Dive Details


Logged dive number



Saturday 13 July 2019


1:33pm - 3:12pm


Cody Sheridan


Strong current


3 to 20 metres


99 minutes

Surface interval

2 days 17:19 (days hh:mm)

Maximum depth

14.4 m

Average depth

11.0 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 hadn't dived The Steps for 7 weeks but the construction was still occurring so if I wanted to dive there today we'd have to walk from The Monument. I was fine with that idea but it would be dependent on the conditions.

When I arrived at The Monument, PJ and Martin were there for a dive and George and Sue joined them shortly later. They headed down to look at the conditions while I waited for Cody. They came back and reported very strong winds a plume of dirty water along the shoreline at The Monument and were aborting their dive. I was still keen to check out The Steps so Cody and I walked along the rocks to The Steps. The closer we got to entry/exit at The Steps the better the conditions looked. There was no wind at the entry/exit and the water looked clean. While we were there we checked out the construction work. It looks quite good. We headed back to gear up.

We walked along the rocks in our gear towards The Steps. We didn't feel like clambering over the last lot of rocks to get to the normal entry/exit point so we got in at a convenient spot and surface swam to the normal entry/exit point. The surface water was quite cold and milky but cleared up as we approached the entry/exit point.

We descended to the kelp/sand. Visibility was only 3 to 5 metres and the water temperature was between 16 and 17°C. There was no surge at all. We started to swim towards Big Rock were hit by the really strong current.

We headed along the sand line past the rock where "Jodi" and "Stephen" the Pot-bellied Seahorses used to be. The visibility improved dramatically to 10 to 15 metres. Shortly after the rock I spotted an adult female Weedy Seadragon. I took my usual ID photographs and moved on so Cody could video it.

Weedy Seadragon, Phyllopteryx taeniolatus. 12.2m.

Weedy Seadragon, Phyllopteryx taeniolatus. 11.6m.

I continued along the sand line to Pipefishes Hole. I looked in the hole but could not see any pipefishes. I spotted the juvenile Weedy Seadragon near the kelp just out from Pipefishes Hole. It has been hanging around that spot for over 3 months. I turned to see where Cody was and the visibility was so good I could see him still with the first Weedy Seadragon.

Weedy Seadragon, Phyllopteryx taeniolatus. 12.7m.

I headed up the reef to look for Red-fingered Anglerfish. I had seen two in this area on my last dive here on 26 May. I couldn't find any of them.

I could see Cody was still with the first Weedy Seadragon so I wouldn't be able to show him the juvenile. I continued on and kept looking for Red-fingered Anglerfish between Di's Rock and Little Big Rock. Cody caught up as I was going but it was too far back to the juvenile Weedy Seadragon.

I looked on the rock with the large green sponge for the large yellow Red-fingered Anglerfish as that was where I last saw it. It wasn't there. I checked out the large rock behind Little Big Rock and was very pleased to find "David", the Pot-bellied Seahorse, in the sea tulips. I took some photographs and pointed him out to Cody.

Male Pot-bellied Seahorse, Hippocampus abdominalis, ("David"). 11.7m.

I headed over the sand in the direction of New Basket Star Rock. The current made swimming very difficult. I looked around rocks where I have previously seen anglerfish. As I was in from Diversity Rock I spotted a small black Painted Anglerfish sitting on a rock. It was funny that only yesterday I'd had a query from a fellow diver about a small black anglerfish he'd seen at The Steps. I took some photographs which is challenging with a black fish. Cody caught up to me while I was there so I pointed it out to him.

Painted Anglerfish, Antennarius pictus. 11.9m.

I continued on to the basket star and then on to New Basket Star rock. I turned and headed towards the sand line and then back to Diversity Rock. I looked around for the small orange Red-fingered Anglerfish I'd seen in that area 7 weeks ago.

Basket star, Astrosierra amblyconus. 11.8m.

I headed towards Big Rock and the going was still tough due to the current. I swam past the rock where the white male pygmy pipehorse used to be and looked for pygmy pipehorses but found none. I looked around the rock where the one-eyed White's Seahorse used to be for George's orange Red-fingered Anglerfish but could not find it. I looked for the other orange Red-fingered Anglerfish closer to the sand line and could not see it either.

I swam on to Hand Rock and looked for pygmy pipehorses. I then looked on the rock below Hand Rock and spotted a small female pygmy. I took some photographs.

Female Sydney Pygmy Pipehorse, Idiotropiscis lumnitzeri, (IL2019071301). 13.7m.

Female Sydney Pygmy Pipehorse, Idiotropiscis lumnitzeri, (IL2019071301). 13.8m.

I headed over to Big Rock looking for pygmy pipehorses on the way. I looked on Big Rock for pygmy pipehorses and then headed back to the rock below Hand Rock to see if I could find a partner of the pygmy I found. While I was there Cody swam up saying he was going to turn around. I pointed out the pygmy to him and then left him as I started to head back.

Heading towards The Steps was so much easier with the current behind me. I headed away from the sand line and looked on the rocks on the middle sand area. I made my way past the basket star and back to the small black Painted Anglerfish. It tried to get some more photographs.

Painted Anglerfish, Antennarius pictus. 12.1m.

I drifted with the current to "David" and took some more photographs. Cody caught up to me while I was there.

Male Pot-bellied Seahorse, Hippocampus abdominalis, ("David"). 12.1m.

We swam over the reef and I was looking for Red-fingered Anglerfish again. When we got to Di's Rock I took Cody down to show him the juvenile Weedy Seadragon. I took a few photographs myself before heading back up the reef and then on towards the exit.

Weedy Seadragon, Phyllopteryx taeniolatus. 12.5m.

Weedy Seadragon, Phyllopteryx taeniolatus. 12.6m.

I looked around the rocks out from the entry/exit for anglerfish and waited for Cody. I was running low on air so I headed for the boulders. I wasn't going to exit at The Steps and so headed along the boulders towards The Monument while doing my safety stop. The visibility dropped quite a lot the farther I went. I had to surface to see how far I had got. I dropped down and finally recognised the wall just out from the protected area which is my usual entry or exit point when doing The Monument. I ascended and headed over the shelf. The water was just shallow enough that I could touch the bottom with my fins. I walked backwards towards the exit until it was shallow enough to take my fins off and walk out. I waited for Cody who I could see get out at The Steps.

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