Dive Details



Thursday 8 February 2018


10:48am - 12:22pm


After having a few days off due to work and a mild cold it was great to be diving again, even if it was only 5 days. The forecast was for relatively calm seas but the wind would be increasing. There was barely any difference between low and high tide so there wouldn't be much current.

We got in at The Steps where the water was just lapping over the lowest rock. We waded and then swam out before descending to the sand line. The visibility was only 3 to 5 metres but there was barely any surge. The water temperature was around 21°C. We turned right and headed towards Big Rock.

We followed the sand line but ascended to look at the rocks we passed for anglerfishes. When we got to the rock with the large orange finger sponge I realised I'd missed the alga where the pair of red Stigmatopora sp. pipefish had been so I swam back. I was still disappointed not to see them there. Back at the rock with the large orange finger sponge I spotted a Nembrotha purpureolineata nudibranch near where I saw one laying eggs a few weeks ago. I took a few photographs and moved on spotting a second one only a few metres away. I went on ahead and left Mike with the nudibranchs.

I swam on to the rock I'd last seen yellow red-fingered anglerfish. I looked carefully all around the rocks in the area for it or the orange red-fingered anglerfish. I kept looking all the way to Little Big Rock. On the rock behind Little Big Rock I spotted the white male pygmy pipehorse I'd seen last Friday. I then found the pink juvenile female. Mike swam up and I pointed out both pygmy pipehorses. I then reminisced about the salmon red-fingered anglerfish looking at the spot it used to sit - only it was actually there. It looks like it has grown a bit since last I saw it. I showed Mike before moving on.

I swam on a little way towards Diversity Rock to the rock with the green hand sponges and the red male pygmy pipehorse. He was in the spot I last saw him. I looked around for the female but could not find her. Mike came up and I pointed the pygmy pipehorse to him before moving on.

I looked around Diversity Rock and the surrounding rocks for pygmy pipehorses but found none. I worked my way towards New Basket Star Rock. I ducked up The the sand flat and the alga where the solo red Stigmatopora pipefish has been. I found it and then realised there were two again. I was very pleased.

I headed back towards the sand line and met up with Mike again. We headed for Big Rock. Near Old Basket Star Rock Mike attracted my attention. He'd found a small white male pygmy pipehorse. We looked around for a female but could not find one.

We swam on. I stopped at the rock just before Slope Rock where I have recently seen a pair of pygmy pipehorses. I couldn't find either. Mike came up and helped but he couldn't see them either.

I spotted the black (now grey) painted anglerfish on the substrate below the rock below Hand Rock. I called Mike over and showed him. I then looked all around Big Rock for pygmy pipehorses but found none.

I swam on to the rock with the large red male pygmy pipehorse. He was in his usual spot. I then spotted two of the smaller ones a few centimetres from each other. Mike swam up and I pointed them out to him. As I was about to leave, Noel and Di swam up. I told Noel about the pygmy pipehorses and then asked Di if she'd seen the grey painted anglerfish.

I swam past Big Rock and had another look for pygmy pipehorses before looking around for the white/pink red-fingered anglerfish. I found neither. I also stopped again at the rock near Slope Rock and had another look for the pygmy pipehorses.

I swam on towards Little Big Rock. There was actually some current, not much, but enough to help me along. Just before Little Big Rock I looked for the red male pygmy pipehorse but couldn't find him. I had just enough time to take a few more shots of the salmon red-fingered anglerfish before heading for the boulders.

As I reached the boulders I caught up to Mike who was also starting his safety stop. We swam to Split Rock at 5 metres and finished our stops there before swimming to the exit. We stayed underwater right to the exit and I was surprised how little the tide had risen since we got in. The exit was very easy.


Mike Scotland




3 to 5 metres


93 minutes

Maximum depth

14.2 m

Average depth

11.5 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.

Red-fingered angler, Porophryne erythrodactylus. 11.3 m.

Red widebody pipefish Stigmatopora sp. 11.1 m.