Dive Details



Monday 12 June 2017


8:48am - 10:29am


Roney and I jumped in at The Leap, Roney from the top platform and me from the low platform. We had to negotiate fishing lines of fishers that were taking up most of the platform. The surface water was a bit murky but not as bad as at The Steps yesterday. We swam a fair way out before descending. We didn't have far to swim before reaching the amphitheatre right at the rock I found my first pink pygmy pipehorse. Visibility was over 15 metres and closer to 20 metres, there was a gentle surge and water temperature was around 18.5°C. We turned right initially before turning around and heading towards The Steps.

I got to Ian's Pygmy Rock to look for pygmy pipehorses when Roney called me back to an orange red-fingered angler he'd found. Good spotting. I swam back to Ian's Pygmy Rock but didn't find any pygmies.

We continued on to Seahorse Rock and on the way Roney spotted a Tambja verconis nudibranch. We don't see them all that often but it is good when we do see them.

Behind Seahorse Rock, I found a pair of mourning cuttlefish and a pair of reaper cuttlefish very close to each other. Roney found a pair of giant cuttlefish under the crevice. One was coming out and interacting with Roney while the other stayed back in the crevice.

Just before Bent Stick Rock I spotted the juvenile weedy seadragon that has been around since at least early January. It is slowly growing.

On the rock after and below Bent Stick Rock I found the Ceratosoma brevicaudatum nudibranch that has been around for the last few weeks. I pointed it out to Roney.

Between Bent Stick Rock and Southern Cross Rock I spotted two weedy seadragons swimming together. One was a lot smaller than the other so this may be its first breeding season.

At Southern Cross Rock we saw the whitish male pygmy pipehorse. I couldn't find the cryptic female. Even though the surge was quite gentle it was difficult to take photographs of the pygmy.

We continued on to Seadragon Alley where we saw a couple more weedy seadragons.

At the end of Seadragon Alley we came on some fields of red algae. In one of the first clumps I found one of the red widebody pipefish. It had an isopod parasite on the underside of its head.

We were both close to our no deco limit so we ascended up the slope. There were so many red algae in the area that we had plenty to do while we stayed a little shallower and avoided going into deco.

When we got to Big Rock I made a quick descent to take photographs of the ornate ghostpipefish before ascending again avoiding deco.

At the sloping rock I found the red male pygmy pipehorse but couldn't find any others.

We then headed towards Miamira Rock and the basket star checking the red algae along the way for pipefish. Behind Miamira Rock I found pair of red widebody pipefish in the same alga they have been every time I have seen them. While I was there Versner swam up so I showed her the pipefish so she could video them.

We swam on to Diversity Rock. I couldn't find the red male pygmy pipehorse, or any other pygmies. I hope he was just hiding.

We continued to Little Big Rock and saw the red-fingered anglerfish on the adjacent rock. I didn't look for the pygmies on Little Big Rock as Roney wanted to finish the dive. We headed to the boulders and started our safety stop while swimming to Split Rock. We then swam to the exit and got out. The exit was quite easy even though it was just after high tide because it was only a 1.36m high tide.


Roney Rodrigues


Slight surge


15 to 20 metres


101 minutes

Maximum depth

21.6 m

Average depth

16.0 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.