Dive Details



Saturday 2 February 2019


9:46am - 10:48am


Very surgy


1 to 3 metres


61 minutes

Surface interval

4 days 18:24 (days hh:mm)

Maximum depth

14.9 m

Average depth

11.3 m

Water temperature



Dive Profile from Citizen Hyper Aqualand

Tides at Botany Bay AEDT

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














The forecast was for non-ideal conditions at Kurnell today with a 1.5-2m easterly swell. I wasn't even sure if the entry/exit would be safe but was pleasantly surprised to find that the entry/exit looked quite good.

I geared up and walked down the stairs. As I arrived a couple of big sets of waves came through but it was relatively calm after that. I was able to jump in and put my fins on before swimming out. I descended and swam to the kelp/sand. The visibility was disappointing at only 2 to 3 metres and there was a lot of surge. The water temperature was around 20°C. I found my way to the sand line and turned right and started swimming towards Big Rock.

I couldn't see very far in front of me so navigation was difficult. I only knew where I was as I came on rocks I recognised.

I got to the rocks where the small orange red-fingered anglerfish had been, near where the seahorses had been. None of them appear to be around anymore. The visibility was not good enough to do more than a brief look before I moved on.

I continued along the sand line navigating as best I could until I got to the hole where the pipefishes had been. The surge had deposited quite a lot of sand in the hole and I couldn't see any pipefishes.

I next stopped at the collection of rocks where the large yellow Red-Fingered Anglerfish had spent a lot of time. I looked on the third rock for the pygmy pipehorses Roney had told me about. It was very difficult to look because of the surge. I gave up after a short time.

I swam on to Little Big Rock. I looked at the hole where Dama and Roney's Sawtooth Pipefish had been and saw both the male and the female there together. It's funny to think that I had never seen Sawtooth Pipefish until last year after nearly 40 years of diving in Sydney and now I see them on nearly every dive near The Steps.

I looked for the large yellow/white Red-Fingered Anglerfish but it wasn't in the hole where it has been for the last few months. I had a look around on the surrounding rocks but the poor visibility and surge made it very difficult. I had a big hunt around the area for the seahorses, especially on the large rock behind Little Big Rock. I couldn't see either of them. They may well be hiding from the huge surge.

I made my way to Diversity Rock and up to the basket star. I wasn't even sure it was still there until I was within a metre. Taking photographs of it was difficult because of the surge.

I swam back towards the sand line and headed to Big Rock. I didn't know where I was most of the time but recognised some of the rocks as I got close to them. I arrived at the rock below Hand Rock. I looked at the base of that rock but the surge was so ridiculous than even if I saw any pygmies it would not be possible to photograph them. I looked on Hand Rock and spotted the pygmy there straight away but it was nearly impossible to photograph.

I headed over to Big Rock and to where Ron's pygmies have been. I was able to spot the male but could not see the female. Again the surge made photography difficult.

I turned and headed back towards The Steps. I stayed higher but as with the trip down to Big Rock, I only knew where I was when I got to a rock I recognised. One of those rocks was New Basket Star Rock. I went from there to the basket star.

I started to head towards Little Big Rock and swam over the kelp. The visibility was now less than a metre and the surge was getting worse. Once I was over the kelp I had no landmarks or directions. I had to switch the Perdix to compass mode and find my way past the kelp to Little Big Rock.

I looked around again for the seahorse and yellow/white Red-Fingered Anglerfish but found none. I checked on the Sawtooth Pipefish and found only one.

I stayed high and headed for the exit. The surge had gotten worse and the visibility was now down to around a metre. I swam over rocks I couldn't be sure I recognised. I headed to the boulders as at least I could see them. I ascended to 5 metres and looked for the Plesiastrea colonies as I headed towards Split Rock. I found them and Split Rock which wasn't easy at all. After I finished my safety stop I headed towards the shore but surfaced out from the exit. I wanted to see if the conditions at the exit had gotten worse. It didn't look too bad so I swam in and kneeled on the platform. I got my fins off, stood up and walked out. Despite the poor underwater conditions the exit was easy.