Dive Details

Location

Date

Thursday 28 February 2019

Time

12:14pm - 2:04pm

Seas

Some surge and current

Visibility

1 to 4 metres

Duration

110 minutes

Surface interval

22:48 (hh:mm)

Maximum depth

20.9 m

Average depth

15.7 m

Water temperature

22.3°C

                                       

Dive Profile from Citizen Hyper Aqualand

Tides at Botany Bay AEDT

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

High

4:36am

1.49m

Low

11:30am

0.63m

High

5:22pm

1.15m

Low

10:56pm

0.70m

Details

The visibility at The Steps yesterday had not been great but it was still good enough for me to give The Leap a go. Low tide was an hour and 15 minutes later than yesterday but I didn't want to be leaving after the dive much later than yesterday because of the traffic so today I'd be getting in only 45 minutes after low tide (compared with over 90 minutes yesterday). It looked a little rougher today than it had been yesterday but most of that seemed to be wind rather than swell.

I got in from the low platform and swam out on the surface. From the surface the visibility looked so much better than yesterday. I could easily see the bottom which is almost 5 metres. I descended and swam at around 60° towards the amphitheatre. The whole way to the top of the amphitheatre the visibility was around 5 metres and I thought it was going to hold. As I descended into the amphitheatre the visibility dropped until it was only 2-3 metres and even less in spots. The water temperature was around 22°C so there was that.

I tried to find the sand line but there was kelp everywhere so I headed back to the rocks. I then recognised the rock where I found my first every pygmy 100% on my own and I knew where I was.

I swam to the first rock where I know there are pygmies. I looked for the original pair of pygmies in their original spot but was not able to find them. I looked at the other end of the rock and saw the other male (IL2018110301) in his usual spot next to the red sponge. I looked around for his partner but could not find her. I then looked on the yellow sponge back at the other end of the rock and spotted the original male (IL2018110202). I then spotted the original female (Il2018110201) nearby. I still had to find the other female at the other end of the rock. I then spotted her (IL2018110302) tail wrapped around an alga.

I swam up to the rock above and closer to the shore. I looked around the area of the blue sponge (which was no longer there) and spotted the greyish female. I then looked for the pink male but initially couldn't find him. I eventually found him. The surge wasn't strong but it was enough to be annoying while trying to take photographs.

I made my way to the large flat rock with sponges which wasn't easy in the visibility. I have seen at least 4 different pygmies on this rock but no more than two at one time. I looked in the centre of the rock where I'd seen the original ones but found none. I looked on the side of the rock and found a small female. I believe it was the one I saw 12 days ago. I couldn't find any others.

I think I found the rock before Bob and Lucy Rock but it was difficult to be sure because of the poor visibility. It certainly looked right. I surveyed the whole rock and was not able to find either of the pygmies that have been on it.

I swam on to Bob and Lucy Rock which hasn't had any pygmies of late. I checked the adjacent rock for the pair I found a couple of weeks ago but I could not find them.

I headed slowly along the sand line hoping I'd find Ian's Pygmy Rock. I did. I found a female pygmy pipehorse on the rock itself and then spotted the pink male, the reddish male and another female. When I looked back on Ian's Pygmy Rock the female I had just seen was gone but then I spotted a second female on the adjacent rock so it had swum over.

I continued along the sand line towards Seahorse Rock. The visibility made it very difficult to know where I was. It also made me more focused on things close because that was all I could see. I then spotted a female pygmy pipehorse on a rock I've not seen one on before. I looked around on the rock for a male but couldn't find one.

I swam on past Seahorse Rock. The going was tough because of the visibility. I found my way to the overhang and had to basically go all the way in to see the female weedy seadragon who was less than a metre away. There may have been others around but I couldn't see them. I looked around the area between the two flat rocks with sponges but found no other weedies.

I ascended to the pygmies. I found the reddish male. While I was looking for the pinkish female I spotted a new smaller female. I then found the pinkish female. I started to look for the the male but found the other female instead. I then found the other male.

I was almost out of NDL so I stayed high as I swam over Southern Cross Rock and through Seadragon Alley. The visibility was starting to improve so I could sit 3 metres above the bottom and still see things. I saw nothing of interest in Seadragon Alley.

I swam up the slope towards Big Rock. I looked for red Stigmatopora sp. pipefish along the way but found none.

I headed around the back of Big Rock looking for the grey Red-Fingered Anglerfish but didn't find it. I looked on Big Rock for pygmies but found none. I looked on the rock below Hand Rock for the pygmy from a couple of weeks ago with no success. I did find the one on Hand Rock. That made 18 pygmy pipehorses for the dive.

I swam along the reef just above the sand line to Diversity Rock. I found the Miamira sinuata nudibranch very close to where it had been yesterday.

I headed up to the basket star and then along to Little Big Rock. I found "David", the Pot-Bellied Seahorse, on the large rock behind Little Bog Rock but I was not able to find "Petra". I swam right around the area looking for her. I looked for Dama and Roney's Sawtooth Pipefish but could not find them.

I swam to the rock I'd found the large yellow Red-Fingered Anglerfish on yesterday. It was not in the same spot. I swam around to make sure it was the correct rock. I then looked around the rock and found the anglerfish on the other side of the rock in a hole.

I headed past Di's Rock and down to the rock where the other seahorses had been and then swam to the exit looking on the rocks for the orange Red-Fingered Anglerfish that have been around.

I ascended to Split Rock and did my safety stop and then swam underwater to the exit. The exit was easy because the tide was still low.