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Michael McFadyen – 33 years of logging and sharing

Michael McFadyen


Michael McFadyen began diving in 1988 and started logging his dives… he hasn’t stopped since.  Over 33 years Michael has logged thousands of dives, explored the New South Wales Coastline, found, mapped and shared his findings with the world, for free.

The “Michael McFadyen’s scuba diving website” contains over 1,000 pages of information and specific details on where (and how) to dive in New South Wales, Australia.  Since 1996 Michael has selflessly shared his findings, written thousands of articles for dive magazines and led many trips at home and overseas.

Should you be interested in contacting Michael or joining one of his expeditions you can reach him via his website email links.


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Every dive gets logged and it is updated regularly, as an example I write this update on Nov 5th 2021, and the following is the current logged updates submitted by Michael to his website:

9 October 2021 – The Leap
First dive since 17 June as I went to Birdsville and due to Covid lockdown in Sydney, stayed 13.5 weeks in Queensland and South Australia. Glad to be back diving again. Tide was not particularly high but the current was perhaps the strongest I have had on this dive. Never needed to kick till near the end. Viz pretty good, 8-10 m. I saw 3 sea dragons and 2 big belly sea horses, but Ron saw 2 and 3 more respectively. He also saw a Bare Island anglerfish. He dropped a bit behind us so we did not see. Some PJs, lots of nudibranchs too. A very nice dive. Visibility fair.
14 October 2021 – Henry Head
Club boat dive. Forecast of strong NE winds and large NE swell. However, wind from N or NW and not so strong. Seas not too bad here. Anchored a bit shallow in 13 m. Blue water below about 10 m but cold 16.5C. Went S and then back past anchor area and back to anchor. Vishal low on air so dive a little shorter than planned. Saw 4 sea dragons, 3 sea spiders, a very small thin red pipefish. A few large black reef leatherjackets as well as normal fish. A really nice dive. Boat went perfectly. Visibility very good.
15 October 2021 – Bare Island Right
First dive at Bare Island since May. Very strong W winds when we went in but dropped a lot. Cool 17.7C, visibility 5 m or so. Went to just past first cave. Saw three PPH, one of which disappeared after I took first photo and we could not refind. Two upsidedown pipefish, one RIF, lots of nudibranchs and a very hidden Bare Island anglerfish. A really nice 95 minute dive. Visibility poor.
16 October 2021 – M & K Reef
Little wind and flat seas when we went out. Blue water and little current too. Anchored a bit to E of normal spot. Went to wall and then S. Around to the back caves. Came back past both main caves. Two blue devilfish, one in each cave. Kelly also found a pipefish and tiny yellow boxfish. Went to S end and then back to anchor as Andrew low on air. We stayed on the smaller deeper wall for another 7 mins. Very nice dive. After we ascended, the wind really picked up and when second group left bottom, the anchor dragged a few times under the W wind. Got it up okay though. Very rough trip back across Botany Bay to Sans Souci. Visibility good.
19 October 2021 – Bare Island Isolated Reef 1
Swell not as bad as Sunday when we decided not to dive, but still some water coming over the rock platform, not easy to get out. Quite surgy, even at 15 m. Made it hard to look for small stuff. Went down to SHR and then I went alone to start of IR1 to try to find a grey Bare Island anglerfish on a rock off the reef. However, could not find despite spending 10 mins in the area. Back normal way. Saw one PPH, one RIF, the orange BI anglerfish we saw last Friday. No pipefish. Still a nice dive. Visibility poor.
20 October 2021 – Bare Island Right
Last minute decision to dive when weather was much better than the forecast. As such, I forgot to take my computers! Anyway, Kim loaned me one. Swell down a lot from yesterday, less surge, sun out and slight SE wind. High tide so lots of water over platform still. Went down to near Cave. Found one PPH, the one that disappears while photographing it. Got some photos, may have been giving birth. One RIF, the orange BI anglerfish, no pipefish. Lots of interesting nudibranchs. Good dive. Visibility fair.
22 October 2021 – Middle Ground
Only suitable day this week for a boat dive. Wind was stronger and swell bigger than forecast, so this was best site to dive. Current from N, was stronger than 12-15 kt S! Not too bad going down, little current on bottom. Blue water, 15 m viz. Anchored first go on S side but ended up on sand so moved to N side. Went around reef. No wobbegongs, some silver seep and seapike, but not the numbers we normally see here. Still amazed everytime how many great gorgonias there are on this site. Nice dive. Wind dropped after dive. Visibility good.
23 October 2021 – Barrens Hut/The Split
Tomorrow’s club dive day and BBQ cancelled due to high winds and seas. Today was calm and little wind. However, strong current from N. Anchored in normal spot, but was on a tiny lip and moved it to a large rock. Went up The Split to end and back outside to Cave and then back to anchor. Bastard trumpeters in normal spot with silver sweep and red morwong. No donut nembrothas. Lots of black reef leatherjackets. Lots of sand has been removed on reef edge. After dive had to rescue two divers from Abyss boat who had not made it to the anchor line or bottom and who drifted off. Found them 550 m south. Took them back to the boat one at a time. Nice dive. Visibility very good.
26 October 2021 – Clifton Garden
Large swell so most places out of the question. Took well over an hour to get here. Dirty 2-3 m viz, but warm at 19.2C. Went to net and then followed it to the hole and then outside. At first corner Carole found the tiniest White’s sea horse, perhaps 3 mm long. Got two poor photos. Also saw a frogfish. Had ear problems, so had to keep going up and down. Finally cleared at 55 mins so went out to middle of the bay and followed the huge chain in all directions. Not much seen. Back to wharf, a White’s sea horse, the only adult I saw. Earlier some different nudibranchs, a reasonable sized flathead, two very small rays. Not the greatest dive. Visibility very poor.
28 October 2021 – Pizza Reef
Really different conditions to Saturday. No wind, flat seas and only a very slight current from the south. Viz way down too, only 5-7 m. Anchored north of crack. Went around reef, heaps of yellowtail, seapike, silver sweep, one-spot pullers and old wives. One blue devilfish but no donut nembrothas. Quite a few bastard trumpeters to NE of cave. Nice dive. Visibility poor.
29 October 2021 – Bare Island Deep Wall
Flat seas, no wind, although it blew up very strong W as we got out. Four other members diving here separate to us. Viz 7-8 m deeper and 5 less than 14 m. Went off W point to Deep Wall, then back via RIF Reef and 15 Metre Reef. No sea horses, only PPH (Ugly as Kim calls him), one RIF, lots and lots of nudibranchs, some rarer ones too. Nice, relaxed dive. Visibility fair.
2 November 2021 – Barrens Hut/The Split
No wind or current. Slight swell but seemed to pick up in the 90 minutes we were diving. Anchored in normal spot, but boat hung to W. Had leak from neck, ended up totally soaked down to my socks! I think I had undergarment collar up in neck seal. Cold too! Was about 5-6 m here and up The Split, at least 3 dozen PJs. Outside, viz got worse and on way to look for donuts was only 1-2 m. Back along reef edge, got better to 2-3 m. To Cave and back. Some silver sweep at N end, bastard trumpters and red morwong in Cave and normal spot S of anchor. Back up. Not a great dive. Visibility very poor to shithouse.
3 November 2021 – Inscription Point
Much stronger NE winds than forecast but not too bad. Reasonably strong outgoing tide too. Viz a lot better than I thought it would be, 7-10 m. Did the normal dive but not as far as knew we would use a fair bit of air on return to exit. Saw two sea dragons, one big belly sea horse (others saw two more), three PPH, a large bullray. Plenty of nudibranchs. Visibility fair.
4 November 2021 – Maccas Reef
No wind, calm seas, very slight current from N. Anchored on wall. Cold clear water, much better than Tuesday’s dive. Went N for 5 mins without Kevin, he later caught up with us, he was underweighted and had to get more lead from boat. Heaps of seapike and yellowtail up here. Back to anchor and S a bit. Then back and around anchor. Lots of purple ascidians but no donut nembrothas. No sea dragons either. Enjoyable dive. Started raining as we went to leave. Visibility good. (*transcribed from the Micael McFadyen scuba website)


Says it all really…Bravo Michael, and thank you for all of your selfless contributions to the sport.


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