Dive Details

Location

Date

Saturday 27 October 2018

Time

8:29am - 10:29am

Buddy

Cody Sheridan

Seas

Slight

Visibility

5 to 20 metres

Duration

120 minutes

Surface interval

20:12 (hh:mm)

Maximum depth

21.5 m

Average depth

14.5 m

Water temperature

15°C

                                       

Dive Profile from Garmin Descent Mk1

Tides at Botany Bay AEDT

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

Low

4:22am

0.37m

High

10:45am

1.78m

Low

5:12pm

0.29m

High

11:15pm

1.44m

Details

This was my first dive at The Leap in over 3 weeks. Conditions and/or tides had not been appropriate but today both were perfect for a dive here. I was also keen to dive here with my new drysuit. I'm so comfortable that my air consumption is much lower and a 2 hour dive is on the cards.

Small waves were washing over the low platform but not enough to stop us from getting in from there. We stepped into the water and swam out on the surface. Once we were ready we descended and swam at around 30° towards the sand line. As soon as we got to the reef area I started looking for pygmy pipehorses and seahorses, especially around the green sponges. Visibility was 15 to 20 metres and there was barely any surge. Water temperature was around 15°C but I was cosy in my drysuit. I made my way diagonally (northerly) to the sand line and turned left and headed for The Steps.

We swam past Seahorse Rock and on to the flat rocks with sponges without finding anything of interest. The visibility was so good I could see the flat rocks from Seahorse Rock. As I approached the flat rocks I could see there were no weedy seadragons under the overhang. I looked in the deep gap between the large rocks and found a male weedy seadragon with eggs. I noticed a second weedy there, too. It appears to be another male who recently had eggs but they were now all gone.

I looked on the rock above the weedies for pygmy pipehorses. I found a pink female first. I then found a pink male. I had a feeling that wasn't the male I normally see so I kept looking and found another pink male who was very pregnant.

Before leaving the area I noticed a weedy seadragon back towards the overhang. I suspected it was the second one I'd seen without eggs and after checking to photographs I confirmed it was.

We swam on to Southern Cross Rock without seeing any more weedy seadragons. I looked on Southern Cross Rock for pygmy pipehorses and seahorses, as well as the Volva volva cowrie that Mike had found last time we were here.

We continued on to Seadragon Alley. I was hoping to see the juvenile weedy who has grown so much since March. I was thrilled to find it in the area I often see it. A little farther along on Seadragon Alley I came across a male weedy seadragon with eggs and then a female.

We swam to the end of Seadragon Alley and searched for the red Stigmatopora sp. pipefish. Their most recent algae have gone and I couldn't find any similar algae in the area. They weren't in the other species of red alga. I did find the dwarf lionfish on its usual spot on the red chimney sponge.

I expanded my search for the red pipefish but was not able to find any at all.

We continued on towards Big Rock. I looked for the orange red-fingered anglerfish on the way. I'm pretty sure I found the rock it was last on but I could not see it there.

We swam past Big Rock and I started to look for pygmy pipehorses. I had a close look at the base of the rock below Hand Rock where I have seen pygmies before. I found found a small cryptic female. I took some photographs and Dom swam up so I pointed her out to him. I searched the surrounding rocks until Dom was done and then I went back to see if I could find a partner. I couldn't.

We headed up to the rock where the one-eyed White's seahorse used to be. I searched the rock thoroughly but was not able to find her. It has now been a couple of weeks since I last saw her.

We swam along the reef just up from the sand line almost to Diversity Rock. Cody pointed out a green moray eel on the lock rock just before Diversity Rock.

I headed up to the basket star before going to Diversity Rock to look for pygmy pipehorses. I didn't find any but Cody pointed out a weedy seadragon in the kelp below Diversity Rock. It was in the spot where the male with eggs has been at time but this one didn't have eggs. George swam up and I pointed the weedy out to him.

We swam towards Little Big Rock and I found the male with eggs in the next patch of kelp.

We continued to Little Big Rock. The salmon red-fingered anglerfish was in the same spot it had been on Tuesday only it was facing the other way. I pointed it out to Cody.

I spotted the Nembrotha purpureolineata nudibranch on the rock above Little Big Rock before swimming past the octopus which was not home and then on to the large rock to look for the pygmy pipehorses. I found the male in its usual spot. I then found the female lower down on the side of the rock.

We swam along the sand line to the large yellow red-fingered anglerfish which was in its usual place.

We continued along the sand line to the hole where the pipefishes have been. The visibility had dropped a bit but it was still over 5 metres. I looked in and around the hole but could see neither of the upside-down pipefish, nor the sawtooth pipefish.

I headed for the rock where I found "Jodi", the small female pot-bellied seahorse, last Sunday. O the way I came on a small Nembrotha purpureolineata nudibranch. I looked around the rock for the seahorse but could not find her. She wasn't on the sea tulips or the algae but it is possible she was somewhere under the kelp.

As we swam towards the boulders I looked for the orange red-fingered anglerfish with dark eyes. I checked out the rocks we've seen it on before but I still wasn't able to find it.

We ascended to Split Rock and started our safety stop. I was having a lot of trouble staying down even though I had dumped as much air out of my suit as I could. I was carrying the same weight that normally carry when using the pony which is less than my regular configuration but clearly not enough for this suit. I held on to the rocks to stay down until my safety stop was complete. I then attempted to swim underwater to the exit but just floated to the surface and swam in on the surface. The exit was easy.