Dive Details



Saturday 12 January 2019


3:15pm - 4:35pm


Matt Smith, et al


Slight current and surge


3 to 10 metres


80 minutes

Surface interval

02:14:00 (hh:mm)

Maximum depth

13.4 m

Average depth

10.4 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.














For my second dive today I teamed up with Matt Smith who was running an Introduction to Underwater Photography workshop. He had 5 students he was bringing on the dive and I was the spotter for organisms for them to photograph. I took my camera with me more for recording the organisms we saw, particularly the pygmy pipehorses and anglerfish and would minimise the photographs I took so as not to interfere with the students.

It was an outgoing tide which is not always ideal for The Monument. Conditions had been good on my first dive so they shouldn't be too bad on the second despite us getting in more than 2 hours after high tide.

I wanted to take them to the Valley of the Pygmies so we got in through the channel on the northern side of Sutherland Point. We waded out and then put our fins on. We swam north on the surface before descending. We then swam north-east over the kelp and then down the slope. Visibility was between 5 and 10 metres and the water temperature around 20°C. There wasn't much surge or current.

As we swam down past sponge covered rocks I thought we were at the north-western end of the NW-SE wall. When we reached the sand line I realised we were actually at the south-eastern end and we'd swum past the hole where the well camouflaged orange red-fingered anglerfish had been. We headed back to the hole and I was surprised to not only see the orange anglerfish but the grey one was back. It appears they were mating. I took a few photographs and got out of the way for the others to take their photographs.

While the others were photographing the anglerfish, I looked around the area for other subjects for them. I particularly looked around the sand for weedy seadragons.

When they were done with the anglerfish, I slowly made my way towards the Valley of the Pygmies. I kept my eye out for weedy seadragons out on the sand.

I found the male of the south-eastern most rock first, took a couple of photographs and pointed him out to Fabrice who was the only one specifically shooting macro. I then spotted the green/gold male on the rock closest the Carijoa covered rock.

I swam up to the Carijoa covered rock and looked for two pairs of pygmies there. I found the white/red male and his pink partner. I pointed them out to Matt to show the others. I looked for the other pair and couldn't find them initially. I swam around a bit and looked for weedy seadragons before coming back to look for and find the other pair. We hung around the Valley of the Pygmies for a while before heading north-west along the reef.

I didn't find anything interesting until we were well past the NW-SE Wall. I then spotted a blind shark crawling/swimming along the bottom. I pointed it out to Matt.

We went almost to the corner where I spotted a fiddler ray. A few of the students took photographs of the fiddler ray before we turned around and headed back to the NW-SE Wall. Some of the students had already left.

Those that were left swam along the base of the wall where I spotted a Nembrotha purpureolineata nudibranch. I pointed it out to the others. They then left me and I told Matt I wanted to go visit the mating anglerfish.

I got to the anglerfish and they were still at it. I took some more photographs and some video. (What I didn't notice at the time was that there were eggs there as well. I spotted them in my photographs later. The eggs were well developed with eyes visible. I have since checked my photographs of the orange anglerfish and there were eggs almost a month ago.)

I headed along the reef past Split Rock to the slope below Seahorse Rock. I looked for "Nia", the brown White's seahorse, but couldn't find her. I also checked Seahorse Rock for seahorses.

I swam up past the area where we saw the little dragonfish in 2017 and also looked where we saw the golden egg cowries but they are no longer there.

I headed for the exit. I was aiming to get out at the little bay to the south-east of Sutherland Point. I did my safety stop along the way and ended up too far to the south-east. I surfaced a couple of times and eventually climbed out over the boulders.