Dive Details



Sunday 18 February 2018


8:46am - 10:06am


I had planned a dive with Sheree at The Monument but unfortunately she was sick. I managed to get to The Leap in time to dive with Dama and Roney - after they waited a little for me. It was stil a bit rough but looked no worse than yesterday. Hopefully I would find "Clyde" today and be able to see how his eggs were going.

We all got in from the shelf as the swell was lapping the top of the shelf. It was quite rough on the water surface so we didn't stay there long before descending. After descending we swam at around 30° to the sand line. I lost Dama and Roney on the way and arrived at the sand line on my own. There was a huge amount of kelp sitting on the sand at the sand line and around the rocks. Visibility was only around 3 metres or so. The water temperature was around 21°C. The surge was quite strong. I turned left and headed towards The Steps.

As I swam along the sand line it was difficult to know exactly where I was, partly due to the poor visibility but mostly because of the kelp everywhere. I could barely see the sand. I missed Seahorse Rock completely as I was way inside it. It was only when I reached the flat rocks with sponges that I knew where I was. The kelp was piled up between the flat rocks and the boulders. The overhang was almost completely blocked with kelp.

I looked around and spotted "Clyde", the male weedy seadragon, near the overhang. His eggs were nearly all gone but he had a few left. There was one tail hanging out but I don't know if the hatching was alive or not.

I swam on to Southern Cross Rock where I found a whitish male pygmy pipehorse on the side of the rock. The surge was strong making it difficult to photograph it. There was also kelp lining the bottom of the rock and I kept getting my fins stuck in the kelp. I looked around for anglerfishes and more pygmy pipehorses but found none.

I continued on to Seadragon Alley and found a weedy seadragon at the start. I then spotted Roney and Dama. Roney pointed out another weedy seadragon, a male with newish eggs.

We swam on to the end of Seadragon Alley. I went straight to the pair of red Stigmatopora sp. pipefish which were both in the same alga. I pointed them out to Roney and Dama. The swam on while I headed back to "Nina", the female great seahorse. She was on top of the sponge covered rock where she's been for the last few weeks.

I continued towards Big Rock and stopped at the rock with the large red male pygmy pipehorse. I found him but was not able to find any others on the rock.

I swam to Big Rock but barely looked at it, choosing to look for the pygmies that I saw on Wednesday. I bumped into Dama and Roney here. I looked very carefully at the rock below Hand Rock but could not see the pygmies there.

I headed past Slope Rock and on to the rock I'd see the male pygmy with his pouch open on Wednesday. I couldn't find him or the female on the rock. I then went to the adjacent rock where Dama and Roney had pointed out a white pygmy pipehorse yesterday. It took me a while to find the two white pygmies as they had moved and even longer to find the cryptic female, even though she hadn't moved.

I continued towards Old Basket Star Rock and started looking for the rock where Roney had spotted the grey red-fingered anglerfish yesterday. I knew exactly what the rock looked like but not exactly where it was. I knew it was just before Old Basket Star Rock but I ended up past there without finding it. I came to the rock with the large orange/pink red-fingered anglerfish and it was still in the same spot but was facing in the opposite direction from yesterday.

I swam up past New Basket Star Rock and onto the sand. I found both red Stigmatopora sp. pipefish in the same alga. Photography was very difficult due to the surge not only moving the alga around but also kicking up sand. The water temperature dropped to 19°C around this point.

I headed to Little Big Rock passing Diversity Rock along the way. On the rock behind Little Big Rock I found the white male pygmy pipehorse. I didn't bother looking for the juvenile as the surge was too strong.

I then started looking for the anglerfish we've seen recently. I went to all the rocks I have seen them and the surrounding rocks but I could not find any. The visibility was pretty bad by now so I called the dive and headed for the boulders.

I ascended to 5 metres and started my safety stop as I swam to Split Rock. I finished my safety stop at Split Rock and then swam to the exit. I stayed underwater near the exit and tried to guage how rough it was. I then swam right to the shelf and stood up. Roney was there and I handed him my camera. I was then able to get one fin off and stand on the shelf next to Roney. He steadied me while I got my other fin off and we walked out. Not long after we got out some really big waves came crashing in. I was so glad of the help.


Dama and Roney




1 to 5 metres


80 minutes

Maximum depth

21.4 m

Average depth

14.2 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.