Dive Details



Saturday 22 October 2016


10:52am - 12:32pm


Conditions were again a little rough at Kurnell but not as rough as the forecasts suggested. I was keen to dive The Leap but I also wanted to find the robust ghostpipefish which were between The Steps and The Leap. While it was quite calm at The Steps any increase in the swell would make exiting a bit hairy. I decided I'd go for a long dive from The Leap to The Steps. The incoming tidal current would make it a little easier plus I had my pony to give me an extra 30 minutes. I would just have to be quick and not dawdle.

I slid down the rocks beside the low platform which was somewhat awash from the swell. Visibility on the surface was not great but it was a bit choppy. I descended and headed at around 30° to the sand line. I arrived between the "Lucy"/"Bob" rock and Seahorse Rock. Visibility was around 10 metres and the snot was no longer in the water. It was under 16°C and I was glad I was in my dry suit. I turned left and headed towards The Monument.

The current was pretty strong and I didn't have to do much swimming. I drifted past Seahorse Rock and found a weedy seadragon just below the rock where the bent stick pipefish used to be. I drifted on looking for the velvetfish but couldn't find it. I found another weedy seadragon just before the start of Seadragon Alley.

I went almost all the way through Seadragon Alley without seeing a weedy. I was wondering why when I spotted one near the end. As I was taking ID shots I noticed a juvenile ornate ghostpipefish. It was almost transparent but had just enough colour to show up. So not only had I seen two robust ghostpipefish but here was an ornate. And so early in the season.

I drifted on past Big Rock and up to Hand Rock. The surge was quite strong here but I managed to find the male pygmy pipehorse. I only had time for a few photos and I had to move on. I did not have time to look for the female.

I continued along the sand line to the old basket star rock. From here I cut up the reef to the rock with the Miamara magnifica nudibranchs and found them both there. I forgot to check the basket star and headed via Diversity Rock back to the sand line. Shortly past Diversity Rock I found a second ornate ghostpipefish! Like the first this one was almost transparent. I wondered how many others I had missed on my way to this point.

I headed along the sand line past The Steps and found two weedy seadragons near each other, I believe a male and a female. Shortly after these two I spotted another. I was still some way before the place I'd seen the first robust ghostpipefish yesterday when I spotted another one. Shortly after I spotted yet another. I then reached the spot where I saw the first robust ghostpipefish yesterday and it was still there today. This confirmed that I'd found two new ones.

The current was dropping off now and I had to do more swimming. I reached Block Rock, had a quick look for seahorses and then looked for the robust ghostpipefish which I found in the same spot. That made 2 ornate and 4 robust ghostpipefish! Again I wondered how many more I might have missed.

I swam along the wall and made a few passes looking for seahorses but found none. At the end of the wall I followed the reef to Split Rock. I couldn't find any seahorses there either.

It was quite surgy and I wondered how rough the exit would be so I decided to end the dive while I still had a bit of air in both tanks. I headed towards the little bay and surfaced just outside. It didn't look too rough so I descended and made my way underwater. It got a lot rougher as I approached so I chicken out. I surfaced and made my way to the rocks on the corner where it was much calmer. I was able to swim to the shallows and stand up without much of a problem. I then walked all the way back to The Leap.




5 to 10 metres


100 minutes

Maximum depth

21.6 m

Average depth

13.1 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.