November 2007 Newsletter -

November 2007 Newsletter -

Dolphin Underwater & Adventure


November 2007 Newsletter

Next Club Meeting: Wednesday 14 th Nov. 7:30pm

Venue: The Clubrooms - BBQ

Northcote Rd Ext’n , Lake Pupuke, Takapuna

What’s Inside

Coming Trips & Events

Committee Contacts

News & Views

Fiji 1 st Edition

Club Address:

14 Gails Drive


RD2 Albany

Ph/Fax: 09 473 8069

Mob: 0274 839 839



President Martin Brett 418 2332

Vice-President Stuart Morgan 482-4062

Secretary/Treas Margaret Howard 473 8069 Ph/Fax

Dive Trips Officer Bruce Nixon 478 7186

Adventure Trips Martin Saggers 410 2363

Editor Denis Adams 444 0501 Ph/Fax

Web Site John Freeman 478 4958


Tom Butler 624 3505 Angela Morgan 482 4062 Fiona Warwick482-0135

Life & Honorary Members

Barry Barnes – Life Peter & Margaret Howard – Life Brian Horton – Life

Reg Lawson - Life Roberto Tonei – Life Dave Quinlan – Life

Graham Thumah – Honorary

Eileen Slark – Honorary

If you need a mobile or email address contact a committee for it.

Cover Page Photo: HMNZS Canterbury - Final Duty, Deep Water Cove.

NEXT MEETING: 7:30pm on the 14 th November 2007


14 th November – Wednesday – BBQ and Club Meeting – 7.30pm at The Clubrooms, Northcote Road

Ext, Lake Pupuke – Club providing sausages - bring your own steak if you wish and a salad and desert to


17 th November – Saturday – Special Annual General Meeting, New Zealand Underwater

Association – Wellington – 1pm-5pm followed by dinner. Please email if

you are going to attend. (The Club have forwarded their apologies as we have no delegate attending).

17 th November – Saturday – Dinner/Movie night – Westwind Theatre, 177 Riversdale Rd, Avondale

5.45pm onwards – The Movie is ‘Flyboys’ - an action drama based on the real life experiences of a

group of young Americans who went on to become the country's first ever fighter pilots. $20 pp includes

roast dinner (7.15pm) and ice cream. Contact Tom – 624 3505 – for more details.

24 th - 25 th November – Weekend away at Whangamata. Stay in President Martin’s bach 102 McKellar

Place, Whangamata. Take the kayaks, fishing gear, tramping boots, bring your boat for a dive. Go down

Friday, return Sunday. The bach is FULL but if you have a tent/camper there is room in the garden.

Ring Martin 418 2332 or Margaret 473 8069 for more details.

1 st December – Saturday – Small Boat Trip – Leigh Reef or Matheson’s Bay – those that have a small

boat and can take a few divers contact Bruce 478 7186 – BBQ provided by Club after dive.

2 nd December – Sunday – Club Christmas Meal – Bays Club - Anzac Street Browns Bay (beach

front) – dinner 6pm – smorgasbord with a great selection including ham, turkey and all of the trimmings

followed by desert - $20pp – drinks from the bar – please send cheque and numbers attending to Margaret

Howard 14 Gails Drive Okura, RD2 Albany - ASAP

8 th- 9 th December – Aldermen Islands Weekend trip on ‘Taranui’ with skipper Jim Hope –

8 divers = $225 each plus food (approx $20). Arrive Tairua Friday evening to stay on board leaving first

thing Saturday return Sunday afternoon.

Contact Bruce – 478 7186 – to check availability.

27 th January – Sunday - Kayak trip – Miranda Coast, Thames. Check out the birdlife along the coast

and visit the Miranda Hot Pools ($14 pp) contact Angela 446 1614 for more details

23 rd – 24 th February 2008 - Weekend trip to TiriTiri Matangi Island –– Ferry leaves Gulf Harbour

9.50 am Saturday morning and returns Sunday 3.30pm ($35 adult return on Fullers Ferry).

Accommodation $20pp. You will need to take your own food, drinks, sleeping bag, pillow case, sheet to

cover mattress, torch for kiwi and tuatara spotting at night (they have red cellophane to cover lens), and

everything needs to be in rodent free bags.

If you would like to do two nights, Friday 22 nd as well – let Margaret know as it can be arranged.

For those adventurers we could kayak across – weather permitting.

Other dates to be confirmed for the following:

Diving at the Mokohinau Islands – Bruce will be organizing a trip to the Mokohinaus in the New Year –

let him know your interest and what dates suit so he can book.

Bay of Islands – Diving the Rainbow Warrior and the HMNZS Canterbury – Another Bruce is

booking for the New Year

Weekend Tramp in the Coromandel

A tramp along the Coromadel Walkway. Take the ferry across to Coromandel and stay overnight in a

backpackers - contact Martin 410 2363 – if interested.

Kayak Trips

Kayak to Matakana or Saddle Island when the tides are favourable in the Spring.

Any other suggestions? Just let a Committee member know.

Our Club’s Trip Rules

A. Bookings allowed on all trips.

B. A deposit or full payment to be made at time of booking.

C. Full payment MUST be paid at least two weeks before departure date.

D Trips Officer to handle trips & bookings, & Treasurer to handle finances. Cancellations due

to weather will be refunded in full, or transferred to another trip.

E. Members cancelling for any reason will lose full monies unless they find a replacement for

their position on the trip.

F The trips Officer will determine if there are enough people to run a trip & if not will notify

cancellation two weeks prior to departure.

Non-Members & non-financial members will be charged an extra $10 on trips.

Two trips & club membership is a must.

Please send Club Fees to Margaret Howard, 14 Gails Drive, Okura, RD2, Albany.

Family Membership $50 – Single $40 – Junior $30 – Social $25

Do YOU have any suggestions as to where may take a trip or create an adventure, we need your feedback

and interest contact either Bruce or a committee member.

Planning has already been brought up for a 2008 OE dive trip.

Life’s an adventure be part of it!

Dear Margaret,

Thanks for following up. This has been a big year of change for me, which means that it is no longer

realistic for me to expect to be an active member of Dolphin Underwater Club.

I got married earlier on (to a non-swimmer) and my wife and I are anticipating a baby later in the year. My

diving activities are going to be reduced even further from what they were before!

I am just about managing to keep in touch with the diving community since encountering Global Dive.

They have once a month meetings in Westhaven, and have had some pretty interesting presentations. This

is obviously closer to home and work than the North Shore and I have been able to cycle there at times.

Before getting into married life I did manage one last liveaboard dive trip to PNG which was a great

experience. Culmination was managing to rack up 75 minutes of decompression from 15 minutes bottom

time on a Japanese freighter (the deck was at 60m and I was on air! twin tanks mind). Also dived an

American bomber resting on the sand at 48m - the machine guns still pivoted smoothly on their swivel


I hope all is going well with you and the Club; good luck in the future.

All the best

Greg Pinches

Beqa Lagoon Trip – Fiji Sept 2007 (pronounced Benga).

Anticipation was running high in the days before, what with Internet viewing of where we were heading,

reading the blogs, a new flash unit for the camera, the thought of warm clear waters & no phones, TV,

work etc. Well TV was still there much to our surprise, even the remotest places have access with all the

satellites flying around the world.

Saturday we were up at 4:15am to shower etc & be ready for Kevin, Marie & Gareth to pick us up at the

door with detour through Onehunga to pick extra “O” rings for the Island’s dive operation. Everyone met

in the departure area, (Martin, Gary, Jenni, Kevin, Marie, Trish & Denis), as we had to take our luggage

through as group. Some baggage was a bit heavier than others, hmmm! Next we headed upstairs for a bit

of breakfast when Gary realised he wouldn’t get his wine past customs, so back downstairs for him to

have it bubble wrapped & put through as extra baggage. Made the wine’s value a bit higher – be warned

you future travellers.

Rest continued through to duty free, be warned again, as I had a very small plastic bottle of lens defogger

liquid & silicon grease that should have gone in the clear plastic for customs, in my camera suitcase. They

let me through though with a warning. Don’t think anyone bought much in duty free as we boarded the

plane & then we waited & waited. Everyone was giving the stewards heaps of stick about our flight being

delayed while the pilots watched to the end the Aussies winning a world cup game. Don’t think we

believed them about getting extra bottled water on board for all the extra kids. Don’t they drink soft drinks

etc? The flight was quite entertaining with Gary landing Jenni a glass of bubbly before anyone else had

been served much to the la-te-da lady’s puzzlement sitting next to Jenni.

Meanwhile Gary’s getting into form chatting up the stewards &

generally giving them “hard” time. He then carries on quizzing

them all about the jobs, as his daughter’s showing interest in

doing likewise.

We flew out & up the East Coast of NZ with the Poor Knights

Islands the last site of land till Fiji came into view, roughly 3

hours later.

Goodbye to the clubrooms

Trish bought a couple of bottles of sparkling wine at Fiji’s duty free ($35) to celebrate with later (Ha!

Ha!). We all passed through customs ok & met Peter & Margaret waiting for us holding up a “Dolphin

Underwater” sign. They must have thought we may be “Lost”. Kevin spotted our bus driver who bought it

up closer to the entrance to load our heaps of gear on board.

A quick bite to eat for lunch was had at the airport café with several people disappearing into the loos to

do a quick change into something more comfortable.

The bus trip was another 3 hour journey & the air conditioning is quite simple, just open all the windows.

The country side is rather fascinating when you see a small shanty stile house with a satellite dish sitting

on top, or the tractors with their sugar cane loads hanging way out the sides, then people on roadside

waving out as you go by & of course the various road side stalls with the different “stuff” for sale.

The tarseal roads were in good condition, if

maybe a little narrow in places. We had a rest

stop at Sigatoka to look at a souvenir shop &

purchase a few supplies – mainly beer. The

pub had music going full bore everybody

singing along. Fiji’s appearance shows a great

lack of finance across all areas. We reboarded

the bus & carried on up to Pacific Harbour

where we were to meet our boat.

The boat was at the wharf waiting, so while it was being loaded most went into a deserted restaurant for

toilet stop – very basic!

The resort on the opposite bank was very flash by comparison.

The 45minute ride over was a bit choppy but

ok, no one getting seasick. Arriving at the

Beqa Island we transferred into a tinnie to get


We were welcomed with songs & a Lei each on disembarking at the beach. (Shoes off).

Drinks & a cold face towel at the restaurant – nice touch, where we also met the resort manager Max &

Sue his wife. He gave us a full run down on the place & had us filling in the disclaimer & meal selection

forms. Our Bure numbers were allocated & we headed off with a warning to stick to the paths as the

coconuts drop at anytime like they do - Ker thump!

Like bombs but leaving great dents in the lawn.

Can’t imagine what they’d do to our soft nuts.

The paths start after the swimming pool bridge &

looped around the perimeter of the grounds

returning through an Asian styled village with ponds & bridges back to the pool area.

The crew had already offloaded the boat & delivered

all our “stuff” to our doors. After a bit of unpacking,

Trish hopped into her togs for cool plunge to freshen

up, took ages to get in as it was cold. I decided that a

shower was probably more practical. Got changed &

proceeded to sort the dive gear out for the crew to

take back out to the dive boat for the next day. We

ended up with Marie’s bag as well but no problem

the boys took it back to her Bure for us.

All we had to look after each day were our wet suits

& cameras.

A quick explore was on next to see what’s what &


Lovely kept grounds, double hammock on seaside lawn, cool spa pool, hedges between units for privacy,

(just as well in Martins case, future story), outside table & chairs on sheltered deck, plenty of room in

units, fridge, jug, full bathroom with own shower. Boy what difference to Tonga.

Next we headed back up to the restaurant & bar for drinks & dinner at 7pm when the drums sounded.

They drummed each time we had to meet for an event. You sort of forget to clock watch but I suppose

that’s what a holiday is for. Staying here also were a large noisy crowd of Americans from Arizona

already on the island plus an English couple who came over on the boat with us.

Our bed had a beautiful tropical flower quilt on it, but too warm to use.

The meal was the first of many

great feeds ie dinner was entrée or

soup, main course followed by

dessert. Heck most of us don’t do

that at home.

We both had the “Escola” fish main

with chocolate cake dessert, the

tea/coffee to finish. That basically

stuffed everyone on the first day, so

most decided to head back to their

bure’s but the heavy rains came &

we decided it better to wait till it

had passed, didn’t last long.

The air conditioning was turned off with the

overhead fan left running to spook away the

mossies along with an incense candle burning

behind a metal fish decorative stand.

The Fijian women came in each night while you

were at dinner, turned down your bed & lit the

candles (The bure’s were fully fly screened).

For all the rain we had at times we didn’t have too

much of mossie problem as there complimentary

sprays up at the restaurant plus our own at the


We didn’t remember hitting the pillow that night.

It was a hot humid night compared to home, with us waking at about 6am & dozing off again. So up at it a

bit later to shower & sort out our dry bag for the day. Trotting of to breakfast at 7am to sunny morning.

Nice continental breakfast or omelette with everything if you wished. 7:5am drums beat – meeting time at

the tinny to take us out to the dive boat. Picked up wetsuits, camera gear & headed down to beach.

Martin’s missing, gone back to

room to get his dive qualification

to show the office. He got a ride

out with the Yanks as they were

going on the other boat. The first

dive site Carpet Cove was about

30-40minutes away with Japanese

fishing boat as a wreck. As with

all our dives one Fijian would lead

with another as tail end charlie.

Trish trouble getting down but did

eventually & I gave up as there

were not enough weights on

board. I gave mine to Martin so he

could get down with his video

camera. I took my wetsuit top off

& with a little free diving

technique managed to get down &

tap him on the shoulder. He seemed a bit surprised to see me there.

Trish found her camera went into a CF error

mode so had flag her photography on that

dive. Missed getting a mini Lionfish. She

was also feeling a bit crook with a stomach

cramping & just hung around above the guys

below. That was still 45Min dive at 21M in

26degrees of water with 15M viz. Others all

surfaced & reboarded the boat for drinks &

bikkies. Trish had to have a hand to get out

of her suit & not long after ground baited

with Margaret saying she felt crook last night

also. Must have been something they ate. The

boat then shifted spots & meet up with

another just off an island to pick up more


Picture perfect island, palm trees, golden sand & small enough to walk around. Honey mooners are

dropped of for a picnic lunch for the day if they wish.

Whilst motoring we saw a small

school of little Dolphins but they

must have been feeding as they

didn’t hang around long enough

for us to get in with them.

Arrived at our 2 nd spot for the

day called “Joes Best”. Trish

didn’t dive & I just left my

wetsuit top off, which was quite

comfortable, even though I ended

up with a few coral scratches.

I had checked my camera was working ok & Trish’s I found the CF card hadn’t been pushed right home.

It was a good dive with some awesome tunnels where everyone could fit in. Lots of soft corals. Martin

aborted his dive early apparently not feeling comfortable with the rip.

To be continued next month.

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