Dive Details

Location

Date

Sunday 29 October 2017

Time

11:47am - 1:36pm

Details

There was a slight easterly swell today which you could see rolling in to The Leap. I'd checked The Steps earlier and the waves there were small and wouldn't impact the exit.

Mike and I got in from the low platform and surface swam out before descending. After descending we swam to the sand line at around 60°. Mike was heading at almost 90° and I tried to coax him back. Then I lost him. I arrived at the amphitheatre just to the north west of Pygmy Rock. It has been many months since I looked at Pygmy Rock so I had a quick look for pygmies but found none. As I was looking Mike arrived at the next rock. He'd stopped on the way down to look at a huge group of Port Jackson sharks. Visibility here was 5 to 10 metres but there was a lot of suspended matter in the water making it look worse than it was. Water temperature was around 17°C and there was quite a bit of surge. We turned left and headed to The Steps.

While we were still in the amphitheatre I spotted a small colony of Dendronephthya soft coral. Dave Harasti is looking at whether the colonies around Sydney are the same species as in Port Stephens and what the conservation status should be. It was believed they were extinct from the Sydney area. I was on the lookout for colonies.

We got to Ian's Pygmy Rock and I looked for pygmies while Mike went on ahead. I wasn't able to find any pygmies and continued on past Seahorse Rock.

I arrived at the flat rocks and the overhang. I looked under the overhang and found the male weedy seadragon with a hole in his head. His eggs have started to hatch and he still seems to be going OK. I found another male with eggs towards the gap between the two flat rocks. His eggs were quite new. A little further on I saw another, smaller weedy.

I caught up to Mike at Southern Cross Rock. He'd found two pygmies (a male and a female) and also a tiny spindle cowrie on top of the rock. I looked on the side of the rock and found 3 more pygmies (a female and two males). Mike went on ahead again.

Just past the rock past Southern Cross Rock I found two more weedy seadragons swimming together. Not far into Seadragon Alley I found a male weedy with eggs.

At the end of Seadragon Alley I found both the female and then the male pygmy pipehorses on the rock with the sponges. Mike came up to me (he'd been looking for the seahorse a little further on) and I showed him the pygmies. I swam on to the red widebody pipefish which were in their usual alga. I then looked around for the great seahorse and found her on a sponge not far from where I first saw her. I then swam around to find the grey red-fingered angler which I found on the rock above the pipefish. I showed the angler and seahorse to Mike before continuing on.

I swam along the sand line and came across another weedy seadragon. I followed the sand line until I got close to Big Rock and then headed up to see if I could find the grey angler and male pygmy pipehorse Roney had shown me on Wednesday. I'm sure I found the right rock for the angler but couldn't see it. I then found the correct rock for the pygmy pipehorse but didn't initially see the pygmy. The surge then revealed him behind the alga he was hanging on to. I had a look for a female but couldn't see her. I had another look for the grey angler before swimming on to Big Rock.

At Big Rock I found my pink male pygmy pipehorse who is now very pregnant. I looked for his partner but could not find her. I swam to the other end of Big Rock and found Roney's male pygmy but not the partner.

I swam on to the rock below Hand Rock and found the white red-fingered angler and then the black painted angler a few centimetres away but on another face of the rock. I then found the male pygmy pipehorse just above the red-fingered angler.

I continued along the sand line towards Diversity Rock. As I got near Diversity Rock I ran into Roney, Daniela, Ron and Cody which were swimming from The Steps. I stopped at Diversity Rock briefly to look for pygmy pipehorses but found none.

I swam fairly quickly just up from the sand line to Little Big Rock. I was on the hunt for anglers and had a good look but found none.

I continued on to the other pair of red widebody pipefish and found them both in their alga. I then headed back to Little Big Rock to look for anglers again. After much searching I found none and then headed for the boulders.

At the boulders I ascended to 5 metres and started my safety stop while swimming to Split Rock. I finished my safety stop and swam underwater to the exit having to avoid divers that were just entering at The Steps. The exit was easy.

Buddy

Mike Scotland

Seas

Surgy

Visibility

5 to 10 metres

Duration

109 minutes

Maximum depth

21.3 m

Average depth

14.9 m

Water temperature

16.6°C

                                       

Dive Profile from Citizen Hyper Aqualand

Tides at Botany Bay AEDT

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

High

4:20am

1.19m

Low

9:52am

0.75m

High

4:16pm

1.43m

Low

11:07pm

0.52m