Dive Details



Saturday 24 November 2018


7:59am - 9:49am


A lot of surge


3 to 10 metres


110 minutes

Surface interval

92:28 (hh:mm)

Maximum depth

22.2 m

Average depth

14.9 m

Water temperature



Dive Profile from Garmin Descent Mk1

Tides at Botany Bay AEDT

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














I was keen to visit The Leap and look for the pygmy pipehorses I'd seen on the last few dives. High tide was around 9:30am so I planned to get into the water at around 7:30am. I was running a bit late and didn't get in until close to 8am.

The tide was quite high and the seas too rough to get in from the low platform but it wasn't a big drop from the lower edge of the shelf. I swam out on the surface and then descended. I swam at around 50° and ended up in the amphitheatre. The visibility was around 5 to 10 metres but there was quite a lot of surge. The water temperature was around 16°C. I turned left and headed towards The Steps.

I didn't have far to swim to the first rock with pygmies. I found the original pair of pygmy pipehorses. They were together on the rock. Photography was difficult because of the surge. I then found the other pair at the other end of the rock. They were also together.

As I was swimming to the next pygmies on Bob and Lucy Rock I spotted a new female pygmy. I looked around on her rock for a male bit couldn't find one.

I continued on to Bob and Lucy Rock and started looking for the pygmies there. I found both of them.

I headed towards Seahorse Rock and stopped at the large rock just before it. I found both pygmy pipehorses there. My tally was now 9 for the dive so far.

I had spent so much time looking for pygmies that I was within 10 minutes of my non-decompression limit. I'd have to be careful and watch my computer closely.

I swam to the low flat rocks with sponges and looked under the overhang. Both the male weedy seadragon with eggs and the female were there. I took their photographs and headed up to look for the pygmies on the higher rock. Being a bit shallower would help with my NDL.

I found the higher female and male straight away and then set about looking for the other pair. It took me a bit to find the male but once I found him I found the female soon after. My pygmy tally was now 13.

I stayed high and swam over Southern Cross Rock and through Seadragon Alley. I had a quick look for the juvenile weedy but was mindful on my NDL.

I swam straight past the end of Seadragon Alley and continued to the alga where I has last seen the red Stigmatopora sp. pipefish. They weren't there. I'm going to have to look for them again when I have more bottom time.

I headed up the reef to stay shallower and get back some NDL. I swam over the top of Big Rock and then dropped down to the rock below Hand Rock. I looked at the base of the rock and found the female pygmy and then the male.

I went shallower again and swam past the rock where the one-eyed seahorse used to be. I had a quick look for her before continuing on.

I swam past the basket star and down to Diversity Rock. I found the male weedy seadragon with eggs in the kelp below Diversity Rock.

I headed to Little Big Rock and the salmon red-fingered anglerfish was in its usual spot. I then had a quick look for the large yellow red-fingered anglerfish but need to go shallower again.

I looked on the large rock behind Little Big Rock for the two pygmy pipehorses. They were both there and quite close to each other.

I stayed high and swam on to the grey red-fingered anglerfish. This kept me farther from my NDL.

I swam on to the seahorses. I found "Stephen" on the side of the rock in the pink sea tulips. I found "Jodi" on the other side on the next rock.

I still had plenty of gas but was close to my NDL. I went to look for the orange red-fingered anglerfish with dark eyes. I swam to the rock I saw it on on Tuesday and it was on the same spot. I took some photographs of it and pointed it out to one of a group of divers. I then swam back to the seahorses. "Jodi" had moved slightly.

I swam back to look for the large yellow red-fingered anglerfish when I bumped into Rob and Sean. I took them to the grey anglerfish.

They had to leave so I swam back to the seahorses. Jeroen was there. I noticed a weedy seadragon so I took some photographs and pointed out "Stephen" to Jeroen. He motioned he'd seen "Jodi" but coudn't find her again.

I headed to the orange red-fingered anglerfish, took a couple of photographs while Stephen Clark was there and then headed to Split Rock.

I did my safety stop and then swam underwater to the exit. The tide was very high and the water quite calm and the exit was very easy.