Dive Details



Sunday 6 May 2018


7:24am - 8:59am


I was working today but not starting until 10am so I just had time to slip in an early dive if I got there early. I arrived at Bare around 6:50am which gave me plenty of time to get in the water by 7:30am. It was so calm I was going to be able to get in on the western side of the island. After getting ready I headed down to the water.

I waded out from the western side of the island but didn't go out very far before descending. The Sun had only just risen and hadn't yet hit the water. I didn't feel like floating on the surface while it was still fairly dark. I descended and started heading south-west and then south heading for the wall. Visibility was sensational at up to 10 metres and there was no surge and barely any current. The water temperature was just over 19°C.

As I swam through the sponge garden I spotted an Ardeadoris rubroannulata nudibranch. I have seen these nudibranchs at Bare Island before but always on the slope on the north-west corner. In fact, I saw my first one ever there on January 2015.

I continued south-south-west to the wall and arrived just to the south-west of the seahorse location. I didn't drop down the wall but swam along the top until I reached the right part of the top of the wall. I swam around until I spotted the seahorse's tail wrapped around a sponge. She was hiding between two sponges and only her tail was showing. I started taking photographs of her and a half-banded seaperch started photobombing. This is at least the third time this has happened with this seahorse and I suspect the same half-banded seaperch.

I followed the wall north-west until it ended and then continued west along the reef. I spotted a clown toby near where the seahorses used to be.

After following the reef for some time I headed north to pick up the shallower reef. I looked for pygmy pipehorses at every likely spot but found none. I found a number of Coryphellina rubrolineata nudibranchs in hydroid colonies as I swam.

I swam around the south-west corner and then headed north-west along the reef until I got to the edge of the reef adjacent to the isolated reefs. I had a look at the sea fan for cowries but found none.

I headed east along the reef towards the caves. As I was approaching the caves I spotted a giant cuttlefish that was only around 20cm long. I also found some more Coryphellina rubrolineata nudibranchs. I checked the brown sponge for squat lobsters and could make out some chelipeds but not see the squat lobsters themselves.

I swam past the caves and on to the bottom of the slope. I found the white male pygmy pipehorse and then the golden female. At one point the female swam over to near the male but then she swam back to where she'd been.

I headed slowly up the slope looking in the usual places for pygmy pipehorses. Just after the rocks with the purple sea tulips I spotted a tiny orange nudibranch. I think it is one Kim has seen before but I need to look it up.

At the top of the slope I headed along the sand in front of the boulders and then ascended to 5 metres to start my safety stop just before the outboard motor. I swam to the exit and got out just to the east of Carol's plaque.




5-10 metres


94 minutes

Maximum depth

16.8 m

Average depth

12.0 m

Water temperature



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