Dive Details



Friday 2 February 2018


9:31am - 11:11am


The seas had been quite rough on Wednesday and we really didn't know what to expect. I was keen for a dive at Kurnell as I wouldn't be back here until next Wednesday at the earliest. We were also keen to check the progress of the eggs on the two male weedy seadragons. Conditions at The Steps looked OK, there were a few big sets coming through but there were some calm periods, too.

We got in from the shelf at The Leap as the low platform was well underwater. The high tide and swell meant that if we timed it right, the drop wasn't very far at all. We surface swam out and the visibility looked pretty good. We could easily see the bottom which is around 5 metres. We descended and swam at around 30° to the sand line. We arrived near Lucy and Bob Rock. The visibility was around 10 metres and the water temperature was around 22°C. There was some surge and the tidal current was not all that strong. We turned left and headed towards The Steps.

Mike spotted a young male weedy seadragon just before Seahorse Rock. We continued on to the flat rocks with sponges. "Clyde", the male weedy seadragon whose head had been damaged, was under the overhang. His eggs still look new. I initially couldn't see other male with eggs but then saw him on the sand back towards Seahorse Rock a bit. Most of his eggs were gone. It was difficult to tell if they'd hatched or had been eaten.

We swam on to Southern Cross Rock. I managed to find one male pygmy pipehorse on the side of Southern Cross Rock but couldn't see any others. The surge made it difficult to stay still but at the same time made the movement of pygmy pipehorses more obvious. The black painted angler was still on top of the rock hiding in the sponges.

We continued on through Seadragon Alley with Mike just a head of me. He got to the end of Seadragon Alley before me and was photographing the two pygmy pipehorses on the low rock with the sponges. I went past and found "Nina", the female great seahorse, in the sponges on the large rock. I then went to the red Stigmatopora sp. pipefish. I could only find two in the alga: the large bright red one and the medium dull red one. I could not find the small red one. Once Mike finished with the pygmy pipehorses I swam back to them. The male was in his usual spot on top of the rock and the female down low under the sponge.

I swam on towards Big Rock and met Mike at the rock with the large red male pygmy pipehorse. He was photographing the male so I looked for the others and spotted the pink female on the other side of the rock from the male. Mike and I swapped and I photographed the male while he the female.

We swam on to Big Rock. We could not find any pygmy pipehorses on Big Rock. We also couldn't see the white/pink red-fingered anglerfish. Mike left me as he needed to ascend. I looked for the black painted anglerfish but could not find it. I did find an interesting black nudibranch on the sand next to the rock below Hand Rock.

I continued on towards The Steps. Just past Slope Rock I checked out the rock I have recently seen pygmy pipehorses. I managed to find the male but could not see the female.

I swam on to New Basket Star Rock and then down to the sand and the single red Stigmatopora sp. pipefish.

I headed past Diversity Rock and on towards Little Big Rock. I found the red male pygmy pipehorse under the sponges between Diversity Rock and Little Big Rock. I couldn't find the female.

On the rock behind Little Big Rock I found a new white male pygmy pipehorse and a pink juvenile female.

I swam on to where I had seen the yellow red-fingered anglerfish. It was not on the side of the rock where I'd seen it last time. I had a quick look around but was short of time as I was nearly in deco.

I swam on to where the other pair of red Stigmatopora sp. pipefish had been but they were still not there. I then headed for the boulders, ascended to 5 metres and started my safety stop. Swimming to Split Rock as hard work. The tide had changed and the current was running out. I got to Split Rock as I finished my safety stop. I swam to the exit but surfaced outside as I wasn't sure how rough it would be. The tide was still high and there was a lot of water over the rocks. I floundered on the surface for a bit until I swam in. Mike was there to help me. I got to the rocks and was able to stand and gave Mike my camera. I walked up the rocks until I was high enough to take my fins off.


Mike Scotland




5 to 10 metres


100 minutes

Maximum depth

22.1 m

Average depth

15.1 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.