Past here the depth drops back a bit to perhaps a bit over 35 metres.

    Chinamans ReefChinamans Reef
    The wall at Chinamans ReefKelly McFadyen and a gorgonia at Chinamans Reef

    Just past the bay the reef continues on in a southerly direction and then there is at least one gully that runs up into the reef. We headed up one of these and ended our dive in this area. Here there was a lot more fishlife, but only small reef fish.

    Chinamans Reef
    Two beautiful nudibranchs at Chinamans Reef
    The visibility varied a lot on this dive. In spots it was about 35 metres but in some spots it dropped to only 15 metres, but this soon opened up again to be better. Strange! Water temperature was 26° in November.

    Not the greatest dive site and to be honest, far better ones exist but the closeness to Port Douglas may mean you do on a day trip from there or if you are doing your last dive on a liveaboard.

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    Copyright © Michael McFadyen 1990 to 2024
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    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!