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Central Coast

Dive Sites

Foggy Cave

Depth: Rating:
Foggy Cave is a thrilling dive, even more so if you happen to dive the cave when its seasonal inhabitants are home. Grey nurse sharks, both male and female cruise in and around the cave carved about 12 metres into the cliff. The roof of the cave begins at 33 metres, the bottom in approximately 36 metres - so good management of air and keeping an eye on bottom time is a must. Often sharks teeth can be found in front of the cave.
This large underwater cave and right angle cliffs is one of the most dramatic dive sites anywhere on the Central Coast. Along with the grey nurse sharks, schools of yellowtail arrive every summer to feed. Big kingfish are attracted by these yellowtail and in the blind panic to escape, many yellowtail flee, some seeking sanctuary in the cave, only to be taken by the grey nurse sharks. Action packed!

Depth: 36 metres at bottom  Rated: Advanced

Source: Scuba Diver Australasia Magazine Author: Neil Vincent

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HMAS Adelaide

Depth:20m to 34 metres Rating:Green

Dive the ex-HMAS ADELAIDE

The NSW Central Coast has quite a few wrecks spread out along the length of the coast. Many of these wrecks had a very illustrious career, whilst some had a very hard life.
The majority of wrecks meet their demise by misfortune, to this end they have become a great source of adventure and have re birthed as fish habitats, where fish have gathered and produced great fish aggregation areas for fishos.

We regularly dive local wrecks like the Valiant which lies in 27 metres of water off Barrenjoey, the Hallcaine in 54 metres off Killcare, then there is the Galava which lies in 51 metres off Terrigal, whilst the remains of the Commonwealth lays in 43 metres off Forresters and the Kiama is in 42 metres off the Entrance.

Further north the Nerong lies in 44 metres off Norah Head along with the Patersen at 10 metres just off Jenny Dixon beach. A little tug called the Advance lies in 47 metres off Catherine Hill bay.

Most of these wrecks as you can see, are in very deep water or have become wreck sites that resemble junk piles. To this end the Central Coast now has its very own ex naval ship to be sunk as an artificial reef that will become an exciting new dive site-

You are now able to dive the ex HMAS Adelaide every day of the week and with a short five minute run from the boat ramp this artificial reef will be the genesis with juvenile fish seeking hiding places, larger fish seeking ambush hideouts and predators patrolling the edge of visbility.

History
The ex HMAS Adelaide II - A frigate built as a long-range escort with roles including area air defence, antisubmarine warfare, surveillance, reconnaissance and interdiction. The ship was capable of countering simultaneous threats from the air, surface and subsurface.

Displacing 4,100 tonnes and at around 138 metres long, this is an impressive dive site that will entertain thousands of divers from all over the world.

The HMAS Adelaide, with a top speed of 29 knots, this was a fairly sleek vessel with power to burn- the engine room will be a great area to explore-
The gas turbines didn't need steam so the HMAS ADELAIDE didn't have to get up a head of steam and would have been ready for sea in only 30 minutes from cold. This made the HMAS Adelaide a very versatile vessel and using a repair by replacement style of maintenance program allowed for a reduced crew complement of 184 personnel.

The HMAS Adelaide was instrumental in rescuing ?Around the World? yachtsmen Thierry Dubois and Tony Bullimore from the Southern Ocean in 1997 was also the first vessel of her class to fire a Harpoon missile

Being the first of the Oliver Hazard Perry Class guided missile frigates (FFG) built in Seattle, USA she was commissioned on November 15th, 1980. With a 25 year career the HMAS Adelaide was deployed in many operational activities that included:
Operation MORRIS DANCE (Fiji Coup 1987)
Operation DAMASK (I) (Persian Gulf 1990)
Operation WARDEN/STABILISE (East Timor 1999)
Operation RELEX (Christmas Island 2001)
Operation SLIPPER (Persian Gulf 2001)
Operation RELEX (II) (2002)
Operation CATALYST (Persian Gulf 2004)

 

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HMAS Adelaide- Bow to stern

Depth:26m Rating:Blue
Follow the bow descent line to the Bow section, swim away from the Adelaide and take in the bow.
Swim along the starboard hull looking at the 01 and checking out the diver access holes.
The immense size of the Adelaide becomes very apparent-
You will swim past forward storage lockers, then the Torpedo station. Check out the dive store just forward of the hangar.
Swim along this dck you will sight the stress bands welded to the vessel to stop it hogging excessively.
You will also note a tube that goes down and around the vessel.
This was pumped with air and produced bubbles that were designed to mask the ships signature from submarines.
Aft of the hangar over the deck and we begin the journey back to the bow along the port side.
Here we ascend to 02 deck past the quarters up to the bridge on 02 deck.
Ascend the mast for first safety stop at 9m.
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HMAS Adelaide- Bridge

Depth:20 metres Rating:Blue
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HMAS Adelaide- Captains cabin

Depth:24m Rating:Blue
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HMAS Adelaide- Combat Info Centre

Depth:26 metres Rating:Green
cic
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HMAS Adelaide- Engine Room

Depth:32 metres Rating:Black
Engine room
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HMAS Adelaide- Missile Launcher

Depth:32m Rating:Black
Descending the superstructure from the wheelhouse, you will travel across the foredeck where we will come upon a massive cylindrical hole in the deck that leads down to the lower decks of the Adelaide.
This area was the site of the Harpoon Missile launcher that was removed when the vessel was de militarised.

You will descend past Deck 2 and 3- past the area where the crew kept their baggage, the wine store and the cable locker. On the lower decks you will find valves, machinery spaces and controls.
Swimming towards the stern you ascend to Deck 3 and exit thru the hull, swim alongside the hull and reenter at Deck 2 where the galley is located.
Swim along this deck and exit the vessel on the port side making you way up to the main deck.
Re enter the vessel, swim across the Torpedo magazine ascend to the weather deck, swim across to the mast and end dive with a safety stop at 9 metres.




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HMAS Adelaide- Port Hangar/ Helo control

Depth:26m Rating:Blue
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HMAS Adelaide- Snr Sailors mess

Depth:28m Rating:Blue
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HMAS Adelaide- Stbd Hangar

Depth:26 metres Rating:Blue
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Skillion Cave

Depth:18 TO 20 metres Rating:Green
Skillion Cave can be a boat or shore dive. As a shore dive, pick a day when the sea is calm but make sure you are feeling fit because it is a hike back up the cliff. The entrance is 17 metres just north of the entry point. It is not a true cave but a very large gutter over which has been laid a large slab of rock. Swim to the back of the cave along the right wall and you'll see nudibranchs (even the occasional Blue Dragon), red rock cod, starfish and moray eels peer out from crevices. Toward the back of the cave you may find big wobbegongs and schooling catfish. If dived in the morning you'll see bullseyes silhouetted by streams of sunlight. Skillion cave is an uncomplicated pleasant dive with plenty of bottom time. For a photographer or videographer it can yield good macro and wide angle.
The canyon walls are a brilliant red due to jewel anemones and pale lilac sponges, not to mention yellow compound ascidians. Great schools of bulleyes and yellowtail hang in the chasm and moray eels and blue groper hang out with banded coral shrimp. The same cleaner station has played host to cleaner shrimps uninterrupted for at least 28 years. This is simply a beautiful spot.

Source: Scuba Diver Australasia Magazine Author: Neil Vincent

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Swansea Bridge

Depth:10 metres Rating:Blue

Swansea channel is the only entrance to the sea from the largest saltwater lake in Australia, Lake Macquarie. As such, there is a massive water interchange each day as the tides rise and fall. Where the Pacific Highway crosses the channel it was necessary to build an opening bridge to allow boat traffic to pass. This steel bridge has created the fishiest and noisiest pylon dive in Australia. Diving Swansea Bridge takes place during the slack water of high tide (unless you do a drift dive), which is about two to three hours after the tide has officially turned. For the best information check with the dive shop or watch when local divers go into the water.
Follow the break-wall along to the pylons and then follow them out across the channel. Do not surface anywhere in the channel as there are lots of boats including yachts.
On the coarse white sand bottom you will find sole, flathead, fortescues and balling striped catfish. In mid-water you'll find schools of fish of many different species. On the pylons look for playful horned blennies hiding in the empty barnacle shells among the sponges and hydroids, which have converted this man-made structure into a living reef. On the bottom look for the 'shopping trolley', quite often they are the home for sea horses, pipe fish and striped dumpling cuttlefish.

A fast drift dive can be undertaken from the boat ramp on the north-eastern side of the bridge to another boat ramp near the caravan park on the western side. Keep an eye out for old bottles.

Depth: 25 metres Rating: Open Water / Advanced

Source: Scuba Diver Australasia Magazine Author: Neil Vincent

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Terrigal Haven

Depth:5-12 m Rating:Green
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Wreck of the Advance

Depth:43 metres Rating:Black
The tug Advance was lost in collision with the barque Iverna on Christmas Day 1908. Her story and that of her sole survivor rank with the best. Under the command of Captain McKenzie the tug tried to cut across the bow of the barque and paid the ultimate price. Those looking down on the barque saw the captain swim out of the wheelhouse with his pipe still in his mouth and then onto the gunnels of the sinking ship. He died minutes later. With no radio on board the crew of Ivera lit a fire to contact the pilot boat from Newcastle. When the pilot boat arrived they were convinced no one could have survived and did not search any further. Embarrassingly for all those concerned, the mate, Alfred Wills washed ashore some 12 hours later. The wreck of the Advance sits upright on sand. The dominant feature of the site is the tug's huge boiler. The galley stove is visible and much of the ship's side plating is still intact. The usual fishing net lies tanged in the wreckage with the hordes of nannygai hovering above the wreck. Depth: 44 - 46 metres Rating: Advanced / Technical Source: Scuba Diver Australasia Magazine Author: Max Gleeson Next Trip

Wreck of the Nerong

Depth: Rating:
The Nerong was a coaster owned by the North Coast Steam Navigation Company. In September 1917, while on a voyage north she began to take on water. Listing badly and with no power her crew tried unsuccessfully to contact the Norah Head lighthouse station. Just before the vessel foundered they were seen and the alarm raised. The crew escaped in a lifeboat, however three men perished before being picked up by the SS Canobar. The Nerong lies on sand in 45 metres of water off the Norah Head lighthouse. A vessel designed to operate up the northern rivers she was fitted with two separate steam engines. The wreck is your classic coaster shipwreck; boiler, stern post and tangled fishing net. Under 40 metres in length you can easily take in all the features in on the one dive. Good marine life too. Depth: 43 - 45 metres Rating: Technical Source: Scuba Diver Australasia Magazine Author: Max Gleeson Next Trip