Dive Details



Saturday 15 December 2018


9:46am - 11:22am


Malcolm Nobbs


Some surge


3 to 10 metres


95 minutes

Surface interval

19:51 (hh:mm)

Maximum depth

13.1 m

Average depth

10.4 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 two of my dives with Malcolm. He pretty much got all the pygmy pipehorse photographs he needed yesterday so today we would just see what we could find. Malcolm was keen to get some interesting anglerfish photographs. The forecast today suggested it would be rougher than yesterday but when we checked out the conditions it looked much the same.

We got in at the protected area between Sutherland Point and The Steps. The tide was very low so we had to wade out to the drop off before putting out fins on. There were a few waves coming in but nothing bad. When we were ready we descended and headed towards the sand line. The visibility was 5 to 10 metres and there was a a bit of surge. The water temperature was around 17°C.

I swam over to the small orange red-fingered anglerfish. I took some photographs and then pointed it out to Malcolm. I swam on slowly while Malcolm took photographs.

We headed past Block Rock and on to Pygmy Hollow. I found the male pygmy in the gap behind the white honeycomb sponge. I was not able to find any of the other pygmies I'd found yesterday. While Malcolm was photographing the pygmy pipehorse I took photographs of the Icilius sp. amphipods in the red sponge.

I went to the shoreward side Honey's Rock and found the orange red-fingered anglerfish. I took some photographs before letting Malcolm have a go.

We swam along the Deep Wall past where the seahorses used to be. I had a look around the area, behind the rock and along the wall for the seahorses or any other new seahorses that might have shown up.

We continued along the base of the Deep Wall and on to Carijoa Rock. I hadn't checked out the rock in some time but I didn't find anything interesting.

We swam up past Slope Rock and then on to the slope below Seahorse Rock. I looked for "Nia", the brown White's seahorse on the slope but could not see her. Either she's gone (perhaps easten by the blue groper) or she's hiding well.

We continued along the reef past Split Rock. Not far past Split Rock I spotted a medium-sized giant cuttlefish in a gap in the rocks. There was a large reaper cuttlefish just past it.

We swam on to the rock where the grey red-fingered anglerfish use to be. I looked closely into the hole it had been sitting for some weeks thinking it may have had eggs when it was there and there could be juveniles there. I realised there was an orange adult red-fingered anglerfish in the hole. It was quite well camouflaged so I wonder how long I have swum past and missed it.

We headed down to the Valley of the Pygmies. I found the most south-eastern pair first. The male was in the same spot as yesterday and the female was back in the open. I took some photographs and pointed them out to Malcolm. I found the male on the northern rock but couldn't initially find the female. I spotted the reliable male in his usual spot. I then found the pink female who I believe is the partner of the reliable male in the purple algae where I'd seen her yesterday. Finally, I found the tiny juvenile. That was all but one of the pygmies I'd found on the slope yesterday.

I moved up to the rock and found the pink female and the white and red male. I then spotted the smaller pink male and the grey female.

After taking loads of photographs of these pygmy pipehorses yesterday I thought today I'd experiment with different f/stops. I'm rarely game to shoot pygmy pipehorses at apertures larger than f/16 because I want as much depth of field as I can get. I started to shoot the pygmies on the rock with f/11 and then f/8 to see what sort of difference it would make. The photographs at f/8 actually looked pretty good on the back of the camera. The background was nicely out of focus.

I then tried the larger aperture on the pygmies on the slope. I managed to find the remaining female I hadn't yet found. She wasn't far from where she was yesterday.

We headed along and up the NW-SE Wall and then along the top of it. We cut the corner to the eastern end of the East-West Wall. I spotted the orange red-fingered anglerfish on the large Carijoa covered rock. I took a few photographs and then let Malcolm have a go. While he was photographing the anglerfish I had a look around the rock in case the large orange red-fingered anglerfish had returned. I found a large reaper cuttlefish on the underside of the rock.

We headed west along the wall and ascended to the top of the wall and started our safety stops. We then turned south over the kelp and headed for the sure. I veered a little to the east so we'd come up on the inside of Sutherland Point but that resulted in us having to wade farther than if I'd stayed heading south. We got out on the beach between the channel and the point.