Dive Details



Wednesday 18 October 2017


2:59pm - 4:38pm


The main aim of today's dive was to try to find the great seahorse, Hippocampus kelloggi, that Dama spotted on Sunday. There was a large (1.8m) ENE swell so we dived as close to low tide as possible to make the exit at The Steps safer. Roney was diving with a 12L so would not stick with me the whole dive but I would also go quickly for the first half of the dive so Roney would still be with me at the end of Seadragon Alley where Dama had seen the seahorse.

It was quite rough at The Leap so we timed our entry so we'd both hit the water at the same time, swim away from the rocks and spend as little time as possible on the surface. We descended and headed at around 30° to the sand line. Visibility at the sand line was around 8 metres and there was some surge. Water temperature was around 15.5°C. We turned left and headed to The Steps. We stayed up a bit to maximise bottom time - well for Roney as I was on Nitrox and had my pony.

We swam straight past Ian's Pygmy Rock without looking for pygmies and on past Seahorse Rock. At the flat rocks I looked under the overhang and found the male weedy seadragon with a hole in its head. As I swam out from under the ledge I noticed two other weedies on the other side of the first flat rock, on the sand. I stopped to photograph them and Roney continued.

I continued on to Seadragon Alley, passing Southern Cross rock also without looking for pygmies. In Seadragon Alley I spotted two weedy seadragons. One was hiding in the kelp and the other was a male with eggs. I caught up to Roney here.

At the end of Seadragon Alley I stopped to look for pygmies on the rock with the green sponges. I found the female low down but I could not find the male. I swam on to the pair of red widebody pipefish when Roney pointed at the next rock indicating that was where Dama had seen the seahorse. From where I was I could look straight past where he was pointing and see the seahorse on the other end of the rock. She looks sort of similar to the female at Bare Island but her colouration is not as bright.

Before we moved on Roney showed me a grey angler on the side of a large rock between the pipefish and the pygmy pipehorses. Roney left me here as he had a lot less bottom time from doing a dive earlier in the day. I went back to the pipefish and took some more photos.

I swam on to Big Rock. I found my pink male pygmy pipehorse and his partner. I went to the other end of Big Rock and found Roney's male pygmy but after much searching I couldn't find the partner. I checked out the rock below Hand Rock. I found the black painted angler and I also found white and pink red-fingered angler that Roney had told me about. Its camouflage was so good I doubt I would have seen in without being told there was one there. I also found the male pygmy pipehorse.

I followed the sand line towards Diversity Rock. I spotted another male weedy seadragon with eggs before I got to Old Basket Star Rock. At Old Basket Star Rock I cut up the reef to New Basket Star Rock and then swam along the reef to Diversity Rock. I looked on Diversity Rock for pygmy pipehorses but found none.

I continued along the sand line to Little Big Rock and looked for pygmies there. I found none. I went to the adjacent rock to see the orange red-fingered angler only to find it was no longer there. I searched around the area but could not find it. Roney told me later he also searched the area for it and found another angler.

I swam on to the other pipefish and found the male weedy seadragon with eggs before I got to their location. I then checked out the pipefish.

The surge was quite strong by now and I was a little concerned about the exit. I still had plenty of air but I didn't want to stay too long as the exit would only be getting rougher as the tide increased. I swam to the boulders via Di's rock, stopping for a quick look there on the way.

At the boulders the visibility decreased considerably but the water was a little warmer. I ascended to 5 metres and did my safety stop as I swam to Split Rock. I finished my safety stop and swam towards the exit. As the tide was low and it was a little rough I surface outside the gap at the exit rather than swimming in. Once I knew it was safe I swam into the gap on the surface. It was a little uncomfortable but not too much trouble. Inside the gap I was protected from the waves. I got out without any issues.


Roney Rodrigues




3 to 8 metres


98 minutes

Maximum depth

19.8 m

Average depth

13.4 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.













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.

Red widebody pipefish Stigmatopora sp. 15.3 m.

Female great seahorse, Hippocampus kelloggi. 14.5 m.

Female great seahorse, Hippocampus kelloggi. 14.5 m.

Red-fingered angler, Porophryne erythrodactylus. 15.4 m.

Red-fingered angler, Porophryne erythrodactylus. 13.1 m.