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February 2008 Newsletter - DolphinUnderwater.org

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Dolphin Underwater & AdventureClubFebruary 2008 Newsletterwww.dolphinunderwater.orgNext Club Meeting: Wednesday 13 th Feb. 7:30pmWhen & WhereVenue: The ClubroomsNorthcote Rd Ext’nLake Pupuke,TakapunaWhat’s InsideComing Trips & EventsCommittee ContactsNews & ViewsFiji 3rd & Final EditionClub Address:14 Gails DriveOkuraRD2 AlbanyPh/Fax: 09 473 8069Mob: 0274 839 839Email: howardz@nznet.gen.nz


COMMITTEE MEMBERS: 2007/2008President Martin Brett 418 2332 mbp@phy.auckland.ac.nzVice-President Stuart Morgan 482-4062 an_cala@hotmail.comSecretary/Treas Margaret Howard 473 8069 Ph/Fax howardz@nznet.gen.nzDive Trips Officer Bruce Nixon 478 7186 bruce.nixon@orcon.net.nzAdventure Trips Martin Saggers 410 2363 msaggers@xtra.co.nzEditor Denis Adams 444 0501 Ph/Fax triden@clear.net.nzWeb Site John Freeman 478 4958 johnf@witblitz.netCommitteeTom Butler 624 3505 Angela Morgan 482 4062 Fiona Warwick 482-0135Life & Honorary MembersBarry Barnes – Life Peter & Margaret Howard – Life Brian Horton – LifeReg Lawson - Life Roberto Tonei – Life Dave Quinlan – LifeGraham Thumah – HonoraryEileen Slark – HonoraryIf you need a mobile or email address contact a committee for it.Cover Page Photo: South Is. Pied Oyster Catchers on a Miranda shell ridge.Note: These shell ridges (Cheniers) take 4,500 years to form the plain.Photo by DenisNEXT MEETING: 7:30pm on the 13 th February 2008BBQ Night Catch-Up BYO FoodCOMING TRIPS AND EVENTS23 rd – 24 th February 2008 - Weekend trip to TiriTiri Matangi Island –– Ferry leaves Gulf Harbour9.50 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 tocover mattress, torch for kiwi and tuatara spotting at night (they have red cellophane to cover lens), andeverything 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:Dive the HMNZS Canterbury, Deep Water Cove – Available dates are 23 rd /24 th Feb, 8 th /9 th March,29 th /30 th March – Contact Bruce for a place.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 – Another Bruce is booking for this yearWeekend Tramp in the Coromandel


A tramp along the Coromadel Walkway. Take the ferry across to Coromandel and stay overnight in abackpackers - contact Martin Saggers 410 2363 – if interested.Kayak TripsKayak 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 RulesA. 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 dueto 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 fortheir position on the trip.F The trips Officer will determine if there are enough people to run a trip & if not will notifycancellation 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 $25Do YOU have any suggestions as to where may take a trip or create an adventure, we need your feedbackand interest contact either Bruce or a committee member.Planning has already been brought up for a 2008 OE dive trip.From the PresidentDear All,Life’s an adventure be part of it!I sincerely hope you all had a great Christmas and are looking forward to a prosperous New Year. Theweather is still superb and I hope you are taking advantage of some of the trips Bruce has up his sleeve.I’ve been on a few scallop dives but unfortunately it was lean pickings. Anyone know of a good place?(phone me in absolute confidence).Two of our guest speakers were not available so we thought a casual BBQ on Wednesday night would bea great way to catch up. Bring a plate preferably with something on it and we can catch up on each othersnews.Looking forward to seeing you all there.Martin BrettBeqa Lagoon Trip – Fiji Sept 2007 (pronounced Benga). Part 3 FinalApparently Peter saw a couple of sharks also. It was then back tobase for one of those yummie lunches. After lunch we were then offto school for a visit to meet the kids & teachers. We also took overquite a few school supplies to help them out as they are difficult toobtain on the islands. We kept a few supplies back to give to thekindergarten group who were based on the opposite side of the


esort. When we reached the school the kids sung afew songs with actions etc. & then we had tointroduce ourselves. We were then invited toparticipate in the entertainment also. U’mm! Talkabout put on the spot. I won’t mention what weended up singing, but be warned you futuretravellers,havesomething prepared. The kids were great & ended up having agreat time with rugby balls we had given to them. The teachersthen showed us into one of the classrooms & we presented thestuff we had brought over for them. Afterwards it was justwalk back past a stall or two selling Fiji stuff & a laze around till 5pm drinks at the Cozens place.yesterday & presented it to him at dinner.We had a bit of a lighting show out at sea & fortunately itstayed out there. We met up at dinner again with a couple whohad been out diving with us, Scott an Aussie & Julie a Kiwi.This couple have an interesting occupation in that he captains aluxury gin palaces for their American owners. The honeymooners joined us at our table. We also had four otherAmericans that dived today with us. Man they have some loudgear. Trish got everyone to sign Martin’s birthday card forNext day, breakfast was French toast again, yum. Then off to board the Blue Surveyor with two couplesfrom the States, an English couple & the American honeymooners. It was a 45min ride out to YanucaIsland for our first dive at “Jon’s tunnel”. Here there was another Japanese fishing boat in really clearwater sittingupright on thebottom. Thisproved to be oneof the best divesof holiday & wetook heaps ofphotos.The dive finished with a deco stop as per usual on shallow coral bommie which was colourful. We thenmotored to the surf camp bay for a spot of lunch. Surferscamp here inbure’s or intents & are thentaken by boatout to FijiPipeline a worldfamous surfingspot. A verypretty bay where just about everyone went for a snorkel withMargaret spotting a large reef shark during her swim. The


second dive spot at place called Fantasy was a bit of a test for fitness. There was a strong current runningwhich meant you had to hang onto the coral near the surface &time your launch to meet up with anchor warp & then again tomeet up with the rope at the back of the boat. No one missed eitherbut a few including Trish didn’t enjoy the experience that much.She did however see a turtle which appear to be quite scarce. In themeantime whilst we were under the wind & sea had got up withthem going in opposite directions. American was feeling quiteseasick & we had a bit of a rough ride home with waves comingover the bow of the boat. Washed the gear & hung it all up. Thendecided the plunge pool would be nice, but it was kinda cool, sohad showers instead. Lunch today washamburgers & chips, very nice, but oh sofilling, just could not demolish it all. As thehumidity was very we went back to our bureTrish decided the double hammock was theanswer, but with black clouds rolling indecided the bed was better for a catnap.When the thunder & rain arrived at 4:30pmTrish decided it was to wet to get next door& stayed in listing to her I pod. I went to theCozen’s till it was dinner time. Trish gaveJennie her other bottle of bargain “sparkling red” to have with their dinner. Tonight the resort villagers puton a Kava ceremony for those that wanted to participate.Thursday the 20 th dawns & its Gary’s 50 th birthday. Trish had a bit of ear trouble overnight but seems tohave survived. With card in hand of up to breakfast to get everyone to sign it, but no sign of Martin, thensomeone spotted that he wasn’t diving today – sleeping in. After breakfast out to the boat with our gear &off to Carpet Cove again. Water was dead flat after the storm of last night. As the others were doing adeeper dive onto a wreck, Trish & I stayed on a coral bommie with some others. A very pretty dive withseveral Lionfish & Batfish being spotted. Back on board the boat for lunch & Sita told us the story of theFijian fire walkers. We didn’t know that Beqa Is. was where fire walking originated from. After lunch wemoved over to a place called “Gee’s Rock”. We still had flat water but it started raining, but that just madeit warmer in the water than out. This was a nice easy dive with plenty ofstuff being spotted, Batfish, Lionfish, Triggerfish, Blue spotted Stingray,Barracuda & a fish that was changing from black to bright blue in colourbefore your eyes. It had mepuzzled at first because Ithought I was seeing things,as I snuck up on the school.It wasn’t till I watchedcontinually one fishthat I realised what washappening, amazingsight to see. Also therewere some good sized Feather Stars & Fan Coral. Real good dive.Back in for lunch of Ham &Tomato sandwiches plusfruit. Trish & a group wentfor the walk with Wyse intothe other village. Apparentlythey meet the chief on theway & they were notsupposed to be wearing hatsor back packs in his


company. I guess Wyse then wised them up after that protocol booboo. The village is very basic in itsconditions, although they do have a generator for power. Broken down at present. We went into thechurch & signed the visitor’s book, then proceeded past the various shops with Jennie buying a pinksarong. There were Kava bowls, Tapa cloth & big bunches of Taro roots for sale. As it started to rain theyall went back into the Methodist church for shelter & Wyse told them that there were no musicalinstruments played inside only the singing from the choir. Each day started off with a church ceremonybefore work or school. Wyse’s wife found a few umbrellas for them to borrow as it was raining quiteheavily. Trish & Grace shared one till Trish was able to get her hood up on her jacket, but wasdisappointed in not getting a photo of the very large Frangipani tree & the crabs on the rocks. She got a bitwet so had to get changed when she got back & then proceeded to photo the Bure’s inside features. In themeantime I was with Kevin trying to replace the battery in my dive computer, but having trouble getting itopen, over tightened by persons unknown. (Never liked it anyway – always forgetting to turn it on, I mustbe old school). As it was Gary’s birthday our happy hour was to be had at the bar tonight. Trish decided totry a “Happy Fijian Cocktail” –Vodka, orange juice, pineapple, passionfruit juices & a dash of Grenadine.Very nice, then thought the Mai Tai sounded good,(Dark & light rums), too strong for her had to water itdown with orange & ice. Even then she couldn’tfinish it & as I don’t like rum I stuck to my beers.Plenty of drinking, talking, dinner, till desert came up then all the staff came out of the kitchen with twobirthday cakes. One for Gary & one for Martin. Then Gary had to wear the musical birthday cake hat theplays happy birthday & the optic fibre lights pop up & flash when it is touched. Lots of ribbing of course& laughs. Martin had to wear it later for the usual photos.We all had some birthday cake & then were served the usual desert – all got kindafilling. Didn’t think any of us would need weight belts the next day. Everyoneprobably crashed into bed about 9’ish, with no energy left for partying. Big daytomorrow for those going on the shark dive.Next day dawned quiet & cloudy, flat water & mist in the hills behind us. AsTrish, Peter & I were not doing the shark dive I had to go out to the boat to grabour weight belts so we could do a shore dive later. As I was waiting at the stern ofthe boat to be taken back to shore a very big fish (1.5+M) swam past. I asked whatit was & one of the Fijians said it was a Barracuda. I said “That size!” & the replywas “Big for in here, but they are bigger out there”. Don’t think I’d like to meet aschool of them that size. We asked Gary if he was OK this morning & he said yeshe stopped drinking early & Jenni carried on for him. We arranged to meet Peter, Martin & Grace about10am to go for a paddle & snorkel with kayaks. Borrowed some rope to tow the kayaks whilst snorkellingexcept my knots came undone while we were in the water & Trish had to swim after her paddle & kayak.Pete towed Grace out with a mask & snorkel, thenMartin joined her while they just snorkelled & Petewent off for a paddle to the village area. We wentout quite a bit further as earlier the water had beenquite clear but with the outgoing tide all the garbagefrom village stream had entered the bay giving poorviz. Still interesting what you see as the terrain isalways different, found a ghost net, but couldn’tdislodge it. At least we new where it was for ournight dive later. Trish returned Pete’s long sleeved


shirt she had worn to stop getting sunburnt Pete of course was already back with his nose in a book. Trishin the afternoon tried out one of Fijian’s massages with Frangipani oil. Very nice apparently -recommended. Meanwhile I went for a wonder to find her Frangipani tree & photograph it in the village.Having done that & I was joined on the track by a gentleman wearing a maroon lava-lava walking back tothe resort. I was thinking he must be someone important because of the colour of the lava-lava; heintroduced himself & proceeded to ask all about my family, what I did for a living & sport. Well! Once Imentioned my involvement with Touch Rugby I got the full third degree questions on all aspects of thegame. Anyway he had to stop at a house on the way & we said our goodbyes. Nice Guy. Found out laterhe was the village priest (lava-lava) & also the island’sRugby coach, no wonder so many questions. Got back tothe bure & had a cool shower to freshen up & Trishwandered off out onto the shoals to photograph a ladyfishing. Then in came theusual heavy shower ofrain, sure floods the placebut it all drains away.The others arrived backwith plenty of stories onthe shark dive which theyhad recorded on video, so that everyone could see it later on the TV set atdinner. After dinner a few of us set up about 8pm for a shore night dive. Abit murky still but at least there were heaps of tube worms of variouscolours out & new stuff/things to see. Well worth the effort to see aCowry shell on the move.Next day is home time with our bags to be left outside the bure’s by 7am. Down for breakfast & then intoa photo session with the banner, other friends made etc. Everyone was given a Hibiscus flower to wear &then be to cast into the water on leaving as sign thatyou will return. Onto the boat for the return trip onlyto findMr Bretthad lefthis divegear inthelockerroom,wonderaboutyousometimes Martin. The trip to Pacific Harbour was pleasant& then we boarded onto a big bus this time to take us throughto Nadi. We stopped at souvenir shop & bought presents forthose at home. Trish also bought some Frangipani oil only tohave it poured into the bin at the airport customs. Rememberno liquids in your carry on. We also stopped & had a look atthe shell house down the road a bit. Be also aware of theCITES when importing shells. Had a brief stop a Sigatoka,but nothing was open as it was Sunday. We dropped ofMartin & Grace as they were staying on for a few extra days.The driver took us on a small tiki tour of Nadi as we had some spare time till departure. Back at the airportI purchased a good map of Fiji & we had bite eat before boarding our Air Pacific flight back to Auckland.Diving details: Maximum average depth was 20M finishing up at about 11M. Viz. Offshore 15-25M.Inshore variable 2-15M. Bottom time average 40-48 minutes. Water temp 27 degrees.Most dives with no currents. Deco stops always on a Bommie. A Fijian diver in front & one at the back.


Cameras were a Canon Powershot S40 & an S80. Artificial lighting used – 12V 35W Tungsten Halogenfloodlight (homemade) & a Fantasea Nano Strobe.Kevin, Marie, Denis, Trish, Peter, Margaret, Gary, Jenni, Martin, Grace.The Team – Bula Vanaka – Denis & TrishPS: Kevin & Marie are now taking bookings for trip to Beqa Island again in August 2008.Note. I have put up for sale the Powershot S40 via the magazine first before I put it on TradeMe.I will have it at the club meeting with samples of photos taken.Camera PowerShot S40High Resolution 4.0 Megapixel CCD with RGBfilter, 3 x Optical zoom & up to 11 x combinedwith digital zoom, Movie mode, Direct printcapable, Manual over rides, ISO from 50 to 400,Lithum-ion battery & high speed charger CB-2LT, CompactFlash card, Waterproof case WP-DC300, AC Adaptor kit ACK700, Soft Case,Video/Tv connection cable DC-100, Softwaredisc, Manuals.$450.00. Has always been serviced by Canon.Prints to A4 size very well. For those that havebeen to our place they will have seen some photosframed on our walls. Contact Denis


Try a Drysuit dive.5.00pm onwards on Wednesday the 20 th February at The Pumphouse, Lake Pupuke.Try a Drysuit dive.Contact Margaret as she needs to know numbers. You can’t all get in at once. 473 8069A Dive Report from Guy Kloss on the Great Barrier IslandFor New Year's 2007/2008 we stayed on a live-a-board ship "Southern Salvor" at Great Barrier Island. Itwas an old oil rig supply ship from 1968. The vessel was anchored justnorth of Port Fitzroy.We took the ferry from Auckland and were picked up with a RIB byDennis, the captain and owner of the ship. A first brief introduction to thecrew and the ship, then the first "interrogation" towards what we areplanning to do, previous dive experience, etc. They've done a good job toaccommodate for the guest's wishes and needs. And they were not tired ofguests, yet ... but how could they, we were the first paying customers onboard for the new business "Pacific Dive". Next to the captain there wasalso of course the ship's cook Gillie (his services were greatly appreciated as he's quite innovative in hisjobs, and especially as he was nominated for the NZ bar mixer of the year competitions!!!), and Jason asanother staff member. Unfortunately Gillie cannot make it to stay as permanent crew on board. But: Enjoyevery day he is ... ;-) Furthermore, it was quite exciting to have Brent, the brain behind the home builtsubmarine "Dry Dive" (check also the web site Pacific Dive) with his first engineer Ryan. They've joinedthe Southern Salvor gang to give their construction the salt water testing, as there are not many shipsaround with the space and a crane strong enough to lift the 2.5 t sub.It was fantastic! The first night after arrival we didn't really feel like diving, but we went fishing instead.We went out with the RIB to the close by Kaikoura Island and caught a few yummy snappers and a bluemaomao. Lunch for the next day was set ...The next day we got up to drive out for an early dive at 7:30. this time wewent cray fishing. It was the first time for us to go fishing while diving.Usually as someone from Europe it's a big "No, no!" to take anything outof the water while diving. It takes a bit of practise to succeed in it, so Ididn't catch anything, but had altogether a good harvest with a fewdecently sized crays, letting us long for dinner. Especially as we used somerest pressure on our tanks on the way back for some scallop hunting. Adecent size catch of scollies was to sweeten the night's dinner even more. Back on board we learnt how toprepare the scallops, another first for us. And it was also quite interesting to try them raw, freshly out ofthe shell. Although, I must say that I prefer them cooked, but it makes it well worth tasting the differenceand actually knowing that they cannot be undercooked. (So ... as soon as they startturning opaque on the outside they're best, and just the tenderness and taste that welove ...) Just before Gillie declared the dinner buffet opened, he stopped in his tracksand announced that we'd have a dinner that would cost a fortune in a restaurant. Butin our case the most expensive ingredient in it were the two minute noodles he usedfor the accompanying salad. :o)The next days continued in a similar fashion of diving, fishing, eating, and letting thesoul drift in the nice breeze of the sunny days under a steel blue sky. We hardly had achance to get to our books we took and read, but we didn't really miss that fact,either. And every now and then the two sub builders got themselves together andwent for another venture into the see gathering experience on their newest


construction (there was an article on the submersible in issue 102 Dive New Zealand - Oct/Nov 2007, p.72). They were able to enjoy the excellent technical environment available on the old oil rigger for testing,lifting, and modding ...New Year's Eve was spent initially on land at the little conveniencestore/post office/social centre of Port Fitzroy with a bunch of locals and arelaxed BBQ and lots of booze. Later we went back to the ship with thediehards to continue partying. Gillie did some magic on cocktailing whileDennis launched some fireworks off the bridge of the ship. Nightly tripswith the RIB to other boats and parties were definitely another adventure.Bio-luminescent plankton in the sea at the time crated magical impressionsmoving across the pitch black night sea. Besides the very bright visiblewake of our own boat trails of fish fleeing away from the approaching boatscould be seen. Once we've even had the pleasure to see the outlines of a raymajestically "flying" in the shallows of the sea some 20 metres away.Crew and guests were revived by a solid hangover brunch, including hash browns,pan cakes, fried eggs, bacon, french toast and of course strong coffee and tea.Surprisingly this brunch was capable of doing the trick and reviving us all, that weeven were able to be eager to go out for two lazy afternoon dives. The next "firsttime" for me was an attempt in spear fishing. Got a couple of near misses, butbefore the luck of the first time hunter could be beneficial for dinner after thefourth shot the rubber band of the spear gun tore while reloading it. Damn! I guessit's been travelling a bit too long in hot south pacific waters with the ship so far ...Another interesting dive site was the Wairarapa wreck, a steamer that sunk 1894 inthe fog in the north of Great Barrier Island. Few fragments of the ship aresupposed to be found in depths of about 30 m, but the most interesting parts of the wreck found in variousspots are easily accessible between 10 - 20 m. Only fragments of the structure are still visible, and it isimpossible to see the wreck as a whole. The remains of the wreck are decomposing happily on the rockyground and are largely overgrown by a kelp forest homing an incredible variety of fish life. It was verymuch unlike a "new" wreck as the ones found along the coastlines of NZ's north island, but due to itsremote location it was all very peaceful and a great combination together with the fish life to be seenthere.Too bad, on the 3rd of January we had to return again. But for someonefrom Europe this was a grand introduction into the Kiwi way of life withthe sea. Furthermore, it was so lazy with all the diving anyone could want.Good technical equipment on board for filling tanks and servicing minortechnical problems on diving gear, etc. A big bonus is to be able to see allthose great dive spots that commercial operators usually don't go to. Thenorth of Great Barrier Island is usually only frequented by private boatowners, and not much diving tourism is to be found there. Overall: Verywell worth it!The price was also quite competitive. OK, we got a special of paying theprice of one for two people. But even for normal price it is extremelycompetitive. If I think how much you'd pay otherwise for accommodation,food, the dives, the tank fills, etc. unfortunately, though, the SouthernSalvor will soon be traded in for another ship. Dennis has found anotherone that is a bit smaller (an old harbour tug), but that should be quite a bitmore efficient. And space wise the Southern Salvor is indeed a bit oversizedfor the purpose. Plans are to also be able to pick up and/or drop offpassengers in Auckland, getting around some of the ferry inconvenience. Further plans are also to do tripsover the period of a long weekend doing a "Northland Wreck Tour", or two weeks going from Aucklandto Rarotonga (or back, so only one flight would be necessary) to be at different diving destinations everyday, cruising ahead at night ... There's definitely lots to come and to expect. I'm already waiting


desperately the next time we've got some time and money available to do one of the more extensive tripswith Dennis and his "Pacific Dive" team!More pictures of the trip can be found here in the gallery. Guy Kloss.Miranda – The Seabird CoastI have asked but not received a report on the Miranda kayak trip so it’ll be in next months newsletter withphotos.AND one for the intrepid travellers to study – Spot the dangerous fish! This is the easiest photo to see it inthat I took in Fiji.The Frangipani Tree

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