Dive Details

Location

Date

Thursday 31 May 2018

Time

10:13am - 11:45am

Details

With the east coast low approaching I didn't think I'd get a dive in today. Earlier in the week the swell today was meant to be 6-7 metres so I was very pleased when the big seas were pushed back a day and I could get an extra dive in.

Mike, Roney and I decided on doing The Monument again as it had been so good yesterday. Between us yesterday we had seen 5 red-fingered anglerfish. Roney had seen one that Mike and I hadn't seen and Mike and I had seen one that Roney missed. There was also another which had been there on Tuesday but we couldn't find yesterday. Our plan was to find all 6 red-fingered anglerfish. We had also remarked how long it had been since we saw any pygmy pipehorses at The Monument so I was determined to find at least one.

We got in near the beach again as we had done yesterday and swam out on the surface to the edge of the wall. It was a little choppy on the surface as we swam but it was easy going. We descended to the sand out from the wall and then swam south to the wall. Visibility was around 5 to 8 metres, much like yesterday. The water temperature was 17°C. It was closer to high tide than yesterday and initially there wasn't much current. We headed east along the wall.

We arrived at the sponge where Mike had shown me the yellow female White's seahorse yesterday but we initially couldn't see her. I then spotted her low down on the sponge.

p> We continued east to the rock where "Sunshine", the yellow female pot-bellied seahorse had been. She's no longer there but the pair of banded coral shrimp were still in the gap under the rock.

We swam over closer to the wall and noticed a huge school of striped catfish in a cave. The school was large enough that both Mike and I could take photographs of them at the same time without getting in each other's way.

As we were swimming along the wall just past the catfish I started looking for pygmy pipehorses and was pleasantly surprised when I found one immediately. It was a beautiful gold and white female. I took some photographs and showed Mike. I then went looking for Roney to show him.

I swam on ahead of the others past the large rock covered in Carijoa to the smaller rock where the bright orange red-fingered anglerfish has been. I couldn't see it as I swam up on the rock but that was because of the angle I was at. It was still out in the open and could be seen from more than 3 metres away from straight on to the rock. I went back to find Mike and Roney but only found Mike and took him to see it.

Mike and I dropped over the edge of the reef past Sutherland Point where I saw Roney. We swam along the reef and I spotted two medium sized giant cuttlefish.

We swam down near the sand line and Roney pointed out a large orange red-fingered anglerfish between two sponges. This was the one we couldn't find yesterday. We were now on track to find 6 anglerfish.

We stopped at the Carijoa covered rock on the sand line and I was able to find the Volva volva cowrie.

As we headed along the reef to the next anglerfish, Roney pointed out a Nembrotha sp. nudibranch. We got to the spot where one of the grey red-fingered anglerfish had been yesterday but it was gone. Roney back tracked looking for it and I looked to the south east. I found it a little farther along. I pointed it out to Roney and Mike.

We swam past Split Rock and on to the area below Seahorse Rock. I looked around for the female White's seahorse that had been in the area even though I hadn't seen her the last 2 times. I found her at the base of one of the sponges I'd seen her before. I pointed her out to Roney and Mike before swimming on.

I found my tiny grey red-fingered anglerfish just past Slope Rock on the same sponge it had been yesterday. I pointed out to Roney who hadn't seen it yesterday. When Mike came up I showed him, too.

Roney took us to the rock on the top of the wall where the little orange painted anglerfish had been last year and showed us the grey red-fingered anglerfish he'd found yesterday (but Mike and I didn't see).

We dropped over the wall and I spotted the juvenile weedy seadragon in the kelp on the sand line. I went down to take some photographs before moving back to the wall.

On the wall I found the small orange red-fingered anglerfish I'd found almost 2 weeks ago. It was in the same spot but had turned around. I pointed it out to Roney and indicated we'd seen the 6 red-fingered anglerfish as planned but he held up only 5 fingers. I hadn't realised he'd missed the first one. Roney let me know he was heading off. Mike swam up and I pointed out the anglerfish to him.

I swam a little farther and found a dwarf lionfish in an orange sponge. I pointed it out to Mike and then told him I was heading for the exit and he agreed.

We swam back towards Sutherland Point. I visited the orange anglerfish, the juvenile weedy seadragon, and the two grey anglerfish on my way back. We headed past Seahorse Rock and I found one of the Nembrotha sp. nudibanchs. From here we headed for the exit. I got ahead of Mike but he caught up to me while I was stopped for my safety stop.

After completing my safety stop I swam to the little bay to the south east of the point and waded out.

Buddy

Roney Rodrigues, Mike Scotland

Seas

Slight

Visibility

3 to 8 metres

Duration

92 minutes

Maximum depth

13.4 m

Average depth

10.7 m

Water temperature

17.0°C

                                       

Dive Profile from Shearwater Perdix AI

Tides at Botany Bay AEST

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

Low

3:33am

0.46m

High

9:29am

1.37m

Low

2:59pm

0.62m

High

9:32pm

1.81m

Camera gear

Camera

Nikon D500

Lens

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

Housing

Ikelite 6812.5

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.


Banded coral shrimp, Stenopus hispidus. 12 m.
 

Female Sydney pygmy pipehorse, Idiotropiscis lumnitzeri. 10.2 m.
 

Red-fingered anglerfish, Porophryne erythrodactylus. 9.8 m.
 

Giant cuttlefish, Sepia apama. 12 m.
 

Red-fingered anglerfish, Porophryne erythrodactylus. 12.7 m.
 

Red-fingered anglerfish, Porophryne erythrodactylus. 11.9 m.
 

Red-fingered anglerfish, Porophryne erythrodactylus. 11.1 m.
 

Red-fingered anglerfish, Porophryne erythrodactylus. 10.4 m.
 

Juvenile weedy seadragon, Phyllopteryx taeniolatus. 12.8 m.
 

Red-fingered anglerfish, Porophryne erythrodactylus. 11.2 m.
 

Dwarf lionfish, Dendrochirus brachypterus. 11.7 m.