Dive Details


Logged dive number



Saturday 4 July 2020


7:34am - 9:39am


Slight current and almost no surge


10 to 20 metres


125 minutes

Surface interval

1 day 15:46 (days hh:mm)

Maximum depth

14.5 m

Average depth

11.3 m

Water temperature



Dive Profile from Citizen Hyper Aqualand

Tides at Botany Bay AEST

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














Today I did an early dive at The Steps. High tide was around 7:30am so my plan was to get in as close to 7:30am as I could and get the best of the conditions. The forecast was also for calm conditions so I was optimistic for a great dive.

I geared up quickly and got in to the water just after 7:30am. It was so calm at the entry point and the tide was high enough that I could just slide in. I swam out on the surface and the visibility looked fantastic. I descended and headed for the rocks in front of the entrance. The visibility was at least 10 metres. There was no current and barely any surge. The water temperature was around 17°C.

I went straight to the rock where Natalia found a small orange Painted Anglerfish two weeks ago. I managed to find the anglerfish straight away. I'm so happy it has hung around.

I headed to the edge of the kelp, turned right and then swam along the sand line towards Big Rock. I was expecting to see some Weedy Seadragons in the kelp but was disappointed to get to Jodi's Rock without seeing a single one.

I continued past Jodi's Rock and on towards Pipefishes Hole. As I neared Pipefishes Hole I spotted three Weedy Seadragons: a male and female swimming together and "Teardrop", who has eggs. The ones swimming together may have been getting ready to transfer eggs from the female to the male. I was tempted to stay, but I also had other animals to find. I just took ID photographs of all three and some video of the two swimming together.

I had a look in Pipefishes Hole for pipefishes but saw none. It has been a few months since I saw the Sawtooth Pipefish there and even longer since the Upside-down Pipefish.

I headed up to Di's Rock and then along to the next rock where the orange Red-fingered Anglerfish has been. It is now on the north-western corner of the rock.

I then headed back towards the sand line to look for the grey Red-fingered Anglerfish. I hadn't seen it for since three weeks ago but I keep hoping to find it again.

I continued along the sand line to Little Big Rock and then headed up to Skye's Rock (the rock where the Pot-bellied Seahorses were until the storm in February). "Ash", the black Painted Anglerfish, was still in the red chimney sponge where it's been for the last few weeks.

I looked around the are for the other orange Red-fingered Anglerfish, including in Little Big Rock but couldn't find it.

I headed along the sand line towards Diversity Rock. I remembered I'd spotted a small pygmy pipehorse two weeks ago when diving with Natalia and Greg and wondered if it was still there. It was on the same rock I found the small orange Painted Anglerfish on a couple of years ago. I looked and found the pygmy pipehorse.

From here I headed straight up to where I had found the male red Stigmatopora sp. pipefish on Thursday. I was thrilled he was still there. I looked around in some of the other alga but found no more.

I bypassed the basket star (thinking I'd see it on the way back) and headed towards the sand line. I looked in the large green sponge where the Zebra Lionfish has been and it was still there. It was there on Thursday but not last Sunday.

I swam down to the small red female pygmy pipehorse. It was in its usual spot and had a snail under the tip of her snout.

I continued along the reef to the rock where I spotted the small black Painted Anglerfish on Thursday. It wasn't where I had seen it. I searched the rock and found it almost hidden on a sponge.

A little farther along the reef I searched a flat rock for pygmies. I'm sure I had seen one here a couple of weeks ago. I ended up finding two together, although they both appear to be males.

I swam on to the rock with the white male and pink female pygmy pipehorses and the small red male on the lower rock. I found the small male first and then checked the main rock finding the pink female and then the white male.

I moved on to the next rock and spotted the reddish male on top of the rock. I looked lower down the rock and was surprised to find another male as well as the small female I have seen previously.

I continued along the reef past Big Rock and on t the area where the red Stigmatopora sp. pipefish had been. I had another look for the small orange Painted Anglerfish that Natalia found on the 20th but had no lock.

I headed farther towards The Leap looking for the young male Weedy Seadragon with eggs. I found him in the same spot I'd seen him on Thursday. I looked for the other male that had been in the area last Sunday but could not find it. I also couldn't find the Nembrotha purpureolineata nudibranch.

I headed up to the upper sand area and started looking for red alga clumps in the hope of finding the female red Stigmatopora sp. pipefish. While I was looking I came across the male Weedy Seadragon that's missing the end of his tail.

I swam up to the base of the boulders and noticed a Blue Groper being cleaned. It was a cleaning station being worked by Eastern Cleaner Clingfish. The Blue Groper moved off and I was able to take some photographs of the clingfish.

I headed south-east in search of more red algae which I found but there were no pipefish in them. I turned and headed north-west again and came across a large juvenile Weedy Seadragon. This was weedy number 6 for the dive.

I stayed above the reef looking for more red algae. I swam past the top of Big Rock and just near Slope Rock I spotted another Weedy Seadragon. This one appeared to be a male and was #7 for the dive. I also spotted an octopus nearby,

I continued along the top of the reef back to the Zebra Lionfish and on to the male Red Stigmatopora sp. pipefish. I took some more photographs.

I started looking around the area for more red algae and hopefully more pipefish. While I was looking I came across an Eastern Frogfish looking out at the world.

I then noticed a large field of red algae. I don't think I have seen this field before. I got very excited and started looking in it. Then I spotted a pipefish. My excitement grew. I looked some more and almost squealed with joy when I spotted a second one. It was another pair. I felt so bad having to collect the male from the other pair and while I still feel bad, seeing another pair lessened my pain a bit. I was able to clearly see the male's markings. I didn't want to leave them. They are so beautiful!

I stayed high on the reef and looked for the large orange Red-fingered Anglerfish again but to no avail. I stopped at Skye's Rock and took some more photographs of "Ash".

I swam slowly towards Di's Rock, looking for anglerfishes on the way. I stopped at the other orange Red-fingered Anglerfish for some more photographs.

I headed back to the sand line and to near Pipefishes Hole. I couldn't see any of the three Weedy Seadragons I'd seen at the start of the dive. I had half expected to see another male with eggs.

I swam along the sand line towards The Steps and I was nearly at Jodi's Rock before I saw "Teardrop". He had moved quite a bit during my dive.

I swam past Jodi's Rock and spotted an octopus. I continued along the sand line and as I approached the rocks near the exit I spotted another male Weedy Seadragon in the kelp. This was number 8. I never did see the two that were together at the start of the dive.

I headed up to the rock where Natalia's orange Painted Anglerfish was and took a few more photographs before heading to Split Rock for my safety stop.

I completed my safety stop and swam underwater to the exit. I had to wait underwater for three other divers to exit first.