Dive Details



Tuesday 11 December 2018


9:10am - 10:42am


Steven Walsh




10 to 15 metres


92 minutes

Surface interval

20:13 (hh:mm)

Maximum depth

21.8 m

Average depth

16.3 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.











Day 2 of my dives with Steven Walsh and our first dive would again be at The Leap and a visit to the Field of Pygmies. This time I had 31% oxygen and Steve had 32%. Hopefully, this would stop us going into deco or getting close.

The seas were a little calmer and we were farther from high tide so we were able to get in from the low platform. Water was washing over it but there was no danger of being washed off. We swam out and then descended. We swam at around 50° towards the sand line and arrived at the amphitheatre. The visibility was 10 to 15 metres and the water temperature around 17°C. There was no noticeable surge.

I noticed a male weedy seadragon with brand new eggs right where we hit the amphitheatre some way from the sand line. I haven't seen any weedies this early in a dive at The Leap for some time.

We continued to the sand line and on to the first rock with (known) pygmies in the Field of Pygmies. I went straight to where the original female was yesterday and she was still there. I took a few quick photographs and then spotted her male. After photographing him I pointed them both out to Steve and went to the other end of the rock to find the other pair. I found them both easily. I pointed them out to Steve and moved on to the next rock to look for the pygmy I found yesterday.

On the next rock I found a cryptic male pygmy. This must be the partner of the female I found yesterday. I looked and found the cryptic female. I waited for Steve and pointed them out to him.

I moved on a couple of rocks and looked for the small pink female I spotted a week ago and had seen again yesterday. After a bit of searching I found her. I looked around on the rock for others while waiting for Steve but found none.

I moved on to Bob & Lucy Rock while Steve was photographing the small pink female. I found the male pygmy first and then the female. The female then moved to the male and they danced around together. After photographing them I searched for the tiny juvenile. I waited for Steve and then pointed out the three pygmies.

I continued slowly on to Ian's Pygmy Rock. I looked for red amphipods on the way. I found the male pygmy on the adjacent rock and then the cryptic female. I waited there until Steve caught up.

We'd been at nearly 20 metres for over 40 minutes and even with the 31% oxygen I was getting close to my NDL. I ascended a bit while I waited for Steve. When Steve caught up I pointed out the two pygmies and then ascended again.

We swam on towards the low flat rocks with sponges and the overhang. I stayed high as we swam but could just see there was a weedy seadragon under the overhang. I dropped down knowing I'd probably end up in deco. The weedy under then overhang had brand new eggs but it wasn't "Clyde". We had seen two males and a female just below the pygmy pipehorses yesterday. Neither of the males had head and both appeared to be courting the female. "Clyde" was closer and I expected him to have eggs today but it was the other male who was successful. I photographed the male with eggs and then spotted "Clyde" out on the sand. I then spotted the female a little father away. It will be very interesting to see if these three stay close and if "Clyde" gets a brood.

I was now just into deco on the Garmin and very close on the Shearwater. The Oceanic was a long way off. I swam up to the pygmy pipehorses. I found the high male and female in their usual spots and took a couple of quick photographs and pointed them out to Steve. I quickly spotted the lower male but didn't have time to look for the female. I then ascended to around 16 metres to keep the Shearwater from going into deco. I waited for Steve to finish taking photographs.

When Steve had finished we stayed shallower and swam over Southern Cross Rock and Seadragon Alley. We were so shallow we actually travelled over the rocks to the shoreward side. We stayed high past Big Rock and then along the top of the reef. I had cleared the deco on the Garmin by now but stayed high as it was a chance to look at some of the rocks I don't normally see. It paid off as I spotted a grey red-fingered anglerfish on a rock I rarely check.

We swam on to the basket star and then to Diversity Rock. I looked around for the male weedy seadragon with eggs and eventually found him just above Diversity Rock.

We swam past Little Big Rock and I had a quick look for the salmon red-fingered anglerfish. I also looked for the yellow red-fingered anglerfish on the next rock but it was gone. I checked the rock above Little Big Rock for the pygmy pipehorse but couldn't find them.

We swam along the sand line past the pipefishes' hole. I looked in and caught a glimpse of one of the upside-pipefish but couldn't get a photograph. I swam on to the seahorse. I didn't realise until I got there that I'd lost Steve somewhere along the way. I didn't have enough air to look for him and knew he'd be able to find his way to the exit. I briefly looked for the seahorse but could not see either one. Roney was there and I found out after the dive that he'd seen "Jodi".

I swam towards the exit, doing a cursory search for the orange red-fingered anglerfish with dark eyes. I ascended to Split Rock and did my safety stop. As I swam to the exit I looked for the juvenile weedy seadragon I'd spotted yesterday. I didn't find it but Steve was waiting on the surface. I stayed underwater to the exit and climbed out onto the rock.