Dive Details



Saturday 29 November 2014


10:06am - 11:17am


The Leap looked pretty good today and it was calm enough to jump in from the low platform. I swum parallel to the shore along the surface for about 5 metres before descending and heading at 60° to the wall. At the wall the visibility was at least 10 metres and the water a balmy 20°C. I descended the wall and headed towards The Steps.

Near the end of the wall I started looking carefully at the low rocks for pygmy pipehorses. The growth on the rocks looks typical for pygmy pipehorses so they should be there it is just a matter of finding them. The incoming tidal current was quite strong and I had to fight against it to stay still. While I was looking a thermocline drifted past me (in the opposite direction to the current) and the temperature dropped below 18°. Despite looking carefully, I did not find any new pygmy pipehorses.

The white pygmy pipehorse was on its usual rock. It is now 8 weeks since we first saw it. The pink one was also on its rock and only took me a couple of minutes to find. It is 5 weeks since I first saw this one.

I swam over to where "Nat", the red-fingered angler, had been for the previous 3 weeks but it was not there. I looked around the rock and adjacent rocks but could not see it. The current was getting pretty strong by now and the visibility dropped to between 5 and 10 metres.

I continued on towards The Steps. Before I got to Seahorse Rock I found a weedy seadragon. It was the male I had seen with eggs last weekend but it no longer had any eggs.

At Seahorse Rock I caught up with Daniela, Dishie and Mark. While I was photographing "Rosie", the pot-bellied seahorse, who was still on the side of her usual rock, Daniela pointed to a small pregnant male pot-bellied seahorse that was bouncing along the top of the rock. Was excited to see a new seahorse and was just getting ready to take photographs when an eastern red scorpionfish (probably the one that is resident on that rock) swam out and swallowed the seahorse with just the tail hanging out the mouth. The scientist in my was thrilled to see such an encounter but the seahorse lover in me was devastated at witnessing a loss like that. It was not a happy thing to see.

I was running low on air and had to get a move on. I swam on to the next seahorses and found "Southern Cross" almost immediately but it took me around 5 minutes to find "Pierre" who was hiding under a sponge.

By now I was down to less than 80 bar and was only half way to The Steps. I swam pretty quickly through Seadragon Alley and did not see one weedy, mostly because I was going so quickly. I then followed the reef up to the top of the reef and motored along there for a while and then up to the boulders doing my safety stop as I swam. I finished my safety stop in front of the exit and then got out at The Steps.




5-10 metres


71 minutes

Maximum depth

21.6 m

Average depth

16.5 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.













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.

Sydney pygmy pipehorse, Idiotropiscis lumnitzeri. 21.1 m.

Sydney pygmy pipehorse, Idiotropiscis lumnitzeri. 21.1 m.

Sydney pygmy pipehorse, Idiotropiscis lumnitzeri. 20 m.

Sydney pygmy pipehorse, Idiotropiscis lumnitzeri. 20 m.

Weedy seadragon, Phyllopteryx taeniolatus. 20.9 m.

Female pot-bellied seahorse, Hippocampus abdominalis, ("Rosie"). 20.1 m.

Eastern red scorpionfish, Scorpaena jacksoniensis, with pot-bellied seahorse, Hippocampus abdominalis, in its mouth. 19.4 m.

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

Reaper cuttlefish. Sepia mestus. 17.2 m.

Male pot-bellied seahorse, Hippocampus abdominalis, ("Pierre"). 17.5 m.

Mosaic leatherjacket, Eubalichthys mosaicus. 17.6 m.

Reaper cuttlefish. Sepia mestus. 15.5 m.