Dive Details



Friday 2 March 2018


8:13am - 9:55am


This was my first dive at The Leap since last Friday's terrible dive with very poor visibility. The forecast was for a southerly swell between 1 and 2 metres so I was confident conditions would be much better. The Steps looked quite calm but there was quite a bit of swell at the entry point at The Leap but that was mostly because it was less than 90 minutes before high tide, and it was a 1.93m high tide.

The water was far too high to get in from the low platform so I got in from the shelf. The water was coming up to the top of the shelf anyway so it was no big deal. I swam out on the surface while I got my camera read (turning on the strobes, lights and camera) and then I descended. I swam at around 30° to the sand line. The surge was quite strong and there was also a bit of current. I'm not sure where I approached the sand line but I spotted a small cryptic female pygmy pipehorse on a rock. After taking some photographs I tried to work out where I was but the visibility was only 3 to 5 metres which made it difficult. The water temperature was around 20°C. There was still a lot of kelp about.

I turned left and headed towards The Steps. I hadn't gone very far when I realised I had just gone past Seahorse Rock. I backtracked to see if I could find the rock with the pygmy pipehorse I had just seen but couldn't find it. I turned and swam back past Seahorse Rock and on to the flat rocks with sponges. They were surrounded by kelp as they have been for the last couple of weeks. I looked under the overhang for "Clyde" but could not see him. I had a good look in the area for other weedy seadragons but found none.

I continued on to Southern Cross Rock. I looked around for the orange anglerfish I'd seen a couple of weeks ago but couldn't find it. I also looked for pygmy pipehorses on the side. I noticed that the big sponge near where the pipehorses had been was hanging on by a thread. I then spotted a pygmy pipehorse about a metre to the right of the torn sponge.

I swam on towards Seadragon Alley and found a weedy seadragon in the gap after the rock after Southern Cross Rock.

I headed into Seadragon Alley and found a giant cuttlefish around 20cm long. A little farther in I found the last male weedy seadragon with eggs. His eggs are a lot darker but still have a week or so before they will hatch.

While I was swimming through Seadragon Alley I was checking some of the rocks for pygmy pipehorses when I spotted a sea spider. This one was black with pink similar to the one I'd seen behind Little Big Rock in January.

As I approached the end of Seadragon Alley I looked amongst the sponges for "Nina", the female great seahorse. She seems to be moving towards The Leap and I hadn't seen her in her previous location last Thursday. I also looked in the locations I have seen her previously but could not find her. I looked all around the area for her (and also checked the cave for pineapplefish). I did find the pair of red Stigmatopora sp. pipefish in a different alga but near the one I've seen them before. While I was photographing them a weedy seadragon swam past so I chased after it. When I came back to the pipefish they'd separated and I watched one of them swim off and under a rock. I then watch the other one also swim off. I'd not seen them do that before. I hope I will see them back tomorrow.

It was at this point that the visibility dramatically improved. It was now around 10 metre, perhaps more.

I swam up the reef as I was getting close to deco. I came to the rock where the large red male p on the side of Square Rock.

I continued to Old Basket Star Rock and looked around for the orange anglerfish I'd seen last week. I couldn't find it. Apparently Mike found it on Wednesday but I don't know where.

I headed up to New Basket Star Rock and then looked for the other pair of red pipefish. It appears their alga is completely gone.

As I swam past Diversity Rock I reckon the visibility was now close to 20 metres. I could pretty much see from Diversity Rock to Little Big Rock. I looked behind Little Big Rock and found the white male pygmy pipehorse. I looked for the female but couldn't find her.

I continued on just up from the sand line to the rock I'd seen the grey red-fingered anglerfish yesterday. It was still in the same spot. I then looked around all the rocks with sponges for other anglerfishes but found none. I even checked the alga where there was a pair of red pipefish but they still aren't there.

I started for the boulders and found another giant cuttlefish about the same size as the first one. I swam to the boulders, ascended to 5 metres and started my safety stop. The good visibility was still holding. I finished my safety stop at Split Rock and then swam underwater to the exit. The water was over the exit point so I was able to stand up, take my fins off and walk out. It was a very easy exit.




3 to 20 metres


102 minutes

Maximum depth

21.4 m

Average depth

15.2 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.