Dive Details



Saturday 16 March 2019


1:11pm - 3:01pm


Strong surge and current at times


2 to 5 metres


109 minutes

Surface interval

2 days 22:15 (days hh:mm)

Maximum depth

12.9 m

Average depth

10.3 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.














It had been raining the last few days and there were dual swells hitting the coast: easterly and southerly. Neither swell was large but it would be enough to mess things up. I was supposed to be taking some people diving early but they cancelled at the last minute so I got to sleep in and dive in the afternoon on the incoming tide. I chose The Monument as it would be more protected plus I've hardly dived there this year.

The conditions didn't look too bad from the surface and there were only small waves hitting the entry point: the protected area between The Monument and The Steps. I waded out right to the edge of the shelf as the tide was still quite low and floated out to put my fins on. From the surface the visibility didn't look too bad. I descended and headed towards the sand line. I stopped just before the sand line to check out the sponge covered rocks. The visibility was between 3 and 5 metres and the water temperature between 22 and 23°C. The surge was quite strong as was the current when combined with the surge.

I swam along the rocks to Block Rock and then on to Pygmy Hollow. I looked around Pygmy Hollow for pygmy pipehorses but it wasn't easy due to the surge. I wasn't able to find any pygmy pipehorses.

I continued past Honey's Rock and to the wall and looked for seahorses and anglerfishes, as well as kept an eye on the sand for Weedy Seadragons. I didn't find anything of interest.

At the end of the wall I swam up and over and looked on the rocks above the wall for pygmy pipehorses. I found none.

I checked out the sponges on the other side before heading down to Carijoa Rock which now has a lot of Carijoa again. I looked for pygmy pipehorses but couldn't find any.

I headed up past Slope Rock and looked at it and the surrounding rocks for pygmy pipehorses. It has been so long since I've seen any pygmies in this area.

I swam to the slope below Seahorse Rock and looked for "Nia", the brown White's seahorse. I also looked on Seahorse Rock itself.

I continued along the reef past Split Rock. The visibility was getting worse the closer I got to the point. It was now only 2 to 4 metres. I had hoped the surge would decrease but it didn't.

I looked around the rock where the mating Red-Fingered Anglerfish had been. I was hoping to find an anglerfish or two but found nothing.

It had been an uneventful dive up to this point and I only had Valley of the Pygmies to look forward too.

I headed down to the Valley of the Pygmies. Visibility here was 2 to 3 metres. I swam up to Castle Rock and spotted a white male pygmy pipehorse. It wasn't the King but appeared to the newer one. I looked around for the King but could not find him. I couldn't find the Queen either. I eventually found a female but I don't think I have seen her before.

I looked for pygmies on the slope. I found a pinkish male and a light golden male. While I was looking for more pygmies I found a dwarf lionfish. I eventually found a cryptic female pygmy.

I followed the NW-SE Wall towards the point. I then swam up the wall and cut the corner to the East-West Wall. I looked on the large Carijoa rock for Red-Fingered Anglerfish but found none. I also checked the shelf where the pygmies used to be.

I headed along the based of the East-West Wall. Visibility was now only around 2 metres. I came to the rock where I often see "Naomi", the yellow White's seahorse. I looked in her usual sponge and she was there.

I continued along the base of the wall to the isolated rock where Mandy's pygmies have been. I found the greenish male at the based of the rock. I looked over the rest of the rock and found the pinkish female near the top of the rock.

I followed the base of the wall all the way to the basket star before ascending the wall and heading south to the beach. I did my safety stop along the way and got out in front of the monument.