Dive Details



Monday 28 January 2019


1:41pm - 3:23pm


Fred Hoffman, Eduardo Arribada




10 to 15 metres


102 minutes

Surface interval

01:03 (hh:mm)

Maximum depth

14.6 m

Average depth

11.3 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 joined Fred and Eduardo for my second dive. I was hoping to show them some of the interesting animals at The Steps and also to have a good look for "Petra", the Pot-Bellied Seahorse, who I hadn't seen on my first dive. We had to wait for my surface interval. During the surface interval I'd chatted to Roney and Mike. Roney gave me more detailed instructions to the rock before Little Big Rock where he'd found a pair of pygmy pipehorses. We also discussed how many Atagema intecta nudibranchs were around at the moment.

We jumped in at The Steps and swam out on the surface. Once we were ready we descended to the sand/kelp. Visibility was much the same as the first dive at around 10 to 15 metres. The water temperature was between 21 and 22°C. There was barely any current or surge. We turned right and headed towards Big Rock.

We swam along the sand/kelp line. I was checking all the rocks for anglerfish, and especially the small orange Red-Fingered Anglerfish that had been near "Jodi", the orange Pot-Bellied Seahorse.

I had a good look around the rock where "Jodi" had been, in the kelp and around the rock. I also checked the surrounding rocks. I have to assume she's moved on. While I was looking I came across an Atagema intecta nudibranch.

We continued along the sand line to the hole with the pipefishes in it. I could not see any of the pipefishes in the hole.

I swam ahead on to the rock where the large yellow Red-Fingered Anglerfish had been for a very long time. Two rocks on from this was where Roney had said the pygmy pipehorses were. I looked all over the rock for the pygmy pipehorses but did not find them. I did find a tiny sea spider. The rock itself was not all that large and didn't have many attachment sites. I started to wonder if I was looking at the right rock. Fred and Eduardo caught up to me but I had nothing to show them.

We continued on to Little Big Rock. I took some photographs of the large yellow red-fingered anglerfish (more white now) and then started looking around for "Petra". Eduardo spotted another Atagema intecta nudibranch on a rock in front of Dama and Roney's Sawtooth Pipefish.

"David", the brown pot-bellied seahorse, was still in the same sponge as the previous dive. I took some photographs of him and then went to look for the sawtooth pipefish. As I approached the rock another diver was trying to photograph it. He ended up kicking the rock where the pipefish are. I tried to explain to him that he was kicking the pipefish but he either didn't understand or didn't care.

I continued on my search for "Petra". I looked all the way down to Little Big Rock and around it. All I found was a juvenile eastern smooth boxfish. I took some more photographs of David before swimming on.

We continued along the sand line to Diversity Rock. I looked for the male weedy seadragon with eggs but could not find him. I also looked on Diversity Rock for pygmy pipehorses. I was looking on one of the nearby rocks for pygmy pipehorses when I spotted one of Penny Berents' tube-building amphipods. As I was about to take photographs of it, a second one moved up and they interacted, like they were fighting. I pointed them out to Eduardo but I'm not sure he knew what they were. I swam up to the basket star.

I looked in the red algae on the sand around New Basket Star Rock for red pipefish but found none.

I headed towards Big Rock and thought Eduardo and Fred were following. Apparently they weren't. On the way I spotted another juvenile Eastern Smooth Boxfish, and octopus and two Atagema intecta nudibranchs together.

I looked at the base of the rock below Hand Rock for the pygmy pipehorses that have been there. I had a really good look but was not able to find them. I then looked on Hand Rock for the juvenile pygmy pipehorse there and found it. I then looked on top of the rock below Hand Rock and found a tiny juvenile female pygmy pipehorse. After taking many photographs of the new pygmy pipehorse I headed off to Big Rock.

I found both of Ron's pygmy pipehorses on Big Rock: both the male (IL2019010401) and the female (IL2019010402). I took a bunch of photographs before turning around and heading back towards The Steps.

I swam along the reef past Sponge Hollow and New Basket Star Rock. I had another look for red pipefish in the algae on the sand before swimming on to the basket star. I looked around for the weedy seadragon with eggs but could not find him.

I headed back to Little Big Rock. I had another look for "Petra" and took more photographs of the large yellow Red-Fingered Anglerfish and "David", the Pot-Bellied Seahorse. I also visited Dama and Roney's Sawtooth Pipefish.

I had planned to swim back via the sand line and have another look for Roney's pygmy pipehorses but I was very close to my NDL so I stayed a bit shallower. I swam past Di's Rock and the other rocks in that line until I got close to the exit.

I ascended to Split Rock and did my safety stop. I then swam underwater to the exit and got out.