Dive Details

Location

Date

Saturday 30 June 2018

Time

7:48am - 9:30am

Details

I was working today and tomorrow but I didn't start today's shift until 11am which gave me enough time to slip in an early dive at Bare Island. The forecast was for calm conditions and they were right. It was flat all around the island.

I got in just before the "swimming pool" area on the northern side of the island and surface swam out until I was near the outboard motor. I descended to the sand within sight of the outboard. Visibility was at least 5 metres and there was no noticeable surge. There was a little bit of current and the water temperature was between 16 and 17°C.

I swam over the outboard motor and the ledge and along the sand in front of the boulders. I then headed down the slope. I checked all the usual rocks for pygmy pipehorses but found none all the way down the slope.

I arrived at the rock where the pair of pygmy pipehorses have been for some time: the white male and the golden female. I was disappointed that the white honeycomb sponge was gone. I suspect a diver kicked or pulled it. I found the golden female almost immediately as she was hanging on to a purple sponge. It took me a while to find the white male as he was hanging out on the other side of the rock.

Both PJ and Mike had given me directions as to where to find a painted anglerfish, although I must have misunderstood one or both as they had me looking in two different places. I first looked on a couple of isolated rocks just down from the corner but did not find the anglerfish. I then followed the reef along to where we often see the Coryphellia rubrolineata nudibranchs. I didn't find the nudibranchs but I looked at the reef a little deeper for the anglerfish, near the area where the two pygmies that disappeared mysteriously a few years ago. I didn't find it.

I followed the reef right around to the caves on the southern side and then turned and came back. I was looking for pygmy pipehorses all the way around but found none. I came back to the area where we see the Coryphellia rubrolineata nudibranchs but was only able to find a single Cratena lineata nudibranch in the hydroid colonies. I kept looking for the anglerfish but never found it.

As I was approaching the corner again I spotted a tiny yellow mysid floating around. It settled and I was able to take some photographs. I suspect it is an Idiomysis sp. mysid.

I visited the pair of pygmy pipehorses on my way back. The female had barely moved but the male was now closer to the front and could be seen from the front.

I looked around the bottom of the slope for a while before heading up. I again looked in the usual spots for pygmies but found none. Near the boulders with the purple sea tulips I spotted a juvenile comb wrasse. They never used to be very common in Sydney.

I swam to the top of the slope and across the sand in front of the boulders. At the outboard motor I ascended to 5 metres and started my safety stop as I swam to the exit. After finishing my safety stop I swam to the rocks and got out just to the east of Carol's plaque.

Seas

Calm

Visibility

5 to 8 metres

Duration

102 minutes

Maximum depth

15.6 m

Average depth

11.7 m

Water temperature

16°C

                                       

Dive Profile from Garmin Descent Mk1

Tides at Botany Bay AEST

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

Low

3:48am

0.45m

High

9:44am

1.34m

Low

3:10pm

0.62m

High

9:44pm

1.79m

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.


Eastern smooth boxfish, Anoplocapros inermis. 13.1 m.
 

Female Sydney pygmy pipehorse, Idiotropiscis lumnitzeri. 12.7 m.
 

Male Sydney pygmy pipehorse, Idiotropiscis lumnitzeri. 12.7 m.
 

Swimming anemone, Phlyctenactis tuberculosa. 14.3 m.
 

Nudibranch, Cratena lineata. 13.6 m.
 

Mysid, Idiomysis sp. 13.6 m.
 

Female Sydney pygmy pipehorse, Idiotropiscis lumnitzeri. 12.8 m.
 

Male Sydney pygmy pipehorse, Idiotropiscis lumnitzeri. 12.8 m.
 

Comb wrasse, Coris picta. 10.4 m.