Dive Details



Saturday 3 February 2018


7:29am - 9:00am


I was working today and had family commitments tomorrow so I had to squeeze an early dive in at Bare Island before going in to work. Conditions were not ideal with both southerly and easterly swells.

I got in on the northern side of the island near Carol's plaque. The entry was very easy even though there were small waves coming around the point. I descended straight away to get out of the chop on the surface. The visibility was around 3 metres which was quite good considering the conditions. The water temperature was a very pleasant 22°C. There was quite a bit of surge but it was manageable.

I swam to the outboard motor and then up over the ledge and along the sand in front of the boulders. I then swam down the slope. I was looking for pygmy pipehorses along the way. I had a good look on Juvy Rock and some of the other places I've seen them.

I eventually got to the rock where the pair of white pygmy pipehorses had been for some time in 2016. I found a large white male pygmy pipehorse there. I looked around for a female and found a yellowish one. It looks very much like the one I saw on the same rock 2 months ago (the last time I dived at Bare Island).

I swam east for a bit to look around the area where the great seahorses used to be. I then headed west but must have headed a bit more north than I realised as I missed the reef and ended up on sand. I turned south until I hit the caves just near New Pygmy Rock. I spotted a male pygmy pipehorse right in front of the caves. I looked around for a female and found one a few centimetres away.

I headed back to the slope and past the first two pygmies I'd seen. As I arrived at Juvy Rock, Vicki and Ricky were swimming the other way. I told them I'd seen 4 pygmies and Vicki asked me to show her so I took them back to the large white one and his yellowish partner. I was going to show them the other two but they were happy with those ones.

I bed them goodbye and headed back up the slope, again looking for pygmies as I went. I got the rock above Pygmy Rock and spotted a female pygmy on the other side from where I usually see them. I looked around for a male and found one a few centimetres away. I was very pleased to have found 6 pygmies when I haven't been to Bare in 2 months.

I continued up the slope, across in front of the boulders to the outboard motor. I started my safety stop. I continued over the sand to off from the exit and stopped until I finished my safety stop. I then swam to the exit. The tide had risen considerably and I had trouble because the water straight out from the exit was slightly deeper than me and the waves and undertow kept dragging me out as I approached the exit. I edge my way west until I could stand and then used a small wave to take me onto the rocks. I got one fin off and walked out of the water with the other fin still on. Vicki and Ricky came up the ramp on their hands and knees so I helped them get their fins off.




3 to 3 metres


90 minutes

Maximum depth

14.9 m

Average depth

10.8 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.

Male Sydney pygmy pipehorse, Idiotropiscis lumnitzeri. 12.6 m.

Female Sydney pygmy pipehorse, Idiotropiscis lumnitzeri. 12.8 m.

Male Sydney pygmy pipehorse, Idiotropiscis lumnitzeri. 13.2 m.

Female Sydney pygmy pipehorse, Idiotropiscis lumnitzeri. 13.5 m.

Female Sydney pygmy pipehorse, Idiotropiscis lumnitzeri. 10.7 m.

Male Sydney pygmy pipehorse, Idiotropiscis lumnitzeri. 10.6 m.