Dive Details



Wednesday 19 July 2017


11:09am - 12:58pm


After a few weeks of calm conditions a strong westerly/south-westerly wind had blown up over night and the surface of Botany Bay was very choppy. There were even waves washing under the bridge at Bare Island from west to east. Despite the choppy surface, the water appeared to be quite clear. Kim thought it was too rough to dive so I would be on my own.

I got in at my usual spot just to the west of the ramp on the northern side of the island. The choppy water made little difference to the entry but swimming on the surface was a little unpleasant so I descended early. I was greeted by visibility of well over 5 metres and almost no surge (other than the effect of the surface movement in the shallow water. The water temperature was around 16°C and I was so glad my drysuit wasn't leaking as it had yesterday.

I followed the rocks to the outboard motor and then up over the ledge and over the sand beside the boulders. I was looking for pygmy pipehorses along the way. I got to the top of the slope and headed down. I looked in the usual spots for pygmy pipehorses but found none.

Just below Pygmy Rock I was looking over by the wall when I spotted something very small and orange. On closer inspection I noticed it was a tiny painted anglerfish no bigger than my thumbnail. It was in an awkward spot but I managed some good photographs before accidentally stirring up the silt. As the silt cleared the angler started to yawn. I don't know if it was in response to the silt but I managed to get a couple of shots before it stopped.

I continued down the slope. The visibility was still 8 to 10 metres. At Juvy Rock I looked for the great seahorses. Neither were on Juvy Rock but I noticed the female on the slope to the west. She's grown so much since I first saw her nearly a year ago. I looked in the area for the male but couldn't see him.

I headed over to the rock where Kim had shown me a little angler last time I was at Bare Island, 4 weeks ago. On my way over I spotted the male great seahorse in an orange finger sponge.

On the sloping rock with the old pylon on the sand I found a small orange painted anglerfish. It was larger than the first one but seemed small for the one I saw there 4 weeks ago. I expected it to have grown more.

I headed west and on the rock with the white honeycomb sponge where we've seen a number of pygmy pipehorses over the years, I saw the pink male we saw 4 weeks ago. I couldn't find any others.

I headed to the corner and saw a large crested horn shark on the sand. Around the corner I looked at New Pygmy Rock. I found a small male pygmy pipehorse. It has been some time since I have found a pygmy on that rock. I couldn't find any others.

I went around the corner and was hoping to find some red-fingered anglers. In the Carijoa colony on the rock above the area where those two pygmies "disappeared", I spotted a yellow female White's seahorse.

I followed the reef around to the south and then came back around. I didn't find any red-fingered anglerfish.

As I came back around the corner, I spotted a large Port Jackson shark. That was one of each. I visited the pink male pygmy pipehorse again and then the female great seahorse.

As I was heading up the slope I noticed an eastern frogfish with its head out from other a rock.

I visited the tiny painted anglerfish on my way up the slope. At the top of the slope I swam over the sand and ascended to 5 metres over the boulders and started my safety stop as I headed for the exit. I got out where I got in. It was still choppy on the surface but the exit was easy.


Choppy on surface but calm below


5 to 8 metres


108 minutes

Maximum depth

14.4 m

Average depth

11.0 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.













Camera gear


Nikon D7000


Nikon AF-S Micro Nikkor 60mm f/2.8G ED


Ikelite 6801.70

Lens port

Ikelite Flat Port 5502.41


2 x Ikelite SubStrobe DS161


Depth information, where present, indicates the depth of the camera when the photograph was taken and can be used to approximate the depth of the subject.

Tiny juvenile painted anglerfish, Antennarius pictus. 10.9 m.

Tiny juvenile painted anglerfish, Antennarius pictus. 10.8 m.

Male great seahorse, Hippocampus kelloggi. 13.1 m.

Male Sydney pygmy pipehorse, Idiotropiscis lumnitzeri. 13.4 m.

Male Sydney pygmy pipehorse, Idiotropiscis lumnitzeri. 12.3 m.

Female great seahorse, Hippocampus kelloggi. 12.5 m.

Eastern frogfish, Batrachomoeus dubius. 10.5 m.