Dive Details

Location

Date

Tuesday 23 October 2018

Time

10:38am - 12:23pm

Seas

Some surge

Visibility

3 to 10 metres

Duration

104 minutes

Surface interval

44:44 (hh:mm)

Maximum depth

12.3 m

Average depth

10.0 m

Water temperature

16°C

                                       

Dive Profile from Garmin Descent Mk1

Tides at Botany Bay AEDT

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

Low

2:02am

0.36m

High

8:14am

1.55m

Low

2:17pm

0.42m

High

8:24pm

1.58m

Details

I really wanted to dive The Leap but it was an outgoing tide so I'll settle for The Steps. If I'd thought about it properly I could have started at The Monument (the protected area two thirds of the way to Sutherland Point from The Steps) and then ended the dive with a drift to The Steps. It was quite calm making for an easy entry and exit.

I got in at The Steps. It was deep enough to put my fins on while on the rocks and jump in. After the problems I had on my second dive on Sunday with the 7mm hood and my mask leaking I made sure the hood and mask were in the right position.

I swam out on the surface and then descended to the kelp. The visibility was 5 to 10 metres and there wasn't much surge. The water temperature was between 15 and 16°C. (My Garmin read 16 but the Shearwater read 15°C.)

I started by looking around for the orange red-fingered anglerfish with the dark eyes. I checked the rock I'd last seen it on and then various surrounding rocks and I kept going to the rocks I first saw it on a few months ago. I couldn't find it.

When I got to the rocks I'd first seen the orange anglerfish I looked for "Jodi", the small yellow female pot-bellied seahorse I'd found on Sunday. I initially couldn't find her and then I moved the kelp out of the way and I spotted her under the kelp. I hope she hangs around.

It was at this point that it dawned on my I should do a second dive after this one and that for the first dive I should have got in closer to The Monument, spent most of the dive there, and then drifted back to Steps. I would also be able to look for the pot-bellied seahorses there. I decided that I'd head to The Monument from here and sort of do that dive.

I headed along the sand line towards The Monument. I stayed along the kelp looking for weedy seadragons until I reached the first rocks visible from the sand line. I then headed up from the sand line and checked out all the rocks for seahorses, anglerfishes, and pygmy pipehorses until I got to Block Rock. Just before Block Rock I spotted a small Nembrotha sp. nudibranch on one of the rocks with Carijoa.

I had a good look on Block Rock for seahorses. It was around here that I picked up a very friendly blue groper who followed me around like a big puppy. I went a little farther towards the Deep Wall when I spotted a pink female pygmy pipehorse in some algae. I was about to take photographs when the blue groper decided to take a bite of one of the rocks near it stirring up sand and muck. I had to wait to take photographs. While I was waiting, I looked for the partner of the pink female. I spotted a more cryptic pygmy pipehorse near by and initially assumed it was a male. I took some photographs of it and then of the pink female. When I went back to what I thought was the male it had moved. When I found it again I realised it was another female. That means there should be two males nearby but I wasn't able to find any.

I swam on to the rocks just before the Deep Wall. I looked for the orange red-fingered anglerfish but it wasn't where it was last time I dived here. I looked on the surrounding rocks but could not find it.

I went to the base of the Deep Wall and looked for the other red-fingered anglerfish I'd found recently. I couldn't find it either.

I headed along the wall towards where the seahorses had been. I spotted the dwarf lionfish behind its usual orange finger sponge. I then looked around for the seahorses. I found "Gilligan", the small brown male, hidden on the yellow sea tulips. I was not able to find "Ginger" or "Virgil" after much searching of the area.

I swam to the end of the wall and up and over to check the rock above the wall for the pygmy pipehorses. I found the pinkish male but I was not able to spot the female.

I figured I had just enough air to go look for the brown female White's seahorse on the slope below Seahorse Rock before I'd have to head back to The Steps. I also thought that I could get out anywhere along the shoreline if I ran low on air.

I swam to the slope and made a couple of passes before I spotted the seahorse. I couldn't find her last time I dived here so I was pleased that she is still around.

I headed down to the sand line and swam back along the kelp looking for weedy seadragons, including the juveniles. I didn't find any by the time I reached "Gilligan". He was still in the same spot on the yellow sea tulips. I made another pass looking for the other seahorse but with no luck.

I swam to the south-eastern end of the wall on the sand again looking for weedy seadragons and then swam up to the spot I'd seen the two female pygmy pipehorses. They were both still there and I still couldn't find any males.

I headed along the sand line towards The Steps looking for weedy seadragons. I finally found a male who recently had eggs. I took some photographs before continuing.

I continued along the sand/kelp line until I reached the sponge covered rocks and I then cut up to the boulders and ascended to 5 metres. I did my safety stop as I swam to The Steps and finished it at Split Rock. I swam underwater to the exit and got out. The tide was low and the waves small making the exit easy.