Dive Details



Thursday 26 October 2017


8:46am - 10:35am


Today my mission was to find "Sunshine", Mandy Durand's female pot-bellied seahorse at The Monument. I had planned to go later but Roney needed a buddy and couldn't dive later because he wanted to watch football. I left home early (6:20am) but the traffic was horrendous and I didn't arrive until 8:10. By the time we'd get in Roney would have to leave after 75 minutes. I had also wanted to get in just to the south-east of the point to increase my time looking for "Sunshine" as she was west of the point but Roney wanted to find anglers to the south east of the wall. This was also the maiden dive for my new Nikon D500.

We got in at the protected area a third of the way from The Monument to The Steps. The swell was quite gentle and it was an easy wade out. We descended to the sand line. Visibility was only around 3 metres and the water was quite green. The water temperature was around 17°C. There was barely any surge or current. We turned left and headed towards The Monument.

We hadn't been going for long when I spotted a weedy seadragon on the sand. It looked to be a male although it had no eggs.

We swam slowly along the reef to the wall and didn't spot anything interesting. Near the end of the wall we swam up over the wall towards the shore to find the orange painted angler. It was on the right (facing the shore) one of the two rocks. I also found a female pygmy pipehorse on the same rock.

Roney went on ahead and I saw him at Slope Rock as I swam down to Carijoa Rock. I looked on Carijoa Rock for pygmies but couldn't find any. When I turned around Roney was gone and I didn't see him again for the rest of the dive.

I swam up to Slope Rock and searched for pygmies but found none. I looked on the adjacent rock for Dama's red male pygmy and after a bit of a search found him hiding in an alga with a female pygmy on the outside. I then found another male pygmy on a nearby rock.

I headed up to Seahorse Rock expecting to see Roney there but he wasn't. I looked for the White's seahorses but couldn't find either one. I also looked for the spindle cowries but couldn't find them either.

I went on to the sand to see if I could find the little dragonfish. It has been over a month since I last saw it but I couldn't find it. I swam up to the Capnella colonies to look for the egg cowries and found only one.

I swam back down the reef and continued north-west. I went past Split Rock and looked for seahorses but found none. Not far past Split Rock I spotted a well camouflaged white red-fingered angler. I was surprised I spotted it even though it was sort of obvious.

I continued on to Four Pygmy Rock and looked for pygmies there but found none. As I was looking around the area I spotted a grey red-fingered angler next to an orange sponge.

I swam along the wall towards the point. I was looking for anglers or seahorses. I swam past the area at the end of the wall where seahorse used to be and the tiny orange red-fingered angler was last year.

I swam around the area of the point looking at all the sponges as "Sunshine" could be somewhere around this area. I then noticed a beautiful black painted angler in a red chimney sponge. I was hopeful there wouldn't be much particulate matter in the water to ruin the photographs.

I headed west towards the shallow wall and started looking at the large sponge covered rocks on the sand below the wall. I had looked at a lot of them and was starting to get low on air. I knew it would be a quick swim to the shore so I kept looking. I was just about to give up when I spotted "Sunshine" on a white honeycomb sponge. She was even more beautiful in the flesh. She looks remarkably like "Rosie" but there are slight differences in the spots and her spines are longer than the ones "Rosie" had.

After photographing "Sunshine" I headed for the wall, ascended to 5 metres and started my safety stop as I swam along the top of the wall. After 3 minutes I turned south and swam over the kelp until the water got too shallow to swim in. I stood up and waded the the shore to the east of the flagpoles.


Roney Rodrigues




3 to 5 metres


108 minutes

Maximum depth

12.7 m

Average depth

10.0 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 D500


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


Ikelite 6812.5

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-fingered angler, Porophryne erythrodactylus. 11.7 m.

Painted anglerfish, Antennarius pictus. 11.7 m.

Female pot-bellied seahorse, Hippocampus abdominalis, ("Sunshine"). 11.1 m.

Female pot-bellied seahorse, Hippocampus abdominalis, ("Sunshine"). 11.3 m.

Female pot-bellied seahorse, Hippocampus abdominalis, ("Sunshine"). 10.8 m.

Female pot-bellied seahorse, Hippocampus abdominalis, ("Sunshine"). 11.2 m.

Female pot-bellied seahorse, Hippocampus abdominalis, ("Sunshine"). 11.1 m.