Dive Details



Monday 1 January 2018


10:29am - 11:54am


Despite being cold from the first dive I decided to do a second dive. I could warm up in the Sun and I'd be fine. I tried to talk Mike into joining me but he was tired and hungry so I went alone. The Steps should be OK on an outgoing tide so I drove to The Steps.

I jumped in at The Steps. The tide was still quite high but it was easy to step in from the platform. I swam out before descending to the sand line. On my way down I passed Daniela and Dom. On reaching the sand line I spotted a painted stinkfish on the sand and stopped to take photographs. After taking photographs I took notice of the conditions. The visibility was only around 5 metres but there was no surge. What was truly amazing was the water temperature. It was 20°C which was hard to believe compared to the 16°C I'd had at The Monument less tan 2 hours ago. There was some current with the outgoing tide. I turned left and headed for Big Rock.

As I swam along the sand line I kept an eye out for weedy seadragons and also looked in the red algae for pipefish. I reached the pair of red Stigmatopora sp. pipefish in their alga. Conditions made photography somewhat easier.

I continued along the sand line hoping to find weedy seadragons but cut up the reef just before Little Big Rock to find the large orange red-fingered anglerfish. It was in its usual green sponge although it was facing the opposite direction from last dive here. I dropped down to the other anglerfishes only I couldn't find the orange painted anglerfish. The salmon red-fingered anglerfish was in its usual spot. I hunted for the pygmy pipehorses finding the female first. I initially couldn't find the male but after persisting I found it on a tunicate.

I went looking for the Nembrotha purpureolineata nudibranch but couldn't find it. I then went up to the lone red Stigmatopora sp. pipefish. It was in its usual alga. I looked around in the surrounding algae for the other but couldn't find it.

I headed for Big Rock via the basket star. It was an easy swim to Big Rock thanks to the outgoing tide. I arrived at Hand Rock and started looking for the black painted anglerfish. It wasn't on the substrate like last dive so I check the rock below Hand Rock. It was back on that rock. I then went looking for the white/pink red-fingered anglerfish but it wasn't in the spot it has been for the last few weeks. There was a lot of kelp floating around the area making searching a little more difficult. I still couldn't find it.

I went over to the base of Big Rock and found my red male pygmy pipehorse and his partner. I swam up the rock to the single sea tulip and found the greenish male pygmy pipehorse and then the female.

I'd saved a lot of air being able to drift Big Rock and with it being warmer I had plenty of air to go check out the pygmy pipehorses past Big Rock and maybe even the great seahorse. I drifted on to the rock with the four pygmy pipehorses. The big red male was in his usual spot. I then found one of the juveniles. I started looking for the female and found her just above the juvenile.

I dropped to the sand line and drifted all the way to the great seahorse. She was on her usual rock in a sponge. I visited the nearby pair of red Stigmatopora sp. pipefishes. They were still in separate algae. I had just enough time and air to visit the pair of pygmy pipehorses at the end of Seadragon Alley. They were each in the spots I've seen them consistently for the last few weeks.

I was down to around 80 bar of air so I ascended up the slope and swam along the sand above the reef. I continued all the way to the basket star. I checked out the lone red Stig before heading to Little Big Rock.

I spotted the Nembrotha purpureolineata just before the salmon red-fingered anglerfish. It had moved since I last saw it. I checked out the salmon red-fingered anglerfish and had another look for the orange painted angler. I swam on to the large orange red-fingered anglerfish.

I swam to the boulders, ascended to 5 metres and started my safety stop while swimming to Split Rock. I finished my safety stop at Split Rock and then swam underwater to the exit. I stayed underwater right to the platform and was able to get out easily.




3 to 5 metres


85 minutes

Maximum depth

16.5 m

Average depth

11.8 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.

Great seahorse, Hippocampus kelloggi, ("Nina"). 15.6 m.