Dive Details



Saturday 26 January 2019


9:32am - 10:49am


Tom Bridge


Slight current and surge


10 to 20 metres


77 minutes

Surface interval

5 days 21:13 (days hh:mm)

Maximum depth

21.1 m

Average depth

15.9 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.














Today's dive I was joined by Tom. It's been over 10 years since I last saw him. He was in Sydney for a couple of weeks and we finally managed to get together for a dive. He mainly wanted to test his new wide-angle adapter on weedy seadragons so I promised him a few. I'd also show him some pygmy pipehorses.

We got in from the low platform. It was a hit day and so we were very relieved to get into the water. Once we were ready, we descended and swam at around 60° towards the sand line. We arrived in the amphitheatre. The visibility was around 20 metres and there was barely any surge or current. It was a but chilly with the water temperature at around 17°C.

We were just to the west of the first rock with known pygmies in the Field of Pygmies so we headed east until we reached the rock. It had been almost 2 weeks since I last dived The Leap so I couldn't be sure where the pygmies were. I looked for the original pair where I'd last seen then on the eastern corner of the rock but I couldn't see them. I swam to the other end of the rock and found the male (IL2018110301) and then his partner (IL2018110302) near him. I pointed them out to Tom and went to the other end of the rock to look for the original pair. This time I looked on the northern corner of the rock where the female had been for some time. I spotted the male (IL2018110202) and then the female (IL2018110201).

I moved to the next rock to look for the male that Matt Smith had found and that male's partner. I only had a quick look but I could not see either of them. I didn't want to spend too much time looking as I wanted Tom to have plenty of time with the weedy seadragons.

I checked the next rock along for the cryptic pair of pygmies. I was only able to find the male (IL2018121101).

We swam on towards Bob & Lucy Rock. I stopped at the rock just before to see if I could find the small pygmies I've seen there. I spotted the male who I've only first seen recently. I pointed it out to Tom and then looked for the female. I found her. This was the first time I have seen both of them on the one dive.

I looked on Bob & Lucy Rock for the pair there. I found the male (IL2018110204) straight away. I looked for some time for the female but could not find her.

We continued on to Ian's Pygmy Rock. As I swam in I spotted a reaper cuttlefish on top of the adjacent rock. I then spotted the reddish male (IL2018120101) just below the cuttlefish. His colour has brightened and he looks very pregnant. I looked on Ian's Pygmy Rock itself and was only able to find the pink male (IL2018122302).

We swam past Seahorse Rock and on to the low flat rocks with sponges. I spotted the female weedy seadragon under the overhang and after taking my usual ID shots of her I pointed her out to Tom. I then spotted "Clyde" in the gap between the two rocks and he swam towards the overhang. I looked for the male with eggs but could not see him.

I headed up to the pygmy pipehorses above the weedy seadragons. I spotted the red male (IL2018080101) in his usual alga. I looked in the alga below and spotted his partner (IL2018080102). I looked for the lower male (IL2018092903) and found him in the alga his been in of late. I looked for his partner but could not find her.

I still hadn't found the male weedy seadragon with eggs so I headed down to the kelp near the sand line. I spotted a male but it wasn't the one with eggs.

Tom indicated he had 90 bar of air so we got a move on. We swam over Southern Cross Rock where I spotted a small eastern smooth boxfish.

We continued into Seadragon Alley. I spotted two sub-adult weedy seadragons. I think one of them was my juvenile from last year. Tom took a few photographs and then indicated he had only 50 bar. I misunderstood and thought he had 100 bar (and that he must have had 140 bar earlier). Nevertheless, we powered on. Tom hung up high in the water.

At the end of Seadragon Alley I had a quick look for red Stigmatopora pipefish but found none. As I swam up the slope towards Big Rock I looked for the orange red-fingered anglerfish I'd seen 2 weeks ago but I couldn't find it.

We swam past the top of Big Rock with Tom still high in the water. We continued along the reef past the basket star and on to Little Big Rock. I went to take photographs of the large yellow red-fingered anglerfish when I noticed "Petra", the female pot-bellied seahorse on the sand directly below the anglerfish. I spotted Alex and Iryna swimming towards me so I pointed out both the anglerfish and seahorse to them.

I continued along the reef to the rock where the other seahorses were. Tom was still above me. I had a quick look for the seahorses before swimming to the exit. I ascended to Split Rock and did my safety stop. Tom had already done his and got out. After I finished my safety stop I swam underwater to the exit.