Dive Details



Thursday 23 November 2017


9:47am - 11:38am


Sydney was still being hit by an easterly swell but it had decreased to only around a metre. The exit at The Steps looked great and the swell at The Leap was not bad. It was a hot day but I was still stuck in my drysuit as my wetsuit was still being repaired. The drysuit has a hole in the left sock so I was going to get a bit damp.

I jumped in from the low platform and surface swam out and waited on the surface for my tanks to cool a bit. I descended and swam at around 30° to the sand line arriving near Lucy and Bob Rock. Visibility was almost 10 metres and there wasn't much surge. Water temperature was around 16°C. I turned left and headed towards The Steps.

I stopped at Ian's Pygmy Rock and looked for pygmies but didn't find any.

I swam on past Seahorse Rock and on to the flat rocks with sponges. I looked under the overhang and saw the male weedy seadragon that had a damaged head. Not only is his head healing but he has a new batch of eggs. I spotted another weedy nearby, possibly a female and possibly the donor of the eggs. Still in the same area was another male. He had much older eggs.

I continued on past Bent Stick Rock and on to the sand. Here I spotted another weedy seadragon, a female, I believe.

I stopped at Southern Cross Rock to look for pygmy pipehorses. I found 3 males and 2 females. Yet again I was stuck at 5 even though I know there are more than 5 there.

I swam into Seadragon Alley and found a weedy seadragon straight away, a female I think. That was the only one I saw in Seadragon Alley.

At the end of Seadragon Alley I found the two pygmy pipehorses on the rock with the sponges. The female was hiding behind the sponge where she's been for a while, although she was a little higher on the rock. The male had moved to the middle of the rock and he was under a purple sponge.

I swam on to the red widebody pipefish and found both in their usual alga. I looked around the area for the grey angler but I think it is long gone. I found the great seahorse on her rock.

I headed up the reef a bit as I was getting close to be being in deco, despite using 27% nitrox. I swam up to the rock before Big Rock with the pygmy pipehorses. I found the juvenile female first and then the large male. After much looking I found the adult female as well. That was 10 pygmy pipehorses so far on the dive.

I swam on to Big Rock. I found the pair of pygmy pipehorses near the yellow sponge on the eastern slope of the rock. I then found the pair on the top of the rock on the western edge. I then dropped down the northern face and found my red male with his pink female. That made 16 pygmies, only one shy of my record of 17.

I went over to the rock below Hand Rock and was pleasantly surprised to find the white red-fingered anglerfish was back and almost in the exact same spot on the rock where we last saw it a month ago. The anglerfish was yawning so I took some shots of that. I tried to shoot some video but I couldn't keep the camera still. While I was attempting the video I went into deco.

I kept on my way to The Steps but came a bit shallower as I was now in deco. I had plenty of gas so I wasn't too worried. I found the basket star on New Basket Star Rock. It is still on the green hand sponge where it has been for the last couple of weeks.

I stopped briefly at Diversity Rock too look for pygmy pipehorses but found none. I then swam on to Little Big Rock. I found the salmon coloured red-fingered angler in the same spot on the rock behind and just before Little Big Rock. I couldn't find the orange painted angler.

I swam on towards the other pair of red widebody pipefish. I found a Nembrotha sp. nudibranch along the way. Both red-widebody pipefish were in their usual alga.

I headed for the boulders and ascended to 5 metres and started my deco/safety stop. I swam at 5 metres to Split Rock and stayed there for 7 minutes or so to fully gas off before swimming underwater to the exit. As I surfaced, Greg was there to take my camera, not that I needed him as it was quite calm, but it's nice to have a bit of help. Getting out was easy.




5 to 10 metres


111 minutes

Maximum depth

21.5 m

Average depth

14.7 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.