Dive Details



Thursday 15 March 2018


10:39am - 11:44am


I hadn't dived for two days because of work and the tides but I also didn't feel like getting up super early because I'd had a late night so I went for a mid-morning dive. It was an outgoing tide, two and a half hours after high tide. How bad could it be? I was about to find out.

I jumped in at The Steps and the surface water looked pretty clean. It was also quite calm with the occasional wave, but even those were small. I descended and headed for the sand line. As I descended the visibility dropped. When I got to the kelp the visibility was around 3 metres with a lot of suspended silt. The water temperature was around 20°C and there was a gentle surge. I turned right and headed towards Big Rock.

I stayed in the kelp for a while looking at the rocks for anglerfishes. I then dropped down to the sand line to check out the red algae for red pipefish. I reached the rock with the large orange finger sponge and spotted 3 Nembrotha purpureolineata nudibranchs. Two of them were mating and the third was only a few centimetres away.

I hadn't gone far when I spotted a weedy seadragon. I took the usual head and flank shots.

I swam on to the rock where the grey red-fingered anglerfish had been and was pleasantly surprised to find it was back. I took some photographs and continued.

I got to Little Big Rock and looked at the rock behind for pygmy pipehorses but didn't find any.

I continued on towards Diversity Rock. I spotted a small Nembrotha purpureolineata nudibranch before I got to Diversity Rock. As I was taking photographs of the nudibranch I realised I'd left the camera on f/8 after the weedy seadragon even though I prefer f/16. I swam back to the grey anglerfish to take some shots at f/8. By the time I got back to the anglerfish, the visibility had dropped to 2 metres and the surge had increased.

I swam on past Diversity Rock, New Basket Star Rock and on to Sponge Hole. I looked for anglerfishes and pygmy pipehorses along the way. At Sponge Hole I found the Miamira magnifica nudibranch in its usual spot.

I headed to the rock with the one-eyed female White's seahorse. It took me two complete circuits of the rock to find her as she's brown and the visibility was terrible.

At Square Rock I found both white male pygmy pipehorses. They were both in good locations for taking photographs but the amount of particulate matter in the water ruined any attempts.

I dropped down to the rock below Hand Rock. The visibility here was about a metre and the surge very strong. Nevertheless, I was surprised to not only see the cryptic female pygmy pipehorse but also the white male. Photographs were only good for the records because of the surge and particulate matter.

I headed a bit shallower in the hope of better visibility but navigation was very difficult especially as I don't know that area as well as the rocks just up from the sand line. I eventually ended up back at New Basket Star Rock.

I swam back past Diversity Rock and spotted the small Nembrotha purpureolineata again. I also spotted a 20cm long giant cuttlefish chilling out on a rock.

After I got to Little Big Rock I headed up a bit and looked for anglerfishes. I didn't find any but I did find a Nembrotha sp. nudibranch.

Even though I still had plenty of air left I was sick of the poor visibility and surge so I headed for the boulders. I ascended to 5 metres and started my safety stop while swimming to Split Rock. I finished my safety stop and swam for the exit. The exit was easy other than a wave washing the port cover off my camera and I had to jump back in to retrieve it.




1 to 3 metres


65 minutes

Maximum depth

14.4 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.