Dive Details



Monday 5 March 2018


9:31am - 11:04am


Today was my first dive with Martin and Sonya from Austria. Martin specifically wanted to see red-fingered anglerfish but was also interested in nudibranchs and pygmy pipehorses. I knew where one grey red-fingered anglerfish was and hoped that we could find some others. Roney joined us for the dive and provided an extra set of eyes.

We got in at The Steps which was an easy entry as it was calm. We descended and swam towards sand line but turned right before we made it there so we could check the sponge covered rocks for anglerfishes. The visibility was at least 10 metres and there was barely any surge at all. The water temperature was around 22°C.

We looked over the rocks, including ones I have seen anglers on before but found none. Roney went closer to the sand line and spotted a pair of mating Nembrotha purpureolineata nudibranchs. He showed me and I showed Sonya. We swam on while Martin took photographs of the nudibranchs. A little farther along Roney pointed out a lone Nembrotha sp. nudibranch. Again I showed Sonya.

We continued along the sand line to the grey red-fingered anglerfish. I took a few photographs and waited for Sonya to catch up and showed it to her. Roney had already gone on ahead looking for animals. I started to look around the area for other anglerfish.

I eventually made it to Little Big Rock just as Roney was leaving. I found the female pygmy pipehorse on the rock behind Little Big Rock but I couldn't find the male. The female was in the exact spot the male has been but he wasn't. When Sonya swam up I pointed the pygmy pipehorse out to her.

The visibility was almost 20 metres now so we could spread out quite a lot and still keep tabs on each other. Roney had gone ahead to look for the orange red-fingered anglerfish with pink on its face. Sonya and Martin were behind Little Big Rock and I was in between.

I made my way slowly to where I'd seen the Miamira magnifica nudibranch yesterday. It had barely moved since yesterday. I waited there for Sonya to catch up and I pointed out the nudibranch to her.

I caught up to Roney at Square Rock. He indicated the pygmies were there. I was able to find the 3 pygmies: 2 white males and a cryptic female. When Sonya caught up I pointed them out to her and then remembered I'd missed the seahorse. I swam back to the rock the seahorse was on yesterday and after a but of searching found her towards the north-western end. Martin swam up so I pointed her out to him.

We swam back to Square Rock and I pointed out the pygmies again before having a good look at Slope Rock. I was expecting to find pygmies there but instead found two Hypselodoris obscura nudibranchs. They weren't together but they appeared to be heading to the same point. I pointed them out to Sonya and then headed down to the rock below Hand Rock to look for the pygmies, ever hopeful the grey painted anglerfish would reappear. I was disappointed.

Before the dive Martin had told me he'd like to see a Okenia mellita Nudibranch. Roney had shown me one on the side of Big Rock months ago and I had seen it a few times after that but it was over a month ago. Nevertheless, I searched that part of Big Rock. Not only did I find an Okenia mellita, I found two, right next to each other. I waited for Martin and pointed them out but he didn't seem all that impressed.

Roney and I checked out some of the rocks just past Big Rock before I suggested we turn around and head back. Roney was using a 10.5L tank and was down to 50 bar so headed back ahead of us.

As we got back to Slope Rock, Di and Noel were there. Di was all excited because she'd also found one of the Hypselodoris obscura nudibranchs. She was not impressed with me when I told her there were two.

I showed Noel the photograph of the Miamira magnifica on my camera and he wanted to know where it was so I was going to show him on our way back, only he swam off to Big Rock. I assumed he didn't want to see it so Sonya, Martin and I kept swimming towards The Steps.

We swam via the Miamira magnifica and then New Basket Star Rock. I pointed out the basket star to Sonya. We got to around Diversity Rock when Noel swam up asking about the Miamira magnifica. I sent Sonya and Martin on their way and took Noel back to the nudibranch. I then had to swim quickly to catch up with Sonya and Martin.

I was running very low on air so indicated to Martin and Sonya we needed to leave. We headed for the boulders and started out safety stops as we swam to Split Rock. On the way I spotted a moorish idol swimming around the boulders. This was the first I'd seen this season. We finished our safety stops at Split Rock and then headed for the exit. I stayed underwater right to the shelf and then stood up and removed my fins. I helped Sonya with her fins and then we waited for Martin. I took his camera and then helped him out. It was calm and the exit was easy.


Martin, Sonya, Roney




10 to 20 metres


92 minutes

Maximum depth

15.1 m

Average depth

11.7 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.

Female White's seahorse, Hippocampus whitei. 12 m.

Female White's seahorse, Hippocampus whitei. 12.3 m.

Nudibranchs, Okenia mellita. 13.1 m.

Moorish idol, Zanclus cornutus. 5.5 m.