Dive Details


Logged dive number



Sunday 25 April 2021


7:53am - 10:00am


Daniela Stark, Mandy Durand


Moderate current and slight surge


5 to 10 metres


127 minutes

Surface interval

22:32 (hh:mm)

Maximum depth

14.4 m

Average depth

11.3 m

Water temperature



Dive Profile from Garmin Descent Mk1

Tides at Botany Bay AEST

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














Mandy and Daniela joined me today for my dive at The Steps. Both had been out of the water for at least 3 weeks and were keen for a dive. Conditions had been better yesterday than they had been for a while and I was hopeful that today would be even better. We'd be getting in after high tide so the tide would be running out for the whole dive which could lessen the visibility, especially towards the end of the dive.

The tide was still quite high when we jumped in but it was calm making for an easy entry. We swam out on the surface. We were chatting on the surface and went all the way out to edge of the boulders. I suggested that we might drop right onto the latest juvenile Weedy Seadragon I have found.

We descended to the sand. The visibility was over 5 metres and there was only gentle surge. The water temperature was around 19°C. I looked around from where I'd hit the sand and spotted the juvenile Weedy immediately. I swam over to them and took some photographs. Daniela swam over and I pointed them out to her. I indicated to Mandy they were there.

I headed over the sand to the edge of the kelp before turning right. I started looking in the red algae and spotted a weedfish. I took some photographs and the girls swam over. The weedfish shot out of the alga and sat on a rock just long enough for me to get a photograph.

We moved slowly along the sand line over the kelp. I looked carefully in Baby's location and spotted them in the kelp. I took some photographs and pointed them out to Mandy.

Daniela and I continued along the sand line leaving Mandy with Baby. We didn't go far as I was hoping to find PJ's baby. We spotted a large eagle ray on the sand. We watched it for a while before it swam off. We couldn't find PJ's baby. When Mandy caught up we continued along the sand line.

We stopped at the rocks before Jodi's Rock and I looked for the pygmies there. I spotted the male and female together on the side of the larger rock. I managed to get some photographs with both of them in frame. I pointed them out to Daniela and Mandy. I left Mandy with the pygmies and continued along the sand line with Daniela.

We stopped at Pipefishes Hole. I spotted a Sawtooth Pipefish in the hole but it was difficult to get any photographs and it disappeared quite quickly. I didn't bother showing it to Daniela. I went up to the now solitary Red Wide-bodied Pipefish. I had thought it was the female that was remaining but after checking my photographs I realise it is the male. I took some photographs and pointed him out to Daniela. Mandy swam up to the Red Wide-bodied Pipefish.

I looked for and found Cam on Noel&Di's Rock. He was out in the open again on the rock. I pointed him out to Daniela and started to look for the pygmy. I found the pygmy not far from the yellow sponge. While I was there, Mandy swam up and looked in Pipefishes Hole. She also saw one Sawtooth Pipefish. I pointed out the pygmy and Cam. Lily was not on the rock.

I headed up to Di's Rock and found Lily there. Yesterday she'd been on Lily's Rock but today she was back to Di's Rock. She certainly moves around a lot. I pointed her out to Daniela and then Mandy when she swam up.

I went over to Lily's Rock. I initially looked in the kelp for Tom Thumb because he'd been there yesterday but couldn't see him on any of the steps. I looked over Lily's Rock and could not see him there so checked the kelp again. He was hanging on to one of the blades. He looked pregnant yesterday but now his pouch is somewhat deflated. I pointed him out to Daniela and Mandy.

I headed to the sand between the reef and the boulders and looked for weedies before heading down to the sand line. I hadn't gone far along the sand line towards Little Big Rock when I spotted a Weedy Seadragon. I took some identification photographs for Seadragon Search and moved on. Mandy took some photographs after me.

I continued to the rock with the pygmies before Little Big Rock. I spotted the red male pygmy immediately as he was in the same spot he's been for the last few dives. I pointed him out to Mandy and Daniela before looking at the other end of the rock for the others. I initially spotted the male in the soft coral but when I looked again there was a female there, too. I pointed them out to Mandy and Daniela.

I moved over the rock adjacent to Little Big Rock. I spotted the solitary male Red Wide-bodied Pipefish in the alga next to the kelp. I took a few photographs before looking for the Red Pipefish in another alga. The Red Pipefish was still there. This is now the 5th time I have seen it. I took some photographs. While I was there Mandy swam up to the Red Wide-bodied Pipefish. I pointed out the Red Pipefish to her.

I swam up to Skye's Rock. Helen was on the lower rock between Skye's Rock and Little Big Rock. Little Richard was on the side of Skye's Rock facing Little Big Rock. Tiny Tim was around the corner on the eastern side of the rock. I pointed them out to Daniela.

I headed to the rock to the west where I found the red male pygmy on Tuesday. I found the male again as well as the purple male. Daniela indicated to us that she was getting cold and would head for the exit. We bid her farewell.

I noticed that Mandy was still with the Red Pipefish and swam down to help her. I held the alga back so she could get photographs of the pipefish but it was clearly getting agitated and was hiding as quickly as we exposed it. I don't want to agitate it too much so I suggested we give it some piece.

I pointed out the seahorses to Mandy and then the pygmies on the rock to the west. Mandy spotted a white female and I spotted a sea spider.

We headed down to the sand line and started towards Diversity Rock. I spotted a Weedy Seadragon not far from Little Big Rock. It was the same one I'd spotted west of Little Big Rock yesterday.

We continued to Diversity Rock and I looked for the juvenile Weedy Seadragon. I had seen it yesterday after not being able to find it for the previous 3 dives. I was hopeful it would be there today. I was not disappointed. I took a few identification photographs and then left it with Mandy.

I headed up to to rock above Diversity Rock which often has pygmies. I hadn't seen any on the last two dives and was hopeful to find one today. I looked until Mandy swam up but didn't find any.

We headed towards the basket star. It had been on a green hand sponge since the rough weather last month but wasn't there now. I hadn't looked for it yesterday. I looked around the area and noticed it on the substrate behind the green hand sponge. It was partially open and seemed to be opening more.

I left Mandy with the basket star and went in search of Ash. Last Tuesday I'd found Ash on the red chimney sponge on the rock above the main reef on the edge of the sand. I didn't look yesterday. I went there first and they were still there. I took some photographs and looked for Mandy. I could see her on the other side of New Basket Star Rock so I raised my camera in the water so she could see the lights. She swam up and I pointed out Ash.

I was down to around 100 bar (after starting on 288) and so started to head back to The Steps. I went slowly over the sand checking the red algae for pipefish. I went slowly so I wouldn't get too far ahead of Mandy. I kept going slowly back to Skye's Rock. Mandy wasn't far behind.

We continued along the top of the reef past Lily's Rock and on to Di's Rock. Lily was still on Di's Rock.

We headed down past Noel&Di's Rock to the now solitary male Red Wide-bodied Pipefish. I took a few more photographs before continuing.

I headed along the reef up from the sand line checking the red algae for pipefish. Mandy was not far behind me.

I swam over Jodi's Rock and on to the kelp in front of the entry/exit. I stuck to the sand looking for PJ's baby Weedy and found them this time. I took bunch of photographs until Mandy caught up.

I left Mandy and went in search of Baby. I found them on the edge of the kelp and took a bunch of photographs until Mandy caught up. I left Mandy with Baby and went I search of other Weedies, including the juvenile we'd seen at the start. While I was looking I saw a couple of free divers swimming around near the bottom.

After not finding any more weedies I headed back to Mandy. She'd spotted an Eastern Frogfish. She pointed it out to me. I took some photographs and indicated I was down to 30 bar and was heading to the exit.

I ascended to Split Rock and started my safety stop. As I was finishing my safety stop, Mandy swam up to start hers. I waved and swam underwater to the exit. The tide was quite low and I was able to stand next to the shelf to remove my fins before climbing out onto the shelf. I waited for Mandy and helped her out.