Dive Details



Sunday 2 December 2018


11:49am - 1:57pm


Cody Sheridan


Some surge


5 to 15 metres


128 minutes

Surface interval

22:28 (hh:mm)

Maximum depth

21.1 m

Average depth

14.2 m

Water temperature



Dive Profile from Garmin Descent Mk1

Tides at Botany Bay AEDT

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














Today was even hotter than yesterday and I was stuck in my drysuit as my wetsuit is getting a new zipper. I stayed with just the Arctic and fleece under the drysuit although I probably don't even need the fleece. I also had 28% Nitrox hoping it would keep me out of deco. Cody joined me for the dive and Mark Walters joined us for the start of the dive.

It was calmer today and we got in from the low platform. It was nice to get into the cooler water and out of the heat. We swam out on the surface before descending. The surface layer was a bit murky but once we got deeper than 5 metres the visibility opened up. We swam at between 45 and 50° towards the sand line. There must have been an outgoing current because we ended up on the deep wall. The visibility was 10 to 15 metres and there wasn't much surge. The water temperature was around 18°C. We dropped down the wall, turned left and headed towards The Steps.

We swam past Pygmy Rock but I didn't stop to look and continued on to the first rock with known pygmies in the Field of Pygmies. The Field of Pygmies extends from (and includes) the amphitheatre all the way to Seahorse Rock. If I had time, I think I would find pygmies on most of the rocks. Mark left us at this point.

I found the original male pygmy pipehorse straight away. As I was looking for the female, Cody indicated that we'd swum past a weedy seadragon and he took me back to see it. It was a large juvenile much the same size as the one in Seadragon Alley.

We swam back to the rock and I resumed my search for the original female. I couldn't find her. I went to the other end of the rock and found the other pair. I had another look for the original female before we moved on.

I looked for the female I saw yesterday on the side of a rock. I found the rock OK but I wasn't able to find the pygmy.

We continued on to Bob & Lucy Rock. I found the male pygmy pipehorse and was relieved he had been taken by the blue groper yesterday. After a bit of searching I found he partner.

As we swam along the reef I was looking for more pygmies. I then found a large sea spider with very thin legs. Its leg span was as big as the palm of my hand.

We swam on to Ian's Pygmy Rock. I looked on the adjacent rock for the male pygmy pipehorse I'd found yesterday. It wasn't where I'd seen it yesterday. I swam around the rock and finally spotted it. I then noticed a small female (IL2018120201). I had looked for her yesterday without success.

We headed towards Seahorse Rock. I looked on the large rock just before Seahorse Rock for the two pygmies I'd found 2 weeks ago. I hadn't found them yesterday and I still couldn't find them today.

We swam on to the low flat rocks with sponges. The visibility was so good I could see the male weedy seadragon with eggs under the overhang from over 10 metres away. I took some photographs of him and looked around for the other one that is usually in the area but I couldn't see her.

I ascended to the rock up and along from the overhang and looked for the pygmies there. I found the higher male and then the lower male. It took me a while to find the higher female and I wasn't able to find the lower female.

We stayed high because despite using 28% Nitrox I was close to my NDL again. We swam over Southern Cross Rock and then on into Seadragon Alley. I looked for weedy seadragons in Seadragon Alley but found none.

At the end of Seadragon Alley I descended to the sand and had a quick look for the red Stigmatopora sp. pipefish. I didn't find them.

We headed on towards Big Rock. I stopped at the large red alga where I had seen the red pipefish. It is odd that I saw them there 3 times but not again since.

We went shallower from here to increase our NDL. I looked around on rocks I've seen pygmies before hoping to find new ones but I found none.

We got to Big Rock and I scanned the rock for pygmies. It was only a cursory search but I found none.

We dropped to the substrate below the rock below Hand Rock. I found the male pygmy immediately and then looked around for and eventually found the female. She wasn't in a great place for photography.

We continued along the reef. We swam over Sponge Hollow and then along some of the shallower rocks, including New Basket Star rock. We then swam past the basket star and on to Diversity Rock. I briefly looked on Diversity Rock for pygmies before looking for the male with eggs in the kelp. He wasn't there. I headed a short way back towards Big Rock but the current was quite strong. I wasn't able to find him.

We swam on to Little Big Rock. The salmon red-fingered anglerfish was still there. I tried to see if the eggs were still there but I couldn't see past the adult. I looked around to see if I could see any juveniles but if there were any there, I didn't spot them. I found the large yellow anglerfish a few metres away on one of the next rocks.

I headed up to the large rock behind Little Big Rock to look for the pygmy pipehorses. I was only able to find the male yesterday but today I couldn't find either of them.

We kept on towards Di's rock. I looked for the grey red-fingered anglerfish on the sponge covered rock. It wasn't there yesterday but I was hoping it would be nearby. I didn't find it.

We dropped down to the hole where the pipefishes have been. I spotted on the upside-down pipefish in the hole. It was moving in and out of view.

I swam on ahead to the seahorses. I found "Stephen" in the pink sea tulips. Cody swam up and I pointed "Stephen" out to him. I then found "Jodi" on the next rock. She was sort of hiding in a purple sponge. Cody pointed out a large juvenile weedy seadragon. Cody then had to leave to do his deco stop.

I spent a bit more before heading in the direction of the exit to look for orange anglerfish with dark eyes. I looked on a lot of rocks but was not able to find it.

I ascended to Split Rock and started my safety stop. Once I finished my safety stop I swam underwater to the exit. It was a little scary staying underwater as there were other divers around and I was worried someone would jump on me. I followed another diver in so I should be safe. The sit was easy.