Dive Details



Saturday 20 January 2018


11:03am - 12:28pm


Conditions today were so much better than I expected I decided to do a second dive and make the most of it. Mike wasn't up for a second dive but Kim and Mark were about to go in so I agreed to show them some of the cool things we found on the first dive.

We got in at The Steps and grouped on the surface before descending. We swam to the sand line. The visibility was still between 5 and 10 metres and there was barely any surge. It was almost high tide so there was no current. The water temperature was around 21°C. We turned right and headed towards Big Rock.

We hadn't been swimming for long when I noticed a painted stinkfish on the sand. I took one photograph before pointing it out to Mark and Kim. As we swam I looked in the red algae along the way, including the alga where the red pipefish used to be. I found none. When we got to the rock with the large orange finger sponge I pointed out the Nembrotha purpureolineata laying eggs that I'd spotted on the previous dive.

We got to the rock where on the previous dive I'd spotted the large orange red-fingered anglerfish that had moved from the green sponge behind Little Big Rock. It had moved slightly from the previous dive but was still on the same rock. I pointed it out to Kim and Mark.

We swam to the rock behind Little Big Rock. The sea spider was still there. The male pygmy pipehorse was also still there. I pointed them out to Mark and Kim.

We continued along the sand line towards Big Rock. I spotted and pointed out the black painted anglerfish on the substrate below the rock below Hand Rock. On Big Rock I spotted and pointed out the greenish male pygmy pipehorse. I still wasn't able to find the female.

We swam past Big Rock to the rock with the large red male pygmy pipehorse and the the pygmies. I first found one of the juveniles, a pink female. I then saw the big red male in his usual spot. Eventually I found the larger pink female. Mark and Kim left me at this point to head back to The Steps.

I had already seen the great seahorse and looked for the red pipefish on the previous dive so I swam back to Big Rock. I checked out the greenish male pygmy pipehorse and had another look for the female. I also looked around the area for the white/pink red-fingered anglerfish but could not find it. After checking out the black painted anglerfish again, I headed for New Basket Star Rock.

After visiting the basket star I dropped down on to the sand to see the sole remaining red Stigmatopora sp. pipefish, or at least the only one I can find at the moment. It was in its usual alga.

I swam back to Little Big Rock and the sea spider was still on the rock behind Little Big Rock. The male pygmy pipehorse was also there. I looked around for the female but could not find her.

I continued along the sand line until the large orange red-fingered anglerfish. It had moved again.

I headed for 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 to the exit.


Kim Gibson, Mark Curtis




5 to 10 metres


85 minutes

Maximum depth

15.0 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.