Dive Details


Logged dive number



Saturday 27 March 2021


7:34am - 9:24am


Strong current and surge at times


2 to 4 metres


110 minutes

Surface interval

5 days 17:25 (days hh:mm)

Maximum depth

14.8 m

Average depth

12.1 m

Water temperature



Dive Profile from Garmin Descent Mk1

Tides at Botany Bay AEDT

Note that tides at dive site may vary from above location.














After the rough seas and heavy rain last weekend, I had low expectations for conditions for my dive today. The swell had settled down but the forecast was for a 1-1.5m easterly combined with a 1m southerly. I had heard reports of very dirty surface water. I was keen to see how all the animals had faired with the rough weather so I would be happy with even poor visibility.

When I arrived at The Steps, the conditions didn't look too bad. The surface water was a lot cleaner than I expected and was probably the colour of weak tea. The entry/exit looked quite calm, too.

I jumped in around 20 minutes before high tide and swam out on the surface. I didn't linger on the surface for long, or go particularly far out, because it was early morning, at the mouth of a river, after heavy rain. I descended to the kelp and then swam over the boulders to the sand. The visibility was around 4 metres, so not too bad considering the previous week or so, although there was a lot of particulate matter in the water. There was some surge but negligible current. The water temperature was around 17°C. I was glad to be back in my drysuit.

I headed slightly to the left before turning right and swimming along the edge of the kelp. Before I came to Baby's location I was pleasantly surprised to see the small Giant Cuttlefish I'd spotted two weeks ago. At least it had survived the conditions.

At Baby's location I spotted Baby. Wow! They had also survived and were in the same location. I took a few photographs before continuing.

At the next kelp area I spotted PJ's baby weedy. They have gotten a lot larger but are still in the same location. Perhaps all of my animals would still be around.

I swam slowly along the kelp hoping to spot Nadiah or Phil but did not see them. I checked the rocks I have seen pygmy pipehorses but could not find any.

I headed past Jodi's Rock and on to the clumps of red algae on the sand. This is the latest spot my pair of Red Wide-bodied Pipefish had been. They were the ones I was most worried about. At least their algae was still there. I checked all the clumps but could not find either pipefish. I looked in the clumps closer to the rocks and could not find them. I hope they show up again.

I continued along the sand line to Pipefishes Hole. I looked in the hole which had a lot of accumulated sand but I could not see any pipefish. I ascended to Noel&Di's Rock and looked for the seahorses. Cam was not in the sea tulips and my heart sand. I looked on the rest of the rock and spotted him near the top of the rock. Phew! One found. I looked around the rest of the rock and spotted Lily on the other side side way down the rock. That's two!

I headed to Lily's Rock. I spotted Tom Thumb in the sea tulips on the north-western side of the rock. It was looking like all the seahorses might have survived.

I looked on the surrounding rocks for anglerfishes and also on the sand for Weedy Seadragons but found none.

I headed towards the sand line. On the way I spotted a Dwarf Lionfish.

I swam along the sand line towards Little Big Rock. I spotted nothing of interest until I got to the rock where I have been seeing pygmy pipehorses. After a bit of searching on the rock I managed to find one of the pygmies: a female. I was not able to find any others.

I continued to Little Big Rock. As I turned up towards Skye's Rock, I spotted a Weedy Seadragon. I wonder if it was the male that we frequently saw with eggs.

I reached Skye's Rock and immediately saw Little Richard courting Helen. He had his tail wrapped around her and his pouch fully inflated. I spotted Tiny Tim on the next sea tulips to the right.

I swam on to the next rock after Skye's Rock where there have been pygmies. I looked for a while but could not find any.

I followed the reef to Diversity Rock looking on the rocks on the way for anglerfishes and pygmies. I then swam up to the rock where I had been seeing the pink male pygmy pipehorse in the bryozoan. I hadn't seen him 2 weeks ago but perhaps he was back. He wasn't. I looked on the rest of the rock and spotted a pair of pygmies very close to each other.

I headed up onto the sand towards the shore to look for Red Wide-bodied Pipefish. I checked various red algae and headed up towards the area where I found a pair in July.

I headed back by New Basket Star Rock and to the white honeycomb sponge where the basket star has been for the last couple of years. It wasn't there! I looked around and found it on a green hand sponge not far from the white honeycomb sponge. It had survived albeit moved.

I followed the reef towards Big Rock and spotted Ash, the black Painted Anglerfish, on one of the rocks I have seen them previously. The conditions did not favour photographing them.

I headed to the rocks where the pink pair of pygmies had been last year and white pair until recently. I looked on both rocks for pygmies but found none.

I continued towards Big Rock and spotted a pair of pygmies on one of the next rocks. They were hanging together. The surge had picked up a bit, making photography a little difficult. The visibility had also dropped a bit.

I swam further towards Big Rock. The current had picked up and I didn't need to do much swimming. I checked out all the rocks I have been seeing pygmies but found none. I went as far as Britt's Rock before turning around.

Coming back was a little difficult due to the fairly strong current and surge that had picked up. I visited the pair of pygmies I had just found.

I swam back below Diversity Rock, above Little Big Rock and on to Skye's Rock. This time Tiny Tim appeared to be courting Helen, although is pouch was not inflated. Interestingly, Little Richard was no longer with Helen but his pouch was inflated.

I headed to the large rock towards the shore from Skye's Rock. I decided to look for pygmies on it and was surprised to find one almost immediately. I looked for others but could not see any.

I swam against the current along the top of the reef to Lily's Rock. Tom Thumb was still in the sea tulips where I had seen him earlier.

I headed down to Noel&Di's Rock and spotted both Lily and Cam. Neither had moved far from where I had seen them earlier.

I swam along the reef up from the sand line towards the exit. I hadn't gone very far from Noel&Di's Rock when I spotted a pair of Red Wide-bodied Pipefish! I couldn't be sure if they were the pervious pair that had moved but I suspected they were a different pair. There were numerous clumps of algae and they had initially been in the same alga when I found them but by the time I went to take photographs, they had moved to separate algae. I'd have to be content to take individual photographs of them. The female seemed larger than the male. Photography was not easy due to the surge.

I headed along the sand line to the algal clumps where the other pair of Red Wide-bodied Pipefish had been. I checked all the clumps but could not find the pipefish.

I continued along the sand line to the kelp out from the entry/exit. I looked for both juvenile Weedy Seadragons but could not find them. I started to head for the exit and when I wasn't very far from the boulders I spotted another Weedy Seadragon. After taking ID photographs I headed for the boulders.

I ascended to Split Rock and started my safety stop. After finishing my safety stop I started to head for the exit but the visibility was such that it was safer for me to just surface and swim in on the surface. I did that. The tide was quite high and it was quite easy for me to come into the rock and kneel to get one fin off. There were some larger waves coming in so I stood up before getting my other fin off and waited for it to settle before removing my other fin. I walked out.