Dive Details



Saturday 16 February 2019


2:15pm - 3:49pm


Slight current and surge


3 to 5 metres


94 minutes

Surface interval

6 days 1:51 (days hh:mm)

Maximum depth

20.8 m

Average depth

15.6 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.











After a week of work I was keen for a dive and The Leap was just the tonic I needed. The tides were terrible which meant having to do an afternoon dive. Afternoon dives are bad enough because the morning is mostly wasted but with the heat it was uncomfortable. Conditions looked pretty good so I put up with it.

Rob Nolan and his friend Kat joined me for the dive (well, the start of the dive). Even though I have dived with Rob a few times, he's never seen a pygmy pipehorse. Here was my chance to show him (and Kat) at least one.

We got in from the low platform which only had the occasional small wave wash over it (perfect for rinsing a mask) and swam out on the surface. Once we were ready we descended and swam at around 60° to the amphitheatre. We arrived not far from Pygmy Rock but I swam straight on to the first rock with known pygmies in the Field of Pygmies. Visibility was 3 to 5 metres. The water temperature was between 16 and 17°C. There was barely any current or surge.

I went straight to the yellow sponge and found the original male (IL2018110202) where he'd been last week. I had a quick look for the female but couldn't see her. I pointed out the male to Rob and Kat and then moved to the other end of the rock to the other pair. The male (IL2018110301) was in his usual spot behind the red sponge. The female (IL2018110302) was on the other side of the rock. I had a quick look on the rock for the white pygmy others have seen but I couldn't see it. I left Rob and Kat there while I checked out the large higher rock towards the shore.

I found the grey/pink female down below the blue sponge. I had to search for the pink male but I found him on top of the rock not far from the blue sponge.

I went back to the first rock and by then Rob and Kat had moved on. I looked around near the original male and eventually found her (IL2018110201) around 20cm from him.

I looked on the next rock for Matt's pair of pygmies but couldn't find them. I looked on the rock after that for the cryptic pair and couldn't find either of them.

I swam on to the large flat rock with sponges to look for the two different juvenile pygmy pipehorses I have seen there. While I was looking I spotted a tiny cuttlefish. It was around the size of my thumbnail. It was difficult to photograph because it kept bobbing around. One photograph had a pygmy pipehorse in the background that I didn't see at the time, although it turns out it was one I had seen before.

I looked over the rock for the juvenile pygmies I have seen before. I found two but I don't believe I have seen them before. This means the rock must have 4 pygmies on it. I'll have to look for them another time.

I swam over to the rock not far before Bob & Lucy Rock. I initially couldn't see either of the pygmies on the rock. I started in their usual places and moved to the southeastern end and found the female part way own the rock. I then looked for the male and found him on top of the rock. I'd missed him on my first pass.

I headed to Bob & Lucy Rock. I hadn't seen the male pygmy on my last couple of dives and the female for even longer. I looked in other areas of the rock in case I'd missed them but I couldn't find them.

I looked on the first rock after Bob & Lucy Rock and spotted two small pygmy pipehorses, a male and a female. If the other two were new, that made four new pygmies already.

I tried to find the rock I'd found the tiny juvenile pygmy on last Saturday but I was not able to locate the rock. I did find the rock I found the larger juvenile also last Saturday but I was not able to find the pygmy.

I continued on to Ian's Pygmy Rock. I found the pink male pygmy pretty much straight away. I was then able to locate the greyish female. I looked on the adjacent rock for the other pair but wasn't able to find either of them.

I swam to Seahorse Rock and looked on the large rocks behind it for the anglerfish that Donna had mentioned last week. I couldn't remember which rock it was on and wasn't able to find it.

I continued to the low flat rocks with sponges. I spotted "Clyde", the Weedy Seadragon, under the overhang. He has been moving around a lot and I see him in different places on almost every dive. I found the other male (the one that had had a number of broods over spring and early summer) between the low flat rocks. He no longer has eggs. I also spotted the female that has been in the area for some time.

I ascended to the pygmy pipehorses. I found the large pink male. His usual alga was gone and he'd moved to the other alga where the female had been. I then found the female a little lower on the rock. Finally, I found the other male. I could not find the other female.

I swam along the sand line past Southern Cross and through Seadragon Alley. I saw no Weedy Seadragons in Seadragon Alley, although I was moving quite quickly with what little current there was.

I headed up towards Big Rock and looked for red Stigmatopora sp. pipefish along the way. I looked around the area I saw a pair in November but they weren't in the same algae. Donna saw them somewhere in the area.

I got to Big Rock and went to the spot where Ron's pygmies had been. I could not find either of them. The male had been there last weekend but it appears he has gone now, too.

I checked the rock below Hand Rock and found a small pygmy which I believe is the one I found there a couple of weeks ago. I also looked on Hand Rock and found one there which may be the one I've been seeing there.

I swam fairly quickly over Sponge Hollow and on to the basket star. Behind Diversity Rock I spotted the male Weedy Seadragon that has been in the area with eggs for the last few months. He no longer has eggs.

I continued to Little Big Rock. I found "Petra", the Pot-Bellied Seahorse, on the rock where Dama had originally shown her to me. I looked around for her partner "David" but I was not able to find him.

I went over to the crevices where Dama and Roney's Sawtooth Pipefish have been. I spotted the male with eggs in one of the crevices. I couldn't see the female.

I swam on to the rocks where the large yellow Red-Fingered Anglerfish had been a few months ago. I had a quick look around the area but couldn't find it.

I headed quickly along the sand line to the rock where the other Pot-Bellied Seahorses had been. I had a quick look for them before heading on towards the exit.

As I swam over the kelp I looked on the rock where I'd seen the small orange Red-Fingered Anglerfish last Sunday but it had moved.

I ascended to Split Rock and did my safety stop. I then swam underwater to the exit and got out. The tide was still low and it was an easy exit.