Dive Details



Tuesday 18 July 2017


11:20am - 12:58pm


Once again it was calm at The Leap and the water looked clear from the surface. Mike and I got in from the low platform which was still above the water level due to the almost complete lack of swell. We surface swam out before descending. On the surface the visibility still looked great.

We descended and I immediately felt water on my left arm. Water was coming in through the shoulder dump valve. To make matters worse air was also leaking out the valve no matter if I closed the valve. I must have twisted the valve in an odd way with my shoulder strap of my BCD as I put it on.

We arrived at the sand line to visibility of at least 15 metres, no surge and water temperature of around 17°C. We turned left and headed towards The Steps.

When I took the port cover off my camera rig I noticed a lot of condensation on the inside of the port. In the 11 years I have been shooting underwater with dSLRs I have never had condensation inside my housing. Sure it was a warm day and the water was cool but I have dived on warmer days in cooler water without problem. I had also not opened the housing after yesterday's dive so I have to think that a small amount of water must have got in yesterday. Anyway, I just had to hope it would eventually go away so I could take photographs.

We swam past Seahorse Rock and on to the large flat sponge covered rocks on the sand line. I spotted the juvenile weedy seadragon and took some photographs for ID purposes (because the condensation on the lens port ruined any photographs). I spotted two other weedy seadragons in the same area and photographed them.

I found the Ceratosoma brevicaudatum nudibranch on the rock below Bent Stick Rock and fortunately the condensation had pretty much gone. I took some photographs. Just around the corner I spotted a weedy seadragon. While photographing it more water came through the shoulder dump valve on my drysuit. By now I also had to use by BCD for buoyancy as the drysuit just wouldn't hold enough air. I then noticed another weedy seadragon back near the rock below Bent Stick Rock. I must have swum past it without noticing.

I swam on to Southern Cross Rock and caught up with Mike. I spotted the yellow male pygmy pipehorse in the Carijoa colony and then spotted a small pink female. I think this was the first time I'd seen her.

I caught up with Mike just before Seadragon Alley. He was photographing a small Nembrotha purpureolineata on a tunicate.

We swam through Seadragon Alley where we saw a juvenile Klein's butterflyfish and a smallis giant cuttlefish.

At the end of Sedragon Alley, I spotted one of the two pygmy pipehorses I'd found yesterday just before the red widebody pipefish with the parasite. I couldn't find the female pygmy I saw yesterday. I then swam on to the red widebody pipefish.

On my way to Big Rock I found another weedy seadragon on the sand line. Just before Big Rock I found the red-fingered angler from yesterday. I looked for the other we'd seen in the area but couldn't find it.

After Big Rock I looked on the rock below Hand Rock and found the cryptic male pygmy pipehorse I have seen there of late. At slope rock I found the little cryptic male pygmy I found yesterday as well as a pinkish female pygmy.

I swam on to the rock where Roney found the grey red-fingered angler near the pair of red widebody pipefish and found the angler on the side of the rock where I'd seen it yesterday.

I then looked for the red widebody pipefish. I found both of them but they are no linger together. Hopefully they will pair up again.

I continued on to Diversity Rock where I only found one of the pygmy pipehorses there: a cryptic male. On the next large rock I found a cryptic female pygmy and the white male.

I swam on to Little Big Rock where I found a cryptic male pygmy pipehorse in the Carijoa. I also found the salmon red-fingered angler on the adjacent rock.

By now my arm was completely soaked and water was moving around the rest of the drysuit. I was cold and needed to pee so I headed for the boulders and started my safety stop as I swam to the exit. I finished my stop at Split Rock and swam underwater to the exit. The exit was easy.


Mike Scotland




15+ metres


98 minutes

Maximum depth

21.3 m

Average depth

14.7 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.