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Lifestyle : Harbour
1HERSA1 S011 7 MARINE PARADE, MANLY PH 02 9977 5451 Set on the Pacific Ocean opposite the renowned Fairy Bower. Mediterranean inspired cuisine and innovative wine selection. stylish dining by the waters edge The sound of relaxing... Ferguson's Boatshed Marina The Spit, Mosman 2088 • Phone: 02 9960 1007 www.plonkbeachcafe.com.au FULLY LICENCED 83 Parriwi Rd, The Spit, Mosman NSW 2088 Phone: 02 9968 3729 | www.sydneyharbour.com.au 1 Box Road, Taren Point, NSW 2229, The Spit • Phone: 02 9524 2699 www.andrewshortmarine.com.au Trading Places Real Estate Services 35m BIRCHGROVE $1,650,000 For further informaton contact Janet Hopwood 0412 407 346 Kathy Molloy 0413 051 919 Trading Places Real Estate email@example.com RARE FIND WELL PROTECTED 25 METRE MARINA BERTH Plus a 3 bedroom townhouse An extremely rare opportunity to secure this deep water marina berth located in exclusive Hopetoun Quays on the Balmain/Birchgrove Peninsula. Situated opposite Cockatoo Island and next door to the Balmain Sailing Club this superb peaceful locaton allows easy access to all the delights of sensatonal Sydney Harbour. Water and 3 phase power included. 9908 8878 A8120-191110 The Sydney Morning Herald Friday, November 19, 2010 HARBOUR 11 Slip below the surface and you'll find a whole new side to Sydney, writes Matthew Benns. Fish in the sea . . . diving with a blue groper off Gordons Bay. Photo: James Brickwood Depths of knowledge A sk any diver and they will tell you that looking at Sydney from above the waterline is to only see a fraction of the city. Submerged beneath the waterways are world-class dive sites teeming with tropical life. You do not even have to be a scuba diver to see some of them -- a snorkel, mask and fins can introduce you to a stunning underwater world. Wading into the water at Shelley Beach, near Manly, snorkellers will find a huge variety of fish including wobbegong sharks, large bull rays and a legendary blue groper. The area is a protected marine reserve and shark nursery. Fishing is banned and swimmers who regularly do the swim from Manly to Shelley experience the shock of seeing a grey nurse shark gliding quietly underneath them. It is a popular dive site, with scuba divers also heading across to the nearby Fairy Bower where, among the rocks seven to 10 metres down, they will find moray eels, wobbegongs and Port Jackson sharks. Fairlight ocean pool has long delighted swimmers, who regularly share their laps with fish and crabs among the green weed below. But just over the wall is another world popular with divers. Diving in the harbour at Fairlight, just 50 metres from the pool, introduces you to overhangs, boulders and caves that are teeming with reef fish, stripies, dory and leatherjackets. Along the coast is Sydney's only underwater nature trail. Gordons Bay is reached from the Coogee to Clovelly coastal walk and has a 700-metre trail, marked by chains, for divers to follow. The chain drops to a depth of 14 metres at one point where, on the sandy ocean floor, stingrays and sometimes eagle rays hover. The area is also popular with snorkellers searching for starfish, sea urchins, cuttlefish and also because of the friendly blue groper. About 60 metres from the mainland at La Perouse, at the end of a bridge, is Bare Island, the site of a colonial era fort and, more recently, the filming of Mission Impossible II. It is also a popular site for divers of all abilities and underwater photographers, who come to see the rare Sydney pygmy pipehorse. Diving from a boat opens up another deep-water wonderland. Both north head and south head offer terrific reefs to dive on. There are more than 20 sites including Colours Reef, The Gap, Sponge Gardens, Pollys Point, Waterfall and Quarantine Station. Off Long Reef on the northern beaches is a dive called The Apartments, where a 20-metre rock chasm fills with swirling masses of schooling fish including yellowtails, pomfrets, bulls eyes and nanagis. Grey nurse sharks regularly patrol the boulders beneath. Over at Port Hacking is a wall dive --aslowsinkdownarockwall-- known as Shiprock. It is an aquatic reserve and teems with life. More than 130 species of fish have been recorded here and, despite poor visibility, it is regarded as one of the area's best sites for night dives. With such a strong maritime history, it is expected that Sydney would also have some amazing wrecks for divers to inspect. Just 1.5 nautical miles from the Long Reef boat ramp lies the wreck of The Duckenfield, which struck the reef in 1889 on its way from Sydney to Newcastle. It lies in just 23 metres of water, its original steam engine still visible. The wreck of The Royal Shepherd lies at the foot of The Gap between the heads. The ship sank quickly in 1890 after a collision with the SS Hesketh. Not far away is the wreck of The Centurion, a fully rigged barge that sank after striking rocks at north head while being towed in 1887. One of the city's great underwater mysteries was the location of the Japanese mini submarine that attacked Sydney Harbour in 1942, torpedoing HMAS Kutabul, killing 21 servicemen. The submarine, M24, was found five kilometres off Bungan Head, with the remains of the two submariners inside. Its discovery ended a long-running mystery for northern beaches fishermen who constantly suffered ripped nets. The mini submarine had saw-toothed blades to cut through anti- submarine netting, which had been causing the fishermen's problems. Although a fascinating part of Sydney's underwater life, it is not open to divers. The war grave is protected by a 500-metre exclusion zone, video surveillance and the threat of a $1.1 million fine. SPECIAL REPORT