Dive Details


Logged dive number



Sunday 28 February 2021


8:14am - 10:22am


John Farrant, Kristen Welch, Mandy Durand


Strong current at start with some surge


5 to 15 metres


128 minutes

Surface interval

22:52 (hh:mm)

Maximum depth

13.5 m

Average depth

11.5 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.














Today I joined Mandy, John, and Kristen at The Monument. They'd dived here yesterday while I dived at The Steps. This would be my first dive at The Monument in almost 3 months and I was quite excited.

We walked all the way to my usual entry point to get in. The tide was quite high even though it was still 2 hours before high tide. The water on the platform was high enough that we could put our fins on before walking all the way to the edge. We swam out on the surface as far as the sand line. The visibility was that good that we could easily see the bottom from the surface.

We descended straight to the sand line. The visibility was over 10 metres and probably closer to 15. There was a steady current coming into the bay and gentle surge. The water temperature was between 20 and 21°C.

We headed towards The Steps. There was a lot of the red algae preferred by Red Wide-bodied Pipefish along the sand line and I was keen to check it out. I'd probably gone around 10 metres and looked in 20 algal clumps when I found a juvenile Red Wide-bodied Pipefish in a clump. This was the smallest one I have ever scene. It was 50-60mm long, less than half the length of adults. I started to take some photographs but realised my strobes were not firing properly. Some photographs were grossly underexposed and some grossly overexposed. John was waiting to take photographs so I let him while I tried to solve the issue with the strobes. TTL was not working so I switched to manual. Once John finished I had another go this time manually adjusting the strobe output.

I waited at the pipefish until Mandy arrived. She stopped not far from the pipefish after spotting a yellow Red-fingered Anglerfish. We swapped spots, Mandy to the pipefish and me to the anglerfish.

I continued along the sand line towards The Steps checking the red algae. Another 10 metres along I spotted an adult Red Wide-bodied Pipefish. This was a female. She was in a small alga which did not look like it could house a second pipefish. I wondered if she'd stay there. Mandy swam up and I pointed it out to her.

I turned around and started to drift with the current towards Sutherland Point. I went slowly so I wouldn't leave Mandy behind. I drifted past the yellow Red-fingered Anglerfish and the juvenile Red Wide-bodied Pipefish. Mandy was not far behind me.

I caught up to John near the Carijoa covered rocks near Block Rock. I looked for pygmies on the rocks but found none. I swam over to Block Rock and the sponge covered rock next to it and looked for seahorses.

I headed back to the large rock on the sand and spotted a Weedy Seadragon next to it. I then looked at the next rock along for pygmies. I searched thoroughly but found none. While I was looking, Mandy signalled me from the previous rock. She'd spotted a small grey Red-fingered Anglerfish. I swam back and took some photographs after she'd finished photographing it.

I swam up over the reef to behind the rock where Honey had been back in 2013. Kristen was there. I looked on the sponge covered rocks hoping to see some seahorses but found none. I made my way back towards the sand line and headed along the wall slowly. I looked on the sand for Weedy Seadragons and also checked out the red algae for pipefish but found neither.

I continued to Pygmy Playground and checked the usual rocks for pygmies but found none. I wasn't all that surprised as it had been 3 months since I'd been there. I also had a look for seahorses.

I wondered where the others were and headed back along the wall to the rock where Honey had been. Mandy had spotted a large grey Red-fingered Anglerfish on the rock behind Honey's Rock.

I drifted with the others to Pygmy Playground again. Again I looked for pygmies but found none until I got to one of the last rocks where I spotted a gorgeous pink female. I looked around on the rock for a male but could not find one.

Mandy was back at the main rock in Pygmy Playground. I headed back to her and she'd found a small cryptic female pygmy. I took some photographs and looked for a male. I found him not far from the female. I took photographs of both of them.

Right down near the sand line, John spotted an octopus with eggs. I managed to get some photographs despite my issues with my strobes.

I headed back to the pink female pygmy I'd found earlier. I was looking for the male when John swam up. I pointed her out to him and he indicated there was another one on that rock. I acknowledged that I had been looking for hm. John also indicated there were some on the rock above. He pointed out a male on the rock above. I looked around and found a female not far from the male.

We continued along the wall. John and I looked out in the kelp for Weedy Seadragons. At the end of the wall, Mandy indicated she was down to 50 bar and was heading to the exit. I headed up and over the wall and then along the reef. I was looking for pygmies and anglerfishes. I was also hoping to find the seahorses others had mentioned.

I continued along the reef. John was still with me. I looked around the area between Slope Rock and Split Rock. I spotted a large golden male pygmy pipehorse. I took some photographs and pointed him out to John while I looked for a female (but didn't find one).

I headed to Split Rock. This was where I thought my best chance for finding seahorses would be. As I swam up to the rock I spotted a female Pot-Bellied Seahorse in the sponges. Yay! It had been nearly 8 years since I'l last seen resident seahorses on this rock. I had seen Rosie briefly here after the storm in 2015 when she'd been washed down from The Leap. She didn't stay long even though the rock looks like a perfect place for seahorses. I would call this girl Mandy. I looked around for a male but all I found was a Dwarf Lionfish. I also found a spider crab.

I looked in the crevice above Split Rock for Upside-down Pipefish but found none. I headed back to Split Rock for one more look for a male seahorse before heading for the exit.

I headed up past Seahorse Rock and stopped briefly before continuing to the exit. I saw some divers coming down from the entry so I then had a bearing for the exit. I swam in the direction from where they came until I was at around 5 metres and stopped for a safety stop. I then continued to the exit. It has been months, if not years, since I last exited here and I wondered if I could find my way without surfacing. I was pleasantly surprised to swim past the boulders and right into the area next to the whale sculptures. I swam until it was shallow enough to stand up, stood up, took off my fins and walked out. The tide was so high it was the easiest exit I have ever had there.