Dive Details


Logged dive number



Sunday 3 January 2021


8:40am - 10:44am


Daniela Stark, Mandy Durand


Moderate current and surge


10 to 15 metres


123 minutes

Surface interval

21:43 (hh:mm)

Maximum depth

14.9 m

Average depth

11.9 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.














Daniela joined Mandy and me for today's dive at The Steps. Mandy and I were in drysuits and had more air. Daniela was in a wetsuit and so would probably get cold if not get low on air before we did. We agreed that she would head back whenever she'd had enough.
There were lots of cars at The Steps but it appears most of the divers were doing The Leap and so we'd have The Steps to ourselves at least early in the dive.
We jumped in, swam out on the surface before descending to the sand/kelp. The visibility was still great at between 10-15 metres. There was a bit of current and surge. The water temperature was around 21°C.
We swam around the outside of the kelp along the sand line in the direction of Big Rock. I looked in the kelp for Nadiah, Phil, and Weedy Seadragons as we went.
We stopped at the rock before Jodi's Rock to look for the pygmies there. I spotted the pink female and Mandy spotted the large cryptic male and small pink male. I looked for the female we saw a few days ago but could not find her. Right next to the rock Mandy spotted two Common Sydney Octopus mating.
We continued to Jodi's Rock. I headed over to the rock up from the sand line where I'd spotted a small female pygmy pipehorse yesterday and searched for her. I was not able to find her but Mandy spotted a large pink male on the rock above. She pointed it out to me and we looked for a female and both found it at the same time. I also spotted a Elysia sp. sea slug on the same rock. When I pointed it out to Mandy she laughed as I rarely show any interest in sea slugs.
I dropped down to the red alga where the female Red Wide-bodied Pipefish has been. I was able to find her straight away. Mandy swam up and I pointed her out.

We swam against the current to Pipefishes Hole. I looked into the hole and initially saw no pipefishes. I looked a little longer and I spotted a male Sawtooth Pipefish with eggs. While I was trying to photograph the pipefish, made difficult by all the mysids in the hole, Mandy and Daniela were photographing Lily who was still on the rock above the hole. Mandy and I swapped: she went to the hole and I photographed Lily.

We headed up to Lily’s Rock (knowing that Lily wouldn’t be there) to look for Tom Thumb. The first place I looked was on the lower rock where he was yesterday. He was still there. I took some photographs and pointed him out to the others.

I headed off towards the grey Red-fingered Anglerfish but kept an eye out for the Weedy Seadragon we saw yesterday. I didn't see them. The grey Red-fingered Anglerfish was still on the rock near the sand line but they had moved again. I waited until the others arrived and pointed out the angler.

I headed along the sand line to the rock just before Little Big Rock with the pair of pygmy pipehorses. I spotted the pink male immediately, but it took me almost 2 minutes to find the female. While I was photographing the pygmies, Mandy spotted a sea spider on the previous rock. There have been quite a few sea spiders around at The Steps of late.

I swam closer to Little Big Rock and spotted the male Weedy Seadragon that had had eggs up until recently. There were no eggs left on his tail but you could see the marks from where the eggs had been.

I headed up to Skye's Rock. I spotted Helen on top of the rock, Tiny Tim in the sea tulips on the Little Big Rock side of the rock and Little Richard lower down in the other sea tulips.

I moved on to the rock up and behind Little Big Rock. Yesterday we spotted 3 pygmy pipehorses on the rock and I was hopeful I would find them again. I spotted a male first, then two females. I pointed them out to Daniela when she swam up.

I headed down to Ash, the black Painted Anglerfish. They were pretty much in the same spot they have been in for the last few days. I took a few photographs and then went to look for the white pygmy pipehorse that I'd been told about on the same rock. I spotted the white pygmy at the other end of the rock from Ash. It is a male. I then looked around and found a brown and pink female.

I went to the rock above where I spotted a pair of pygmies last week. As I was getting there, Mandy swam up so I indicated to her there were two pygmies on the rock with Ash. I looked for the pygmies but could only find the male.

I swam on to the basket star looking for more pygmies as I went. After the basket star I looked for the Nembrotha purpureolineata nudibranch. I saw two divers: one with a camera and the other looked like they were holding the nudibranch to be photographed.

I headed to the rock where the four pygmies used to be. Yesterday, I only found the dark female. Today I spotted the light male and the dark female. I was photographing them when Mandy swam up and I pointed them both out to her.

I dropped down to the next rock and the two white pygmies. I spotted and photographed both of them. I pointed them out to Daniela.

I swam along the reef to the next rock where I have seen pygmies lately. On this rock I was only able to find the female yesterday. Today I couldn't find either of them.

I moved to the next rock. I found the male pygmy and looked for the female. As I was looking Mandy and Daniela swam up. I pointed out the one male. Daniela then indicated she was heading back to the exit.

We continued along the reef. I looked on the rock where I'd seen a tiny juvenile a few days ago (the one with the bullseye on its head) but I couldn't see it. I looked on the rock below the rock where there was a pair of pygmies a few months ago. Each time I've dived in the last week I have seen a small pygmy on this rock but today I saw two, a male and a female. I now actually think I have seen both on this rock but never both at the same time. I pointed them out to Mandy.

I left Mandy with those two pygmies and swam on to the rock where I found two pygmies yesterday. This is the rock below and to the west from the rock which is to the west of Long Rock. I spotted the male straight away as he was almost where he had been yesterday. I looked for the female and eventually found her some way from where she'd been yesterday.

I moved on to the next rock and found the female there. I looked again for the male but could not see him. When Mandy swam up, I pointed out the two pygmies on the previous rock and the one on this rock.

I turned to head back to The Steps. I was waiting for Mandy and checked out the next rock along from where I'd found two pygmies yesterday when I spotted a female pygmy and then a male. This made 25 pygmies for the dive. I pointed the new two out to Mandy when she'd finished with the others. Brett and his friend Cam swam up so I pointed out the two new pygmies to them, too.

We headed back close to the sand line. I was hoping to find the adult weedy we'd found yesterday as well as the tiny juvenile. We found neither.

We swam past Little Big Rock and as we approached Pipefishes Hole we spotted an adult weedy. This was the one we'd seen yesterday between Lily's Rock and the grey Red-fingered Anglerfish.

I looked in Pipefishes Hole as we swam past but could not see the Sawtooth Pipefish. We stopped briefly at the Red Wide-bodied Pipefish. I swam up to check the two pygmies we'd found on the way out but could only find the pink male.

We continued along the sand line to the kelp out from the entry/exit. I had a look for the seahorses and more Weedy Seadragons but found none.

We swam to the boulders and ascended to Split Rock and did our safety stops. We swam underwater to the exit. Mandy's exit was much better than mine. I managed to get on the shelf and got my fns off before a wave dragged me out again. Brett and Cam started to exit at the same time and we got in each other's way. I had to put my fins on again and swim in. This time I went further up the rock before taking my fins off.