Dive Details



Saturday 1 December 2018


11:35am - 1:20pm


Strong surge


5 to 15 metres


105 minutes

Surface interval

6 days 0:36 (days hh:mm)

Maximum depth

20.9 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.














The forecast for today was a 1.5m south-easterly swell. It is difficult to predict what sort of impact that will have on Kurnell. It looked quite calm at The Steps and only a little rougher at The Leap. It was a warm day and the tides meant I'd be donning my drysuit as it was heating up. I'd rather have been in my wetsuit but I couldn't trust the zipper.

The tide was low enough and it was calm enough to get in from the low platform. There were some waves washing over the platform but not enough to worry about. I swam out on the surface that was quite rough. Once I got my camera ready I descended. I swam at around 45-50° towards the sand line arriving in the amphitheatre. The visibility was 10 to 15 metres and looked fantastic but the was quite a bit of surge. The water temperature was between 18 and 19°C.

I swam straight to the first rock with the known pygmies. I found the male straight away. I initially couldn't find the female so I went to the other end of the rock and found the two pygmies there. I went back and eventually found the original female. Photography was very difficult because of the surge.

I continued on towards Bob & Lucy Rock looking for the female pygmy I found last Saturday. I found the right rock and after much searching found a small female on the side of the rock. Again the surge made photography difficult.

At Bob & Lucy Rock I found the male and then the female pygmy pipehorse. I had to be very careful as there was a blue groper swimming around biting the rock near the pygmies. I pushed it away but I was still wary about them.

I followed the sand line towards Seahorse Rock keeping an eye out for pygmies. I spotted a male pygmy on the rock next to Ian's Pygmy Rock. I looked around on the rock for a female but did not find one.

I stopped at the large rock just before Seahorse Rock to look for the pygmies I saw there on the last two dives. I was not able to find them today.

I continued past Seahorse Rock and on to the low flat rocks with sponges. I spotted the female weedy seadragon outside the overhang. The male was under the overhang. His eggs have developed well.

I looked for the pygmy pipehorses on the high rock up and on from the overhang. I found the high male and the high female. I then found the low male. I was not able to find the low female. I didn't want to look for long as I was my NDL was running out.

I stayed high and swam over Southern Cross Rock and on to Seadragon Alley. I was very close to my NDL but would sacrifice if I saw a weedy seadragon. I spotted two adults and the large juvenile and ended up in deco after descending to photograph them. One of the adults appeared to have a deformed body but wasn't the same one from before the June 2016 storm.

I ascended again and stayed high while I swam towards Big Rock. I stopped at the alga where I have seen the red Stigmatopora sp. pipefish. I looked carefully for them but they appear to have moved on. I will have to come back with higher oxygen in my mix so I'm not struggling with deco.

I swam shallower and and on to Big Rock. I looked at Big Rock briefly before swimming down to the rock below Hand Rock. I looked at the base of the rock and found the male pygmy pipehorse. I searched for the female but could not find her. I did spot a dwarf lionfish on the low sponge.

I went shallower again and continued on to the basket star and Diversity Rock. I had a quick look for the male weedy seadragon with eggs but didn't want to stay too deep.

I swam on to Little Big Rock and the salmon red-fingered anglerfish was in its usual spot. I had a quick look for the eggs but it was in the way. I found the large yellow red-fingered anglerfish a few metres away.

I headed to the large rock up behind Little Big Rock to look for the pygmy pipehorses. After a bit of searching I found the male. The surge was quite strong here making searching a bit difficult. I wasn't able to find the female.

I stayed high as I was in deco and swam to the sponge covered rock where the grey red-fingered anglerfish had been. It was gone. I had a quick look on the rock and adjacent rocks but couldn't see it.

I didn't look in the Hole of Pipefishes as I didn't want to make my deco commitment worse and swam straight to the seahorses. "Stephen" was in the low sea tulips on the Little Big Rock side of the rock. I looked around and found "Jodi" higher up on the rock in the purple sponge.

I swam towards the exit to look for the orange red-fingered anglerfish with dark eyes. I looked on all the rocks I have previously seen it but I was not abe to find it.

I ascended to Split Rock. By the time I got there I had cleared deco and just needed to do a 5 minute safety stop. Once complete, I swam underwater to the exit.