Dive Details



Sunday 24 March 2019


8:53am - 9:59am


Georgia Nester


Some current


10 to 20 metres


65 minutes

Surface interval

22:17 (hh:mm)

Maximum depth

21.1 m

Average depth

13.7 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 at The Leap was the first of three dives with Georgia, a PhD student from Curtain University. She's looking at detecting Weedy Seadragons using eDNA (environmental DNA). She needs to take water sample near where Weedy Seadragons are or may have been. We would dive The Leap first today and then The Steps and tomorrow at Bare Island.

Conditions at Kurnell yesterday were fantastic and I was expecting much the same today. The water was very flat when we arrived.

We got in from the low platform where the water was just lapping the edge. The water surface was only moving half a metre or so and we just had to step in. We swam out on the surface and I took two of Georgia's five sample bottles to carry. We descended and headed towards the sand line at around 30°. The current was quite strong and I had to keep correcting our course. We hit the sand line just to the south-east of Ian's Pygmy Rock. The visibility was 10 to 20 metres and the water temperature around 23°C. The current was quite strong but there was barely any surge.

We drifted with the current past Ian's Pygmy Rock. I swam back to look for pygmies but could not find any.

We continued with the current towards Seahorse Rock. I was about to suggest to Georgia that she take her first sample when I spotted a Weedy Seadragon. It was "Clyde"! I took some photographs of "Clyde" and then Georgia took her first water sample.

We went with the current past Seahorse Rock and on to the flat rock with sponges. As we approached the overhang we spotted a female Weedy Seadragon. I took photographs and Georgia took another water sample. We then spotted the male Weedy that hangs around the area. More photographs and another sample. The male appears to have damage to his side.

I ascended to the pygmy pipehorses. I found the new male and pointed it out to Georgia. I looked for the original female but instead found a juvenile female. I also pointed her out to Georgia. I then spotted the other male and the other female. While I was photographing the pygmy pipehorses, Georgia found two more Weedy Seadragons and took another sample. She had one more sample to take and I hoped to find another Weedy otherwise I'd recommend she take her last sample at the end of Seadragon Alley.

We dropped to the sand line and followed it past Southern Cross Rock and on through Seadragon Alley. I looked keenly for Weedy Seadragons but found none. At the end of Seadragon Alley I suggest Georgia take her last sample. I do see Weedies in that are occasionally.

We headed up the slope towards Big Rock. We swam up behind Big Rock to the rocks with lots of different sponges. I spotted George's orange Red-fingered anglerfish almost immediately. It pointed it out to Georgia. This was the first anglerfish she'd seen.

We dropped down to Big Rock and I looked for pygmy pipehorses near the sea tulips. I found a male and female together. I pointed them out to Georgia and then we headed over to Hand Rock. I found the female pygmy there in the same spot it was yesterday under the hand sponge.

We swam/drifted along the sand line to Diversity Rock. Even though Georgia had no more sample bottles, it would be good to know where any other Weedy Seadragons were for the second dive.

We arrive to the area around Diversity Rock as a group of new divers were swimming the other way. Most of them were swimming vertically and kicking the rocks as they swam over them. They were also using their arms. I have to wonder who taught them to dive. As I started to look for the white Red-fingered Anglerfish I'd seen yesterday, one of the divers swam very close to us and broke some sponges with his fins. I couldn't find the anglerfish. We swam up to the basket star and I pointed it out to Georgia.

We headed to Little Big Rock and up to the seahorse behind. "David", the male Pot-bellied Seahorse was in the sea tulips. "Petra" was hanging down from the sea tulips on the lower rock. I pointed them out to Georgia. The new divers were still around and I was worried as to what sort of damage they could inflect on the seahorses. I had another look for the Sawtooth Pipefish there but couldn't see them.

We continued along the sand line to the large yellow Red-fingered Anglerfish which is almost white now. I pointed it out to Georgia.

We headed up away from the sand line to the top of the reef and then swam past Di's Rock. I couldn't remember which rock I'd seen the orange Red-fingered Anglerfish I'd seen yesterday but managed to find it anyway. It was still hanging out on the side of the rock. I took some photographs and pointed it out.

We continued towards the exit. I was looking for the small orange Red-fingered Anglerfish I'd found yesterday when I spotted a small Giant Cuttlefish. I spotted the rock where the small orange anglerfish had been but it wasn't in the same spot. I check the top of the rock and spotted it there. It kept shifting itself as I was taking photographs.

We headed for the boulders and ascended to 5 metres. We did our safety stop as we swam to Split Rock. While we were doing our safety stop we could see the new divers return and were hanging out at the exit. I hoped they'd be out of the way when it was time to exit. They weren't. We had to swim around them (or in my case under them) to to get to the exit. I jumped put first, put my camera and fins down and then helped Georgia out.