Dive Details


Logged dive number



Sunday 8 March 2020


1:25pm - 2:59pm


Natasha Smith


Some current and surge


1 to 3 metres


88 minutes

Surface interval

1 day 3:43 (days hh:mm)

Maximum depth

12.5 m

Average depth

9.9 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 was my first dive with Natasha Smith a diver from Toronto that was keen to see the marine life we get here in Sydney. She's heading to South Australia straight after doing 4 days of diving in Sydney. Unfortunately, the dates of her SA trip dictated her diving in Sydney and the tides were not at all favourable.

We had originally planned to dive at Bare Island today with the hope of seeing Red Indianfish but there was a large southerly swell which would have made it difficult to get to the area where the Red Indianfish usually are. Also, the visibility would have been poor especially since we'd be getting in the water only around an hour before low tide.

I took Natasha to The Steps. I know this site so well I can find my way in very low visibility, plus I already knew where a lot of organisms were so I'd be able to show them without having to search.

We geared up and walked down the steps. As the tide was so low we had to put our fins on in the water and wade out. It was tough going over the bar in front of the entry. We descended to Split Rock and then swam to the kelp. The visibility was between 1 and 3 metres. The water temperature was around 19°C.

We swam over the rocks in front of the entry to the sand line and then followed the sand line to Jodi's Rock (the rock where the Pot-bellied Seahorses were in late 2018). We then swam along the sand line to Pipefishes Hole. I found "Teardrop", the male Weedy Seadragon, near Pipefishes Hole. I took some photographs and then Natasha did.

I looked in Pipefishes Hole and only briefly saw the Upside-down Pipefish before it disappeared. It didn't reappear so I didn't both pointing out the hole to Natasha. We'd be back here tomorrow.

I slowly made my way up to Di's Rock, thinking Natasha was right behind me. I then swam along the reef to the larger orange Red-fingered Anglerfish.

I was quite pleased with myself for so easily navigating to the spot considering the poor visibility until I realised I'd lost Natasha. I backtracked to Di's Rock and down to Pipefishes Hole but I couldn't find Natasha at all. I did a quick sweep around the area but with the poor visibility there was little chance we'd find each other. I followed our plan and headed south-west to the boulders and then surfaced. Natasha wasn't there when I surface but she appeared a few minutes later. After making sure all was good we descended again.

I now had a challenge. I'd be starting my navigation without knowing my staring point. We headed north-east over the sand on the upper part of the reef. I then spotted a Tasslesnout Flathead, which was a bonus we probably wouldn't have seen. We stopped to take photographs before continuing.

We headed down the reef towards the sand line and I was looking for rocks that I recognised. I found the Carijoa covered rock above where the large ("pregnant") yellow Red-fingered Anglerfish used to hang out. I now knew where I was and could navigate back to the larger orange Red-fingered Anglerfish. I took some more photographs and pointed it out to Natasha.

We swam along the top of the reef and this time I checked regularly for Natasha. We came to the rock with the large green sponge and then across to David's Rock. I looked for the small yellow Red-fingered Anglerfish that had been just below David's Rock yesterday but I could not see it.

We dropped down to Little Big Rock and then on to the rock where Dom showed me the black Painted Anglerfish yesterday. It was still in the red sponge. The poor visibility meant it was impossible to get a good photograph. I pointed it out to Natasha.

We continued along the reef to Diversity Rock. I had a quick look for pygmies on Diversity Rock before swimming on the long rock near Diversity Rock. I looked for the female pygmy I'd seen on the rock yesterday, but could not find her. I also looked for the male from the previous few dives but couldn't find him either. I couldn't even see any tube-building amphipods. I was bummed to not be able to show Natasha any pygmy pipehorses.

We headed up to the basket star and I pointed it out. While Natasha was photographing the basket star I looked around the area. I spotted a whiteish male pygmy male pygmy (IL2020030801) on the rock where Cody had spotted a greenish male last year. I took some photographs while I was waiting for Natasha to catch up. When she swam up I pointed out the male and then spotted a whiteish female (IL2020030802).

We headed back to David's Rock. I was hoping to find the small yellow Red-fingered Anglerfish but wasn't able to.

We made our way slowly along the top of the reef back to the larger orange Red-fingered Anglerfish. I looked around for the grey I'd seen with Dani a few weeks ago.

We continued along the top of the reef before veering up to the boulders. We ascended to 5 metres and did our safety stops while swimming to Split Rock. We finished our safety stop and surfaced. The tide was too low to be able to swim out. The tide was so low that the exit was very difficult with the small waves seemingly bigger due to the shallow water. We managed to drag ourselves out.