Dive Details



Monday 10 September 2018


8:33am - 10:13am


I was back at The Monument again today, this time with Cody and John. John was going to show me "Sandy", the great seahorse, Joe and he had found on Saturday afternoon (and seen again on Sunday evening), and I wanted to show "Cody", the male pot-bellied seahorse I'd found on Thursday and seen again on Saturday. Both seahorses were below the East-West Wall so we'd start with them and then drift with the outgoing tide around to Inscription Point.

We got in at the flagpoles and swam out on the surface to near the start of the East-West wall. I had no idea where "Sandy" was but John had suggested she was closer to the western end so I wanted to make sure we didn't miss her. We descended to the top of the wall and then swam over and down to the sand. Visibility was at least 5 metres and there was no current or surge. The water temperature was around 15°C. We turned right and headed west along the base of the wall.

We came on the basket star first and I figured this would be a good navigation marker. I would know that "Sandy" would be east of it. We kept swimming along the base of the wall. John pointed out a tiny red-lined bubble shell.

We got to the rock where I have seen "Cody" and the yellow White's seahorse and John indicated this was the area he'd seen "Sandy". I looked for "Cody" and the yellow White's seahorse while John looked for "Sandy". After spending a lot of time searching I was not able to find "Cody" and John couldn't find "Sandy". John moved on and I kept trying to find "Cody" or at least the White's seahorse. There was a lot of kelp around so possibly "Cody" was in the kelp. I eventually found the White's seahorse and pointed her out to Cody. We then swam on to catch up with John.

We caught up to John and he indicated that the area he was in now was actually where he'd seen "Sandy" last night. He even pointed to the sponge she'd been on. We searched the area but with no luck. Again, there was a lot of kelp around so it is possible she was hiding. I at least know where to look next time.

We continued along the base of the wall. John spotted a sea hare. We swam past the rock where "Sunshine" had been. I am always hopeful she'll show up again but she wasn't there.

We eventually made it to the eastern end of the wall. It was now 50 minutes into the dive because we had gone so slowly looking for the seahorses. I swam up to the rock where John's large orange red-fingered anglerfish has been of late. It was still there but had changed its orientation since Saturday. I pointed it out to Cody and then John when he swam up.

I looked on the adjacent area at the base of the wall for the 4 pygmy pipehorses I have seen there. I found one of the males and after photographing it, pointed it out to John. I looked for the others but only managed to find the female.

We have to move quickly if we wanted to get to the other seahorses. I swam over the the large Carijoa covered rock to look for my bright orange red-fingered anglerfish. Just as I started to look the current started with a vengeance an I had trouble staying in one spot. I had to dump a lot of air out of my drysuit - or rather the current did that for me. I found the hole where the anglerfish had been but it wasn't there. I had a brief look around the area but it was difficult because of the current and we couldn't spend much time.

I tried to get John's attention as we needed to get moving but he swam off in the other direction so Cody and I left him and we swam east to the top of the NW-SE wall. We swam along the wall near the top which was not aided by much current which was odd given the current earlier.

We came to the high rocks and I looked in the split for the grey red-fingered anglerfish but I couldn't see it. I looked on the surrounding rocks and still couldn't see it.

We headed along the reef past Split Rock and on to the slope below Seahorse Rock. I looked for and found the brown White's seahorse. She wasn't in any of the sponges but was out in the open on the algae.

We continued to the top of the Deep Wall and I looked for the pair of pygmy pipehorses there. I initially couldn't see either of them and then I spotted the male in some algae that was moving around in the surge. I eventually found the female also. She was hiding but I could see her as the surge, which had built up a bit, was moving the algae around.

We dropped over the wall and I had a quick look for weedy seadragons out on the sand. We then swam along to the rocks where "Ginger" and "Virgil" have been. I found "Virgil" hiding in the same sea tulips he'd been in yesterday and then turned to look for "Ginger' only to find her out in the open and easy to see. I found the large dwarf lionfish in its usual sponge. I had another look for weedy seadragons before we moved on.

We swam on to the area where Cody had spotted the orange red-fingered anglerfish 9 days ago and it was still in the same approximate area.

I was running low on air so we headed towards the shore and ascended to 5 metres and started our safety stop while we swam to the exit. We were aiming for the protected area towards The Steps.

As we were swimming I noticed a tiny clingfish on a discarded fishing rod. I tried to take photos on the rod but I couldn't hold the rod still and Cody was having buoyancy issues. Eventually the clingfish dropped of the rod and I took photographs of it as it attached to various objects on the sand.

At the point out from the exit I spotted a huge smooth stingray which was missing its tail and had no stinger. It would have to be around 2 metres across. I shot some video and moved closer to it. I didn't have to get particularly close to have it fill the frame. Cody swam up and hadn't seen the stingray and he startled it. It initially swam into the rocks but then reversed, turned around and swam off towards Sutherland Point.

We surface on the edge of the drop off exactly where we needed to be and waded out through the protected area.


Cody Sheridan, John Farrant




3 to 10 metres


100 minutes

Maximum depth

12.6 m

Average depth

9.8 m

Water temperature



Dive Profile from Garmin Descent Mk1