Dive Details



Sunday 25 November 2018


9:44am - 11:00am


Kathy Law, Wilson Leung


Some surge


3 to 5 metres


76 minutes

Surface interval

21:19 (hh:mm)

Maximum depth

13.9 m

Average depth

10.9 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.














Today I planned to do The Monument on an incoming tide to avoid the ridiculous current we had yesterday. I had planned to get into the water well before 9am to give me at least 90 minutes before the top of the tide. Even though I arrived at The Monument a bit late I was on target for my plan. Unfortunately, as I zipped up my wetsuit my zipper burst open. I took my wetsuit off, fixed the zipper and tried again. The same thing happened. I was annoyed because I'd gotten up early and made the effort to dive.

While I was sitting there wondering what to do, Kathy Law and Wilson Leung arrived for a dive. I chatted with them for a while and then thought, "How cold can it be with my wetsuit flapping open?". I decided to go in. I added my sleeveless Lavacore vest over my short-sleeved Pyroflex for a bit of extra protection. I told Kathy and Wilson if they were quick, I'd show them some pygmy pipehorses.

We walked along the shoreline towards The Steps to get in at the protected area. The tide was very high and we had to wade through ankle to knee deep water. Despite a forecast of 2-3m southerly swell, the waves were tiny.

We waded out, put our fins on, and swam to the drop off. I didn't feel cold at all on the surface, even when the water got in. We descended and started heading towards the sand line. The visibility was around 3 to 5 metres and quite calm. The water temperature was between 16 and 17°C (Perdix read 16 and Garmin 17°). While I wasn't as toasty warm as I would be if the wetsuit was closed, I wasn't all that cold, at least initially.

As we were swimming towards the sand line I noticed a small orange red-fingered anglerfish pretending to be a sponge. I took some photographs and pointed it out to Wilson and Kathy.

We hit the sand line and turned left towards Sutherland Point. We swam past Block Rock and the next rock with sponges and on to Pygmy Hollow. I started looking for pygmies on The Steps side of the white honeycomb sponge. I hadn't prepared my mask well and the lenses at the bottom kept fogging up making spotting very difficult. In addition to my mask fogging up, all the rocks were covered in snot algae which made finding the pygmies even the more difficult. I managed to spot a pygmy just in front of the sponge. I thought it was the male but I think I spotted him later. I looked at the bottom of the gap for the original female but spotted another male. I then looked at the back of the adjacent rock and spotted the dark red male from yesterday. I looked for his partner but could not find her. I then looked on the Sutherland Point side of the white honeycomb sponge and saw the other male. I will need to check my photographs to work out which one I found initially. I pointed them all out to Wilson and then went looking for more as he was taking photographs. While we were there Vicki and Greg swam up and I pointed out the pygmies to them, too.

We swam along the deep wall and I had a quick look for the pot-bellied seahorses as we swam past their area. I have to assume they have gone.

At the end of the wall we swam up and over and I checked out the rock there for the pygmy I found two weeks ago. I couldn't find it today.

We swam along the reef past Slope Rock and on to the slope below Seahorse Rock. I looked for "Nia", the brown White's seahorse, on the slope but I was not able to find her. I haven't seen her since the 15th. This is not the first time she's been "missing", so I hope to see her again. I was starting to feel the cold about now but it wasn't unbearable so I kept going.

We continued along the reef past Split Rock and on to the rock where the grey red-fingered anglerfish used to be. Just like last weekend, it wasn't in its usual hole so I looked on the adjacent rock where I'd seen it last Sunday and found it there. I took some photographs and pointed it out to Wilson, Vicki and Greg who were still with us.

We headed down to the Valley of the Pygmies. I found the reliable male on the slope first and pointed him out to Wilson. I warned him to be careful as there are pygmies all over the place there. I went to the Carijoa covered rock and found the pink female and the reddish male who has now started to get lighter. The area here was also covered in snot algae. I pointed these guys out to Wilson and Kathy and then went back to the slope to look for more pygmies. I found a pinkish female and then small cryptic female. I pointed them out to Wilson and Kathy and then took some more photographs of the pygmies on the rock.

Wilson and Kathy told me they were heading for the exit. I was surprised I'd lasted this long in the cold but I still had some air left and thought I'd see how far along the East-West Wall I could make it. I headed up and over the NW-SE wall and cut the corner to the eastern end of the East-West Wall. I looked on the large Carijoa covered rock for the large orange red-fingered anglerfish. I almost missed it on top of the rock.

I headed to the shelf to look for pygmies but the current was starting to flow like it did yesterday and was bringing dirty water with it. I decided I'd call the dive and headed south-east towards the little bay just past the rocks.

I ascended to 5 metres and started my safety stop as I swam. I finished it just outside the bay and then swam into the bay. The high tide made it easy to wade out.