Dive Details



Wednesday 1 June 2016


1:14pm - 2:49pm


There was hardly a ripple at The Steps when I checked it out before the dive and the swell at The Leap was slight. The surface water looked clean, too, so it augured well for a good dive.

We jumped in from the low platform and then swam 20-30m north-west on the surface parallel to the shore before descending. The visibility was at least 10 metres and looked great. I tried to head at 60° but the current was quite strong and we hit the sand line behind Seahorse Rock - although I didn't realise immediately as the visibility dropped to only a few metres once we hit 15m. We swam towards The Steps and as we swam over the rock where the bent stick pipefish has been I realised where we were and swam back to find little "Ronnie", the tiny orange painted angler. I lost Mike at this point.

I searched an area only around 30x30cm for "Ronnie" for a few minutes before I spotted the tiny tail poking out from under some algae. It made me realise just how difficult these small anglers are to find.

I moved on to look for the bent stick pipefish but was not able to find it. I continued on to Seadragon Alley looking for "Steve", the orange painted angler at the start but was unsuccessful. I caught up to Mike in Seadragon Alley and spotted one weedy seadragon. Despite it nearly being breeding season there have been very few around of late - or perhaps it is just the poor visibility that's made spotting them difficult.

We continued on towards Big Rock. I looked in the cave for the upside-down pipefish but couldn't see it. We looked for the ornate ghostpipefish but couldn't find it nor could we find the black angler. My mask had been leaking most of the dive and seemed to get worse here making looking all the harder.

I swam past the basket star and on to Diversity Rock. I found "Daniel" and "Noel" in the sponges on the rock behind Diversity Rock but I could not find "Rosie" or "Arnold". Mike thinks he saw "Arnold" in the sponges with the other two but didn't get a photo so can't be sure. The pygmy pipehorse was in the Carijoa behind the white honeycomb sponge. While Mike was photographing the pygmy pipehorse I searched everywhere for "Rosie", although my leaking mask made it difficult. Mike left me to photograph the pygmy pipehorse.

I swam on to the other seahorses. "Mikhail" was in the sea tulips in the middle of the rock and "Di" was at the top end. I noticed a White's seahorse in the sea tulips with "Mikhail". It was missing the tip of its tail. As I was looking at it it let go and floated up into the water column. I tried to coax it back to the rock but it kept swimming off so I let it go. Last I saw it was swimming 4 metres off the bottom.

I swam to the boulders, did my safety stop and exited at The Steps. The gentle swell made the exit easy. Mike was waiting for me.


Mike Scotland


Slight with some surge


2 to 8 metres


94 minutes

Maximum depth

20.2 m

Average depth

13.2 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.