Dive Details



Saturday 28 July 2018


8:10am - 9:44am


The tides and conditions were right today to repeat the double dives I did yesterday: first dive at The Monument around high tide followed by a second dive at The Steps on the outgoing tide. Rob joined me today for at least the first dive. He was starting the dive with a little less air than me and we agreed that he'd tell me when he was heading off.

We parked at The Steps and walked along the shore to the protected channel about 2 thirds of the way to The Monument. We waded out, put our fins on, and then swam to the drop off. We descended and then swam to the sand line. The water looked a little green but the visibility was at least 5 metres. The water temperature was around 16°C. There was no surge and no current. We turned left and headed towards Sutherland Point.

We swam past Block Rock and the nearby sponge covered rocks. I looked around for anglerfishes, seahorses, and anything else that might be interesting.

We headed along the wall and I looked in the orange finger sponge at the start of one of the large rocks off the wall for the dwarf lionfish. It was there as it has been for a few months. It is quite large now and I was surprised that there was a smaller one in the next finger sponge.

A little farther along I started looking for "Ginger", the female pot-bellied seahorse that Roney showed me yesterday. She wasn't on the sea tulip she'd been on yesterday. I swam right around the rock and was worried that she'd gone already when I noticed her tail wrapped around a sea tulip in another clump of sea tulips a little farther along the rock. I'd only just spotted her when Rob nudged me and pointed up towards the wall. "Betty", the female grey nurse shark was swimming by. I quickly hit the shutter button on the GoPro and started filming, or so I thought. The GoPro turned off almost immediately. I turned it back on to see the message "No SD card". I'd left the SD card in my computer at home. We watched "Betty" swim off and I went back and photographed "Ginger".

I left Rob with "Ginger" and went a little farther along the wall to the point I'd normally swim up over the wall. I then dropped down to the sand and kelp to look for the juvenile weedy seadragon. I found it quite quickly and took a few photographs while waiting for Rob to catch up. There was also a Port Jackson shark on the sand.

I waited for Rob to finish with the weedy before we swam up over the wall. I found the pinkish male pygmy pipehorse I'd found yesterday on the rock we've previously seen pygmies and an orange painted anglerfish. I took some photographs and pointed it out to Rob before moving to the other side of the rock to look for the pink female. I found her, too, and photographed her.

We swam on past Slope Rock and I checked out the nearby rocks for pygmies and anglerfishes. On the slope down from Seahorse Rock I found the female White's seahorse in the orange finger sponge where she usually is. I pointed her out to Rob after taking some photographs and as I was moving away I noticed an eastern frogfish under a ledge. I pointed that out to Rob, too.

We headed up to the sand around Seahorse Rock and I found the Nembrotha sp. nudibranch. I showed Rob before heading back down to the reef where I visited the seahorse and frogfish again.

We continued along the reef past Split Rock and didn't find anything of interest until we came to the large grey red-fingered anglerfish in the gap in the rock higher up the reef.

A little farther along I found the smaller Nembrotha sp. nudibranch that's been there for a while and then Rob called me back to show me a larger one he'd found.

We swam along the bottom of the next wall to the second large rock with Carijoa. I found the Volva volva egg cowrie and showed it to Rob. He says this was the best thing he saw on the dive. Rob also pointed out a large reaper cuttlefish.

From here, instead of going all the way to the point we cut up the wall and over to go directly to where the orange red-fingered anglerfish has been. As we were going I was hoping to find the other orange red-fingered anglerfish I'd found yesterday but I must have just missed it. I found the original orange red-fingered anglerfish in the same spot it was yesterday.

As we started heading off along the East-West Wall to the pygmy pipehorses, Rob called me back because he'd spotted something. He initially couldn't find it again but then spotted it. It was a large orange red-fingered anglerfish. It is probably the same large orange on that John Farrant showed us at the start of the year. It was on the same rock but just the other side of the rock. It was well camouflaged and a great find by Rob.

We swam west along the East-West Wall to the pygmy pipehorses. I found the female first in the Carijoa. The Carijoa was smothered by snot algae so I carefully removed the algae which revealed the male pygmy on the other side of the Carijoa colony. I looked around for the other pair of pygmies but only found the pink female.

We turned and headed back east along the wall, past the big orange anglerfish and then the smaller bright orange one. I was more hopeful of finding the other orange anglerfish going this way as I remembered better where i saw it yesterday. I found it! Rob was a little farther ahead and I called him back.

We dropped down over the next wall and swam along the reef past the large grey red-fingered anglerfish, and the White's seahorse. Just after the seahorse, Rob let me know he was heading for the shore so he went shallow and I continued on the pair of pygmies we saw near the start of the dive.

After the pygmies I dropped down the wall and visited "Ginger" and the dwarf lionfish. I swam along the sand line until just after Block Rock and I then headed a bit shallower as I swam back towards The Steps.

I ascended to 5 metres as I continued towards The Steps and by the time I got to Split Rock I'd finished my safety stop. I swam underwater to the exit and got out to find Rob waiting.


Robert Fonseca




3 to 8 metres


94 minutes

Maximum depth

12.9 m

Average depth

10.1 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.