5 Mile Reef

Actiniid sp. 2 (Speckled Seawhip Anenome) - 5 Mile Reef
Neodoris chrysoderma (Chrysanthemum Neodoris) - 5 Mile Reef
Glossodoris atromarginata (Black Margined Glossodoris) - 5 Mile Reef
Mexichromis mariei (Marie's Mexichromis) - 5 Mile Reef
Pteraeolidia ianthina (Blue Serpent) - 5 Mile Reef
Ceratosoma amoenum (Sweet Ceratosoma) - 5 Mile Reef
Chromodoris tasmaniensis (Tasmania Chromodoris) - 5 Mile Reef
Hypoplectrodes nigrogruber (Banded Seaperch) - 5 Mile Reef
Astrosierra amblyconus (Domed Basket Star) - 5 Mile Reef
Stony Corals (Order Scleractinia) - 5 Mile Reef
Sponges (PORIFERA) - 5 Mile Reef
Sponges (PORIFERA) - 5 Mile Reef
Sponges (PORIFERA) - 5 Mile Reef
Sponges (PORIFERA) - 5 Mile Reef
Soft Corals (Order Alcyonacea) - 5 Mile Reef
Mopsella sp. (Red Gorgonian) - 5 Mile Reef
Plectaster decanus (Mosiac Star) - 5 Mile Reef
Fromia polypora (Many-pored star) - 5 Mile Reef
Pyura spinifera (Sea Tulip) - 5 Mile Reef
Triphyllozoon moniliferum (Lace Bryozoan) - 5 Mile Reef

On the way to Foggy Cave late in 2010 we noticed an interesting drop off on the sounder. Upon further inspection at a lower speed is was more of a reef slope but the stucture looked interesting. A few weeks later I dived the site with some fellow Terrigal Underwater Group (TUG) members. The site was named 5 Mile Reef as it is 5 km out from Foggy Cave. It is in an area that we don't dive and given the structure around, I suspect there is much more diving in the vicinity.

The Reef at this site slopes from ~30m down to ~38m. There are no dramatic walls or anything but the structure is fantastic especially the deeper you get where there are large boulders present the size of large cars. There is plenty of fixed growth but the feature of the site for mine are the "fields" of sea whips that can be found on the reef, especially in the shallower parts on top. I am not sure I have seen a site on the Central Coast where as many sea whips are present. The sea whips are home to numerous Basket Stars and Speckled Seawhip Anenomes. There are plenty of Gorgonians, other soft corals and of course sponges present at this site.

There are plenty of fishlife at this site and given the amount of fixed growth, it is little surprise that many Nudibranch species can be found, including:

  • Neodoris chrysoderma (Chrysanthemum Neodoris)
  • Glossodoris atromarginata (Black Margined Glossodoris)
  • Mexichromis mariei (Marie's Mexichromis)
  • Pteraeolidia ianthina (Blue Serpent)
  • Ceratosoma amoenum (Sweet Ceratosoma)
  • Chromodoris tasmaniensis (Tasmania Chromodoris)

To dive the site I recommend you potter around navigating back and forth in different directions from the anchor. That way you are never that far from the anchor line but still get to cover some different territory. There is not a clear reef edge that gives you a well defined structure to navigate with. The other way I dive the site is to anchor in the shallow part of the reef, make my way slowing down the reef slope to the deeper section and then back up the reef following the same course to get back to the anchor. This is a moderately deep site so NDL will come up sooner than what you will want. This site is very well suited to the use of a nitrox mix to extend your bottom time.

The GPS Mark for the site is S33º25.307' E151º29.561' (WGS84 hdddºmm.mmm') and will anchor in ~31m. If you want a deeper dive try this mark S33º25.309' E151º29.591' (WGS84 hdddºmm.mmm') and you will anchor in about ~37m. The two marks are about 50m apart.