Dive Details



Thursday 19 April 2018


8:41am - 10:27am


The forecast was good for an early dive at The Leap. The exit at The Steps looked good, as did the entry at The Leap. Roney joined me for the start of the dive but had limited time.

We both got in from the low platform. Even though it was only 2 hours before high tide the low swell and moderate high tide meant the water was only lapping over the platform. We swam out on the surface and when ready we descended. We swam at around 60° to the sand line. I was hoping we'd end up near the amphitheatre so I'd be able to find the robust ghostpipefish I'd seen last Friday but the current must have taken us a bit farther north-west and we ended up at Lucy and Bob Rock. At the sand line the visibility was around 5 metres, the water temperature between 18 and 19°C and there wasn't much surge.

We initially turned right and swam along the sand line in search of the robust ghostpipefish. The current was quite strong and it was difficult swimming against it. I gave up after 30 or so metres and not finding the ghostpipefish and drifted with the current, still looking for ghostpipefish.

I passed Seahorse Rock and on to the flat rocks with sponges. I checked under the overhang and found "Clyde", the male weedy seadragon there. I found another male on the outside of the first flat rock and a female between the two flat rocks. Roney caught up to me while I was photographing the weedy seadragons and then went on ahead.

I swam on to Southern Cross Rock seeing another weedy seadragon on the way. I could see Roney above the next rock and then I didn't see him for the rest of the dive. I found two pygmy pipehorses on the side of Southern Cross Rock: a white female and a yellow male.

I continued to Seadragon Alley and found a weedy seadragon near the start. A little farther in I found the juvenile weedy seadragon. From here until near the end of Seadragon Alley I was looking carefully for the other robust ghostpipefish I saw last Friday. Right near the end I not only found the one from last week but it had a partner. The second one was smaller and was covered on light spots that made it look like seagrass covered in coralline algae.

Just after the end of Seadragon Alley I found one of the red Stigmatopora sp. pipefish. It was in the spot near where I first saw the one with the parasite. Perhaps it is the same individual. I looked around for a partner but could not find one.

I swam along the sand line towards Big Rock. I spotted PJ, George and Paula a little shallower. I waived to Paula and PJ but I couldn't get George's attention. I kept swimming along the sand line but was moving faster than I thought due to the current and swam right past Big Rock without realising. Just as I was level with the rock below Hand Rock, George signalled me with his light and indicated there was a anglerfish on the other side of the rock. If he hadn't signalled me, I don't know how far I would have gone before I realised where I was.

I looked at the anglerfish. It was the white/pink anglerfish back on the same rock where we first saw it in November last year. I dropped down to the base of the rock and spotted the whitish male pygmy pipehorse. It was back. I was taking photographs of the pygmy pipehorse when for some reason I looked up towards Big Rock. There was a large male grey nurse shark swimming away from me. His trajectory meant he must have swum right over the top of me. I wonder if I'd sensed him and that was why I looked up. It was difficult to judge his length as it was swimming away from me but he was at least 2 metres long. His disappeared behind the top end of Big Rock. He was so cool to see.

I moved up the reef and spotted a Nembrotha purpureolineata nudibranch. I looked around for the juvenile bridled triggerfish but I couldn't find it. I didn't find any pygmy pipehorses on Square Rock. I found the one-eyed White's seahorse on the back of her usual rock.

I swam along the reef to New Basket Star Rock and was shocked that not only was the basket star gone but the sponge on which it has been living for the last few months was also gone. I looked around the area and found it low down on a red chimney sponge around 5 metres away. I wonder if someone dropped an anchor on it.

I looked around the sand in the red algae for red pipefish but found none and then headed over to Diversity Rock. I spotted a tiny juvenile thorny-back cowfish in the sea tulips on the rock above Diversity Rock. I followed it down to Diversity Rock.

I swam on to Little Big Rock and spotted a large crested horn shark on the way. I found the white female pygmy pipehorse on her rock and then eventually found the two cryptic pygmy pipehorses on the rock above. I continued along the reef to the rock where the yellow red-fingered anglerfish has been. It had moved back to the spot it had been at two weeks ago. I looked around the area for more anglerfishes but found none.

After searching for interesting organisms I headed for the boulders. I spotted a fiddler ray on the sand. At 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 swam to the exit. I stayed underwater right to the exit spot. The exit was easy.


Roney Rodrigues




10 to 10 metres


106 minutes

Maximum depth

21.9 m

Average depth

14.2 m

Water temperature



Dive Profile from Citizen Hyper Aqualand

Tides at Botany Bay AEST

Note that tides at dive site may vary from above location.