Dive Details


Logged dive number



Saturday 29 February 2020


9:09am - 11:35am


Slight current and some surge


2 to 5 metres


146 minutes

Surface interval

6 days 22:10 (days hh:mm)

Maximum depth

21.5 m

Average depth

13.8 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 would be only my second dive this year at The Leap. Most years I dive The Leap on average more than once per week but for various reasons I've only been able to dive one time before today. Today was Leap Day and so a once in 4 year opportunity to dive The Leap.

The forecast was for good conditions with a 1-1.5m southerly swell and the tides were perfect, too. I brought the twin 10.5L tanks for a nice slow dive. I was also keen to check out the damage from the storm and check on Clyde and other Weedy Seadragons.

It looked rougher than I expected when I arrived, not that it was actually rough, and the water didn't look as clear as I was hoping. Nevertheless, I took my tanks and weights down and then got ready and walked down. The low platform only had a low waves washing over it so I was able to get in there. I swam out on the surface before descending. From the surface the visibility looked to be less than 5 metres. I swam at around 60° to the sand line, reaching somewhere in the middle of the amphitheatre. The visibility was less than 3 metres and ot was difficult to work out where I was. The water temperature was around 18°C and I was so glad i was in my drysuit. There was a lot of surge but the current wasn't all that noticeable.

I swam around to try to work out where I was but the poor viz made it difficult. I found the rock where I found my first pink pygmy seahorse back in October 2014 so I thought I was right. From here I swam in the appropriate direction to get me to First Rock but I couldn't find it. I found Bob & Lucy Rock and so used it for navigation. I then found the large flat rock with sponges and thought I should be able to find First Rock from here. I couldn't. I don't know if it was my poor navigation or something has happened to First Rock since the storm.

I followed the sand line past Bob & Lucy Rock again and continued towards Seahorse Rock. The poor visibility meant I only knew where I was as I got close to each rock I recognised. I came to Ian's Pygmy Rock and looked for pygmies but found none.

I found my way to Seahorse Rock and then looked on the rock behind it for pygmies. There had been a pair here on my last dive but I wasn't able to find any. The rock seem to have less algae and hydroids so perhaps the pygmies got washed away.

I swam slowly to the overhang which was difficult to find. I don't believe there were any Weedy Seadragons under the overhang but it was quite dark and there was a lot of kelp. Just past the overhang I found a juvenile weedy. It was around 10 centimetres long. It was difficult to get photographs due to the swell and visibility. I looked around the are for more weedies but found none.

I followed the sand line past Southern Cross Rock and into Seadragon Alley. I found nothing of interest in Seadragon Alley. I was checking most of the rocks with sponges for the missing seahorses from The Steps. With the storm they could have ended up anywhere. It is diffiult to look for medium sized organisms in poor visibility with my eyesight. Looking over the lenses in my mask works well for longer distances but the poor visibility means I don't see much. I have to be a lot closer to the rocks but then it is too close without the lenses so I have to put my head at a weird angle to look through the lenses on the bottom of my mask.

I looked around the are at the end of Seadragon Alley for Weedy Seadragons and also on the sponge covered rocks for seahorses.

As I was making my way towards Big Rock I spotted an adult female Weedy Seadragon. I took photographs of her and continued. I spotted a large Three-bar Porcupine Fish before I reached Big Rock. I had a bit of trouble finding Big Rock because of the poor visibility and also the amount of sand that had been moved by the storm changed the look of many of the rocks. Just before Big Rock I swam over a Fiddler Ray.

The visibility seemed to improve around Big Rock and I may have had around 5 metres. There was still quite a bit of particulate matter in the water. The surge had died down a bit.

I swam past Hand Rock and Slope Rock and on to Long Rock. I looked on Long Rock for pygmy pipehorses and initially couldn't find any. I then spotted a small male. I looked for others but found none.

I headed up to High Pygmy Rock and the rock where the large orange Red-fingered Anglerfish had had eggs. I spotted a Green Moray out and about.

I swam over to the rock where the pink pygmies had been. I haven't seen them for a couple of weeks but I always look on that rock.

I continued to Sponge Hollow. I looked for the Miamira flavicostata (note not M. magnifica) nudibranch but couldn't see it.

I followed the reef to Diversity Rock. I checked the long rock near Diversity Rock for the pygmies I've seen there on the last two dives. I spotted the male (IL2020021601). I looked for the female but couldn't find her. I did spot a tube-building amphipod.

I swam up to the basket star. I still had plenty of air so I headed south-east along the top of the reef looking for anglerfishes, seahorses, or anything else I could find. I looked on rocks where I have previously seen good stuff but found nothing of interest other than a large octopus that took off before I could get a photograph.

I came back via the basket star and then bumped into George and Paula. George was photographing the Zebra Lionfish Dani and I saw last weekend. It had move a little closer to Little Big Rock. I told George about the pygmy and took him and Paula to see it. I pointed it out and then went back to the Zebra Lionfish to take photographs.

I headed towards the rock where the seahorses had been. I looked for the small yellow Red-fingered Anglerfish I'd seen last Saturday but it had moved. As I was looking I was surrounded by a huge school of quite large Yellow-tailed Kingfish. They swam around me for minutes and did not seem to be worried by my breathing. I could have shot some video but I was enjoying the moment.

I looked for pygmy pipehorses on the rock just before the seahorses' rock but found none. I did a sweep of the seahorses' rock and spotted the small yellow Red-fingered Anglerfish low down on The Steps side of the rock. I believe this is the same one I saw last Saturday towards the basket star.

I swam along the top of the reef towards Di's Rock. I stopped at the large rock with sea tulips where i had seen the grey Red-fingered Anglerfish last Saturday. It wasn't there. I looked on the rock next to it in the hole where a grey Red-fingered Anglerfish had been sitting with eggs for some time. There was a large yellow with red markings Red-fingered Anglerfish in the same hole. I couldn't see any eggs.

I continued to Di's Rock and then down to Pipefishes Hole. I looked in the hole and spotted an Upside-down Pipefish. I tried to get photographs but there was too much particulate matter in the water.

I headed along the sand line. I was hoping to see "Teardrop", the male Weedy Seadragon. I didn't see him, either before the rock where the rock where the Pot-bellied Seahorses were in late 2018 or after. I stayed at the sand line right up until the rocks in front of the exit and still couldn't find him.

I looked around all the rocks in front of the exit for anglerfish but found none. I then ascended to the boulders, found Split Rock and started my safety stop. After finishing my safety stop I swam underwater to the exit. The exit was quite easy.