Dive Details



Friday 20 July 2018


10:31am - 12:40pm


My first dive for nearly a week due to work and it had to be The Leap. With the tides and sea conditions of late I haven't had many opportunities to dive The Leap. Conditions looked good with not much swell so it should be a good dive.

I got in from the low platform. The waves were only gently lapping the side of the platform. I swam out on the surface and then descended. I swam at around 30° to the sand line and arrived at the north-western end of the amphitheatre. From the moment I descended I could hear whales singing. Visibility was around 5 metres and water temperature was between 15 and 16°C. Once I reached the sand line I turned left and headed towards The Steps.

I was looking for red indianfish as I swam but didn't find any. I swam past Seahorse Rock and on to the flat rocks with sponges. I hadn't seen any weedy seadragons on the way. I checked under the overhang but there were no weedies there. In the gap between the large rocks I spotted two weedy seadragons, one a male with eggs. I took photographs of the male with eggs and then initially couldn't find the other. It had swum back towards the flat rocks.

I swam on to Southern Cross Rock and looked for pygmy pipehorses on the side of the rock but found none. I also kept an eye out for red indianfish.

I continued on towards Seadragon Alley and found a weedy seadragon just before the start. In Seadragon Alley I found my juvenile weedy seadragon. It has grown so much since I first saw it when it was no longer than the width of my hand.

Just after the end of Seadragon Alley I found my red Stigmatopora pipefish in its usual alga. There was a smaller one in the next alga. It's been a while since I've seen a pair here.

I hadn't gone far past the pipefish when I found another weedy seadragon, a male without eggs.

I continued along the sand line past Big Rock without seeing much other than an octopus. The visibility was gradually improving the closer I got to The Steps. I headed to the rock with the one-eyed seahorse and after a bit of searching I found her.

I swam over Sponge Hollow and on towards Diversity Rock. I looked for the grey red-fingered anglerfish where I saw it last Friday but it wasn't there or even on that rock. As I was about to look on the surrounding rocks I noticed a large female grey nurse shark cruising just above the sand line towards Big Rock. I turned on the GoPro and shot some video. She was probably 10 metres away and luckily the visibility was now around 15 metres.

After the shark had gone I set about looking for the grey anglerfish and found it on a low rock back towards Big Rock.

I swam past the basket star and on to Diversity Rock. I looked for the pygmy pipehorses. After much searching I found the male hiding behind a red sponge. He was difficult to spot and even more difficult to photograph. I looked around for the female or the juvenile but found neither.

I headed to the nearby rock where my juvenile painted anglerfish has been. I found it straight away. It still seems so small.

I started towards Little Big Rock but checked the kelp for the male weedy seadragon with eggs. I found him!.

I checked out Little Big Rock for the salmon red-fingered anglerfish. After much searching I found it low down on outside of the rock. I hadn't realised that it has been around all this time until Roney told me the other day. Now I know to look for it.

I headed up to the rock behind Little Big Rock to look for pygmy pipehorses. I haven't seen the golden male for some time. I was looking a bit farther back on the rock when I spotted a pair of small pygmy pipehorses together: a female (IL2018072001) and a male (IL2018072002). They were both pinkish. As I was taking photographs of the pygmies it went dark. When I looked up I was surrounded by a massive school of salmon. They were swimming all around me and coming in quite close. I shot some video of them until they left. There were so many of them they actually stirred up the bottom.

After taking some more photographs of the pygmy pipehorses I continued on to Di's Rock. I looked around for the grey anglerfish that has been in the area before dropping down to the rock with pygmies. I found the female pygmy ("Di"), almost immediately and then I found a new male. He was much smaller then "Noel". I guess this means that "Noel" is no longer around.

I continued along towards The Steps and stopped at the orange red-fingered anglerfish on the side of the rock where it has been for the last few weeks. I took some photographs of the anglerfish and then headed for the boulders.

When I reached the boulders I ascended to 5 metres and started my safety stop. I was pretty close to Split Rock already and waited there until I finished my safety stop. I swam to the exit and got out.




5 to 15 metres


128 minutes

Maximum depth

21.2 m

Average depth

13.9 m

Water temperature



Dive Profile from Garmin Descent Mk1

Tides at Botany Bay AEST

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