Dive Details


Logged dive number



Sunday 16 February 2020


12:30pm - 2:00pm


Slight current and some surge


1 to 2 metres


90 minutes

Surface interval

8 days 2:21 (days hh:mm)

Maximum depth

14.6 m

Average depth

11.4 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.














After a week of very torrential rain and big seas I had low expectations for today's conditions. I figured if it was safe enough to dive I'd go check out the impact of the big seas and also see whether any of the regular animals were still around, especially the seahorse. Seahorses don't seem to do all that well during big seas.

The forecast was for a southerly to south-easterly swell of around 1.5 metres. The swell didn't look too bad at all when I arrived however the water was very brown, mostly from the rain I expect. That would probably translate to less than a metre of visibility but if I could get one metre it would be enough and if it stretched to 2 even better.

I geared up and walked down. I jumped in and put my fins on in the water. I could barely see my fins as I put them on. As I was on the surface Alex and 2 other divers surfaced. They had just done 50 minutes. I asked Alex about the viz and his answer was "No viz". That didn't sound good at all.

I waved then goodbye and descended slowly. I actually managed to see the bottom as I approached so it wasn't all that bad. The visibility was probably around a metre. There was a small amount of surge and no noticeable current. The water temperature was between 19 and 20°C. I went to the compass on my Perdix and headed east over the kelp to the sand line.

I hadn't gone far when I spotted a smallish Weedy Seadragon. See? It wasn't all that bad. I took some photographs (for identification, mostly) and then continued east.

I sort of found the edge of the kelp and then turned right. I hadn't gone far when I came across another Weedy Seadragon. The dive wouldn't be too bad at all.

I eventually came to the rock where the Pot-bellied Seahorses had been in late 2018. I looked around the complex of rocks to see what I could find, hoping for a Red-fingered Anglerfish. All I found was a Asterodiscus truncatus sea star. These sea stars are very pretty but I don't see them often.

I headed over the rock and back to the sand line. I spotted what I thought was another Weedy Seadragon but it turned out to be the second one that I had already seen.

I continued to Pipefishes Hole. There was a large octopus in the hole. I doubt I would have seen any pipefishes with the conditions.

I headed over the kelp past Pipefishes Hole and continued towards Little Big Rock. I spotted a pufferfish. With the visibility I concentrated more on the detail on the rocks but still managed to navigate to Little Big Rock.

I worked my way up from Little Big Rock to the rock where the Pot-bellied seahorses have been. This was what I'd come for. I looked all over and under the rock. I was not able to find any of the three seahorses that have been here for months. "David" had been around this rock for over a year. I'm hopeful that they may still be around because it was a long time after the last storm in 2016 before we had regular seahorses hanging around.

I swam over to the rock with the large green sponge and looked for the pygmies there but could not find them.

I headed towards the basket star or at least where the basket star had been. It got moved by the storm of 2016. The visibility had improved slightly making navigation a little easier. As I swam I noticed that a lot of sand had been washed away from the base of many rocks. Sometimes as much as a metre of sand.

I made my way past the rock where the black Painted Anglerfish spent a lot of time. I then headed to the rock where the basket star had been. The sponge it normally lives on had some torn pieces but fortunately, the basket star was still there.

I headed down to Diversity Rock. I was hoping the pair of white pygmy pipehorses had made it through the rough seas. I was not able to find them after much looking on the rock. The storm of 2016 did much more damage and yet a pair of pygmy pipehorses on Diversity Rock made it though.

As I was swimming over the long rock between Diversity Rock and the sand line I spotted a small whiteish male pygmy pipehorse. I took some photographs and then looked for his partner. I didn't find his partner but I did find a tiny juvenile.

I started to head towards Sponge Hollow when I spotted a school of Striped Catfish. I continued towards Sponge Hollow checking out the rocks along the way. I spotted a juvenile Eastern Smooth Boxfish.

I found Sponge Hollow and looked for the Miamira magnifica nudibranch. I couldn't find it.

I dropped down to the rock where the pair of pink pygmy pipehorses had been. They weren't here on my last dive but I looked anyway. I still couldn't find them.

I made my way to Long Rock. It wasn't easy as the visibility had dropped a bit. I looked for pygmy pipehorses and spotted a cryptic female. As I was photographing her she let go and started floating around. I pushed her back to the rock.

I turned around and headed back to The Steps. I swam over the reef and spotted the Striped Catfish again. I looked on the long rock near Diversity Rock for the whiteish male pygmy I had seen before. As I was photographing it I noticed a female hanging on the same alga. I assume she was his partner.

I checked Diversity Rock again but was still unable to find any pygmies.

I headed up near the basket star and then over to the rock where the black Painted Anglerfish had spent a bit of time. I looked for pygmy pipehorses but found none.

I swam to the rock where the seahorses had been and had another look for them but still could not see them.

I continued along the top of the reef looking for anything of interest but the only thing I found was another juvenile Eastern Smooth Boxfish.

I found DI's Rock, which was a bit of a challenge in the visibility and then headed towards the exit. I was hoping to find the rocks in front of the exit but got a bit lost and for safety headed to the boulders. I found the Pleiseastrea colonies. I knew my way from here. I did my safety stop as I swam to Split Rock. I finished my safety stop and then slowly ascended while heading towards the exit. I surfaced out from the exit as I didn't know how rough it was. It wasn't that rough and I swam in. As I was about to get on to the platform a couple of big sets came in so I floated out until they had gone. I then made my way back in, kneeled on the platform and took my fins off, stood up and walked out.