Dive Details

Location

Date

Friday 25 March 2016

Time

8:56am - 10:23am

Details

As so often happens at The Leap, the water got much rougher just as we were about to jump in. Despite the big waves, Daniela, Versna, Stephen and I managed to get in safely. When we were ready we descended and headed towards the sand line at around 30°. The visibility was not all that good and before we'd reached the sand line I had already lost the others. I had little hope of finding them again so I continued on my own.

The visibility was only around 3 metres so it was a matter of swimming from landmark to landmark to know where I was. I swam past Seahorse Rock and then looked in the gap between the large rocks for weedies. I stopped at the shelf where the bent stick pipefish usually is and there it was.

I continued past Southern Cross Rock and into Seadragons Alley. I was looking for weedy seadragons but they would only have to be a couple of metres away and I wouldn't see them. I got to the end of Seadragon Alley without seeing a single weedy seadragon. I finally found a weedy seadragon, the female with the deformed body (PT2014030901), just before Big Rock, which was a relief as I can't remember the last time I dived at The Leap and didn't see at least one weedy.

I swam on past Big Rock and up to High Pygmy Rock. I found both the male (IL2016021002) and female (IL2015072601) pygmy pipehorses but was not able to find any others. I descended back to the sand line.

The visibility was getting much worse by now. I doubt it was more than a metre. I managed to find the basket star which was a challenge but then I was effectively blind. I swam the appropriate distance past the basket star hoping I would find Diversity Rock. Somehow I nailed it and Diversity Rock appeared out of the gloom less than a metre in front of me. I immediately saw the whitish male pygmy pipehorse (IL2016022901) and found the female shortly after. I then set about to finding the seahorses. After multiple passes I found "Noel" and "Arnold" in the sponges on the rock behind Diversity Rock, "Daniel" low down on the left side of the same rock and "Rosie" on the rock to the left.

I followed the sand line towards The Steps thinking I'd have a better chance of finding the rock with the other seahorses. When I got to the rock with the white honeycomb sponge I headed up the reef. It took me multiple passes to find the rock as I couldn't see any landmarks. Once I found the rock, finding the seahorses, "Di" and "Noel" was relatively easy.

I headed to the boulders, ascended to 5 metres and started my safety stop as I headed towards the exit. Finding the landmarks, the Pleisiatrea colonies was a challenge but I eventually made it to split rock and completed my safety stop. I then swam to the exit a little concerned it might be too rough and I'd have to swim to The Monument. It was ok and I was able to swim to the low platform, kneel, remove my fins and stand up without much trouble at all.

Seas

Surgy

Visibility

0.5 to 4 metres

Duration

87 minutes

Maximum depth

21.6 m

Average depth

13.9 m

Water temperature

19.5°C

                                       

Dive Profile from Citizen Hyper Aqualand

Tides at Botany Bay AEDT

Note that tides at dive site may vary from above location.

Low

4:17am

0.46m

High

10:25am

1.56m

Low

4:28pm

0.46m

High

10:43pm

1.61m

Camera gear

Camera

Nikon D300

Lens

Nikon AF Micro-Nikkor 60mm f/2.8D

Housing

Ikelite 6812.3

Lens port

Ikelite Flat Port 5502.41

Strobe

2 x Ikelite SubStrobe DS161

Photographs


Depth information, where present, indicates the depth of the camera when the photograph was taken and can be used to approximate the depth of the subject.


Bent stick pipefish, Trachyrhamphus bicoarctatus. 19.4 m.
 

Female Sydney pygmy pipehorse, Idiotropiscis lumnitzeri, (IL2015072601). 12.8 m.
 

Male Sydney pygmy pipehorse, Idiotropiscis lumnitzeri, (IL2016021002). 12.7 m.
 

Basket star, Astrosierra amblyconus. 13.5 m.
 

Female pot-bellied seahorse, Hippocampus abdominalis, ("Rosie"). 13.2 m.
 

Male pot-bellied seahorse, Hippocampus abdominalis, ("Arnold"). 12.7 m.
 

Male pot-bellied seahorse, Hippocampus abdominalis, ("Daniel"). 13.1 m.
 

Male pot-bellied seahorse, Hippocampus abdominalis, ("Noel"). 13.3 m.
 

Female Sydney pygmy pipehorse, Idiotropiscis lumnitzeri, (IL2016030602). 13.1 m.
 

Male Sydney pygmy pipehorse, Idiotropiscis lumnitzeri, (IL2016022901). 13.2 m.
 

Female pot-bellied seahorse, Hippocampus abdominalis, ("Di"). 11.1 m.
 

Male pot-bellied seahorse, Hippocampus abdominalis, ("Mikhail"). 10.9 m.