Dive Details



Sunday 17 December 2017


8:05am - 9:23am


An early moring dive to at least attempt to fit in with the tides. We knew we'd at least get some time in the water before high tide and hopefully the visibility would be good despite the north-easterly swell. Lou and Martin joined George, Mike and me for the dive as they wanted me to show them the red Stigmatopora sp. pipefish.

We jumped in at The Steps. It looked like it would be a difficult entry due to the high tide and the small waves washing in but it was actually very easy. We grouped on the surface before descending to the sand line. Visibility was around 10 metres and it looked great. The water temperature was around 17°C which wasn't pleasant but better than the 16°C of Friday. There was very little current and a the surge was gentle. We turned right and headed towards Big Rock.

We swam along the sand line until we came to the first pair of red Stigmatopora sp. pipefish. I took a few photos before letting Lou and Martin in to take their photos.

We moved on and I pointed out the Nembrotha sp. nudibranch before heading on to Little Big Rock.

Behind Little Big Rock I pointed out the orange painted anglerfish, the salmon red-fingered anglerfish and the two pygmy pipehorses in front of the painted anglerfish. We then took turns in photographing them. Mike headed off to see the great seahorse which left the four of us.

We headed off for Big Rock. We hadn't gone far when Lou spotted the Nembrotha purpureolineata that I had forgotten to show them. :).

We swam along the reef and as we approached Big Rock I noticed the black painted angler was back in the purple sponge below the rock below Hand Rock. I pointed it out to the others and then looked for the white red-fingered angler which was still on the same rock it has been for a week. I also pointed it out to the others.

I swam over to Big Rock and found my red male pygmy pipehorse low down on the rock. I also found his partner not far above him. I pointed them out to Lou and went up Big Rock to find the other pair. They were in much the same place as they have been for a few weeks. I showed them to Lou and Martin and then took George down to my red male and partner.

Lou told me that she and Martin were heading back to The Steps and George and I agreed to do the same. On the way back Lou pointed out some gastropod eggs. I wanted to show them the basket star but all three of them had peeled off to the boulders before we got to New Basket Star Rock. I continued on my own.

I checked out the basket star that was partially open before checking on my most recently found pair of red Stigmatopora sp. pipefish in their usual alga.

I swam back along the reef stopping at the Nembrotha purpureolineata nudibranch and then the anglerfishes and pygmy pipehorses. I tried to get some shots of both pygmy pipehorses in the same photograph. I got a couple of OK shots.

I swam on to the other pair of red Stigmaopora sp. pipefish via the Nembrotha sp. nudibranch before heading for the boulders and starting my safety stop. I swam to Split Rock and finished my safety stop before swimming to the exit. I surfaced outside the rocks as it looked a little rough. I managed to swim straight in on the surface and up on to the shelf and stand up. George and Martin were there and took my camera. It wasn't all that rough but I had some trouble getting my fins off and tried to walk out backwards with my fins on. I fell over once before getting out successfully.


George, Lou, Martin, Mike


Some surge


10 metres


78 minutes

Maximum depth

15.1 m

Average depth

12.1 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.

Male Sydney pygmy pipehorse, Idiotropiscis lumnitzeri. 14.6 m.

Female Sydney pygmy pipehorse, Idiotropiscis lumnitzeri. 14.1 m.

Female Sydney pygmy pipehorse, Idiotropiscis lumnitzeri. 12.9 m.

Male Sydney pygmy pipehorse, Idiotropiscis lumnitzeri. 12.9 m.

A pair of Sydney pygmy pipehorses, Idiotropiscis lumnitzeri. 12.4 m.