Dive Details


Logged dive number



Sunday 17 January 2021


9:20am - 11:25am


Strong current at times and mild surge


3 to 5 metres


125 minutes

Surface interval

22:12 (hh:mm)

Maximum depth

14.5 m

Average depth

11.8 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.














After the ordinary conditions at The Leap yesterday I decided to dive The Steps today. There was a 2m southerly swell but that should have little impact and it was quite calm at The Steps when I arrived. There were a few other divers around getting ready but hopefully I'd have a nice window to myself. There were a lot of boats around, mainly fishermen, so hopefully I wouldn't get an anchor dropped on me.

I jumped in and swam out on the surface. I had to be careful as there was a fishing boat right out from the entry. I descended to the sand. The visibility was only slightly better than yesterday at between 3 and 5 metres. There was gentle surge and the water temperature was around 19°C.

I veered to the left to go around the kelp before heading to the right towards Big Rock along the sand line. I often find Weedy Seadragons along the edge of the kelp.

I hadn't gone far when I spotted a Weedy Seadragon next to the kelp. I then checked out the kelp for more seadragons and seahorses but found none.

I continued along the sand line to the rocks before Jodi's Rock. I looked for the pygmy pipehorses there. After looking for few minutes I was only able to find the small pink male.

I swam into the current past Jodi's Rock and just on the other side I spotted Smudge, the Weedy Seadragon. I took some photographs.

I swam up the reef to the rock where Mandy spotted the large pink pygmy pipehorse. He was still there. I looked for others on the rock but could not see any.

I headed back to the sand line and saw Smudge and the female Red Wide-bodied Pipefish again before heading along the sand line to Pipefishes Hole. I looked carefully in the hole but could not see any pipefishes.

I looked on the rock above Pipefishes Hole and spotted Lily on the side away from the sea tulips. I checked out the sea tulips and found Cam.

I headed up to Di's Rock and checked it over before heading to Lily's Rock. I did a circuit of Lily's Rock but initially didn't see Tom Thumb. I then spotted him in the sea tulips on the NW side of the rock.

I swam towards the shore and looked in the sand between the reef and the boulders before making my way back towards the sand line. I swam along the sand line towards Little Big Rock. I checked out the rock where the grey Red-fingered Anglerfish had been but found nothing. Paula and George swam by. I looked for and found the male Weedy Seadragon with eggs on the kelp.

I swam to the rock just before Little Big Rock where I've been seeing a pair of pygmy pipehorses. I spotted the pink male quite quickly but I couldn't see the female. As I was looking for the female I spotted another male. I continued looking for the female and finally found her - or was it another female?

I swam on to Little Big Rock and the up to Skye's Rock. I initially couldn't see any of the seahorses on the main rock so I started looking beside the rock. I spotted Helen on the low area to the south of the rock. I then spotted Tiny Tim on a small sponge not far from Helen. I did a sweep of the rock looking for Little Richard and finally found him in the sea tulips in the middle of Skye's Rock.

I headed to the rock above Little Big Rock where we've been seeing 3 pygmies. I couldn't find 3 yesterday. I looked for some time before finding one. I continued to look and spotted a second. Determined not to fail, I searched some more and spotted a third.

I descended to Little Big Rock and the swam along the rocks above the sand line towards Diversity Rock. I was hoping I might find Ash but was surprised to swim over an orange Red-fingered Anglerfish. It was on the rock just before where Ash had been last weekend.

I continued to the rock where Ash had been. I wasn't expecting to see them because they were there yesterday. I went to the sponge at the other end of the rock expecting to see the large white male pygmy pipehorse who has been there for at least 2 weeks. He was there yesterday but not today. I had a good look around but could not see him.

I had a look on the rock above for the pair of pygmies that had been there but still could not find them.

I swam past Diversity Rock and on to the basket star. From the basket star I swam to the rock where the two pink pygmies had been. The two pink pygmies are gone but I have been seeing three newer ones since. I spotted the whitish male first and then the dark female below him. I then spotted the new pink male. On the next rock below I spotted the two small white pygmies.

I headed along the reef towards Big Rock. I looked on all the rocks we've previously seen pygmies but did not find any until the rock below the rock before Long Rock. The male was in his usual place and then I spotted the female nearby.

I checked the next rock (the one before Long Rock) and spotted the female that has been around for a while. I then spotted the new male pygmy I'd seen yesterday.

I turned around and started back towards The Steps. I looked on the rock (now) after the rock after the rock below Long Rock. I didn't see any pygmies on this rock yesterday. I spotted a female. I then spotted another female. This made me think there could be two males around. I searched and managed to find one male.

I headed back over the way I'd come and checked the same rocks on my way back. This time I spotted a small male that I'm sure I have seen before. I looked for others but found none. Some other divers swum up. I looked like Alex and others from Scubathlon.

I drifted back with the current, casually checking rocks for pygmies but found no new ones. I swam over the orange Red-fingered Anglerfish I'd seen on my way earlier.

I dropped to the sand line and just before Little Big Rock I looked in the reg algae for pipefish. I found a Rosy Weedfish. I tried to get photographs but it was not easy.

I swam past Little Big Rock and ran into some more divers that were kicking up the bottom. Most of them were vertical in the water. I took a couple of quick photographs on the male Weedy Seadragon with eggs but there was too much sand in the water.

I swam past the group to try to get away from them but they caught up to me. I looked in Pipefishes Hole but still couldn't see any pipefishes. I checked on Lily and Tom Thumb. Tom Thumb had moved to the white honeycomb sponge. I pointed them out to one of the other divers.

Just before Jodi's Rock I saw Smudge again and then spotted another Weedy Seadragon. This one looks like a male and had an Eastern Cleaner Clingfish on his back.

I continued on the the rock on the Steps side of Jodi's Rock and looked for the pygmies there. I couldn't even find the male I'd seen earlier in the dive.

I continued along the edge of the kelp looking for more Weedy Seadragons but found none. I swam to the boulders and ascended to Split Rock and started my safety stop. I finished my safety stop and swam underwater to the exit. The exit was quite crowded with other divers so while my exit was easy, I had to wait for them to move before I could get out.