Dive Details



Tuesday 1 January 2019


8:13am - 9:45am


Slight current


3 to 5 metres


92 minutes

Surface interval

19:28 (hh:mm)

Maximum depth

14.4 m

Average depth

11.2 m

Water temperature



Dive Profile from Citizen Hyper Aqualand

Tides at Botany Bay AEDT

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











I was keen to dive on New Years Day. Low tide was around noon which would have made for a nice afternoon dive but the air temperatures were going to be in 30s and the water temperature around 16°C. There's no way I wanted to get into my drysuit in the heat of the afternoon nor dive in my wetsuit at 16°. My only option was to dive early in my drysuit. The car park at The Steps is well shaded in the morning so I'd be able to get ready without getting too hot. It would be an outgoing tide but I hoped that the conditions wouldn't be too bad.

I jumped in and put my fins on in the water before swimming out. This would be my first dive with my replacement Garmin Descent Mk1 so I went back to making sure the GPS was ready before descending. I descended to greenish water and visibility of 3 to 5 metres. I would have preferred better but it could have been much worse. The water temperature was around 16°C. There was a slight outgoing current but barely any surge. I headed towards Big Rock.

I stopped just before the seahorses to check on the small orange red-fingered anglerfish. It was still in its usual spot. I looked for the pot-bellied seahorses but could not see either "Jodi" or "Stephen", even after swimming right around the rock.

I followed the sand line to the hole where the pipefishes have been. I could see one one sawtooth pipefish in there. It was the male with eggs. He was right at the back of the hole so I couldn't get any good photographs.

I continued along the sand line until I was nearly at Little Big Rock. Roney had told me of a location near Little Big Rock where there was another pair of sawtooth pipefish. He'd shown me a photograph of the rock so I knew exactly what I was looking for. I found the rock without problems and immediately saw the male sawtooth pipefish with eggs. He was right out in the open. He quickly swam into a small cave where he joined the female.

The large yellow red-fingered anglerfish is on one of the next rocks so I checked it out before looking for the other pot-bellied seahorses. I found "Petra" on a white honeycomb sponge surrounded by pink sea tulips. I then spotted "David" in the nearby sea tulips. It is so good to have pot-bellied seahorses back at Kurnell. I also noticed some Icilius amphipods on a red sponge on the same rock.

I followed the sand line to Diversity Rock and spotted the male weedy seadragon in the kelp below the rock. He no longer had eggs but was still lurking in the same area. Would he have another brood of eggs before the season was over?

I continued along the sand line towards Big Rock. Along the way I spotted an interesting sea slug. I think it is a nudibranch but I couldn't see any gills. It was sandy coloured on top but its underside was yellow with dark spots.

I arrived at the rock below Hand Rock and looked for the pygmy pipehorses there. I spotted the male (IL2018111001) first and then the juvenile (IL2018122402). I looked around a bit more and found the female. I then looked on Hand Rock for the juvenile male I've seen there previously. I found him (IL2018122401).

I looked around the area for other pygmies but found none so I headed back towards The Steps. I swam past Sponge Hollow and up to the area where I had been seeing the grey red-fingered anglerfish. I wasn't able to find it.

I continued on New Basket Star rock and then on to where the basket star is now. I swam past Diversity Rock and on to Little Big Rock. I visited the large yellow red-fingered anglerfish and then checked out the sawtooth pipefish again.

I swam up to the seahorses. "David" was in the same sea tulips he'd been in before but "Petra" had moved slightly. I visited the sawtooth pipefish again before heading along the sand line towards The Steps.

I stopped at the rock with the seahorses and found "Jodi" on the side of the rock. She moved to the sea tulips. I took some more photographs of the little orange red-fingered anglerfish.

I swam over the kelp towards the exit. I checked out the rocks on the way for the orange red-fingered anglerfish with dark eyes. I then swam up to Split Rock and started my safety stop. Once I'd finished my safety stop I swam underwater to the exit and got out.