Dive Details



Friday 15 December 2017


11:48am - 1:09pm


I'd had a late night (work party) and so planned with Mike that wed meet at 11am for The Steps. It was an outgoing tide and quite close to low tide so I wasn't expecting much. There was a north-easterly swell again but the swell didn't look all that big and the only chop on the water was from the strong wind.

We got in at The Steps which was very easy because the tide was so low. We descended to the sand line and were surpised with the visibility, which was over 5 metres and nearly 10 metres. The water temperature was a bit of a shock at around 16°C. There wasn't much surge or current. We turned right and headed towards Big Rock.

We swam along the sand line to the first pair of red Stigmatopora sp. pipefish. They were both in their alga and quite easy to photograph because of the gentle surge.

We continued on to Little Big Rock and the anglerfishes. The salmon red-fingered angler was in its usual spot. The orange painted angler was on the rock to the north-west in the purple sponge. I found the male pygmy pipehorse straight away as it is in the same place it was on the last 2 dives. The female took a bit more effort to find but I eventually found her next to a sponge.

I left might with the anglers and pygmies and headed to the most recently found pair of red Stigmatopora sp. pipefish. I thought Mike was not far behind and went looking for him. He must have got past me so I continued on to Big Rock after passing the basket star.

As I was swimming along the top of the reef towards Big Rock I spotted a female weedy seadragon. I'm sure it is the same one I saw last Sunday near Diversity Rock.

Near Big Rock I couldn't find the black angler but I did find the white red-fingered angler which has been in the same spot for almost a week.

I swam over to Big Rock and found my red male pygmy pipehorse. I also found his partner above him. Higher up on Big Rock I found the other pair of pygmy pipehorses.

While I was photographing the pygmy pipehorses, Mike swam up. He'd been to see the great seahorse and other pair of red Stigmatopora sp. pipefish. I showed him the pygmies and the white red-fingered anglerfish before we headed for The Steps.

We swam long the top of the reef, past the basket star and on to the newest red pipefish. I showed them to Mike. Mike headed off from here.

I continued past Diversity Rock and the Nembrotha purpureolineata nudibranch to the anglerfishes and pipefish behind Little Big Rock.

I swam to the boulders and started my safety stop while swimming to Split Rock. I finished mysafety stop and swam to the exit. The tide was low so I surface outside the exit area and saw Mike struggling with the water washing in an out of the exit area due to the low tide. He came out and I went in, stood up on the rocks, took my fins off and put my camera above the water level and came back to help Mike. Once he no longer had his camera he was able to get out with ease.


Mike Scotland




5 to 8 metres


81 minutes

Maximum depth

14.1 m

Average depth

11.1 m

Water temperature



Dive Profile from Citizen Hyper Aqualand

Tides at Botany Bay AEDT

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













Camera gear


Nikon D500


Nikon AF-S Micro Nikkor 60mm f/2.8G ED


Ikelite 6812.5

Lens port

Ikelite Flat Port 5502.41


2 x Ikelite SubStrobe DS161


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.

Red-fingered angler, Porophryne erythrodactylus. 11.4 m.

Painted anglerfish, Antennarius pictus. 11.6 m.

Red-fingered angler, Porophryne erythrodactylus. 13.5 m.