Dive Details


Logged dive number



Sunday 1 March 2020


10:23am - 12:34pm


Strong current at times


3 to 8 metres


130 minutes

Surface interval

22:47 (hh:mm)

Maximum depth

13.3 m

Average depth

10.2 m

Water temperature



Dive Profile from Citizen Hyper Aqualand

Tides at Bare Island AEDT

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














It has been over 6 weeks since I last got to dive both days on the weekend so I was going to make the most of it. I hadn't dived The Monument since the storm and I wanted to see what was still around, particularly the seahorses. As they are on the East-West Wall I thought they were probably unaffected but the only way to be sure was to find them. John had told me there were no pygmies at Pygmy Playground but also that there was a Golden Egg Cowrie again.

It was a hot day but I still thought my drysuit was the best option, especially after having 18°C yesterday. I ditched the bottom layer of thermals to be a little cooler. There was a large group from Abyss getting ready as I was gearing up and they left for their dive before I was ready.

I walked down to the water's edge and the Abyss group weren't in the water yet. They were getting in at the small bay. I walked along the rocks to the protected area towards The Steps. I walked out to the edge of the ledge and dropped into the water and put my fins on. I felt water leaking into the suit through my pee valve. I reached down and realised the retaining ring was very loose and needed multiple turns to tighten it. The leaking stopped.

I descended to the base of the ledge and then swam up over the kelp and down to the sand line. The visibility was not great initially but improved to over 5 metres by the time I reached the sand line. The current was quite strong but there was almost no surge. The water temperature was around 18°C. I was so glad I was in my drysuit. I turned left and headed towards Sutherland Point.

I swam along the sand line to Block Rock. I looked for pygmy pipehorses along the way. I especially looked at the rock with Carijoa straight out from Block Rock as I'd seen a pair of pygmies here last dive. I found none.

I checked out Block Rock and the adjacent rock with sponges. I was hoping that maybe one of the seahorses was there but I found nothing of interest.

I continued to the rock where "Honey", the Pot-bellied Seahorse had been in 2013. I then looked around the sponge in the area for seahorses. I spotted an Umbrella Snail. I also checked out Pygmy Hollow but found no pygmies.

I swam to the wall and along it. I was swimming through thermoclines all the way and the temperature was bouncing between 18 and 19°C.

I looked in Pygmy Playground for pygmies. I checked the side of the square rock first and then along the ledge area. I found no pygmies but I did find a female White's Seahorse. I then spotted a small White's Seahorse around 3cm high. Photography was difficult because of the current.

I did a sweep of the area looking for seahorses before continuing along the wall. I checked out the kelp for Weedy Seadragons and found a female. I took photographs of her. I had just finished taking photographs when I heard the group form Abyss swim up. They were floundering and kicking up the bottom. I got away from them as soon as I could.

I went up the reef to Slope Rock and the surrounding rocks, The visibility was quite poor now but I assume that was from the group swimming through. I found nothing of interest.

I headed up past Seahorse Rock to the area where the Capnella colonies are. I was hoping to find the Golden Egg Cowrie that John had mentioned. I swam along the whole area of the colonies but didn't fine it.

I swam back past Seahorse Rock and down to the reef. The visibility had improved again. I looked around the rock but found nothing of interest.

I continued along the reef to Split Rock. I checked out the sponges on Split Rock hoping to find seahorses. I then looked in the crevice above Split Rock for the Upside-down Pipefish but couldn't see them.

I swam on to the rock with orange encrusting sponge. I looked for the orange Red-fingered Anglerfish I'd seen there previously but couldn't find it. I did find a juvenile Eastern Smooth Boxfish. A couple of rocks farther along I spotted a largish orange Red-fingered Anglerfish.

I headed to the rock where the Dendronephthya colony used to be and where there had been a pair of pygmy pipehorses. I found nothing on that rock nor on the next rock where the grey Red-fingered Anglerfish had been. I then spotted a tiny grey Red-fingered Anglerfish on a rock closer to the sand line. I have seen a few orange ones this size but never a grey.

I looked around the rocks in the area for anglerfish and pygmies and made my way to Four Pygmies Rock. I haven't seen any pygmies on this rock for over a year but today I found a pair and they were together. I was able to get some nice photographs of both of them in focus.

I headed back up the reef to the rock with the hole on the side which seems popular with Red-fingered Anglerfish (and where I saw a pair mating a year ago). There was nothing in the hole. I looked on the two large rocks above that rock and in the gap between them next to the white honeycomb sponge. I spotted a very well camouflaged orange Red-fingered Anglerfish. It looked very much like one of those that had been mating a year ago. If it is, it hasn't moved very far.

I dropped back down to the sand line and followed it to the Valley of the Pygmies. Last time I'd dived at The Monument their had been a single male pygmy pipehorse remaining on the castle but John had said he couldn't find any. I also couldn't find any on the rock after making a number of sweeps. I did spot a male Weedy Seadragon just out from the rock. I made one more sweep of the castle and spotted a blenny hiding in a hole.

I swam over to the three rocks at the base of the wall. I was hoping to find the grey Red-fingered Anglerfish I'd seen on the last couple of dives. I made a sweep of all three rocks but found nothing.

I continued along the base of the wall and then up the slope towards the corner. I swam to the top of the reef and checked out the rocks near the corner, including the large Carijoa covered rock. I checked the rock just before the ledge for the pygmy pipehorses I've seen there a couple of times but couldn't see it.

I looked on the ledge and spotted a small female pygmy pipehorse in a Carijoa colony. I looked for a male and found one nearby. It is great that there are pygmies back on the shelf.

I checked out the rocks around the shelf for the orange Red-fingered Anglerfish I have seen there recently but was not able to find it.

I followed the base of the wall to the area where the seahorses have been. I spotted "Jose" immediately, He was in the purple sponge on the wall side of the main rock. I looked around the area for over 20 minutes trying to find "Gracie" or "Tim" but I could not find them.

I ascended the wall and started my safety stop while I swam along the top of the wall. Once I finished my safety stop I turned south and headed for the shore. I spotted an octopus and a small Mourning Cuttlefish along the way.

I swam until it was too shallow. I stood up removed my fins and waded out.