Dive Details



Thursday 11 April 2019


10:28am - 12:06pm




2 to 8 metres


98 minutes

Surface interval

1 day 22:43 (days hh:mm)

Maximum depth

13.2 m

Average depth

10.3 m

Water temperature



Dive Profile from Citizen Hyper Aqualand

Tides at Botany Bay AEST

Note that tides at dive site may vary from above location.











I had to work yesterday but the swell was meant to be large so I didn't miss much. I hoped conditions would recover quickly and today would be a good dive. It was time to visit The Monument as I don't come here often enough.

I got in at the protected area between Sutherland Point and The Steps and waded right out to the drop off. I then floated out and put my fins on. I descended and swam towards the sand line. The visibility was 5 to 8 metres and there was barely any surge. There was some current with the incoming tide. The water temperature was just under 21°C. I turned left and headed towards Sutherland Point.

I swam past Block Rock and the following sponge covered rock. I was specifically looking for Red-fingered Anglerfish as I hadn't seen any on my last dive.

I continued on to Pygmy Hollow. I hadn't seen any pygmies here on my last dive but the surge had making looking difficult. It was quite calm so looking was easy but I was unable to find any pygmies in the area.

I looked around Honey's Rock for anglerfish but found none.

I swam on the the Deep Wall. Again my focus was looking for Red-fingered Anglerfish. I also looked for seahorses where the Pot-bellied Seahorses used to be. As I was swimming along the part of the Deep Wall where the Carijoa colonies are I noticed a grey Red-fingered Anglerfish.

Red-Fingered Anglerfish, Porophryne erythrodactylus. 11.4m.

Red-Fingered Anglerfish, Porophryne erythrodactylus. 12.1m.

I continued to the end of the wall and then went up and over. I carefully checked the rock just over the top of the wall for anglerfish and pygmy pipehorses but found none.

I swam down to Carijoa Rock. Much of the Carijoa has grown back. I looked for pygmy pipehorses but couldn't find any.

I headed up past Slope Rock and the surrounding rocks and again looked for pygmy pipehorses, especially on Slope Rock. I found none.

I swam up and around Seahorse Rock. I spotted a Nembrotha purpureolineata nudibranch laying eggs on an ascidian, the species they normally eat.

Nudibranch, Nembrotha purpureolineata. 8.4m.

I headed down to the slope below Seahorse Rock and looked for "Nia", the brown White's Seahorse, although I really didn't expect to see her there.

I swam along the reef towards Sutherland Point. I had a close look at Split Rock and spotted a small orange Red-fingered anglerfish. Last time I dive The Monument I didn't see any anglerfish and I've seen two already.

Red-Fingered Anglerfish, Porophryne erythrodactylus. 10.6m.

Red-Fingered Anglerfish, Porophryne erythrodactylus. 10.7m.

I continued along the reef checking out rocks for pygmies and anglerfish. I swam up to the rock with the hole on the side where I had seen the Red-fingered anglerfish mating in January. I had not seen any anglerfish in the hole since then. Today there was a grey Red-fingered Anglerfish there, perhaps the female of the pair I'd seen mating. I checked out the area a bit more before moving on.

Red-Fingered Anglerfish, Porophryne erythrodactylus. 10.8m.

Red-Fingered Anglerfish, Porophryne erythrodactylus. 10.9m.

I headed down to Valley of the Pygmies. I felt certain I would find some pygmies here. I checked out the slope first but was not able to find any pygmies at all, even in all the usual spots. I then check the rock with sponges and Carijoa. I found none there, not even the large white male that had been here 3 weeks ago. Where had all the pygmies gone?

As I headed off I spotted a small Reaper Cuttlefish and then an octopus.

I swam along the NW-SE Wall and spotted a moray eel in a hole. As I had a closer look I noticed it had a clingfish on its back. I tried to get some photographs of the clingfish.

I cut the corner and swam up to the end of the East-West Wall. I looked around on the large Carijoa covered rock for anglerfish but found none. I then checked out The Shelf for pygmies but found none. This was quickly becoming my first dive at The Monument with no pygmy sightings.

I swam along the base of the East-West Wall. I was hoping to see "Naomi", the White's seahorse. I got to her area and found a juvenile Eastern Smooth Boxfish and a Dwarf Lionfish. I looked in one of the lower orange sponges and found "Naomi".

I continued along the wall, hoping I'd be able to find Mandy's pygmies and so I would at least have a sighting or two. I got to their rock and scoured it. I could not find either of them. That was it. My first dive at The Monument on over a year where I hadn't seen at least one pygmy pipehorse.

I ascended the wall and headed south to the beach while doing my safety stop. I got out in front of the flagpoles.

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