Dive Details



Sunday 21 June 2015


9:32am - 10:42am


By the time I jumped in at The Leap it was a bit rougher than it had been when I had checked out the conditions just 30 minutes earlier. It was not too rough to get in safely but there was too much water over the low platform so I slid down the wall. Once in the water the surface was quite rough but the visibility was still at least 5 metres.

I swam to the sand line at around 60° and the surge was quite powerful which made the swim a bit tougher. The water felt quite warm with my watch suggesting it was around 19°C. I reached the sand line at the amphitheatre right at Pygmy Rock. The visibility was around 10 metres. Before I got to Pygmy Rock I noticed a weedy seadragon milling around it so I went to photograph it first. It started right on the sand under Pygmy Rock but I followed it right past Pygmy Rock as we swam past I saw the pygmy pipehorse on top of the rock. That would have to be the quickest I have found it.

After photographing the weedy, which was the same one I'd seen in the area 2 weeks ago, I started trying to photograph the pygmy pipehorse which was a real challenge due to the strong surge. In fact, I was surprised the poor pygmy wasn't being washed off the rock the surge was that strong.

I headed off towards Seahorse Rock and found another weedy seadragon. This was the other one I'd seen recently near Pygmy Rock, although I have most often seen it between Pygmy and Seahorse Rocks.

Just after Seahorse Rock I found "Pierre" at his new location. He was hiding again but I was able to find him quite quickly.

Shortly after "Pierre" and before I reached the rock we used to see "Southern Cross", I found another weedy seadragon. I first saw this one a month ago before Seahorse Rock and saw it last week at the start of Seadragon Alley so it has moved around quite a bit.

When I reached Seadragon Alley I saw two more weedy seadragons together. One was a male I have seen previously. The other I have seen many times since December 2013 and I can only guess it is a female by the deeper body and the fact that I have never seen it with eggs.

Further along in Seadragon Alley I found two more weedy seadragons swimming near each other. One was a male that I've seen since early 2014 and the other the juvenile that we stared seeing in May.

At the end of Seadragon Alley I found the weedy seadragon with the deformed body that has been around since at least March 2014.

After Seadragon Alley I headed to the top of the reef and swam along at around 11 metres hoping to find the Miamira magnifica nudibranch. As I got close to The Steps I spotted two more weedy seadragons swimming together at the sand line. Both I have seen before. Once I first saw in March 2014 and the other in December 2013.

I swam to the boulders and did my safety stop. The temperature dropped a bit at 5 minutes but dropped significantly as I surfaced. It got as low as 17.3°C according to my watch. I exited at The Steps. The exit was a bit difficult due to the height of the tide and the swell but I managed it.




10 metres


70 minutes

Maximum depth

22.2 m

Average depth

15.3 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.

Weedy seadragon, Phyllopteryx taeniolatus. 20 m.

Sydney pygmy pipehorse, Idiotropiscis lumnitzeri. 21.2 m.

Male pot-bellied seahorse, Hippocampus abdominalis, ("Pierre"). 19.2 m.

Weedy seadragon, Phyllopteryx taeniolatus. 19.6 m.

Weedy seadragon, Phyllopteryx taeniolatus. 17.1 m.

Weedy seadragon, Phyllopteryx taeniolatus. 17.6 m.

Juvenile weedy seadragon, Phyllopteryx taeniolatus. 16.4 m.

Weedy seadragon, Phyllopteryx taeniolatus. 16.4 m.

Weedy seadragon, Phyllopteryx taeniolatus, showing deformed body. 16.3 m.

Basket star, Astrosierra amblyconus. 10.8 m.

Weedy seadragon, Phyllopteryx taeniolatus. 12.2 m.