Dive Details



Saturday 6 April 2019


8:48am - 10:34am


Sheree Rose


Strong surge at times


8 to 20 metres


106 minutes

Surface interval

22:59 (hh:mm)

Maximum depth

22.1 m

Average depth

15.7 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.














Sheree joined me for today's dive at The Leap. It had been a week since my last dive here as high tide had been too early. Even today we had to go fairly early.

Sheree jumped in from the shelf and I got in from the low platform. The water level was just up to the platform and the occasional wave washed over it but it was still safe for entry. We swam out and Sheree suggested we go to the wall. I was a bit hesitant as I didn't know what the visibility would be like, however, we swam parallel to the shore for 30 metres or so before descending. We swam at between 60 and 80° and ended up on the wall although not very far along. The visibility was over 10 metres and close to 20 metres so it was well worth it. There was some current but no noticeable surge. The water temperature was around 21°C. We dropped down the wall and drifted with the current towards The Steps.

The wall looked gorgeous, especially with the good visibility but we didn't see anything of particular interest.

We headed past the end of the wall and past Pygmy Rock. I had a quick look for pygmies before heading over the flat top rock with sponges. Just on the other side of the flat top rock I spotted a small Giant Cuttlefish. Apparently there was also a Weedy Seadragon but I missed it.

Giant Cuttlefish, Sepia apama. 21.4m.

I continued on to the first rock in the Field of Pygmies with known pygmies knowing that Sheree would catch up with me. There wasn't nearly as much kelp around as there has been on recent previous dives. I wanted to have a good look for the original par of pygmies. I wasn't able to spot them but I did find the other pair (IL2018110301 and IL2018110302) at the other end of the rock. There was also an even smaller Giant Cuttlefish there.

Female Sydney Pygmy Pipehorse, Idiotropiscis lumnitzeri, (IL2018110302). 21.2m.

Male Sydney Pygmy Pipehorse, Idiotropiscis lumnitzeri, (IL2018110301). 21.2m.

Sheree caught up to me and had a look for the pygmies on the rock up from the first rock. I was not able to see them and wonder if they are still there. I then headed over to the flat rock with sponges. Sheree was there and pointed out a Atagema intecta nudibranch. I looked for the two pygmy pipehorses there and found them (IL2019022801, IL2019033001).

Male Sydney Pygmy Pipehorse, Idiotropiscis lumnitzeri, (IL2019022801). 20.3m.

Female Sydney Pygmy Pipehorse, Idiotropiscis lumnitzeri, (IL2019033001). 20.2m.

Nudibranch, Atagema intecta. 20.1m.

Sheree had found a Weedy Seadragon on the sand and called me over. I took my usual ID photographs.

Weedy Seadragon, Phyllopteryx taeniolatus. 21.4m.

Weedy Seadragon, Phyllopteryx taeniolatus. 22.1m.

We swam on past Bob & Lucy Rock. I had a quick look for pygmy pipehorses as we swam over and then checked the adjacent rocks. I found the male pygmy pipehorse (IL2019033002) that I found last week. While I was photographing the pygmy, Sheree found "Clyde", the Weedy Seadragon, on the sand.

Male Sydney Pygmy Pipehorse, Idiotropiscis lumnitzeri, (IL2019033002). 20.9m.

Weedy seadragon, Phyllopteryx taeniolatus, ("Clyde"). 21.6m.

We hadn't gone very far when I spotted a Clown Toby. I don't often see them but they are always fun to see.

Clown Toby, Canthigaster callisterna. 21.3m.

We continued past Seahorse Rock and I spotted a Reaper Cuttlefish on just the other side. It was swimming away from the rocks up from the sand.

Reaper Cuttlefish, Sepia mestus. 20.6m.

We headed on to the flat rocks with sponges. We didn't see any Weedy Seadragons before the rocks, under the overhang, between the rocks. I ended up finding the male around the corner in the kelp.

I ascended to look for the pygmy pipehorses. Sheree pointed out what looked like a very large Painted Stinkfish but turned out to be a Common Stinkfish. Despite the name, I had never seen one before. I then looked around for the pygmy pipehorses. The surge and current was quite strong here which made looking quite difficult. I was not able to find any of them even though a week ago there had been four.

Common Stinkfish, Foetorepus calauropomus. 18.1m.

Sheree had gone on ahead and I caught up with her before Southern Cross Rock near where she'd found the three pygmy pipehorses last weekend. She'd spotted another Weedy Seadragon and was watching it when I approached. I took some photographs while she looked for the pygmies. She only managed to find the male when I came up. We were then harassed by a Blue Groper so she led it away so it wouldn't eat any pygmies we found. I managed to find the small one from last week and then an even smaller one.

Male Sydney Pygmy Pipehorse, Idiotropiscis lumnitzeri. 17.9m.

Juvenile Sydney Pygmy Pipehorse, Idiotropiscis lumnitzeri. 17.9m.

Juvenile Sydney Pygmy Pipehorse, Idiotropiscis lumnitzeri. 17.9m.

We swam over Southern Cross Rock. By now there was no current at all and we had to swim without assistance. We headed through Seadragon Alley where I spotted another Weedy Seadragon. I also spotted another small Giant Cuttlefish near the end of Seadragon Alley.

We continued towards Big Rock. I stayed just above the sand line. I spotted a pair of Mourning Cuttlefish just before Big Rock.

Mourning Cuttlefish, Sepia plangon. 14.6m.

I looked on Big Rock near the sea tulip for pygmies there. I spotted the female first and then the male. I pointed them out to Sheree.

Female Sydney Pygmy Pipehorse, Idiotropiscis lumnitzeri. 13.7m.

Male Sydney Pygmy Pipehorse, Idiotropiscis lumnitzeri. 13.7m.

I headed over to Hand Rock and spotted the two pygmies there, too. They were both quite well hidden and difficult to photograph.

Male Sydney Pygmy Pipehorse, Idiotropiscis lumnitzeri. 13.9m.

Female Sydney Pygmy Pipehorse, Idiotropiscis lumnitzeri. 13.8m.

I swam up to the rock above Hand Rock to see George's orange Red-fingered anglerfish. It was on the same rock as it had been yesterday. I looked for Sheree to show her but she'd gone on ahead.

Red-Fingered Anglerfish, Porophryne erythrodactylus. 12.8m.

I continued along the reef towards Diversity Rock where I caught up to Sheree. We looked for the Miamira sinuata nudibranch and the white Red-fingered anglerfish but found neither. I checked out the basket star.

Basket star, Astrosierra amblyconus. 12.1m.

We swam on to the seahorse behind Little Big Rock. I found "David" in the sea tulips on the side of the larger rock. While I was photographing him, Sheree spotted the white Red-fingered Anglerfish 5 to 10 centimetres away from him. No wonder I couldn't find it near Diversity Rock. We looked for "Petra", but could not find her.

Male Pot-Bellied Seahorse, Hippocampus abdominalis, ("David"). 11.9m.

Red-Fingered Anglerfish, Porophryne erythrodactylus. 12.2m.

We headed along the sand line to the off-white Red-fingered anglerfish. It was in its usual spot. Looking at my photographs it appears it is guarding eggs.

Red-Fingered Anglerfish, Porophryne erythrodactylus. 13.1m.

I followed the sand line along to the hole where the pipefishes have been. I was hoping to find the juvenile Weedy Seadragon again. I found it but was not able to get any good photographs.

We swam up to the orange Red-fingered Anglerfish near Di's Rock. I wonder if it may also be guarding eggs.

Red-Fingered Anglerfish, Porophryne erythrodactylus. 11.5m.

We headed along the top of the reef. I was hopeful I could find the small orange Red-fingered anglerfish I'd first found 2 weeks ago and had found again on Thursday and Friday. I had my navigation correct and found it on the same rock I'd seen it on yesterday.

Red-Fingered Anglerfish, Porophryne erythrodactylus. 10.2m.

I had one more Red-fingered Anglerfish to find and we swam straight towards its rock. I spotted a weedy seadragon on the way. The yellow Red-fingered Anglerfish, "Raphael", was in the same spot I'd seen it Thursday and yesterday.

Red-fingered Anglerfish, Porophryne erythrodactylus, ("Raphael"). 10.8m.

We headed for the boulders and Sheree spotted another Weedy Seadragon. This made 9 weedies for the dive, plus 12 pygmy pipehorses and 6 Red-fingered Anglerfish. Not bad at all.

We ascended to Split Rock and did our safety stop before swimming underwater to the exit. I had a very easy exit as the water was over the platform at a height that I could slide in on my knees, take my fins off and stand up. Sheree was not so lucky and got washed onto the rocks. She got out eventually.

Camera gear


Nikon D500


Nikon AF-S Micro Nikkor 60mm f/2.8G ED


Ikelite 6812.5

Lens port

Ikelite Flat Port 5502.41


2 x Ikelite SubStrobe DS161