Dive Details



Saturday 20 September 2014


12:34pm - 1:40pm


Today there was meant to be a 2.5 metre southerly swell but you wouldn't know it to look at The Steps. There wasn't much swell and the water looked clean from the top. Other divers had experienced around 10 metres visibility earlier in the day on the outgoing tide so it augured well for us.

We jumped in at The Steps, descended to the sand/kelp line and I followed Sheree as she swam pointing out cool critters. We sort of meandered from the sand line to the top of the reef and back all the way to the basket star, seeing a couple of weedy seadragons along the way. I started thinking that we could have made it to "Southern Cross" and back easily if we'd thought about it before the dive. I looked up from taking photos of the second weedy seadragon to see Sheree making a bee line towards The Leap. It appears she'd had the same idea as me. I followed her and we stopped at Big Rock for a quick look for pygmy pipehorses. Behind Big Rock, Sheree found a pair of mourning cuttlefish and one looked like it might have been laying eggs although I could not see any eggs.

We took off again at speed and went to look for pineapplefish but found a big school of striped catfish instead. Continuing on we saw a couple more weedy seadragons on the way, including stumpy tail.

We found "Southern Cross" almost immediately. It has been exactly 3 years and 2 days since I first saw her. She's still looking just as beautiful as that first time. With a bit of searching we managed to find "Pierre" as well.

We didn't have much time to hang around so we turned and headed back to The Steps. Sheree pointed out a male weedy seadragon with eggs not far from the seahorses. We then headed to shallower water as we were both running low on air. We did our safety stop along the way and then exited at The Steps.

It was a strenuous dive but fun nonetheless.


Sheree Papuni




10 metres


65 minutes

Maximum depth

18.3 m

Average depth

11.5 m

Water temperature



Dive Profile from Citizen Hyper Aqualand

Tides at Botany Bay AEST

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










Camera gear


Nikon D7000


Nikon AF Micro-Nikkor 60mm f/2.8D


Ikelite 6801.70

Lens port

Ikelite Flat Port 5502.41


2 x Ikelite SubStrobe DS161


Depth information, where present, indicates the depth of the camera when the photograph was taken and can be used to approximate the depth of the subject.

Common Sydney octopus, Octopus tetricus. 11.8 m.

Common Sydney octopus, Octopus tetricus. 11.7 m.

Pygmy leatherjacket, Brachaluteres jacksonianus. 11.4 m.

Nudibranch, Pteraeolidia ianthina. 11.6 m.

Nudibranch, Hypselodoris bennetti. 11.4 m.

Dwarf lionfish, Dendrochirus brachypterus. 12 m.

Nudibranch, Noumea sulphurea. 12.3 m.

Magnificent volute, Cymbiola magnifica. 10.9 m.

Dendrophylliid coral. 10.7 m.

Basket star, Astrosierra amblyconus. 10 m.

Weedy seadragon, Phyllopteryx taeniolatus. 14.1 m.

Basket star, Astrosierra amblyconus. 12.9 m.

Weedy seadragon, Phyllopteryx taeniolatus. 13.9 m.

Mourning cuttlefish, Sepia plangon. 11.8 m.

Mourning cuttlefish, Sepia plangon. 12.1 m.

Striped catfish, Plotosus lineatus. 14.5 m.

Weedy seadragon, Phyllopteryx taeniolatus. 17.2 m.

Female pot-bellied seahorse, Hippocampus abdominalis, ("Southern Cross"). 17.5 m.

Reaper cuttlefish, Sepia mestus. 17 m.

Male pot-bellied seahorse, Hippocampus abdominalis, ("Pierre"). 17.9 m.

Weedy seadragon, Phyllopteryx taeniolatus. 18.1 m.