Dive Details

Location

Logged dive number

1849

Date

Saturday 12 December 2020

Time

7:11am - 9:07am

Seas

Moderate current and surge

Visibility

5 to 10 metres

Duration

116 minutes

Surface interval

5 days 18:14 (days hh:mm)

Maximum depth

15.0 m

Average depth

11.2 m

Water temperature

19.4°C

                                       

Dive Profile from Citizen Hyper Aqualand

Tides at Botany Bay AEDT

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

Low

12:26am

0.33m

High

6:55am

1.75m

Low

1:22pm

0.36m

High

7:18pm

1.50m

Details

The tides were less than ideal today - in fact they were probably the worst they could be. High tide was just before 7am making it nearly impossible to get in before the high tide and low tide was around 1:30pm making a dive on the incoming tide too late in the afternoon. I decided to go as early as I could so I'd be in as close to high tide as possible. The forecast was for a 1-1.5m southerly swell so at least there was that.

There were no other divers at The Steps when I arrived and none had shown up before I was ready to walk down. This means I'd have the site to myself, at least for the first 30 minutes or so. I walked down and waded out on the platform. The tide was high enough to make the entry easy. I swam out on the surface before descending.

I descended to the boulders and swam out over the kelp to the sand. The visibility was around 10 metres. There was some surge, enough to be noticeable but not enough to be annoying. There was no current, yet, but that was to be expected this close to high tide. The water temperature was between 19 and 20°C.

I swam over the rocks towards the sand line. I spotted a Reaper Cuttlefish on the way.

I looked around in kelp for Nadiah. I found a male Weedy Seadragon with eggs. I'm sure it is the one I have often seen around that area. I eventually found Nadiah.


Female Pot-Bellied Seahorse, Hippocampus abdominalis, ("Nadiah"). 11.5m.

I headed to the sand line and then swam towards Little Big Rock. I checked out the red algae along the way for pipefish. I swam below Jodi's Rock and on to Pipefishes Hole. I checked out the red algae near Pipefishes Hole and looked in the hole itself but found no pipefishes. I continued along the sand line some more to look in more red algae before heading up to Lily's Rock.

I spotted the orange Red-fingered Anglerfish with eggs first on Lily's Rock and then notice Lily in the sea tulips just to the left. I took photographs of both Lily and the anglerfish (and their eggs) before looking for Tom Thumb. I spotted him low down on the upper surface of the rock. Just as I left Lily's Rock, some other divers arrived.


Female Pot-Bellied Seahorse, Hippocampus abdominalis, ("Lily"). 11.5m.


Male Pot-bellied Seahorse, Hippocampus abdominalis, ("Tom Thumb"). 11.1m.

I had a look on the sand between the reef and the boulders for Weedy Seadragons and pipefish before heading back to the reef. As I approached Skye's Rock I spotted the male Weedy Seadragon with eggs that I have seen in that area before.

At Skye's Rock I spotted Little Richard on the Little Big Rock side of the rock and Helen in the sea tulips on the same side of the rock. I initially couldn't find Tiny Tim. I then looked on the basket star side of the rock and spotted him low down.


Male Pot-bellied Seahorse, Hippocampus abdominalis, ("Little Richard"). 12.2m.


Female Pot-Bellied Seahorse, Hippocampus abdominalis, ("Helen"). 11.7m.


Male Pot-bellied Seahorse, Hippocampus abdominalis, ("Tiny Tim"). 11.8m.

I swam along to the basket star and then towards where I last saw Ash, the black Painted Anglerfish. On the way, I spotted the Nembrotha purpureolineata nudibranch. I looked for Ash but could not find them.


Nudibranch, Nembrotha purpureolineata. 12.5m.

I headed down to the rock with the four pygmy pipehorses. I found the pink female straight away but could not find the pink male. I managed to find the other male and the other female. I looked around the nearby rocks for anglerfishes but found none.

I continued towards Big Rock to the rock just before Long Rock. I spotted the off-white male pygmy pipehorse but couldn't initially see the female. While I was looking, Mike Scotland swam up. I pointed out the male and indicated there was a second one. He spotted the female 30-40cm away.

I headed back towards The Steps. I had another look for Ash but couldn't find them. I stopped by the nudibranch and basket star again.

I resisted the seahorses that were pretty much in the same places they'd been on my way out. I also spotted the male Weedy Seadragon with eggs.

I stopped at Lily's Rock. Lily was still in the sea tulips near the orange Red-fingered Anglerfish but Tom Thumb had moved to the sea tulips at the sand line end of the rock.

I swam past Di's Rock and then down to the sand line. I followed the sand line to and past Jodi's Rock. Just as I was about to turn up towards the exit I spotted another Weedy Seadragon.

As I was heading towards the exit I spotted yet another Weedy Seadragon. I took photographs before heading for the boulders.

I ascended to Split Rock and started my safety stop. I finished my safety stop and swam underwater to the exit. My exit was clean.

Camera gear

Camera

Nikon D500

Lens

Nikon AF-S Micro Nikkor 60mm f/2.8G ED

Housing

Ikelite 6812.5

Lens port

Ikelite Flat Port 5502.41

Strobe(s)

2 x Ikelite SubStrobe DS161