Dive Details


Logged dive number



Saturday 8 August 2020


8:33am - 10:39am


Moderate current and strong surge


3 to 5 metres


126 minutes

Surface interval

2 days 22:35 (days hh:mm)

Maximum depth

21.1 m

Average depth

13.8 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.














Conditions had been great on Wednesday. Even though the swell on Thursday and Friday was quite large, people reported good conditions. I thought The Leap would be OK today, despite the forecast including some easterly swell. I checked out The Steps on my way through to The Leap and it looked OK and I didn't think I'd have a problem getting out there,

I geared up and walked down. There were some large sets coming through meaning the low platform was not a safe entry point so I slid down the wall next to it. It was choppy on the surface and the visibility didn't look great.

I descended and headed at around 60° to the sand line. There was a lot of surge and some current which meant I had to keep correcting my bearing. I arrived at the amphitheatre. The visibility was around 5 metres with a lot of particulate matter in the water,. There was a lot of surge. The water temperature was around 16°C.

I started to look for sea spiders. The first spot I looked on the first rock I looked, I found perhaps as many as 8 sea spiders in the algae. There were a few pairs mating as well as males with eggs. It was difficult to photograph them due to the surge which was not only moving the algae the sea spiders were in but it was also moving me around.

I headed to First Rock in the Feild of Pygmies and looked for the male Weedy Seadragon with eggs I'd seen two weeks ago. I couldn't see it anywhere in the area.

I followed the sand line towards Seahorse Rock. I looked for Weedy Seadragons along the way. I stopped at Ian's Pygmy Rock and looked for more sea spiders and pygmies. I found the usual Weedy Seadragon just before Seahorse Rock.

I looked on Rosie's Rock for the pair of pygmies. I was only able to find the red female and I could not find the cryptic male. The surge was strong and it was difficult to stay still to just look and even harder to take photographs.

I headed to the overhang and found a large school of Striped Catfish just before the overhang. Clyde's female Weedy Seadragon was under the overhang.

I went into the gap after the rock after the overhang and found a male Weedy Seadragon there. It was difficult to photograph due to the surge. I looked around for the juvenile weedy but could not see it.

I headed out over Bent Stick rock and looked for weedies as I headed towards Southern Cross Rock. I hadn't gone far when I spotted the juvenile weedy on the edge of the low rock after Bent Stick Rock.

I continued on my way towards Southern Cross Rock and spotted a smaller juvenile Weedy Seadragon with an Eastern Cleaner Clingfish on its back.

I swam over Southern Cross Rock and continued on into Seadragon Alley. I looked on the rock where I have seen a red male pygmy pipehorse and spotted a cryptic female I had not seen before. I took some photographs and then looked for the red male. I eventually found him. I looked around the area for a Weedy Seadragon I had seen nearby last time.

I didn't find any Weedy Seadragons in Seadragon Alley at all but just after I left Seadragon Alley I found two Weedy Seadragons swimming together: a male and a female. They may have been preparing to court. I would have stayed and watched them if the conditions had been better. As soon as I started taking photographs of them they split up.

I swam along the sand line to the spot where "Lefty", the male Weedy Seadragon who is missing his right body appendage, stays. He was there and still has his eggs.

I headed towards Big Rock at the top of the reef and was surprised to find "Stumpy", the Weedy Seadragon with the short tail, was on the edge of the reef. I have long wondered if his short tail would allow him to attract a mate and carry eggs. He had eggs!

I swam past the top of Big Rock and dropped down to the rock with the blue sponges. I looked again for the pygmy pipehorse I'd seen a week ago but still could not find it.

I followed the sand line to the rock where I had seen "Britt", the Pot-bellied Seahorse, had been for the last two dives. She wasn't in the sea tulips she'd been in. I looked all around the rock and on the adjacent rocks but could not find her. I looked for the pygmy pipehorses on the same rock and found the brown male. While i was there, Steve Heapy and his daughter swam up and I pointed out the pygmy pipehorse. I looked for the other two pygmies on the rock but could not find them.

I continued to the next rock where the white male and pink female pygmy pipehorse have been. I initially couldn't find the male so I looked for, and found the female. I then looked for the male again. The surge did not make it easy but I eventually found him.

I swam to the rock where the small black Painted Anglerfish has been and spotted a small octopus on the way. I looked for the anglerfish but it was not on the rock. I then noticed it on the adjacent rock, closer to Big Rock.

I headed to the rock with the two pink pygmies. I spotted the male first and then the female.

I swam to where "Ash", the large black Painted Anglerfish, had been on Wednesday but it was not in the red chimney sponge. I looked around and found it on another rock.

I headed up over the sand to the large algal clump where the female red Stigmatopora pipefish has been. The surge was pretty bad here with a lot of sand being kicked up however I still managed to find the pipefish. I hope she hangs around after the next lot of rough weather and eventually attracts a male again.

I swam to the basket star and slowly made my way to Little Big Rock. I headed up to Skye's Rock and spotted "Teardop", the male Weedy Seadragon swimming by. This was some way out of his usual haunt but I guess with all the rough weather he's had a hard time. He had no eggs and his tail was clean.

I looked in the sea tulips on Skye's Rock and found "Helen" there. At least she was still around.

I continued along the top of the reef to the rock where I have been seeing "Lilly", the Pot-bellied Seahorse. She wasn't in the sea tulips where I'd last seen her. I swam around the rock and couldn't see her anywhere. I widened my search and checked the adjacent rocks but still couldn't find her. Hopefully, she is just hiding from the surge.

I headed down to the sand line and then swam along just up from the sand line towards Jodi's Rock. Just before Jodi's Rock I spotted "Smudge", the female Weedy Seadragon with a smudge on her left side.

I swam over Jodi's Rock and along to the rocks in front of the exit. I looked for Red-fingered Anglerfish and Weedy Seadragons. I also looked in the kelp for "Nadiah", the Pot-bellied Seahorse, who I'd found in the kelp on Wednesday. I didn't find her but I didn't really expect to.

I looked around a bit more before heading to Split Rock and doing my safety stop. There was still a lot of surge which suggested that there might be some waves hitting the exit. After I finished my safety stop I swam underwater to near the exit but it looked too rough. I surfaced just out from the exit and watched for a while. There were just too many large waves coming in for me to risk getting out there, especially carrying a 300 bar tank and my pony. And then there was my camera to think of.

I swam on the surface to my Monument entry point. I figured that would be safer. It was safer but it was still difficult for me to get out and I got pounded by a few waves. I ended up dumping all the air from my wing and drysuit and dragged myself along the bottom until I could walk out with my fins on. I was exhausted by the time I got out.