Dive Details

Location

Date

Saturday 27 January 2018

Time

12:41pm - 2:30pm

Details

There was an easterly swell at around a metre but it was not affecting The Steps and The Leap looked fine, too. It was another very hot day so it was uncomfortable walking down to the entry point.

We got in from the low platform and surface swam out before descending. The visibility of the surface water was probably 5 metres and it was quite warm. We descended and swam at around 30° to the sand line, arriving near Lucy and Bob Rock. There was still quite a bit of kelp around. The visibility was around 10 metres but the water temperature was around 16°C or cooler. There wasn't much surge and the current wasn't very strong. We turned left and headed toward The Steps.

As we swam past Seahorse Rock I briefly looked for the pygmy Mike had pointed out a week earlier but I could not see it.

We swam on to the flat rocks with sponges and we found the male weedy seadragon that had the head damage under the overhang still with his eggs. We couldn't see the other male (with an appendage on his snout) who had older eggs. I eventually found him in the kelp behind the second flat rock. He had a eastern cleaner clingfish on his back. I left Mike with the weedies and continued.

I got to Southern Cross Rock and found the black painted anglerfish in the sponge. It is so black it is very difficult to get a clean shot. I then started looking for pygmy pipehorses on the side of Southern Cross Rock. I found a whitish male. Mike swam up and found another whiteish male. I then found a juvenile low down on the rock.

At the start of Seadragon Alley I looked for the juvenile pygmy that Mike found a couple of weeks ago but couldn't find it. I spotted a weedy seadragon on the sand. A little further along on Seadragon Alley Mike pointed out a pair of weedy seadragons swimming together.

At the end of Seadragon Alley I found the two pygmy pipehorses on the rock with the sponges. The male was in the middle of the rock and the female low down under the sponges. I pointed them out to Mike and then started searching for "Nina", the female great seahorse. Based on Alex's photographs I knew she'd been in the green sponges and there's a rock just before the area we'd seen her covered in those sponges. Sure enough, she was there. I was thrilled to see her again as I couldn't find her on my last 2 or three attempts. I pointed her out to Mike before continuing.

I dropped down to the alga where the 3 red Stigmatopora sp. pipefish were on my last dive here. They were still there. I showed them to Mike but asked him not to show anyone else. Mike went on while I took photographs.

I caught up to Mike at the rock with the large red male pygmy pipehorse and the other three pygmies. He was photographing the red male so I looked for the others. I found the pink female and one of the juveniles.

We swam to Big Rock. I found the greenish male pygmy pipehorse near the single sea tulip. Mike indicated he had to ascend so he left me there. I went down to the rock below Hand Rock and found the black painted anglerfish on the side of the rock. It yawned while I was taking its photograph.

I swam on a little way and found the female pygmy pipehorse on the rock I'd found her a week ago. I looked for the male but couldn't find him.

I continued on to New Basket Star Rock and the basket star. I then went down to the sand and checked out the solo red Stigmatopora sp. pipefish in its alga.

I headed for Little Big Rock and stopped at the rock between Diversity Rock and Little Big Rock and found the red male pygmy pipehorse and the cryptic female pygmy pipehorse.

At the rock behind Little Big Rock I found the female pygmy pipehorse but I couldn't find the male.

I continued along the sand line to the rock where I have seen the yellow red-fingered anglerfish. It was still on the side of the rock.

I swam on to where the other pair of red Stigmatopora sp. pipefish used to be. They still weren't there but I keep hoping they will return.

I headed for the boulders, ascended to 5 metres and started my safety stop while swimming to Split Rock. I finished my safety stop at Split Rock and then swam to the exit. The exit was easy.

Buddy

Mike Scotland

Seas

Slight

Visibility

3 to 10 metres

Duration

109 minutes

Maximum depth

20.7 m

Average depth

13.9 m

Water temperature

15.6°C

                                       

Dive Profile from Citizen Hyper Aqualand

Tides at Botany Bay AEDT

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

High

5:03am

1.58m

Low

11:35am

0.53m

High

5:32pm

1.31m

Low

11:30pm

0.46m

Species Seen

 

Species

Common name

Number

  Fish

 

Antennariidae

 

Antennarius pictus

Painted anglerfish

2

 

Porophryne erythrodactylus

Red-fingered anglerfish

1

 

Syngnathidae

 

Hippocampus kelloggi

Great seahorse

1

 

Idiotropiscis lumnitzeri

Sydney pygmy pipehorse

14

 

Phyllopteryx taeniolatus

Weedy seadragon

5

 

Stigmatopora sp.

Red widebody pipefish

4

  Cephalopods

 

Octopodidae

 

Octopus tetricus

Common Sydney octopus

1