Dive Details



Saturday 1 September 2018


8:27am - 10:19am


We dived The Leap for our first dive of the day. The conditions looked fantastic with almost no swell and with the visibility I'd had yesterday I was hopeful for a good dive.

We got in from the low platform where the water was barely lapping the side of the platform. We swam out on the surface before descending and swimming to the sand line at around 30°. We swam through the amphitheatre and arrived at the sand line near Bob and Lucy Rock. The visibility was 5 to 10 metres but it did not look as good as it had yesterday. It was a lot calmer yesterday with very little surge but there was a bit of current. The water temperature was around 14°C. We turned left and headed to The Steps.

We swam along the sand line and I was looking for weedy seadragons but didn't find any until we reached the flat rocks with sponges after Seahorse Rock. The male with eggs was under the overhang. I was taking photographs of him but realised that all my photographs were very under exposed. I came out from the under the overhang and tried various things to try to fix the exposure but nothing was working. When I popped out from the overhang Cody thought I'd gone ahead but I went back under the overhang.

I went up to where the spindle cowrie and pygmy pipehorses had been been. I found both pygmy pipehorses but couldn't see the spindle cowrie.

I continued on expecting to catch up to Cody. I found two weedy seadragons on the sand before I got to Southern Cross Rock. I was still having exposure issues so I switched from TTL to manual flash and was getting better results.

I headed into Seadragon Alley and found a female weedy seadragon. As I was photographing her I noticed the juvenile and then I noticed a male with the remnants of eggs.

I got to red Stigmatopora sp. pipefish just after the end of Seadragon Alley and Cody was there. He waited for me there when he realised I wasn't ahead. The red pipefish were in separate algae but the smaller one moved to the alga where the large one was. It was at that point that I realised what was wrong with the camera/housing. I'd bumped the flash compensation dial on the back of the housing, I'm using my old Nikon D7000 as the D500 housing is in for service. The D500 housing doesn't have a dial like that so I had completely forgotten about that problem.

We swam along the sand line to Big Rock without seeing anything of interest. After Big Rock I had a look for pygmy pipehorses but found none. We swam up to the rock with the one-eyed White's seahorse and after a bit of searching I found her.

We swam along the top of the reef to the basket star. I looked for anglerfishes but found none. We then dropped down to Diversity Rock and found the male weedy seadragon with eggs just below it. I looked over Diversity Rock for pygmy pipehorses but found none. Just past Diversity Rock I spotted the juvenile orange painted anglerfish.

We stopped at the rock just before Little Big Rock and I looked for the pygmy pipehorses there. I found the male first. He was near the top of the rock. I then found the female lower down on the rock.

We swam around the area looking for the anglerfishes but found none. On the large rock behind Little Big Rock I found the female pygmy pipehorse and then the male. I pointed them out to Cody.

We continued towards The Steps just up from the sand line. I found the salmon red-fingered anglerfish in the same spot I'd seen it yesterday. I pointed it out to Cody.

We headed to the rock with sea tulips near Di's Rock where the pygmy pipehorses have been. I found the female first and then eventually found the male. I pointed them out to Cody.

We swam just up from the sand line to the rocks where the orange and juvenile red-fingered anglerfish had been. While I was looking for the anglerfish I spotted the tail of a male White's seahorse on one of the sea tulips. I looked around for a female but couldn't find one. I also couldn't find the anglerfish.

From here we headed for the boulders and ascended to 5 metres and started our safety stops as we swam to Split Rock. Cody left me here because he was too buoyant. I finished my safety stop and swam underwater to the exit. Cody was waiting on the shore.


Cody Sheridan




5 to 10 metres


111 minutes

Maximum depth

21.4 m

Average depth

14.1 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.