Dive Details


Logged dive number



Sunday 8 December 2019


3:53pm - 5:38pm


Tony Anstiss, John Farrant, Mandy Durand


Some current and surge


3 to 8 metres


105 minutes

Surface interval

24:27 (hh:mm)

Maximum depth

12.8 m

Average depth

10.4 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 was a late afternoon dive with Mandy, John and Tony. It was a compromise between me wanting to dive earlier and the others wanting even later. Another dive at The Monument to visit Pygmy Playground but I also wanted to check out the seahorses on the East-West Wall.

It was fairly calm. Mandy and I walked up to the protected area around one third of the way to The Steps. John and Tony got in at the "more usual" Monument entry point. We'd meet at Pygmy Playground.

Mandy and I waded out to the edge of the shelf and then put our fins on. We descended and swam to the sand line. The visibility was 5 to 8 metres at the sand line and the water temperature between 18 and 19°C. There was a gentle current and not much surge. We turned left and headed towards Sutherland Point.

We swam along the sand line. I spotted a Weedy Seadragon in the kelp not far from Block Rock.

Weedy Seadragon, Phyllopteryx taeniolatus. 11.9m.

Weedy Seadragon, Phyllopteryx taeniolatus. 11.8m.

We continued to the Deep Wall. As we swam along the wall I kept and eye out for Weedy Seadragons on the sand but also looked on the wall for anglerfishes and anything else of interest.

We came to the large square rock at the start of Pygmy Playground. I looked in the orange finger sponge and spotted the Dwarf Lionfish.

Dwarf Lionfish, Dendrochirus brachypterus.

I looked on the side of the square rock and spotted the whiteish male pygmy pipehorse (IL2019120107), a cryptic male (IL2019120105) and a two cryptic females(IL2019120801, IL2019120106). Mandy looked on the shelf and I joined her and together we found another three males (IL2019120101, IL2019120102, IL2019120103). There was also a small Nembrotha sp. nudibranch.

Male Sydney Pygmy Pipehorse, Idiotropiscis lumnitzeri, (IL2019120107). 12.2m.

Female Sydney Pygmy Pipehorse, Idiotropiscis lumnitzeri, (IL2019120801). 12.3m.

Female Sydney Pygmy Pipehorse, Idiotropiscis lumnitzeri, (IL2019120106). 12m.

Male Sydney Pygmy Pipehorse, Idiotropiscis lumnitzeri, (IL2019120105). 12.2m.

Male Sydney Pygmy Pipehorse, Idiotropiscis lumnitzeri, (IL2019120101). 11.6m.

Male Sydney Pygmy Pipehorse, Idiotropiscis lumnitzeri, (IL2019120102). 12.2m.

Nudibranch, Nembrotha purpureolineata. 12.1m.

Male Sydney Pygmy Pipehorse, Idiotropiscis lumnitzeri, (IL2019120103). 11.8m.

I headed along the based of the wall to where Tony had found a male Weedy Seadragon with eggs. I took some photographs before the four of us swam up over the wall to the area behind it.

Weedy Seadragon, Phyllopteryx taeniolatus. 12.7m.

Eggs on the tail of a male Weedy Seadragon, Phyllopteryx taeniolatus. 12.6 m.

Weedy Seadragon, Phyllopteryx taeniolatus. 12.7m.

John looked in the area behind the wall for "Bob", the orange Painted Anglerfish he's seen numerous times over the last few months. He found him in a red finger sponge on the slope.

Painted Anglerfish, Antennarius pictus, ("Bob"). 9.8m.

Tony found another Weedy Seadragon in the kelp near Carijoa Rock. I swam down and took some photographs.

Weedy Seadragon, Phyllopteryx taeniolatus. 12.4m.

Weedy Seadragon, Phyllopteryx taeniolatus. 12.2m.

I came back via Slope Rock and then swam along the reef to look for the orange Red-fingered Anglerfish we've seen recently. I spotted it quite quickly. I took some photographs and then headed up to Seahorse Rock to look for Nembrotha sp. nudibranchs. I spotted one on the side of Seahorse Rock.

Red-fingered Anglerfish, Porophryne erythrodactylus. 10m.

Red-fingered Anglerfish, Porophryne erythrodactylus. 9.9m.

Red-fingered Anglerfish, Porophryne erythrodactylus. 9.8m.

Nudibranch, Nembrotha purpureolineata. 8.6m.

Nudibranch, Nembrotha purpureolineata. 8.6m.

I dropped back to the reef near the orange anglerfish and made sure the others had seen it before continuing along the reef. I swam past Split Rock and on to the rock with the Dendronephthya colony. I found the pink male pygmy pipehorse but could not find the female. I also looked on the next rock for the grey Red-fingered Anglerfish I'd spotted last Sunday and couldn't see it.

Male Sydney Pygmy Pipehorse, Idiotropiscis lumnitzeri, (IL2019112303). 12m.

The others caught up to me and John spotted the pink female pygmy pipehorse and then the grey Red-fingered Anglerfish which was on the rock I was looking on but was hidden in a hole.

Female Sydney Pygmy Pipehorse, Idiotropiscis lumnitzeri, (IL2019112302). 11.7m.

Red-fingered Anglerfish, Porophryne erythrodactylus. 11.4m.

I left the others at this point because I wanted to go look for the seahorses. I swam along the reef and encountered two separate Weedy Seadragons along the NW-SE Wall.

Weedy Seadragon, Phyllopteryx taeniolatus. 11.3m.

Weedy Seadragon, Phyllopteryx taeniolatus. 10.9m.

Weedy Seadragon, Phyllopteryx taeniolatus. 10.6m.

Weedy Seadragon, Phyllopteryx taeniolatus. 10.8m.

At the end of the wall I cut up to the corner. I spotted an orange Red-fingered Anglerfish on a rock behind a feather duster worm on the way up to the corner.

Red-fingered Anglerfish, Porophryne erythrodactylus. 9.5m.

Red-fingered Anglerfish, Porophryne erythrodactylus. 9.4m.

At the start of the East-West Wall I looked on the shelf for pygmy pipehorses but found none. Just after the shelf I found another orange Red-fingered Anglerfish.

Red-fingered Anglerfish, Porophryne erythrodactylus. 10.4m.

Red-fingered Anglerfish, Porophryne erythrodactylus. 10.3m.

I swam along the base of the wall to the white honeycomb sponge and orange finger sponge where I have seen the seahorses. They weren't there. I looked around on the same rock and found "Jose" at the other end of the rock on a purple sponge. I looked on the adjacent rocks for "Tim" but could not find him.

Male Pot-bellied Seahorse, Hippocampus abdominalis, ("Jose"). 10.8m.

Male Pot-bellied Seahorse, Hippocampus abdominalis, ("Jose"). 10.8m.

I was quite low on air so I ascended the wall and started my safety stop as I swam along the top of the wall. I wouldn't have enough air to get to the beach to I turned south over the kelp and headed for the protected side of the point. I finished my safety stop and swam south until it was too shallow and waded out.

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