Dive Details


Logged dive number



Sunday 20 December 2020


10:10am - 12:13pm


Mandy Durand


Moderate current and slight surge


10 to 20 metres


122 minutes

Surface interval

22:13 (hh:mm)

Maximum depth

21.7 m

Average depth

15.2 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.














Mandy joined me at The Leap today. We planned to get to Little Big Rock fairly quickly so we’d have time to look for the juvenile Weedy Seadragon that Kris O’Keeffe found yesterday. We only knew the approximate area so we could be up for some hunting.

Conditions looked a lot better than yesterday, especially at The Steps although there were some largish waves hitting The Leap as we headed down. It was too rough for the low platform so we slid down the wall. As I was on the surface waiting for Mandy, I was pleasantly surprised how great the visibility was, with the water looking blue.

We descended and headed at around 60° towards the sand line. There was a bit of current on our way down and barely any surge. We arrived in the amphitheatre and the visibility was up to 20 metres! The water temperature was between 19 and 20°C. We turned left and started along the sand line.

We got to First Rock and I looked around for the male Weedy Seadragon who is often in the area. It didn’t take me long to find him. He had eggs. We took photographs before continuing.

There was a gentle current so we could mostly drift along. We stopped at Bob & Lucy Rock and I looked for pygmies at the lower end of the rock. I spotted the male and then the female. I photographed them and pointed them out to Mandy.

I drifted a couple of rocks further along the sand line and found another male pygmy. I took some photographs and thought I’d spotted his partner but it was just him again. Mandy swam up. I pointed out the male and we looked for the female. Mandy spotted her.

We continued along the sand line. I checked out various rocks, including Ian’s Pygmy Rock, for pygmies and sea spiders but found none. Just before Seahorse Rock we spotted another Weedy Seadragon. This one is often in this area.

I drifted on to Rosie’s Rock and spotted the pair of pygmy pipehorses there. Mandy swam up and showed me a photograph of a Weedy Seadragon on her camera screen and pointed to where she’d seen it. I pointed out the pygmies and headed back to the Weedy. It was in the rocks and difficult to photograph.

As I headed on my way, Mandy had found another Weedy at the start of the big rock that has the overhang at the other end. It was Clyde’s partner. She still has damage to the base of her second appendage but it appears to be healing.

I drifted along beside to rock to the overhang and caught up to Mandy. There were no weedies under the overhang. I had a quick look in the area after the next rock but saw nothing of interest.

We both headed out over the rocks to the sand line to the gutter where we’ve seen the subadult Weedy before. There was one there. I’ll have to check my photographs to see if it was the same one.

We followed the sand line past Southern Cross Rock and into Seadragon Alley without seeing much of interest. We stopped at the rock with pygmies in the middle of Seadragon Alley. I spotted a pink female on the side of the rock and Bob, the pink male on top. I pointed them out to Mandy who spotted the white male and his partner on the side of the side of the rock. I was looking for Bob’s partner. Mandy then spotted a pair of mating sea spiders. Finally Mandy spotted Bob’s partner.

We continued through Seadragon Alley. I checked out all the red algae for pipefish. The red algae at the end of Seadragon Alley seems to be making a comeback so I’m hopeful the pipefish will to.

I followed the sand line towards Big Rock with Mandy swimming a little higher checking out the rocks. I looked in all the red algae as I went. There are some large clumps and some sparse ones but I looked in all of them. In one clump I spotted an Eastern Cleaner Clingfish in one of the clumps. I often find them in the algae when looking for pipefish.

I hadn’t gone much further along the sand line when I spotted a tiny juvenile Weedy Seadragon in one of the red algae clumps. I took a couple of photographs and looked for Mandy. She was a head of me and getting out of range. I screamed and fortunately she heard me and came back to where I was. I pointed out the tiny Weedy. We then took turns of photographing them. Some with our hands for scale and some on the sand. The current was quite strong and that with the surge meant we ended up quite a long way from the rocks. I gently coaxed the little one back to the rocks. We took a few more photographs before we lost them.

We’d spent around 20 minutes with the Weedy and Mandy was down to 70 bar. We took off past Big Rock and headed along the reef. I stopped briefly at the rock after Long Rock to look for the pair of pygmies there. I spotted the whiteish male but didn’t have enough time to look for the cryptic female as Mandy had gotten ahead of me.

I swam to catch up to Mandy. I spotted again briefly at the rock with four pygmy pipehorses. I found the pink female and the rainbow male but didn’t have time to look for the others. I wanted to check on Ash and see if the yellow Red-fingered Anglerfish was still where I found them yesterday but had to catch up to Mandy again.

I swam past the basket star and on to Skye’s Rock, briefly looking in the red algae for pipefish on the way. Mandy was at Skye’s Rock as I got there. I found Little Richard but could not see either Helen or Tiny Tim on the main rock. I looked a little further afield and spotted Helen on the rock towards the basket star. I did not have time to have a good look for Tiny Tim.

We then started to look for the juvenile Weedy that Kris found yesterday. Mandy spotted an adult Weedy and then indicated she was going to leave. I thought I’d quickly take photos of the adult and catch up to her. I then remembered the male with eggs I’d seen on the sand line yesterday so I went down to photograph it instead.

I headed to Lily’s Rock. I found Tom Thumb on the side of the rock. I had a quick look for Lily but couldn’t find her. I totally forgot about the orange Red-fingered Anglerfish.

I headed along the reef towards the exit. I continued to look for pipefish in the red algae and juvenile weedies along the way. I swam over Jodi’s Rock and along the sand line to the kelp. As I approached Baby’s location I was surprised to see Mandy there. She had been looking unsuccessfully for Baby. She let me know she couldn’t find them and then left for the exit. I looked for a few minutes around the kelp we’ve seen them in recently. I then checked out the kelp closer to the sand line hoping they were there, or at least hoping to find Nadiah or other weedies. While I was looking I spotted a male Weedy with eggs. I’m sure I’ve seen him before.

I got to 40 bar and headed for the exit. I was hoping to find more weedies on my way but did not. I ascended to Split Rock and started my safety stop. I finished my safety stop and swam underwater to the exit. I got very lucky with my timing. I slid onto the platform on my knees, got my right fin off and noticed a large wave coming in. I got my left fin off just in time and used the wave to stand up. There was another diver who had attempted the exit before me and he got smashed by the wave. I was able to just walk out. Mandy was there. She’d lost one of her fins as she was exiting and it was now floating out to see. I dropped my camera, tanks and weights, put my mask and fins back on and swam out to get it.