Dive Details



Monday 14 November 2016


11:21am - 12:48pm


A number of divers had spotted and photographed one or two male great seahorses, Hippocampus kelloggi, at Bare Island. This was in addition to a female that appeared in late July. I was keen to see the males. I was given an approximation to where the males had last been seen so I was set to go on a seahorse hunt.

The bay was quite rough but it was calm to the west of the bridge. I got in just to the east of the "swimming pool", surface swam for 10 to 20 metres before descending to the sand. Visibility was around 5 metres and there was almost no surge. I swam to the outboard motor and then up over the ledge. Once on the sand in front of the boulders I hit a pretty strong head current. It wasn't enough to push me back if I stopped swimming but it was still difficult to swim into.

I followed the boulders to the top of the slope and headed down the slope. I didn't spend any time looking for pygmy pipehorses as I wanted to make sure I had enough air for a long search for the seahorses. I had just passed the rock with the orange sponges (the sponges often have dwarf lionfish, I saw my first pygmy pipehorses at Bare on this rock, and there was a large juvenile painted angler on this rock last time I dived here) and was almost on to the rock where the two white pygmy pipehorses had been for a number of months when I spotted a seahorse in an orange sponge. On closer inspection I realised it was a female great seahorse. I'm not sure if it was the same one as a couple of months ago but I had at least found a seahorse. I took some photographs.

I continued on to the corner past New Pygmy Rock and the orange sponge where a female great seahorse had been in August and September. I swam on to where we'd seen a yellow male pygmy pipehorse with a pink female last year. The male seahorses were in this area. The current was very strong here which made it quite difficult. From the photos I'd seen the seahorses were on a green hand sponge so I hunted for a green hand sponge. I found several sponges but no seahorses. I expanded my search but still found none. I was shadowed by a blue groper throughout my search.

I head back to the corner and checked the sponge with the squat lobster. There were two now but they were too far down to photograph. I swam back around the corner to the female seahorse and took some more photographs. I was pleased to have found her but disappointed I hadn't found at least one male. I decided to have one last look so I headed back around the corner, past the caves but this time I stuck to the wall. I hadn't gone far around when I spotted a large orange sponge and in the sponge was a large make great seahorse. He's very handsome. I took some photographs and then headed around the corner again.

I passed the female without stopping and headed up the slope. At the top of the slope I searched for pygmy pipehorses but was unsuccessful. I swam along in front of the boulders, then ascended to 5m and started my safety stop as I swam to the exit. I got out just to the west of the ramp.


87 minutes

Maximum depth

15.5 m

Average depth

10.7 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.