Dive Details



Sunday 18 March 2018


9:09am - 10:02am


Today's dive was to take Cordelia and her partner, Rob, for a dive in Sydney; their first dive in Sydney. I was hoping to show her weedy seadragons, pygmy pipehorses, the grey red-fingered anglerfish, the White's seahorse with one eye, and some nudibranchs.

We jumped in at The Steps. The tide was quite high so we put our fins on above the water line and "fell" into the gap before swimming out. Once we were ready we descended and headed for the sand line. We stopped over the kelp and I checked they were both OK. The visibility was disappointing at only 3 or so metres with a lot of particulate matter in the water. The water temperature was a chilly 19° but at least the surge was only slight. We turned right and headed for Big Rock over the kelp.

We hadn't gone very far when I spotted a weedy seadragon in the kelp. I took my usual head and flank shots and then got out of the way so Cordelia and Rob could see.

We headed to the sand line and I took us over the area where the red pipefish used to be. I spotted another weedy seadragon. This time after taking the head and flank shots I shot some video of Cordelia and Rob with the weedy.

We swam along the sand line towards Little Big Rock to the rock where the grey red-fingered anglerfish has been. I was relieve it was still there. I pointed it out to Cordelia and Rob. Cordelia could see it because she's seen my photographs of them on Facebook and Instagram. Rob wasn't able to recognise it as anything other than a sponge.

As we got closer to Little Big Rock I started to look for the pygmy pipehorses that Roney had mentioned before the dive. I immediately spotted a white female on a purple sponge. I pointed it out to Cordelia who initially wasn't sure what she was looking at because it was so small - then she got it. Roney was at the rock above and pointed out a cryptic female and said there had been another in the area but we couldn't find it.

We swam behind Little Big Rock. I spotted Michael McFadyen looking for pygmies on Little Big Rock and Kelly pointed out a Nembrotha purpureolineata nudibranch on one of the rocks just past Little Big Rock.

We continued past Diversity Rock and then up to New Basket Star Rock. I pointed out the basket star and Cordelia initially thought it was an octopus.

We next stopped at Sponge Hole where I was hoping to see the Miamira magnifica nudibranch but I couldn't find it. I looked all around the area but it wasn't visible.

We continued to the big rock where the White's seahorse has been. I managed to locate her and after taking a few photographs I pointed her out to Cordelia. I shot some video of Cordelia pointing to the seahorse. She showed Rob.

We swam on to Square Rock and i pointed out the two white pygmy pipehorses there. I showed Cody, too, who was nearby,

We turned and headed back towards The Steps. We stopped at Sponge Hole on the way back for another look for the Miamira magnifica nudibranch. Roney was there also looking but neither of us could find it.

We passed the Nembrotha purpureolineata nudibranch and the grey red-fingered anglerfish on the way back. Not far passed the anglerfish I spotted a Nembrotha sp. nudibranch.

As we were heading for the boulders I spotted another weedy seadragon in the kelp. After taking some ID shots we swam to the boulders. We ascended to 5 metres and started our safety stops as we swam to Split Rock. At Split Rock we finished our safety stops and Cordelia and Rob had a white-eared drummer play with their fingers.

We swam to the exit. I told Cordelia and Rob to surface and wait for me to dump my fins and camera so I could help them out. I got out with ease and after dropping my stuff way above the water line I beckoned them to come in and I helped them out.


Cordelia, Rob


Slight surge


3 metres


53 minutes

Maximum depth

14.4 m

Average depth

11.0 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 anglerfish, Porophryne erythrodactylus. 13.6 m.

Red-fingered anglerfish, Porophryne erythrodactylus. 13.4 m.

Female Sydney pygmy pipehorse, Idiotropiscis lumnitzeri. 13 m.

Female Sydney pygmy pipehorse, Idiotropiscis lumnitzeri. 12.3 m.

Basket star, Astrosierra amblyconus. 11.7 m.

Female White's seahorse, Hippocampus whitei. 12.5 m.

Male Sydney pygmy pipehorse, Idiotropiscis lumnitzeri. 14 m.

Nudibranch, Nembrotha purpureolineata. 13.3 m.

Nudibranch, Nembrotha sp. 11.9 m.

Weedy seadragon, Phyllopteryx taeniolatus. 11.2 m.