Dive Pacific 171 Oct- Nov 2019

divenewzealand31206

NEW ZEALAND'S DIVE MAGAZINE

NEW ZEALAND’S ONLY DIVE MAGAZINE

ISSUE 171 - $9.90 inc GST

October / November 2019

P A C I F I C

NEW ZEALAND’S ONLY DIVE MAGAZINE

P A C I F I C

Shooting big sharks, up close

How a professional does it

www.Dive-Pacific.com

Wade Doak, great Kiwi dive pioneer

Diving the Kamikaze drop off

Wildlife Photographer of the Year !

Vanuatu wreck’s forgotten

claim to fame

Challenging yourself

- Freediving Nationals

Pretty, venomous & invasive:

THE LIONFISH

www.dive-pacific.com 1


“The reef systems here are some of the most pristine I have seen anywhere in my dive travels around

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brilliant if you love photography.” ~ Simon Bowen

2 Dive New Zealand | Dive Pacific


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is concluded. While at the resort, or

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any service or facility within our power.

This unmatched combination of worldrenowned

reefs and first-class luxuries

put Wakatobi in a category all its own.

www.wakatobi.com

www.dive-pacific.com 1


contents

36

12

IN DEPTH

5 EDITORIAL: Endeavour found. Time to celebrate!

with Editor at Large Dave Moran

SOUNDINGS Local and international news & comment

4 Regulator hoses recalled

7 Dive boat tragedy kills 34 in California

8 The Tane Mahuta of NZ diving has fallen - Tributes to Wade Doak

10 New protections for bottlenose dolphins;

Hector dolphin sighted in the north;

Scientists study eels by moonlight;

15 New history of Poor Knights Marine Reserve Out Now

16 Explore the world AND earn your Master Scuba Diver rating

20 Dive study pays off;

New eyeless worm found;

Methane seep bubbles trouble

28 More electric eel species found

32

29 AUT signs on 10 year ocean research programme.

New whale species identified

SPECIAL FEATURES

12 TALKING TECH DIVING: The Kamikaze Drop off

36 Pretty, photogenic, venomous, predatorial & invasive: The Lionfish

SPECIES IN DEPTH

41 UK’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year images go on display

45 BACK IN THE DAY: Sportways Ad published in Wade Doak’s Dive

Underwater magazine in 1963

BUCKET LIST DESTINATIONS

11 Dive Fiordland!

21

21 Vanuatu’s forgotten wreck. The long proud tale of the SS Empire

Shirley aka Tapuhi aka Tui Tawate

31 Tulagi’s reefs; Unexpected wow factor.

New discoveries in the Solomons

2 Dive New Zealand | Dive Pacific


NEW ZEALAND’S ONLY DIVE MAGAZINE

NEW ZEALAND’S ONLY DIVE MAGAZINE

NEW ZEALAND’S ONLY DIVE MAGAZINE

www.dive-pacific.com 1

P A C I F I C

NEW ZEALAND'S DIVE MAGAZINE

ISSUE 171 - $9.90 inc GST

October / November 2019

P A C I F I C

Photo Etienne Menger, Sony A7III, -

(Dave Abbott filming Tiger sharks in Tahiti).

www.Dive-Pacific.com

Wade Doak, great Kiwi dive pioneer

Diving the Kamikaze drop off

Wildlife Photographer of the Year !

P A C I F I C

Shooting big sharks, up close

How a professional does it

Vanuatu wreck - forgotten

claim to fame

Challenging yourself

- Freediving Nationals

Pretty, venomous & invasive:

THE LIONFISH

Filming big sharks, up close

“Ever since I was knee-high I’ve had

an enduring fascination for sharks,

fuelled by endless hours watching shark

documentaries and reading every shark

book and paper I could get my hands

on,” writes professional cameraman,

Dave Abbott. He talks about his

experiences on page 32

41

18

OUR EXPERT COLUMNISTS

6 How many versions of sustainability are there?

LEGASEA UPDATE

22 Spearfishing at night!

SPEARO’S NOTEBOOK! with Jackson Shields

51 The Black Angelfish

SPECIES FOCUS with Paul Caiger

52 Symptoms return after flying: Did the diver fly too soon?

INCIDENT INSIGHTS with DAN, the Divers Alert Network

54 The fascinating problem of inner ear decompression

DIVE MEDICINE with Prof Simon Mitchell

58 SHADES OF COLOUR:

More stunning images from our regular photo competition

31

62 Why pay for Photoshop? Are there alternatives?

DIGITAL IMAGING with Hans Weichselbaum

64 Focus, frame, shoot!

BACK TO BASICS Underwater Photography, A Practical Guide for

Beginners Ch 3 Pt IV

by Alexey Zaystev. Translated from Russian exclusively for DIVE PACIFIC

GEAR BAG

46 Washing your dive gear made easy; MagicJet u/w scooter. New

from Cressi. WA govt. subsidises shark repellent! Where you can

get Suunto’s dive computers; New rescue vehicle ready; Buying

gifts for u/w photographers

68 Classifieds

41

Check out our website www.divenewzealand.co.nz

Dive Pacific magazine is available in the lounges &

inflight libraries of these airlines.

www.dive-pacific.com 3


SOUNDINGS

LOCAL NEWS

Dive Rite recalls low-pressure regulator hoses

RUBBER LOW-PRESSURE REGULATOR HOSE SAFETY NOTICE

The hoses, in lengths between

six and 84 inches, were sold

between February 2018 and July

2019, either individually or as

part of a regulator or rebreather

package, Undercurrent reported in

August (www.undercurrent.org).

The hoses are suspected of not

meeting design and performance

standards. The specific hose

assemblies recalled are marked

with the codes: 0308, 0388, 0598,

0808, 1648, 1738, and 1998. Look

for the coding on the ferrule or

hose itself.

Dive Rite was notified by its

long-term vendor Danicorp Inc. in

July 2019. Below is the statement

received by the hose manufacturer:

“This product is now suspected of

not adhering to the ANSI Z86 7.1

standard. Hose material marked

Julian date code on hose

with the Julian date codes of:

0308, 0388, 0598, 0808, 1648, 1738,

and 1998 are the only hoses in

question. These hose assemblies

will have Danicorp's date coding

(on the ferrule), as early as, D0218

(February 2018) through D0918

(September 2018). Return your

recalled hose to the dealer from

which you bought it for a replacement.”

Dive Rite hoses affected by

this notice were sold between

February 2018 and July 2019. The

suspect Low-Pressure Regulator

Hoses sold by Dive Rite include

the following sizes only: 6”, 11”,

18”, 22”, 28”, 36”, 40”, and 84”.

Hoses were sold individually

and as part of regulator or CCR

packages.

Dive Rite rubber high-pressure

and BC hoses as well as

all braided low-pressure, high

pressure, and BC hoses are not

affected.

Dive Rite has reviewed the

ANSI standard referenced above

and it covers many aspects of

TecFestNZ on again

Danicorp date code on ferrule

hose construction, labelling, and

testing. Unfortunately, Danicorp

has not specified which part of the

standard that the hoses potentially

do not conform to. Because of this

we must recommend to immediately

discontinue use of any

affected hoses.

“Due to the widespread effects

of this safety notice and that

Danicorp supplied many different

distributors, manufacturers, and

dive shops, Dive Rite will only be

able to issue replacement hoses

through its dealer network. If

you have an affected hose, please

contact the Dive Rite dealer that

you purchased the hose from for

assistance.”

TecFestNZ is on again next year on May 1st,

2nd and 3rd 2020. Due to popular demand

Chris Clarke and Brent McFadden are

organising the event again in Taupo but at

a new venue close to the city’s foreshore.

It will follow the same proven format with

NEW ZEALAND’S ONLY DIVE MAGAZINE

interesting speakers, equipment exhibits

and try-dives from the lake foreshore.

Visit the TecFestnz web site for more

information and like the TecFestNZ

Facebook page to get up-to-date info as it

comes to hand over the next few months.

More in next issue of Dive mag.

P A C I F I C

established 1990

NEW ZEALAND’S ONLY DIVE MAGAZINE

P A C I F I C

October / November 2019 Issue 171

NEW ZEALAND’S ONLY DIVE MAGAZINE

Find us on facebook -

follow the links on our website

www.Dive-Pacific.com

P A C I F I C

Diver Emergency Number, New Zealand :

0800 4 DES 11 1800 088 200 (toll free)

Australia : +61-8-8212 9242

Publisher

Gilbert Peterson +64 27 494 9629

Dive Publishing

P.O. Box 34 687

Birkenhead, Auckland, New Zealand 0746

divenz@divenewzealand.co.nz

Editor at Large

Dave Moran +64 9 521 0684

davem@divenewzealand.co.nz

Advertising Sales Manager

Colin Gestro +64 272 568 014

colin@affinityads.com

Art Director

Mark Grogan +64 9 262 0303

bytemarx@orcon.net.nz

Printed by Crucial Colour Ltd

Retail distribution

NZ: Ovato NZ Ltd

All rights reserved. Reprinting in whole

or part is expressly forbidden except

by written permission of the publisher.

Opinions expressed in the publication are

those of the authors and not necessarily

the publishers. All material is accepted in

good faith and the publisher accepts no

responsibility whatsoever.

www.DiveNewZealand.co.nz

www.Dive-Pacific.com

Registered Publication

Dive Pacific ISSN 2624-134X (print)

ISSN 2324-3236 (online)

4 Dive New Zealand | Dive Pacific


INDEPTH EDITORIAL

Tuia Encounters 250 - Time to celebrate!

By Dave Moran - Editor at Large

Twelve months ago, in the

October/ November, Dive 166 we

published an item on the possible

discovery of Captain James Cook’s

HMB Endeavour in the waters off

Newport Rhode Island USA.

At the time I expressed my disappointment

to the Minister of Culture

and Heritage, Jacinda Ardern, the

Prime Minister, and her department’s

lack of any positive interest

in New Zealand putting its hand up

as a country that had an interest

in the wreck of arguably the most

significant European ship to map

New Zealand’s coastline and interact

with various Maori iwi.

As you know New Zealand is

commemorating the meeting of

Europeans and Maori from October

through to December 2019. The

Government has allocated $13.5

+ million to celebrate this historical

meeting, though some New

Zealanders would not use the word

‘celebrate’!

Australia is also in full production

to mark this historical event in their

history, allocating $60 million.

In New Zealand, the intention is

to bring to life the discovery of

New Zealand by many great ocean

navigators stretching back 700 plus

years when Polynesian explorers

arrived on our shores, and the later

arrival 250 years ago of British

explorer, Captain James Cook in

1769.

Interestingly a point that has

been completely omitted by the

mainstream media is that the

French explorer, Captain Jean

François Marie de Surville, was also

mapping the coastline at the same

time. Cook and de Surville were

unaware of each other’s presence

though they passed each other by

approximately 20 nautical miles!

Over the last 12 months the

Australian Government and the

Australian National Maritime

Museum have been supporting the

Rhode Island Marine Archaeology

Project (RIMAP) in their efforts to

identify which of five wrecks is

the most likely to be the Endeavour

(renamed Lord Sandwich) from

13 vessels that were scuttled in

the harbour entrance there by

the British during the American

Independence Revolution in 1778 as

a blockade for the possible arrival of

the French.

Recently the RIMAP team excavated

a small section of the buried hull

taking various wood samples that

will be analysed at a new conservation

lab built with Australia’s

help and private donations at the

Herreshoff Marine Museum in

Bristol, Rhode Island.

You may recall from the article in

our DIVE coverage last year that

New Zealand Marine archaeologist

Dr Bridget Buxton, Associate

Professor of Ancient History and

Mediterranean Archaeology who

is based at the University of Rhode

Island (URI) is very keen to have

New Zealand involved in the process

of verifying 100% that the remains

are that of the Endeavour. The URI

have all the conservation facilities

and expertise to accomplish this to

the highest marine archaeological

best practice standards.

PM Jacinda Ardern in an email

(3rd Oct 2018) to Dr Bridget Buxton

finished with: “We are in regular

contact with relevant Australian agencies

and, given the participation of the

Australian National Maritime Museum,

will certainly talk with them about

progress and potential of this work.”

Seeing that the Australians, God

bless them, are in boots and all,

it may be time for our Minister of

Culture and Heritage to give them

a call, if she or her Department

have not already? Maybe it’s time

to reconsider showing New Zealand

Government’s interest in the wreck

by accepting Dr Bridget Buxton’s

offer to be an integral part of a

professional team to establish once

and for all, 100%, that the final

resting place of this historic ship has

been found.

The Tuia Encounters 250 has become

a public relations nightmare for the

Government with Maori protests

being planned. These protests are

obviously being taken seriously

by the Government. (The https://

mch.govt.nz/tuia250 website has

the following notice: Due to security

issues the Tuia 250 website is unavailable.

For updates on the Tuia 250 project

follow us on Facebook).

Meanwhile news videos taken in

Gisborne show young Maori calling

the Endeavour the Death Ship!

Nonetheless let’s hope ALL New

Zealanders, no matter their ethnic

backgrounds, can come together to

enjoy the three months of celebrations

of the Tuia Encounters 250!

- Dave Moran

www.dive-pacific.com 5


LegaSea Update

How many versions of

sustainability are there?

LegaSea is clear that decisive

action needs to be taken now

to protect our fish stocks from

collapse.

That means putting the

handbrake on catch increases

until we know more about how

many fish are in the water. No

such restraint is evidenced in

the latest management proposals

from Fisheries New Zealand.

…Fisheries New Zealand seems content to do the bidding

for quota shareholders – nor do we see any precautionary

advice being presented to the Minister (by them).…

FNZ has just reviewed 13 inshore

shellfish and finfish stocks

including gurnard, rig and john

dory, and seven deep water

stocks. The Minister’s decisions

for these reviews have applied

since October 1st.

Thanks to your support, our

fisheries management team

managed to submit in response

to eight proposals by the end

of July. In our submissions we

expressed concern about the lack

of principles and rigour being

applied to these management

reviews.

When a fish stock shows some

sign of rebuilding there are

repeated examples of commercial

catch limits being exceeded.

…Sustainability is not discretionary. In 2009 the Supreme

Court clearly stated that sustainability is to be “ensured”…

Then there is vigorous lobbying

to increase the Total Allowable

Commercial Catch (TACC) to

legitimise this excess catch. This

is particularly worrying where

there is no stock assessment,

just some theoretical measure

of ‘abundance’ like commercial

catch rates or trawl survey

results.

It is a major concern that the

Ministry barely raises a whisper

of objection to the lobbying of

commercial fishing interests,

nor do we see any precautionary

advice being presented to the

Minister by FNZ. Instead, FNZ

seems content to do the bidding

for quota shareholders.

For example, the Ministry

proposed there be catch

increases for three stocks at the

top of the South Island. Those

stocks were red gurnard, rig and

john dory. None of these stocks

have a reliable estimate of their

stock size. Just a preliminary

trawl survey which shows that

abundance has peaked and is on

the way down.

It is frustrating to be continually

arguing that fish stocks must

be rebuilt when, as soon as they

rise above historical levels, there

is a rush to fish the stock down

again.

Just because all the quota can be

caught does not mean the fish

stock is abundant. Quota being

caught is a very poor measure

of overall abundance. To then

suggest that data is sufficiently

robust to justify catch increases

is ludicrous. It is shallow and

self-serving, so much so that

for the Ministry to embrace and

advance these claims on behalf

of the fishing industry, diminishes

their standing as a management

authority.

We urged caution in our recent

submissions in response to

the review. We said there is no

place for the Ministry’s habit

of proposing increased Total

Allowable Commercial Catches

so they impose no constraint on

catch. It is their job to manage

catch limits.

Moreover, Stuart Nash as the

Minister of Fisheries has the

statutory duty to act in a precautionary

manner when information

is uncertain.

Sustainability is not discretionary.

In 2009 the Supreme

Court clearly stated that sustainability

is to be “ensured”.

Over time the concept of

‘sustainability’ has been twisted

depending on the story being

told.

But there is one certainty. The

Minister has a legal obligation

to ensure fish stocks are

maintained at levels that provide

for healthy ecosystems, and for

the social, economic and cultural

wellbeing of all New Zealanders.

For many of our inshore fish

stocks this obligation is not being

met.

More info

Red snapper:

tinyurl.com/y53stn67

Tarakihi: tinyurl.com/y4lvdf6b

John dory & other South Island

stocks: tinyurl.com/y5tdk7rx

Hoki: tinyurl.com/y2qyut2b

Want to help? If you want to

help this ongoing effort, please

support us.

More info

Full submission – Fisheries

Change programme

https://tinyurl.com/yycmf5zg

Submission summary – one pager

https://tinyurl.com/yxekmlwc

Want to help?

If you want to help this ongoing

effort please support us.

https://legasea.co.nz/support-us/

Call 0800 LEGASEA (534 273)

Email us info@legasea.co.nz

Subscribe at

www.legasea.co.nz/subscribe

Read more at

www.facebook.com/legasea

6 Dive New Zealand | Dive Pacific


Dive boat tragedy kills 34 off

California coast

Investigators in the US have

been examining potential

ignition sources, including

overloaded electronics

causing a short, of the deadly

fire that swept through the

scuba dive boat Conception

off the coast of Southern

California killing 34 people on

board.

The boat was gutted and sank

in 20 metres of water before

dawn on Monday September 2nd

while anchored off Santa Cruz

Island.

Jennifer Homendy, a member of the

US National Transportation Safety

Board, said she had inspected a

vessel similar to the Conception

and was concerned about the

accessibility of its emergency exit

hatch and possible difficulties

getting to safety.

Other officials reportedly said

those who died were below deck

after flames blocked the one

stairway and the hatch leading

from sleeping bunks to the upper

decks, giving those below virtually

no chance of getting out.

But preliminary findings on the

causes of death, announced by

Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill

Brown, raise the possibility the

victims inhaled highly toxic smoke

and died in their sleep before being

burned beyond recognition. Twentythree

of the 33 bodies recovered

were identified through DNA.

The Conception’s captain and four

other crew members were asleep

above deck at the time and jumped

overboard. They told investigators

of trying to go back to help

those who died, but being driven

back by flames, heat and smoke.

They could not get to firefighting

equipment because everything was

engulfed.

Officials said the Conception had

been in full compliance with Coast

Guard regulations.

Victims included a prominent

marine environmental scientist

and her husband, high schoolers,

a hairdresser, a marine biologist,

software engineers, a special

effects designer for Disney, nature

photographer, nurse and a family

of five celebrating a birthday. They

were all on a planned three-day

excursion to the Channel Islands.

The four crew members were

tested for alcohol, which were

negative, and all five survivors had

drug tests with the results pending.

The Conception wasn’t required

by federal regulations to have fire

sprinklers aboard, according to the

US Coast Guard.

Other California divers have said

Truth Aquatics, which owned the

Conception, and its captains, were

very safety-conscious and the

tragedy shocked the industry. The

boat’s owner and others were interviewed

for hours as the National

Transportation Safety Board investigated

the fire.

Later in Santa Barabara 34

scuba tanks lined the stage

where thousands gathered to

remember those who had died.

Truth Aquatics pre-emptively

filed a lawsuit Thursday under

a pre-Civil War provision of

maritime law that could protect

it from potentially costly pay

outs to families of the dead,

a move condemned by some

observers as disrespectful and

callous.

DV005

SOUNDINGS

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www.dive-pacific.com 7


SOUNDINGS

LOCAL NEWS

The Tane Mahuta of diving has fallen

Wade Doak 23 February 1940 – 12 September 2019

Thursday the 12th of

September was, I guess,

for most just another day

in this beautiful country.

But by day’s end many of

us were in shock at the

sudden death of one of New

Zealand’s most recognised

diving personalities and

conservationists, Wade

Doak.

This whole magazine

could be filled with

Wade’s adventures and

accomplishments.

I first met Wade and his

lovely diving buddy and

wife Jan in the early 1970s.

I recall a group of us

heading up north to dive.

My teenage spearfishing

mate Barry Andrewartha,

the publisher and editor of

Dive Log Australia and I think

the late Neville Coleman,

who later became renowned

for his marine natural history

photography and publications,

especially about identifying

Nudibranchs.

Happy days. Wade & Jan Doak, after Wade received the Wyland

Foundation - Dive New Zealand Magazine Recognition Awardone

person can make a difference. Presented at the NZUA’s

AGM, Tutukaka 8th April 2006

You can imagine how the

conversation went… diving…

diving… have you seen this or that

– just wonderful.

When my wife Petal and I started

publishing Dive Log New

Zealand in the late 1990s,

Wade was always on my

radar for articles and he

knew the magazine was an

excellent vehicle to spread

his love of the marine

environment and how it

needs protection.

I see in the December 1990/

January 1991 Issue #1 in the

news section: “Poor Knights

– Fear for Fish life”. It was

about the important species

being fished out. It reads:

“Wade Doak, who has been

diving intensively at the

Poor Knights recently during

filming for TVNZ’s Wild

South series said the ban

on using sinkers for fishing

was a farce considering the

methods now being employed

to catch fish” etc.

Issue #2 has a “Stop Press:

Friday January 1991 – Wade Doak

witnesses a yellow banded perch

that has been jigged at the Poor

LETTERS WHAT YOU ARE SAYING. Tribute to Wade Doak

Dear Dave,

Like you I have been saddened to

hear of Wade’s passing. He was one

of my very special friends and we

had corresponded since I was at

school and he at university.

I hope that, in addition to his

conservation work, he will be

remembered as an international

pioneer with regard to diving

equipment during his Dive

Underwater magazine days.

New Zealand was the first country

that accepted that a contents gauge

was always part of Scuba, and

reserves were purely a possible

back up. As you know, Rob Davy

made the first Compensator

which Wade and Kelly used and

publicised, such that it became

everyday dive gear.

And then he publicised the DCP

(automatic decompression meter)

which was the first generation

of dive computer and this also

became everyday equipment.

Those were all colossal strides and

should be remembered.

Quentin Bennett

Marine values survey. Please do it

Hamish Howard is a post

graduate student in Wellington

researching how our values

influence our perceptions,

attitudes and behaviours

towards the marine

environment. The aim is to learn

how we can all work together

more effectively to get better

outcomes for our seas.

So he has developed a survey

and you are invited to complete

it, at the link:

https://tinyurl.com/y5zh4sn6

More info on the New Zealand

Marine Values Survey is at www.

nzmvs.org. Its also on facebook,

twitter, linkedin, and instagram.

Send it on.

The survey takes about half an

hour and you can return to it at

any time (on the same computer/

device). And its anonymous even

if you provide your name and

email at the end.

8 Dive New Zealand | Dive Pacific


SOUNDINGS

LOCAL NEWS

Knights. Wade had been searching

for months to film this now rare

fish at the Knights.

Fortunately, Wade’s son Brady was

able to vent the fish’s air bladder

and return it to the sea.”

Wade’s first feature article

appeared in the April/May 1991

Issue #3. Titled: “Crazy Yellow Sub,”

an hilarious account of Wade’s

first dive in Dr Walt Starck, a 1,400

pound sub that was aboard Walt

Starck’s research vessel El Torito.

In all Wade contributed over 50

articles.

As the years thundered by, I

got to know Wade and Jan and

considered them very good friends.

Wade’s love of writing started

before he became a member of the

Canterbury Underwater Club at the

Club’s inaugural meeting in the

1950s. Christchurch was a breeding

ground of divers who sure had an

adventurous spirit. The late Kelly

Tarlton and veteran diver Keith

Gordon were some of Wade’s close

diving buddies.

The club started a magazine, with

the first issue called Bulletin; the

second issue was changed to DIVE

Underwater magazine.

Wade already had an interest in

writing when he joined up with his

mate Keith Gordon and took on the

publication with the 3rd issue in

July 1959 (60 years ago) and started

distribution nationwide at one

shilling a copy.

(Keith Gordon tells me that, also

in the 1950s, the first New Zealand

dive magazine to be produced for

public sale cost of one shilling -

Underwater was published by DW

& ER Lynch who were members of

the Auckland Underwater Club.)

Wade, a schoolteacher, and his

wife Jan, a nurse, headed north to

Wellsford around 1963 where Wade

took up a teaching job at the local

high school.

Kelly Tarlton was living in

Matapouri and encouraged Wade

and Jan to join him and his wife

Rosemary nearby. So began the

ever-increasing love affair with

the Poor Knights Islands right at

their front door.

He and Jan continued publishing

DIVE Underwater magazine. They

changed the title to Dive South

Pacific Underwater magazine with

the March 1966 Issue: Vol 5 No 5;

price: 2 shillings.

Through the magazine he was

instrumental in bringing new

diving technology/equipment

and photography equipment to

light. But most importantly, they

inspired divers to get out there

with adventurous articles. The

expedition adventures of Wade are

numerous.

He has published over 20 books,

the most recent being e-books.

Some tell tales of sunken treasure,

or meeting witch doctors in remote

Pacific islands and, of course, the

love he shared with Jan for marine

mammals and all life in the sea.

I guess he may be most proud of

being involved (based information

he provided and his passion) in

having his beloved Poor Knights

Islands declared a partial Marine

Reserve in 1981 (only 5%!) and

finally a full Reserve – including

the Principals being legislated

totally a NO fishing reserve – in

1998. It was not an easy time

as there were many interests

against the islands becoming fully

protected. Some of that strong

resentment lingers today!

Wade received numerous

recognitions for his

conservation work.

A few that spring to mind:

2006: Wyland Foundation -

Dive New Zealand Magazine

Recognition Award: One person

can make a difference. The advocate

for marine conservation in New

Zealand.

2012: Queen’s Service Medal.

2016: Life Member, New Zealand

Underwater Association.

July 2019: The New Zealand Marine

Science Society’s John Morton

Award.

To finish here’s a little from one of

2012: Wade Doak received his Queen’s Service Medal

from then-Governor General Jerry Mateparae

his last e-books: Bring Back the Bird

Song.

It shows how his and Jan’s

love of nature continued when

diving became difficult. They

strengthened their love of the bush

around their Ngunguru home and

coastline.

He and Jan have spent years

exploring the shoreline and estuaries,

walking cliff-top paths, studying

the mangroves and roaming the

forest. Wade’s engaging text tells a

remarkable story, illustrated with

an incredible photographic archive

of trees, shrubs, vines, orchids,

ferns, birds, and attendant wildlife,

displaying an area rich in diversity.

Many of you would have been

friends on Facebook with Wade

– we will all miss his regular

postings.

He his has left a huge legacy.

Recorded via millions of typed

words, our history of diving,

marine life and conservation

struggles.

I’ll miss our long phone

conversations. The “shifting

baseline” was always a hot topic.

Rest in peace my friend – you

achieved so much – time to rest.

Wade is survived by his wife Jan,

his son Brady, daughter Karla and

their three grandchildren. Our

thoughts are with his family. Jan is

an amazing person. Her support for

Wade is too huge to measure. From

typing up book manuscripts and

endless documents to providing

his dinner. Being his loveable

diving, sailing and tramping buddy.

She is a true saint.

- Dave Moran Editor at Large

www.dive-pacific.com 9


SOUNDINGS

LOCAL NEWS

New protections for bottlenose dolphins introduced

New permits to reduce viewing

and interaction time with

bottlenose dolphins came into

effect for commercial operators

in Northland on 1 July 2019. They

also limit the locations for these

activities and prohibit swimming

with bottlenose dolphins.

Research shows interaction with

bottlenose dolphins is significantly

impacting on the population’s

resting and feeding behaviour

Two sightings of a Hectors Dolphin,

likely to be the same dolphin, were

reported in August near Napier

Port and verified with a photo.

“It’s really exciting that a Hector’s

dolphin has been spotted in this

area because they’re generally

only found in the South Island,”

said Hannah Hendriks, a Marine

Technical Advisor for DOC.

Hector’s dolphins grow to about

1.5m, have a rounded black dorsal

fin and their bodies are a grey

colour, with white and black

and that people are “loving the

dolphins too much”.

The local Bay of Islands population

has fallen by 66% since 1999 to

a core group of only 19 dolphins

frequently visiting the Bay of

Islands now, DOC reports. The

latest research shows a 75% calf

mortality rate, the highest in New

Zealand, internationally or in

captivity.

A moratorium in place since 2009

Hectors dolphin sighted near Napier

markings and a short snout.

means permits for viewing whales

and dolphins in the region have

been restricted to five permit

holders operating commercial

vessels. Currently four permit

holders run out of the Bay of

Islands and one out of Tutukaka.

In addition to the tighter permit

conditions, DOC says it is

investigating a proposal to create a

marine mammal sanctuary for the

Bay of Islands.

Reporting a sighting is particularly

valuable for Hector’s dolphins

which are unique to New Zealand

because there are so few of them,

just an estimated 15,000. The

sightings come after a Hector’s

dolphin was photographed in the

eastern Bay of Plenty in May this

year.

Hectors Dolphin

Reporting a sighting is easy and

can be done online or the Hector’s

dolphin sightings app, or via the 24

hour DOC hotline. 0800 DOC HOT (0800 362 468).

Photos: NIWA

Scientists study eels by moonlight

“You’re standing in the surf at

night, there’s no lights and you

can’t see what you’re trying

to catch.” says freshwater fish

ecologist Dr Eimear Egan

Dr Egan is leading a project to find

out more about the mysterious

marine lives of longfin and

shortfin eels. She wants to find out

NIWA researchers sample glass eels at the mouth

of the Rangitāiki River to find out where the fish

come from and how they get to New Zealand's

coast.

where their larvae come from, and

whether shortfin and longfin eels

use different spawning grounds

and ocean currents to get here.

When the larvae near the coast

they turn into what are known as

glass eels about 6cm long. It’s not

until they enter freshwater that

they change colour and become

elvers (juvenile eels).

“The bulk of them

usually arrive two

hours after sunset

and we will be

sampling when there

are new and full

moons and when

the tides are at their

highest,” she says.

They are targeting

the Rangitāiki, Grey

and Ashley rivers in

the South Island.

The glass eels will

have their earbones

or otoliths extracted

to assess vital

Glass eels

information on growth rates, hatch

dates, age and environmental

history.

“Ear bones can tell us so

much information about the

environment a fish experiences.

Each day they add a layer of

calcium carbonate which is almost

like keeping a diary of their lives,”

Dr Egan said.

In June, NIWA scientists tagged

female longfin eels before they left

New Zealand in a related project to

pinpoint their spawning grounds,

which is most likely to be in a

large area between Tonga and New

Caledonia.

10 Dive New Zealand | Dive Pacific


Diving Fiordland!

The great Jacques Cousteau placed Fiordland in his

Top 10 destinations for diving! We’ve had dive photo

journalists rate it much higher than that with one

recently placing it ‘if not the best, then in his top

three’.

Scenic diving can be amazing. Though the waters are

cool the visibility can be extreme - over 40m visibility

occurs regularly.

The internal waters of Fiordland with their micro-habitats

are interestingly different to the waters of the

coast, or entrances where fish life abounds; and the

colours are diverse so even an inexpensive camera can

get awesome photos when you dive in Fiordland.

There’s the odd wreck to be explored too, and wall

dives that trigger vertigo.

And there’s always plenty of kai Moana to gratify the

appetite at the end of a busy day.

Fiordland Expeditions have been operating throughout

Fiordland for 15 years and are well versed on a range

of sites to be explored. If you are keen to tick this one

off your bucket list, then contact us today. We’d love

to discuss how we can tailor a trip to meet your own

specific desires.

Call us on 0508 888 656 or check out:

FiordlandExpeditions.co.nz

Fiordland – a diver’s paradise

A bucket list destination

Your multi-day live-aboard

charters can comprise:

• Live-aboard charters all year round

• Two vessels, both with own compressors,

tanks, weights and belts

• Fully catered (except alcohol)

• Experienced dive crew

Photography by Darryl Torckler

Phone 0508 888 656 or +64 3 249 9005

Email charters@fiordlandexpeditions.co.nz

fiordlandexpeditions.co.nz

www.dive-pacific.com 11


Talking tech diving

Diving the Kamikaze Drop-off!

Story and photos by Martin Wallis

This is where it all

started. This was the

preparation dive to check

out our safety procedures

and protocol with Yukon

Dive Charters before

undertaking the Puriri

and Niagara dives which

I covered in the previous

two editions of Dive

Pacific.

This was also the most

technical of the three

dives due to our surface

support and boat crew

needing to look after two

separate teams of divers.

The Kamikaze Drop-off is a

smallish reef about 200-300

metres east of Serpent Rock at the

Poor Knights Islands, and while it

has obviously been named I don’t

believe it had ever been properly

dived before. A pity, because in my

opinion this is the most picturesque,

diverse, photographic, and

hence best dive sites at the Poor

Knights.

The Kamikaze Drop-off at the top

is a plateau with a diameter about

40m across and which is at a pretty

constant 67-70m depth.

Our two teams were made up

of three divers each and we

separated the descents of each

team by 30 minutes, perfect for

this reef. Having two small teams

do separate dives meant we would

not excessively clutter the reef, and

leave plenty of opportunities for

taking wide-angle photos.

We were keen to spend as

much time as possible in

this untouched place so

we planned for a bottom

time of 40 minutes,

which required a total

run time, using our

chosen gases, of just over

three hours. It meant we

had to carry plenty of OC

(Open Circuit) bail-out

gas between each team.

Shot line

Glenn Edney, our favourite

technical expedition

skipper, put a shot line

down beside the reef, not

on top of it, so as to not

inadvertently damage

any of the abundant reef

life there.

Team One consisting of

12 Dive New Zealand | Dive Pacific


myself, Guy Bate and Dave Pearce,

went down the shot line, spent our

allocated time on the reef, and on

the way back were passed by Team

Two - Andrew Simpson, Darryl

Lowndes and Ian Skipworth – who

came down the same shot line that

we ascended

…We were keen to spend as much time as possible in this

untouched place so we planned for a bottom time of 40

minutes, which required a total run time, using our chosen

gases, of just over three hours…

…We were keen to spend as much time as possible in this

untouched place so we planned for a bottom time of 40

minutes, which required a total run time, using our chosen

gases, of just over three hours …

Marker buoys deployed

From the first decompression

stop, Team One deployed the

SMB to which the surface crew

then attached our floating deco

buoy with additional bail-out

gases. There was next to no water

movement so keeping the floating

deco line attached to the shot line

was relatively simple.

This was indeed part of

the plan so that Team

Two would meet up

with us during decompression,

release the

floating deco line from

the shot line, and have

all six divers decompress

together under

the floating deco buoy,

and this would allow the

surface crew to follow

us in the tender if we

should drift.

The one unforeseen

scenario that occurred

was that the deco buoy

pulled on the shot line

somewhat, dragging

it out across the sand

away from the reef, so

Team Two found they

had to follow its drag

www.dive-pacific.com 13


marks in the sand to find the shot

line.

The reef

There is basically nowhere

on the reef not colonized

by some form of life. Black

coral with snake stars,

jewel anemones and

leopard anemones live

here, a myriad of sponges

and other encrusting

life, barrel sponges, pink

maomao, scorpion fish,

butterfly perch, splendid

perch and a good-sized

school of golden snapper!

Yellow gorgonian fans and

Oculina coral smother the

place.

Big thanks

A big thanks to Kirsten Henry, Marcel Groonheim, Nahuel Kondratzky.

These technical dives simply can’t be done without surface support

provided by people like these with the technical diving know how.

With the significant bottom

time we had planned for

we found the time for

Team One to traverse the

plateau twice. No part of

the reef was left unseen or

unexplored. Nevertheless

I for one can’t wait to

get back there. The site

definitely deserves to be

dived multiple times.

14 Dive New Zealand | Dive Pacific


SOUNDINGS

LOCAL NEWS

New book on

Poor Knights Marine

Reserve published

The first level of protection for the Poor Knights

Islands Marine Reserve, ‘for perhaps the most

bio-diverse assemblage of marine organisms in New

Zealand’ was won 38 years ago. Now a new book

details the struggle to bring this about, the people

involved, and what happened over the years since.

During the environmental awareness times of the

early 1970s a national campaign was instigated to

protect the islands as a marine area. It had the full

backing of the community, but there was disagreement

over what form the protection should take.

The Poor Knights Marine Reserve, The protection of a

unique marine environment, relates some of the islands

early history before going into more depth on the

people, the issues and debate over some 21 years until

the islands won total protection in 1998.

Keith

Hawkins

indicated possible funding for such a project, then

budget cuts put an end to that.

Keith decided to collect the information needed in a

private capacity in the hope someone would pick up

the task. And over a 10 year period he has spent many

weekends and evenings phoning and interviewing,

and working through the archives. Dave Moran, NZU

and many others helped out.

But those involved with useful knowledge who he had

interviewed kept on passing away. They including

Rob Dinsdale, Yaan Voot, Brian Main, Sport Conway,

Barbara Cotterill, Lew Ritchie, Phil Bendle (Dive NZ, Oct

2018, Issue 166) and this year, Roger Grace.

Keith says “To do nothing would see the information

lost and the contribution by many people, individually

and in a number of organisations, would be unknown.”

“I have self-published the material and the book is

currently being printed (mid-September 2019).”

The Poor Knights Marine Reserve, The protection of a

unique marine environment contains recollections from

20 ‘old timers’, 50 shorter anecdotal stories, over 100

photos and 10 maps to flesh out this previously undocumented

account of New Zealand’s community driven

conservation history.

A4 landscape, soft cover, 168 pages. ISBN: 978-0-473-

47110-1.

Available by email PoorKnightsBook@gmail.com and at

Dive Tutukaka RRP $45.00

Author Keith Hawkins, a keen recreational diver

and angler, was responsible for the day to day

management of the Poor Knights Islands Marine

Reserve from 1992 to 2013. His interest and

research led him to become intimately familiar

with the people involved and with the reserve’s

history.

At a formal celebration at Tutukaka to celebrate

the first 25 years (See Dive New Zealand, Feb/

March 2006) it was mooted ‘someone’ should

document what had occurred to bring the

reserve about while those involved were still

around. The Department of Conservation

www.dive-pacific.com 15


Explore the world and earn your

Master Scuba Diver rating

Most divers love to travel. After all, divers have a

thirst for knowledge, adventure and exploration.

Working towards your Master Scuba Diver rating has

many benefits: fine-tuning your diving skills, gaining

confidence and of course bragging rights to joining the

top two percent of elite recreational divers around the

world.

If you’re passionate about travel, earning your PADI

Master Scuba Diver can be an excuse to do more of

what you love.

First, here’s a quick overview of what it takes to earn the

title of Master Scuba Diver:

• Complete the Open Water Diver, Advanced Open

Water Diver and Rescue Diver courses, plus five

PADI Specialty Diver courses

• Log a minimum of 50 dives

• Be at least 12 years old

Earn Certifications in different destinations

Every scuba diving destination has something special

to offer. Learn Dry Suit diving in the cooler waters of

New Zealand. Pick up your Drift Diver certification

in Indonesia or other iconic drift diving destinations.

Visit Coron, Malta, Florida’s Shipwreck Trail, or any

of the world’s best wreck diving destinations for your

wreck diver specialty, and learn underwater photography

and videography while exploring the colourful

reefs of Fiji or The Red Sea.

Taking a PADI course is also a great way to meet

people while travelling. During the PADI Rescue

Diver course you’ll learn important skills through

role-playing. The Rescue course is a fun way to make

new dive buddies while improving your diving confidence

and skill.

Choose an Eco Tourism focus

Distinctive specialties also count towards your Master

Scuba Diver rating, which is great news for travellers

who seek out ecotourism opportunities. Contact a local

PADI Dive Centre or Resort about enrolling in a Project

AWARE Dive Against Debris specialty. You’ll learn how

to remove and report debris to a global database scientists

use to advocate for ocean protection.

An increasing number of scuba diving destinations

offer coral reef restoration training with a distinctive

specialty certification. In a typical coral restoration/

coral gardening course you’ll learn how coral nurseries

work and participate in caring for or transplanting

corals.

The Master Scuba Diver path is yours

Becoming a Master Scuba Diver is a personal journey

and a fulfilling one! You can also create a Master Scuba

Diver program customized for the diving in your local

area, just talk to your PADI Instructor or local dive shop.

No matter which path you choose, becoming a Master

Scuba Diver is a major achievement that will earn you

recognition for life.

If you are already a diver or considering to join the

best of the best recreational divers, there is no better

time than now. Start your 2019 PADI Master Scuba

Diver Challenge journey today and you may win a trip

to the Caribbean, Maldives or Thailand based on your

location! Even better, explore the world with your dive

buddy and earn your PADI Master Scuba Diver ratings

on this epic journey.

16 Dive New Zealand | Dive Pacific


www.dive-pacific.com 17


Challenging yourself

Kat Mager reports on the recent Freediving

New Zealand Pool Nationals 2019

The man floating face down in

the pool had been there almost

seven minutes. He was turning

an alarming shade of purple,

but let us know with a flick of a

finger he was ok. Shortly afterwards

he broke the surface, taking

some huge breaths of air, and was

awarded a white card for a clean

dive by the judges. Guy Brew had

just won the Statics event at the

Freediving New Zealand Pool

Nationals 2019 with a breath hold

of 7 minutes 30 seconds.

Great diversity

In addition to Kiwis and Aussies,

divers from many countries such

as Taiwan, Germany, Argentina,

the UK, Saudi Arabia and even

Mauritius participated at this

year’s event. And we were joined

by athletes of all performance

levels and physical disadvantages.

The age of competitors ranging

from 16 to 65 years - being young

or getting older was not about to

stop anyone.

…at its core, freediving is about the struggle each diver fights

within themselves… the better you understand yourself

and your body, the better your dives…

Said principal organiser Nick

Rhodes, “I am pleased to see a

small team from Whangarei Boys'

High School, part of the Northland

Freediving Club, competing in the

recreational grade. It's great to see

them getting involved in our sport

at a younger age in a safe, educated

way.”

The challenge within

At its core, freediving is about the

struggle each diver fights within

themselves. These competitions

are less about being better than the

Preparing for a long dive with his

monofin: Ali Khalifah from the

Auckland Freediving Club

34 freedivers from all over New

Zealand and overseas visitors

came to Auckland in September to

compete at the Nationals freediving

pool championships. Held

by Freediving New Zealand and

hosted by The Auckland Freediving

Club the competition took place

at the beautiful National Aquatic

Center AUT Millennium pools.

Athletes challenged themselves

over a long weekend of apnea in

three disciplines: Statics, Dynamics

with Fins in the 50m pool, and

Dynamics No Fins in the 25m pool.

Photo by Kat Mager

18 Dive New Zealand | Dive Pacific


Winners in the men’s division

Photos by Ben Cook

Winners in the women’s division

next athlete, but about striving to do better yourself.

The deeper goal is to bring out one’s own best, and

hopefully set a new personal record, either as a top

performer or as a novice trying out a competition for

the first time in recreational grade.

Freediving is about mastering mental and emotional

challenges as well as pushing physical limits.

The better you understand yourself and your

body, the better your dives.

Competing together

Just as much, our sport is about sharing the

triumphs and the bad days within a tightknit

community. During the Pool Nationals

we helped each other reach our potential,

celebrated victories together, and gave advice

and hugs when things didn’t go so well. As

coaches and safety divers we kept each

other safe in the water, proving that trust is

definitely a big part of the sport of freediving.

course we love celebrating the longest dive times and

greatest distances! They’re inspiring and just plain

mind-blowing!

In addition to his 7:30 min in Statics, Guy Brew also did

a 223m dive with a monofin. And swam 128m without

fins in the underwater, which earned him first place

Photo by Ben Cook

Winners

Despite this unusual attitude towards competitions of

Amber Bourke doing a turn during her

Dynamics With Fins dive

and the title of National Champion (again). He was

flanked on the podium by Australian divers Matthew

Chew, second, and Benjamin Eckert, third.

In the women’s, Kathryn Nevatt regained the National

Champion trophy with a Statics dive of 6:42min, a

stunning 192m in Dynamics With Fins, and 150m in

Dynamics No Fins. Amber Bourke from Australia came

second, and I managed to sneak third.

Thanks everyone who helped out with this successful

and memorable championship, and a special big thank

you to our supporters and sponsors.

Underwater videos of all dives are on the Auckland

Freediving YouTube channel:

https://tinyurl.com/y5wudmq5

Find more at freediving.co.nz and

aucklandfreediving.co.nz

Never dive alone.

Always dive with a safety-trained buddy.

www.dive-pacific.com 19


SOUNDINGS

LOCALNEWS

Dive study pays off

Studying marine science topics at

Toi Ohomai in the Bay of Plenty is

paying off for marine technician

Jon Stead. He says the Diploma in

Marine Studies course there taught

him practical skills needed for his

career.

Jon is employed at NIWA where

he says, “Basically I do the

fieldwork and collect the data

for the scientists. The marine

studies course set me up with a

wide variety of practical skills

like diving and dive surveys,

familiarisation with

scientific equipment,

boating knowledge

and most of all, an

understanding of how

science works.”

“I loved it,” he says.

“I enjoyed the diving field

trips, staying in remote

places and getting to dive

some of New Zealand’s

best dive spots.”

www.lawa.org.nz

Marine technician Jon Stead learns diving as part

of hi Toi Ohomoi course

New eyeless worm found

A worm that feeds on bacteria

and has no eyes is one of the

standout stars of 583 unfamiliar

and potentially new ocean species

identified at NIWA in the past year.

The worm was found burrowed

into a piece of sunken wood

found North east of the

Chathams group from 900 m

depth last year.

Marine biologist Dr Geoff Read,

an Annelida (worm) expert,

determined the specimen

was most likely a new species

of Thermiphone scale worm.

Thermiphone belong to the

uncommon deep-water family

Iphionidae and are not at all

earthworm-like but broadly

oval.

Only 13 species are known

globally, a very distinctivelooking

group with thick scales

divided into polygons with minute

areolae. They have no eyes, are

usually found associated with

hydrothermal vents, and seem

to graze on microorganisms and

bacteria.

The NIWA Invertebrate Collection

contains more than 300,000

samples including corals,

sponges, crustaceans,

anemones and amphipods.

Whether it’s capturing a shot

of a sunken ship in the local

quarry, an unforgettable turtle

encounter or a freedive over

a vivid reef, participants can

enter for the opportunity to win

valuable prizes.

To get CAPTURE tips from

GoPro ambassador Jeb Corliss

and enter the contest.

www.padi.com/dive/goproevolution

Methane seep research bubbles trouble

A chance discovery off the

Gisborne coast five years ago has

prompted research on the links

between methane seeps bubbling

out of the sea floor and landslides

under the sea which lay lead to

tsunamis.

The field of 630 methane seeps was

discovered in 2014 in a 90 square

metre area 40km from Gisborne at

800m depth.

A paper just published in the

scientific journal Marine Geology

outlines the find and calculates the

amount of methane the seeps are

releasing.

Dr Joshu Mountjoy says “We have

been able to calculate how much

methane is coming out of the area

and we also suspect the methane

is making it to the ocean surface

which is quite unusual.” Normally

methane exchanges with C02

before it reaches the atmosphere.

He says the underground gas

source is significant enough

to be suspected of causing

underwater landslides and may

be related to deeper fluids in the

subduction zone that can influence

earthquake behaviour.

“A lot of landslides have happened

here in the past, so it looks like

this gas is a piece in the puzzle of

what is going on.”

Dr Mountjoy estimates the seeps

have been present for thousands

of years. Large carbonate mounds

have formed around each one

which have created unique

ecosystems. They are situated

within the Hikurangi Subduction

Zone, off the North Island’s east

coast, potentially the largest

source of earthquake and tsunami

hazard in New Zealand.

Dr Mountjoy says his best

hypothesis is that tectonic

behaviour in the subduction

system is controlling the seeps.

“I think it’s all linked into the

seamounts making their way

through the subduction zone

and potentially even slow slip

processes in the area.” Slow slip

events are bursts of slow tectonic

plate movement that last from

weeks to months.

20 Dive New Zealand | Dive Pacific


Lady with a valiant heart

The long, strange, proud tale of the

SS Empire Shirley aka Tapuhi aka

Tui Tawate at Luganville in Vanuatu

Most of us are familiar with the iconic, bucket list dive

that is the SS President Coolidge and her resident Lady, but

only some of us know the valiant lady abandoned not so

far away whose history rivals that of the President.

By Anne Simmons

The SS Empire Shirley was a

steel tug boat built by A.

Hall & Co of Aberdeen in 1945,

an Empire Class tug designed

for WWII naval support work

in the India to Singapore area.

After the war she was sold

to the Union Steamship

Company of New Zealand

where she was renamed the

Tapuhi. From 1947 to 1973 the

Tapuhi worked between the

ports of New Zealand carrying

fuel oil then, on April 10, 1968,

she faced her greatest challenge

and claim to fame.

To the rescue

On this morning the New

Zealand inter island ferry TEV

…On April 10, 1968, she faced her

greatest challenge and claim to fame…

the rescue at the Wahine disaster…

Wahine was on her regular

trip between Lyttleton in the

South Island to Wellington

in the North Island carrying

600 passengers and 125 crew.

Shortly after 0600 the ship was

hit by a gale force storm and

driven ashore at the entrance to

Wellington harbour. Taking

on water, her pumps in full

force, the TEV Wahine was

blown off course and started

drifting northwards into

the harbour with a huge list

to starboard. At 1100 the tug

Tapuhi arrived and managed

www.dive-pacific.com 21


to get a line onto the ship. The

valiant wee tug commenced

towing, but after 10 minutes

the lines broke and attempts to

re-attach them failed. Shortly

the order to abandon ship was

given and within minutes

the Wahine turned over and

sank. The Tapuhi rescued 174

people from the sinking ship in

mountainous seas. But at the

end, a total of 51 passengers

and crew died. Today there

is a memorial to the Tapuhi in

Oriental Bay in Wellington for

her brave efforts that day.

Pacific salvage

In 1974 the Tapuhi was on

sold to the Narain Shipping

Company of Suva, Fiji. Here

she was renamed the Tui

Tawate. However a year later

Reece Discombe of Vanuatu

purchased her with the

purpose of salvaging the oil

from the bunkers of the SS

President Coolidge. The suspicion

was that the oil in her bunkers

was at risk of leaking, and a

sample had been sent to Shell

in Sydney for testing and, even

after 30 plus years underwater,

the oil was found to be in good

condition. The Vanuatu government

contracted with P&O, who

owned the cruise ship Arcadia,

an older ship to use the oil.

The Tui Tawate, by now in poor

condition, only just made it to

…Three of us picked our way up the line, hanging out like

sheets in the wind with the current now strong. Then, when we

reached the buoy, we found it submerged, with 10m of water

between us and the surface…

Espiritu Santo where she was

converted to hold oil in all her

compartments including the

crew’s quarters. In 1977 over

600 tons of oil was pumped

into her and from there into

the Arcadia to be used in her

furnaces.

A return home?

In 1986 she was purchased

by Clement Griffiths of

Wellington with the intention

of moving the Tui Tawate back

to Wellington and renovate

her as a floating restaurant to

memorialize Wahine Day. But

it was soon apparent she was

no longer seaworthy enough

to withstand the tow, so she

was left abandoned in the river

beside Luganville. A sad end for

such a brave lady.

In the mid 90’s the Santo

Fisheries Department began an

expansion project near where

she rested and the contract

company requested the vessel

be removed. So she was towed

out into the Segond Channel

and sunk.

Finding the wreck

The first time we dived the Tui

Tawate was in 2009. She had

been seldom dived before and

no commercial dive operators

saw any merit in it. The

currents can be fierce, they

said, the visibility poor. We

have never experienced this,

and of course most divers are

happy to dive the SS President

Coolidge.

22 Dive New Zealand | Dive Pacific


We had the co-ordinates and

we managed to convince Alan

Powers to take us out. We

dropped a shot line where

we hoped she lay and down

we went. Reaching the sandy

bottom at 45 metres we were

disappointed to see nothing but

huge sandbanks. Then looking

behind us we saw a bow wave

of sand, and looking up, the

bow of the Tui Tawate. Here

she was, proudly upright, facing

south west, just waiting for us.

Soft and hard corals taking

hold

We had little current at this

stage so we swum her length

to the prop at the stern then

up to the deck at 41m. Then we

made our way back to the bow.

Beautiful soft corals blossomed,

hard corals were taking hold,

and schooling fish were taking

advantage of the shelter in the

desert-like sand surrounds.

The current picked up and all

too soon we had to start our

ascent, which we did on the

mooring buoy line we had

found attached midship. Three

of us picked our way up the

line, hanging out like sheets

in the wind with the current

now relatively strong. Then,

when we reached the buoy, we

found it submerged, with 10m

of water between us and the

surface.

Dilemma. But as we searched

for an answer, we realised our

shot line was only a couple of

metres away. So we transferred

over and completed our safety

stop there.

Reaching the surface we were

jubilant. We had “found” her

and proven she is indeed a

very worthwhile dive. Sharing

the video footage Russell had

taken certainly gave the dive

operators

at that time

a different

perspective

on the dive

opportunity.

Nowadays

Since then we

have dived the

Tui Tawate

several times.

She is always

a stunning

dive. The

corals are still

there, varying

in condition

and type each

time. She is

always a very

fishy dive,

and there are

often pelagics

lurking on

the edges.

Last time we

saw three small Mahimahi

and a dog tooth tuna. Schools

of yellow snapper loiter on

…She is always a stunning dive. The corals are still there, varying

in condition and type each time…there are often pelagics…last time

we saw three small Mahimahi and a dog tooth tuna…

the decks, and bright orange

Fish on the Tui Tawate

Kingsley hanging on - note the bubbles!

anthias hover in the entrance

ways to the holds below.

Nowadays a maintained

mooring has been placed on

the wreck, and she is offered

by Aore Adventure Sports &

Lodge and Coral Quays as an

alternative to divers wanting a

change from the SS President

Coolidge. But note this is a dive

www.dive-pacific.com 23


Kinsgley wedged in

for experienced divers only -

she lies at 45metres and the

currents can be extreme and

change quickly. So, if you are

diving the SS President Coolidge

Schooling fish on the Tui Tawate

make some time to go and

visit this valiant lady with an

amazing New Zealand history.

She is sitting there waiting for

your visit.

WWII relics

In fact Espiritu Santo is full of

WWII relics. And a visit to the

Project Development office of

the South Pacific WWII

Museum in Luganville is

well worth while, and not

too far from where the Tui

Tawate was left abandoned.

Here you will find plenty

of stories and artefacts

gathered and ready for

display in their new

building.

When completed it too

will add an amazing asset

to Luganville, perfect for

those sad, though necessary,

long surface intervals

we divers must endure

between dives.

24 Dive New Zealand | Dive Pacific


LIVE VOLCANO

There’s more to do

in Vanuatu

LAND DIVING

DIVING & FISHING

T A N N A IS L A N D

P E N T E C O S T I S L A N D

E S P I RI T O S A N T O

generated at BeQRious.com

www.dive-pacific.com 25


S pearos notebook

Night spearfishing!

with Jackson Shields

Photo Sam Power

This is something I have done a few times and really enjoy.

It’s a different world out there at night. Sea life emerges that

normally stays in the depths, or in the darkness during the

day.

The main target for me spearfishing

at night is SQUID! This

is my favourite seafood and they

can be abundant during the night

as opposed to seasonal during the

day.

7 metre shallows…

So it was a fresh winter weekend in

July, perfect conditions for a night

dive out at Great Barrier Island.

We used the equipment we had,

which included just cray torches

and short spear guns. The narrow

beam of our torches was not ideal

but well workable. We picked a

nice spot to anchor and swim from

into the shallows. Figuring around

9.30pm a good starting point we

slid into the cool winter water.

Visibility seemed good at around

seven metres, all we needed in the

shallows.

Scary?

People always ask is it scary with

the thought of sharks at night

time, but once in the water any

fear is replaced with interest and

excitement of what we might see.

The sea life was abundant; the

sparkling eyes of many crayfish

made them easy to spot from the

surface, and they were wandering

around active and lively in the

open, unlike many of the other

species. But they were also nervous

at our approach and would take off

into the darkness or duck into a

hole very quickly.

It didn’t take long to find our

desired species, the squid!

Sometimes in packs we would find

them hovering above the weed

or patrolling barren rock in the

shallows. We made quick work

of them getting as many as we

could find. They are interesting

to hunt too, as they take off when

seeing you but stop after a short

period and hold their ground,

either trying to be aggressive or

camouflage themselves against the

bottom below. It’s also important

to dive after them once shot so

they don’t tear off.

In the shallows, where we spent

most of our time, we only encountered

broad squid, whereas a friend

fishing from the boat anchored

out on the sand only caught arrow

squid. The boat was not far away

from us but maybe the arrow squid

prefer the deeper open water out

above the sand.

Unafraid fish

It was soon apparent there were

plenty of snapper too, though

at night they don’t present a

challenge at all. But it was great

getting up close to them for photos

and also to see the areas where

they would rest at night. We found

them parked up in unlikely spots

between small bald, white rocks,

not the areas where we would

normally hunt them during the

day. Also unlike the daytime they

were not bothered by our presence

but seemed happy enough to sit

still in the beam light and not

spook.

It’s an exciting feeling not knowing

what you are going to see

in the next beam stroke.

Darting big eyes normally

dwelling in caves during the

day are out and about and

high in the water column…

Conger eels out of their

holes swimming along the

bottom…

Dangers?

The biggest danger I found

was to practice being

careful you don’t get hit by

a confused eagle ray that

would come whizzing past

through the beam of the

torch light. The odd piper

would crash into you on the

surface too, no doubt dazed

and attracted by the bright

light.

26 Dive New Zealand | Dive Pacific


Photo Sam Power

Photo Sam Power

The more we swam the

braver we got

We would start off in a close group

together but soon enough get

distracted by something or other

with each of us following different

contours on the bottom. Constant

communication with “come look

at this” or “hurry” was required so

everyone could experience what

each one of us was experiencing

separately. And the more we swam

the braver we got, so much so we

ended up out on a point getting

pummelled by wind and tide. Such

a place was not as fishy as the

more sheltered quiet spots, and

dense kelp areas made it difficult

to spot the sea life. At one point

we ventured out a little deeper

towards the weed-edge but soon

convinced ourselves the reality of

that was not nearly as much fun as

it might seem.

Doing it all over again

We enjoyed the squid rings

and the adventure so much

we decided we had to give it

another shot the next night

at a different spot. We tried

to replicate a similar bottom

structure as for the previous

night, and it was just as

successful. Plenty of fish to

look at, and we added more

squid to our tally. But after an

excitable shark sighting during

the day at a near-by spot one

of our divers decided the

boat was the best place to be.

Nonetheless and undeterred

we kept diving til 2am,

always finding very different

and abundant ecosystems

compared to those of the day

light hours. So much so we

are already planning our next

night dive.

www.dive-pacific.com 27


Provided by ABC

SOUNDINGS

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Newly discovered electric eel has the most

powerful shock

After years thinking there was

only the one species in the

genus Electrophorus, researchers

now characterise the electric eel,

Electrophorus electricus, as three

species. And a recent addition,

Electrophorus voltaic, has been

recorded generating 860 volts,

far above the previous record of

650 volts, reports ABC Science in

Australia.

E.voltai is now thought to be

the most powerful electricity

generating animal in the world, say

the authors of a report in Nature

Communications. Their research

aims to identify and describe the

electric fishes of the Amazon

rainforest, said zoologist and lead

author of the paper Dr David de

Santana of the Smithsonian’s

National Museum of Natural

History.

Though their discharge is high

voltage its low amperage and

wouldn’t necessarily be dangerous

to humans.

The electric eel is not actually an

eel at all but a type of knifefish

that grow up to 2.5 metres in

length. It was first described by

Swedish scientist Carl Linnaeus in

1766.

Electric

Electric fishes are said to be

electrogenic (produces electricity)

as opposed to others described as

electroreceptic, or able to detect

electric fields, with some species

both. Other electric fish include

electric rays and electric catfish.

Electrophorus voltai has the most powerful electric discharge

of any known animal. (Supplied: L. Sousa)

Dr de Santana and his colleagues

collected 107 electric eel specimens

over six years from across the

Amazon basin. Though they look

very similar, differences in their

DNA showed they were made up of

three different species with each of

the species living in different parts

of the Amazon basin.

“The discovery

of hidden

species diversity

and of such an

eye-catching

and long-known

organism as

electric eels

indicates that

an enormous

amount of

species are still

waiting to be

discovered in

the Amazon

rainforest,”

Dr de Santana

said. “Many

may harbour cures for diseases or

inspire technological

innovations,

reinforcing the critical

need to protect

Earth’s hotspots of

biodiversity.”

Electric fish use three

electric organs to

generate electricity

made of modified

muscle cells called

electrocytes which

can produce strong

electrical discharges

as well as weaker ones,

and they typically

use them arranged like

batteries in series fired

by entire-body muscle contractions

caused by the direct stimulation of

spinal motor neurons.

The ancient Egyptians, Greeks and

Romans all used electric fish for

their medicine to numb people

or treat conditions like gout and

headache.

Dr de Santana said electric eels

inspired the design of Italian

physicist Alessandro Volta’s first

electric battery, and an enzyme

extracted from their electric

organs has been used as a target

for drugs to treat Alzheimer’s

disease.

More recently electrical eels have

promoted the advance of hydrogel

batteries (made of a substance

similar to gelatin) that might be

used to power medical implants.

An electric ray residing in Sydney

Harbour called the coffin ray

(Hypnos monopterygius) can grow

to 40 cm. Biomedical engineer

Professor Alistair McEwan of the

University of Sydney said they use

electrical sensing like a shark to

see around them, not just passively

by listening into the electricity,

but also by sending out their own

electric field to map the world

around them”.

Researchers have looked at how

to emulate this system to monitor

internal cardiac surgery, and in

the brain. Professor McEwan and

his colleagues are also looking

at how they might be able to use

Sydney Harbour’s coffin ray

(Hypnos monopterygius)

the electroreception abilities

of Australia’s platypus and the

echidna.

“We thought the electroreception

would only work well with water.

It’s amazing the platypus works

well in fresh water without

conductive salt, but even more

amazing that the echidna can

electrically sense in the dry

desert,” he said.

Provided by ABC

28 Dive New Zealand | Dive Pacific


SOUNDINGS

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

AUT signs up for 10 year international ocean research

Auckland University of Technology

(AUT) has joined 45 national

and international partners on

a 10-year research programme

exploring how to utilise the

oceans for aquaculture and energy

production.

The Blue Economy CRC is an

Australian A$329 million project

combining expertise on seafood

production, renewable energy and

offshore engineering.

Australia's Cooperative

Research Centres undertake

joint programmes between

research institutes, industry and

government aimed at finding

solutions to major issues; in this

case sustainable food production

and renewable energy sources.

The 'Blue Economy' is an emerging

concept to encourage better

stewardship of our ocean or 'blue'

resources.

AUT is New Zealand's core

research partner in the programme

with Associate Professor, Dr

Lindsey White co-leader for the

seafood and marine products

programme. New Zealand King

Salmon, Plant and Food Research

and the Cawthron Institute are the

other New Zealand-based research

partners.

White says the funding will be

used to innovate and transform

how we utilise our oceans for

sustainable food and energy

production.

Australia and New Zealand

combined have the second largest

exclusive economic zone on the

planet behind the EU. Involvement

in the CRC allows the opportunity

to integrate aquaculture of

numerous species, including fish

and seaweed, with marine-based

renewable energy generation, that

is to partner aquaculture with

energy production, a world first.

Associate Professor White says

energy generated from solar,

wind, wave and tidal sources

could be harnessed and used to

run aquaculture operations with

excess energy used to split water

into hydrogen, and oxygen for use

in aquaculture operations.

Fish farm operators worldwide

are moving their farms offshore

to take advantage of larger spaces,

better water quality to produce

healthier fish and lower water

temperatures in the face of

warming temperatures.

https://blueeconomycrc.com.au

New whale species identified off Japan coast

Japanese scientists have confirmed

a new whale species has been

identified off Japan’s coast after

carrying out DNA testing, Science

News reports.

The new species has often been

previously spotted by whalers in

the north Pacific Ocean but never

before officially recognised as it

continued to elude researchers.

With carcasses of several

unidentified whales washing up on

Hokkaido, Japan's northernmost

island, while others caught by

fishing vessels, researchers carried

out DNA testing to find a complete

new species now named Black

Baird's beaked whale (Berardius

minimus).

Six specimens were studied

in terms of their morphology,

osteology, and molecular

phylogeny. The results

published in the journal

Scientific Reports showed

that the body length of

physically mature individuals

is distinctively smaller than

B. bairdii (6.2-6.9m versus

10.0m). Detailed cranial

measurements and DNA analyses

further emphasized the significant

difference from the other two

known species in the genus

Berardius. Due to it having the

smallest body size in the genus,

the researchers named the new

species B. minimus. The new

species while similar to the

Baird's beaked whale is also

darker in colour and with a

shorter beak.

All beaked whale species prove

hard to document since they

prefer deep ocean waters and

have a long diving capacity.

Takashi Matsuishi of Hokkaido

University who led the research

team said "There are still many

things we don't know about B.

minimus. We still don't know what

adult females look like, and there

are still many questions related

to species distribution. We hope

to continue expanding what we

know."

Local Hokkaido whalers also

refer to some whales in the

region as Karasu (crow). It is still

unclear whether B. minimus (or

Kurotsuchikujira) and Karasu are

the same species or not, and the

research team speculate that it

is possible Karasu could be yet

another different species.

Black Baird’s beaked whale

Photo by Associated Newspapers Limited

www.dive-pacific.com 29


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-Dive the unexplored

www.divemunda.com

Dive Munda is a multi award winning SSI Instructor Training

Centre in the Western province of Solomon Islands committed

to sustainable dive eco-tourism. Scuba dive unexplored reefs,

WWII history, Kastom culture, hard and soft coral, cuts and

caverns along with pelagic life and shark action, all in one of the

last wild frontiers left on planet ocean.

Experience Magical Munda

at Agnes Gateway Hotel

Award winning service and

pristine diving

SSI Instructor Training Centre

WWII wrecks, caves and reefs

– untouched and unspoilt

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30 Dive New Zealand | Dive Pacific

divemunda@dive-solomon.com

Find us on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram


New discoveries in the Solomons

Tulagi’s reefs unexpected wow factor

Story and photos by Nigel Marsh and Helen Rose

www.nigelmarshphotography.com

With a wealth of World War II ship and plane

wrecks Tulagi rightfully has a reputation as a

wreck diver’s heaven. But on a recent visit we

discovered the area also offers a rich collection of

reefs, as good as those anywhere in the Solomon

Islands.

Tulagi is just an hour’s boat

ride from Honiara, one of the

easiest dive destinations to reach.

Taking divers to the wonderful

reefs and wrecks there are the

Raiders Hotel and Dive, a small

hotel run by expat Kiwis Bob and

Yvie Norton who daily offer visits

to their lovely array of dive sites.

On our four day stay we dived four

seaplane wrecks; amazing. Plus

a large American fuel tanker, the

USS Kanawha, a Kiwi minesweeper

HMNZS Moa, a scuttled fishing

trawler and a vast pile of World

War II junk at Base One.

While all that was totally

fascinating, what surprised

us most was the reef

diving - we simply hadn’t

expected it!

Our first reef dive was on a

large pinnacle called Twin

Tunnels Reef. Rising from

60m to 12m, the top is

covered in hard corals with

walls of lush, soft corals - a

great place to see sharks

and pelagics. But the main

feature is an L-shaped cave

starting on the top and

exiting on the reef wall at 33m.

Equally good was

Tanavula Point.

Coating this wall were

beautiful soft corals,

sponges and gorgonians

- a truly sensational

drift dive; reef

sharks, humphead

parrotfish and schools

of fusiliers.

The most surprising

reef though was right

A large map pufferfish at Tanavula Point

in front of the hotel, the Raiders

House Reef. Only 10m deep, this

reef and muck site was a delight,

full of critters - shrimps, pipefish,

gobies, anemonefish, scorpionfish,

nudibranchs and even a pair of

common seahorses.

We always thought Tulagi was

just for wreck divers, but discovered

this wonderful destination

was something else again - with

something for everyone.

www.raidershotel.com

Helen with a group of pink

anemonefish at Twin Tunnels Reef.

Gorgonians and soft corals decorate the wall at

Tanavula Point

www.dive-pacific.com 31


Shooting big sharks, up close

What I’ve learned from years of close encounters

By Dave Abbott, Liquid Action Films

www.liquidaction.co.nz

Images © Dave Abbott, unless otherwise credited.

Dave has worked on productions for Discovery

Channel, PBS and National Geographic in the US,

Arte & ZDF in Europe, NHK in Japan, Globo TV in

Brazil, NHNZ here in New Zealand, Channel 1 &

BBC in the UK, and IMAX. His work has featured

for shows like Shark Week, Big Pacific, Great

White Shark 3D, Untamed, Coast New Zealand

and Our Big Blue Backyard.

Ever since I was knee-high I’ve

had an enduring fascination for

sharks, fuelled by endless hours

watching shark documentaries

and reading every shark book and

paper I could get my hands on.

I know I am not alone in having

such a fascination, but for me this

obsession resulted in my pursuing

a career that has seen me spend

hundreds of hours underwater

filming these marine predators.

Misconceptions

From a filming perspective sharks

take some beating. Most people

love to see big, dangerous predators

on their screens, and shows

like Discovery Channel’s Shark

Week have drawn millions of

viewers for 30 years now.

While some of the entertainment-focused

documentaries made

for Shark Week have been overly

sensationalized and included

dubious science, there are plenty

of others that feature fascinating

shark research and go a long way

to correcting common misconceptions

about shark behaviours.

Shooting for this type of shark

documentary and working alongside

shark scientists is a rewarding

process, and assignments filming

big sharks have given me some of

the most memorable moments of

my life.

Risk factors

I have been lucky enough to work

with most of the big ‘iconic’ shark

species from Great Whites and

Makos to Bull and Tiger sharks,

…all have one thing in common; they are innately cautious

and usually non-confrontational but…

Night dive in the midst of a hunting pack.

…all have one thing in common; they are innately

cautious and usually non-confrontational but…

32 Dive New Zealand | Dive Pacific


A healthy ecosystem

and while each have differing

characteristics and behaviours, all

have one thing in common; they

are innately cautious and usually

non-confrontational.

That’s not to say diving with

sharks is risk-free.

Most sharks that the average

diver sees underwater are in

cruise mode; calm, controlled

and cautious, even in an artificial

‘shark feed’ situation. But a shark

in hunting mode, or feeling threatened

or agitated is a different story

altogether!

gaping mouth full of massive triangular

teeth, and pectoral fins as

wide as the cage.

Another surreal moment from a

shoot earlier this year was hanging

mid-water with eight large and

pushy Tiger Sharks as they tore

into a dead cow. These sharks

weren’t accustomed to divers and

they saw us as competitors. They

were extremely interactive! It’s

not easy keeping track of eight

constantly moving sharks in a

3-dimensional world, especially

with blood clouding the water!

Getting bullied

I have been bullied by a pack of

Lemon sharks in Tahiti, bumped

by Sevengill sharks in Fiordland,

surrounded by 40 or 50 hunting

reef sharks in an intense night

dive in Tahiti, had my dome

port scratched by a very close

encounter with a Great White, and

been forced out of the water by an

agitated Mako.

While those experiences were

all pretty intense, none made me

feel that filming sharks is overly

dangerous - as long as you prepare

Tearing into a dead

cow

Broadcasters want

sequences of shark

behaviour and close

encounters with big

sharks, and filming

sharks for TV gets you

into some very different

situations to those the

recreational shark diver

experiences.

One I won’t forget is

diving with Great Whites

in an open filming cage

at night. There can be

very few experiences as

intense as seeing a huge

shape looming out of the

blackness, head rapidly

filling your field of view,

Dave up close with a Tiger shark

Photo Etienne Menger

www.dive-pacific.com 33


Rush hour

properly, stay focused, and work

with the right people.

Yes but how dangerous are

they?

People tend to get very opinionated

on whether sharks are dangerous

or not. They seem to fall into very

polarized camps: those who think

sharks are all mindless man-eaters

out to get us, or at the other end of

the spectrum, those who believe

all sharks are safe to swim with.

I think the reality is somewhere

in between; sharks are potentially

dangerous predators that deserve

respect, but in general are not

likely to pose a problem unless

you put yourself in a risky situation,

ie diving in low light or poor

visibility in areas frequented by

large sharks; diving in sharky areas

without local knowledge; diving

alone or out of your comfort zone;

or not giving sharks the

respect they demand.

Obviously diving with shark

species that hunt large prey like

seals, turtles and game fish pose

significantly more potential risk

than diving with smaller reef

sharks. However all sharks are

opportunistic and if you don’t

maintain regular eye contact or

let your attention wander, they

are instantly aware and will take

advantage of your inattention.

Blue sharks fighting

…sharks are opportunistic and if you don’t maintain

regular eye contact or let your attention wander, they

are instantly aware and will take advantage…

A huge 5.5M female White shark

34 Dive New Zealand | Dive Pacific


Reef sharks in Tahiti

Photo Anthony Berberian

Great White about to breach

Staying confident

Maintaining eye contact, showing confidence without

aggression, and projecting awareness is a big part

of staying safe in the water with large sharks, as is

becoming more attuned to their body language.

Spending more time in the water with sharks does

help you understand them better, but it is a mistake

to become complacent around any shark, or think you

can always ‘read’ them. Yes, they usually signal their

mood with body language, but sometimes that mood

can change so quickly they are at warp speed before

you can react.

While regularly diving with sharks makes you more

objective about the relatively low risk of most shark

dives it also hones your respect for them. It pays to

recognise that even a small shark can give you a bite

requiring 20 or 30 stitches. This is not to demonise

sharks, just to acknowledge what they are capable of!

Watch your back

Certainly when filming sharks in open water it is

important to have someone you trust watching your

back. It is pretty difficult to see what is going on

behind you when you’re focused on framing a shot,

and that second pair of eyes makes all the difference.

It also pays to remember that when shooting sharks

with a wide-angle lens, ‘filling the frame’ means the

shark is going to be on your camera dome, literally!

400 million years of evolution has honed sharks into

superb predators, and to my mind one of the beautiful

animals on the planet. I count myself very fortunate

to have had so many opportunities to get into the

water to film these amazing creatures; they are intelligent,

intensely aware, often curious, and incredibly

graceful …don’t ever miss a chance to do a shark dive!

Looming out of the darkness - night dive with a Great White

www.dive-pacific.com 35


Species in depth

The lionfish

The first in a new series where we will look at a marine species in some detail

Pretty to look at, venomous to hold, and

if allowed, an invasion will unfold. . .

By Aimee van der Reis

Lionfish are mesmerising. They have majestic manes, bold

colours and an incredible ability to ‘hover-swim’, all of

which makes them great to photograph.

These cryptic fish are found belly-side against rocks/

wrecks/reefs with their fins flared in all directions. They

are definitely not afraid of the limelight, and you often see

them upside down, or confidently parading. I knew they

were venomous but never seemed threatening, and so after

a recent trip to Port Vila, Vanuatu, I decided to investigate a

bit more…

The lionfish taxonomic family is

Scorpaenidae which contains

other venomous species such as

scorpionfish (Scorpaena cardinalis)

and in fact they can also

be grouped on the structure of

their venom organs. Their venoms

are similar but potency differs

with the lionfish envenomation

symptoms being the least severe

and the notorious stonefish the

most severe with scorpionfish

somewhere in between (1, 2)!

What’s in the venom?

Lionfish venom has so far been

found to contain a toxin; acetylcholine

and hyaluronidase. The

toxin affects neuromuscular transmission

(think motor neurons and

muscle contractions) and is a heat

labile antigenic substance (which

evokes an immune response, eg

swelling) (1, 3, 4). Research suggests

that the toxin produces nitric

oxide which causes muscle relaxation

and thus the inhibition of

neuromuscular functions (2, 4).

The non-proteinaceous substance,

acetylcholine, is essential for

muscle contraction to occur and

is a vital substance occurring

naturally in the human body (3).

Hyaluronidase is an enzyme that

functions as toxin-spreading factor

which can also possibly act as an

allergen (5) which may explain why

some people react more adversely

to lionfish venom than others.

No precise treatment or antidote

exists for lionfish venom and only

in severe cases will the antivenin

for stonefish be considered for it.

(4, 6, 7).

Hunting

Lionfish hunt use their natural

camouflage while ambushing or

stalking their prey. At the right

moment they lunge with lightning

speed, then generally swallow

their prey head first (8). As you may

For a list of the references numbered throughout this feature please email

us at DiveNZ@divenewzealand.co.nz

Photo: Hammer

36 Dive New Zealand | Dive Pacific


Fiji sunset

Lionfish hovering just above the wreckage of

the Semele Federesen wreck, Port Vila, Vanuatu

www.dive-pacific.com 37


A scorpionfish watching oblivious divers from below the kelp at Maitai Bay, Karikari Peninsula, New Zealand

have noticed, they do not tend to

move much when hovering while

staring at you through their beady

eyes. This is most likely because

they are a confident solitary territorial

fish, probably sizing you up

trying to see whether they could

get their mouth around your head

or not... Their spines coupled with

their venom are purely a form

of defence playing no role as a

weapon as they are already very

successful hunters.

Perfect invader

Invasion of a non-native species is

usually a man-made accident with

dire consequences. High densities

of invasive Indo-Pacific lionfish (P.

volitans and P. miles) have established

themselves on the east coast

of Florida (USA), the Caribbean

and the Gulf of Mexico. And they

are claiming more territory for

example near Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

and in the Mediterranean Sea (14,

15).

The origin of the lionfish invasion

in the western Atlantic remains

unknown though thought to be due

to the release of ornamental pet

lionfish when aquarium owners

tired of them. There is evidence

lionfish were present in the Florida

region as early as 1985 when, in

1992, six lionfish were seen alive

and well in a Florida bay after a

private aquarium became a victim

of Hurricane Andrew (16-18). Genetic

evidence showed as few as three P.

volitans and one P. miles females

were needed for the founding of

the Atlantic populations, and that

their introduction was more likely

to have occurred through a single

event with ocean currents the

main means of dispersal (14, 18-20).

If you are wondering why these

strong, independent female

lionfish didn’t need a man...well,

this particular genetic study was

based on a gene region in the

mitochondrial DNA passed on from

females to their offspring, thus

researchers could only determine

how many females initially played

a role in this lionfish population

explosion. Maybe the Hurricane

Andrew lionfish are partly to

blame though the accuracy of this

report is questionable to say the

least…

Unprecedented invasion

speed

Nevertheless the speed and

scale of the lionfish invasion was

38 Dive New Zealand | Dive Pacific


unprecedented, spurred on by their

(I) venomous defence mechanism,

(II) lack of predatory pressures, (III)

ability to reproduce all year round

(though temperature and food

dependent), (IV) thrive in a variety

of habitats, (V) immunity to certain

fish pathogens, (VI) unique hunting

techniques and (VII) high rates of

survival despite long periods of

food scarcity (8, 26-33).

The invasion led to competition

with native fish (eg groupers)

seeking similar prey on the reef

(34). Researchers across certain

study sites found a 65% average

decline in the biomass of affected

native fish (26) The lionfish diet is

generalist by nature and known

to include many different species

including (35, 36) trumpetfish,

chromis, grouper, parrotfish,

snapper, pufferfish and squirrelfish.

Shrimp identified have

included mantis shrimp and

cleaner shrimp (37, 38). The diet

includes somewhat larger (adult)

species than the lionfish itself and

thus it is likely they are targeting

the juveniles which in turn may

alter the functioning of the food

web and thus the structure of coral

reef ecosystems (38).

Underwater visual censuses

suggest the densities of lionfish

in invaded areas are far greater

than in their natural habitats, up

to 400 fish per hectare (29)! That’s

up to 15× the density of their own

natural habitats!

Control options?

So what options are there to

decrease these invasions and

restore the natural populations?

Larger native fish may learn to

eat the lionfish while preyed-on

smaller native fish may come to

identify lionfish as a threat (39). A

more proactive approach has been

lionfish removal events such as

the Reef Environmental Education

Foundation’s (REEF’s) lionfish

derbies, and promoting lionfish

as a desirable fish to eat, such as

National Oceanic and Atmospheric

Administration’s (NOAA) “Eat

lionfish” campaign. These actions

also provide education about

handling and preparing a potentially

harmful fish which is in fact

completely safe to eat (34).

Developing a market for them

would be cost-effective for

controlling their populations,

alleviate over-exploited native

fish, relieve stress occurring on

the reefs, and provide an opportunity

for small scale commercial

fishing (27). Where a market for

lionfish has been explored it looks

promising, and may be a means to

control this invasive species.

www.dive-pacific.com 39


Fun facts

What are the possible side

effects if injury occurs?

(1, 2, 9-13)

Mild to medium side effects:

Redness around site of injury, severe pain

(immediate throbbing), swelling and possible

discolouration of the skin where the injury

occurred, pins and needles, dizziness or

feeling faint (coupled with looking pale),

nausea, sweating, and possibly bullae (type of

blister) formation at site of stings.

• Lionfish are suction feeders, feeding on crustaceans

and fish mostly at dusk and dawn and use their cryptic

nature to their advantage by ambushing their prey (32, 40-42).

Research suggests cannibalism occurs, but this is linked to

fish size and density within an area (43).

• They can hover due to their specialized bilateral swim

bladder muscles allowing them to alter their centre of

gravity (the reason they are often seen upside down/head

down). So they can orientate themselves strategically before

striking their prey (44).

Severe side effects:

Delirium, seizures, anaphylactic shock

(if stung more than once), limb paralysis,

vomiting (watch out for dehydration) and

shortness of breath. After several weeks

you may feel a loss of sensation (anesthesia),

abnormal perception of sensation (paresthesia),

or an increase in sensation (hypesthesia).

Local necrosis (dead tissue) at site of

injury could occur.

• Lionfish can produce jets of water in the direction of their

prey when stalking which are thought to confuse or distract

the prey, and make them orientate head-first for an easy

swallow (8).

• Lionfish fins give the illusion the fish is larger than it

actually is. Specifically their pectoral fins allow it to ‘herd’

potential prey into areas of no escape. They also have been

seen to team up to hunt and alternate the fish that gets

to strike and eat the prey (45). Their pectoral fins also are

handy for flushing benthic invertebrates out of substrates

by palpation (applying pressure to determine if invertebrates

are present in the substrates) (46).

• Research has described distinct vocalization of lionfish.

They make different calls when alone (repetitive pulsecalls),

or together (multiple fish vocalize concurrently with

less rapid repetitive pulse-calls at a lower frequency), or

when agitated (hum call) (47). It is thought this calling may

have be to do with seeking a friend to hunt…

• They occupy a wide range of thermal environments, from

13 to 32°C. But about 23°C suits best. They have been found

at depths greater than 75 m (29, 32) too which means they

populate a range of habitats including reefs, mangroves,

soft bottoms, nearshore seagrass beds and near estuaries

(28, 29).

• The bacterial community found on lionfish skin is diverse

and is capable of producing antibacterial metabolites and

thus help defend the lionfish from fish pathogens (the

bacteria promotes disease resistance to its host) (30).

• Tagged lionfish movement records show they tend to

move relatively little depending on the lionfish density in

the area, body size and seascape structure (41).

• They can change their physiology to meet their energy

demands, for eg lowering their metabolism when food is

scarce (31, 32).

Actions to take:

Firstly, it is important to get the diver out of

the water as soon as possible after injury.

Pain will be most severe an hour to an hour

and a half after the venom has been injected

and persist for 6-12 hours or longer. The

persistent pain is likely due to the fact that

the toxin cannot be inactivated immediately

after injury has occurred. Immersing

the affected area in hot water, no more than

45°C for 30-60 minutes will help neutralize

the toxin and provide relief. If the spine and/

sheath is embedded it should be removed.

But when cleaning the wound use warm

saline solution as alcohol based solutions

may cause further tissue damage. The wound

will need to drain so should be left open. It

is always advisable to consult a doctor and

wise to make sure that tetanus protection

is up to date (Clostridium tetani, the bacterium

responsible for tetanus, can be found in

marine sediments.

Better safe than sorry!).

40 Dive New Zealand | Dive Pacific


Sleeping like a Weddell by Ralf Schneider

Highly Commended 2019, Black and White

reaching up to 3.5 metres, with the females somewhat larger than the

males.

Lying on fast ice (attached to land) off Larsen Harbour, South Georgia,

this Weddell Seal was relatively safe from its predators – killer whales

and leopard seals – and so could completely relax and digest. Weddell

seals populate inshore habitats around the Antarctic continent,

They can descend to more than 500 metres and stay under water for

long periods, sometimes more than an hour.

Canon EOS 7D Mark II + 100–400mm f4.5–5.6 lens at 400mm; 1/500 sec

at f8; ISO 400.

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

2019 images go on display

The world-renowned World Wildlife Photographer of

the Year display opens this month at London’s Natural

History Museum.

The exhibition showcases the world's best nature

photography and photojournalism is in its 55th year.

Again this year Dive Pacific publishes a selection of

highly commended images relating to the oceans,

among them a black & white photo of a Weddell seal

described by Chair of the competition jury Roz Kidman

Cox, as 'a portrait of pure, relaxed bliss', and a black

water photo by Fabien Michenet who we featured in

our last issue.

The overall winners will be announced on 15 October

with the exhibition opening on October 18th. Winning

images are selected for their creativity, originality,

technical excellence. This year's competition attracted

48,000 entries from professionals and amateurs in 100

countries. Just 100 images made it to the exhibition.

Dr Tim Littlewood, Director of Science at the Natural

History Museum and member of the judging panel,

said “We hope this year's exhibition will empower

people to think differently about our planet and our

critical role in its future.”

After the flagship exhibition the images go on a UK

and international tour.

Facebook:

www.facebook.com/wildlifephotographeroftheyear

Twitter: @NHM_WPY Instagram: @nhm_wpy

Hashtag: #WPY55

The 56th Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition

(for 2020) will open for entries on Monday 21st

October 2019 and close at 11.30am GMT on Thursday

12 December 2019. Its open to everyone - the competition

welcomes entries from photographers of all ages

and abilities:

http://www.nhm.ac.uk/visit/wpy/competition.html

www.dive-pacific.com 41


Touching trust by Thomas P Peschak, Germany/South Africa

Highly Commended 2019, Wildlife Photojournalism

A curious young grey whale approaches a

pair of hands reaching down from a tourist

boat. In San Ignacio Lagoon on the coast of

Mexico’s Baja California, a World Heritage Site

where whale‐watching is carefully managed

by the community, baby grey whales and their

mothers actively seek contact with people for

a head scratch or back rub. The trust between

whales and humans has built up relatively

recently. Fishermen have also gained a

whale‐watching income in winter, now vital

as fish catches decline.

Nikon D3S + 16mm f2.8 lens; 1/400 sec at f9;

ISO 1250; Subal housing.

Jelly baby by Fabien Michenet, France

Highly Commended 2019, Under Water

A juvenile jackfish peers out from inside a

small jellyfish off Tahiti in French Polynesia.

With nowhere to hide in the open ocean,

it has adopted the jelly as an overnight

travelling shelter, slipping under the umbrella

and possibly immune to the stinging

tentacles, which deter potential predators.

In hundreds of night dives, says Fabien, ‘I’ve

never seen one without the other. Diving

in deep open water in darkness is Fabien’s

specialty. (see Dive Pacific Issue 170 for more)

Nikon D810 + 60mm f2.8 lens; 1/320 sec at

f22; ISO 64; Nauticam housing; Inon Z-240

strobes.

42 Dive New Zealand | Dive Pacific


If penguins could fly, by Eduardo Del Álamo, Spain

Highly Commended 2019

A gentoo penguin, the fastest underwater

swimmer of all penguins, flees from a leopard

seal. Eduardo was expecting it. He had spotted

the penguin resting on a fragment of broken

ice. But he had also seen the leopard seal

patrolling off the Antarctic Peninsula coast,

close to the gentoo’s colony on Cuverville

Island. Leopard seals are formidable

predators. Females can be 3.5 metres long

and weigh more than 500 kg, males slightly

less. They hunt almost anything, from fish

to the pups of other seal species. They also

play with their prey, as here, with the leopard

seal pursuing the penguin for more than 15

minutes before finally catching and eating it.

Canon EOS 7D Mark II + 100–400mm f4.5–5.6

lens at 110mm; 1/2500 sec at f10; ISO 1000.

Last gasp by Adrian Hirschi, Switzerland

A newborn hippo, just days old, was keeping

close to its mother in the shallows of Lake

Kariba, Zimbabwe, when a large bull suddenly

made a beeline for them chasing the mother,

then seized the calf clearly intent on killing

it with the distraught mother looking on.

Adrian’s fast reaction and fast exposure

captured the shocking drama. Infanticide

among hippos is rare but may result from

the stress caused through overcrowding

when their day-resting pools dry out. A male

may also increase his reproductive chances

by killing young that are not his, triggering

females to go into oestrus, and becoming

ready to mate again.

Nikon D750 + 400mm f2.8 lens; 1/2000 sec at

f6.3 (-0.7 e/v); ISO 640; Gitzo monopod.

www.dive-pacific.com 43


Circle of life by Alex Mustard, UK

Highly commended 2019, Black and White

In the clear water of the Red Sea, a shoal

of bigeye trevally circle 25 metres down at

the edge of a reef. For the past 20 years Alex

has travelled to Ras Mohammad, a national

park at the tip of Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula,

a no fishing marine reserve. Their circling

behaviour is a dating exercise prior to pairing

up, though it also deters predators. Using a

lens system with a 130‐degree angle of view,

Alex captured the shape of the shoal against

the deep blue water below, the iridescent

angled fish reflecting the light from the sun

and his strobes.

Nikon D850 + 28–70mm f3.5–4.5 lens at

31mm + Nauticam Wide Angle Conversion

Port; 1/60 sec at f11; ISO 500; Subal housing;

two Seacam Seaflash 150D strobes.

Beach waste by Matthew Ware, USA

Highly Commended 2019, Wildlife Photojournalism

From a distance, the beach scene at Alabama’s

Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge looked

appealing: blue sky, soft sand and a Kemp’s

ridley sea turtle. But as Matthew and the

strandings patrol team got closer they could

see the fatal noose around the turtle’s neck

attached to the washed-up beach chair. The

Kemp’s ridley is not only one of the smallest

sea turtles just 65 centimetres long, it is also

the most endangered.

Canon EOS 700D + 18–55mm f3.5–5.6 lens at

18mm; 1/1250 sec at f4.5; ISO 100.

44 Dive New Zealand | Dive Pacific


BACK IN THE DAY

DIVE Magazine Vol 7. No 1 Price 25 cents

Sportways bouyancy compensator

Sportways ad published in

Wade Doak’s DIVE magazine

These Buoyancy Compensators were

referred to by divers as toilet seats!

Note: 1) The clear tube running from

the diver’s regulator. This fed the

diver’s exhaust air into the black tube

that has the fine netting on the end.

The air created a mini airlift for

removing fine bottom particles,

exposing a seam of coins. This creative

airlift was a Kelly Tarlton invention.

Quite amazing!

2) The DCP decompression meter

on the diver’s right hand. This was

one of the first times these new

decompression meters were used on

extended decompression dives in NZ.

The silver coins pictured above were

uncovered at the wreck site of the

Elingamite at the Three Kings Islands

1965.

Expedition members were: Wade

Doak. Kelly Tarlton, John Pettit, John

Gallagher, Peter Clemens, Geoff Pearch

and Jaan Voot. Kelly Tarlton most

likely took the picture.

Sightings of pest fish Gambusia wanted in Nelson Tasman

SOUNDINGS

LOCAL NEWS

Gambusia prey on native insects

and fish including whitebait, one of

the world’s most invasive species.

A small, robust fish, it breeds and

spreads very rapidly in spring and

summer with populations able to

expand to 17 times their original

number within five months. It is

illegal to possess, release, buy, sell

or breed them.

“Gambusia threaten native whitebait

species and mudfish by

nipping their fins and eating eggs

and juveniles,” said DOC ranger

Renan Falleiros. “They also reduce

native insect populations.”

Commonly known as mosquito

fish, Gambusia were introduced to

the North Island in the 1930s in the

belief they would control mosquito

larvae. Recent studies have shown

that they are not effective and

can even increase them by eating

mosquitoes’ native predators.

Gambusia were first discovered

in a Tasman pond in 2000. DOC’s

Pest Fish Programme eradicated

Gambusia from over 23 sites but

they are still found at many sites

around Waimea Inlet, Moutere

Inlet, Motueka and Riwaka.

DOC is asking anyone who sees

fish they believe to be Gambusia

to take photos and email details

to rfalleiros@doc.govt.nz. Include

your name, contact number and

details of where and when they

saw the fish.

Male Gambusia grow to 3.5 cm and

females to 6 cm. The fish prefer

slow moving water in creeks,

wetlands, ponds, and estuaries

where there is a mix of salt and

fresh water.

www.dive-pacific.com 45


GEARBAG

MagicJet Underwater Scooter

debuts at Sydney dive expo

After success with their Nemo underwater drone, Aquajet

took it and their new MagicJet underwater scooter to the

Australia International Dive Expo in Sydney (AIDE-organised

by the Australian Diving Association). The expo has been

running in September since 2014 with 60,000 people and over

500 companies attending this year.

The MagicJet scooter allows you to use one unit or combine two to double the thrust

(up to 10 Kg) and it comes equipped with a choice of three Gropo camera mounts. It is

claimed to run for 100 minutes on its 155.4Wh rechargeable battery in 2 speed settings,

and go to 50 metres depth.

RRP for the Nemo drone is $US1399-1799 and for the scooter $US699

www.aquarobotman.com

New product releases from Cressi

Cressi Calibro mask and Corsica Snorkel set RRP $159.99

• Highly popular Cressi Calibro mask with patented For Stop system

now comes in a convenient package with the Corisca snorkel.

• Minimal internal volume

• Raked frame angle for phenomenal field of view

• Highly technical snorkel designed specifically for deep freediving

and spearfishing.

• Matte coating - available in green and black

Cressi F1 frameless mask RRP $99.99

• Ultra low-volume, single lens design for excellent field-of-view

• Silicone skirt bonds directly to the lens for lower weight and reduced drag

• Fast-adjust ratcheting strap buckles mounted to skirt

• Supple, high-grade silicone seals gently and securely against the face

• Available in Blue, Pink, Yellow and White

Cressi Action Camera mask and Mexico snorkel set RRP $149.99

• Highly popular Cressi Action camera mask with mount for camera

now comes in a convenient package with the Mexico snorkel.

• Hypoallergenic dark silicon mask skirt for comfort, fit & durability

• Classic twin lens design mask with a good field of vision & low

internal volume

• Frame molded mount to fit Garmin Virb or GoPro action cameras

46 Dive New Zealand | Dive Pacific


GEARBAG

LET’S

EXPLORE.

TOGETHER.

SUUNTO D5

The new Suunto D5 is designed to be so clear and easy-to-use that you can

just enjoy and focus on exploring the wonderful underwater world. Play with

style by changing the strap to match your looks. After diving, connect

wirelessly to the Suunto app to re-live and share your adventures with friends.

www.suunto.com Suunto Diving @suuntodive

Visit one of our nationwide stockist to view our SUUNTO products

ADVENTURE DIVE BAY OF PLENTY 290B TE NGAE ROAD LYNMORE ROTORUA

BIG BLUE DIVE & FISH CNR AKERSTEN ST & WILDMAN AVE PORT NELSON NELSON

BLENHEIM DIVE CENTRE 9 SCOTT STREET BLENHEIM

DEEP BLUE DIVING CO 15 BYRON STREET SYDENHAM CHRISTCHURCH

DIVE! TUTUKAKA MARINA ROAD TUTUKAKA WHANGAREI

DIVE CENTRE AUCKLAND 97 WAIRAU ROAD WAIRAU VALLEY AUCKLAND

DIVE HQ CHRISTCHURCH 103 DURHAM STREET SOUTH SYDENHAM CHRISTCHURCH

DIVE DOCTOR 20R SYLVIA PARK ROAD MT WELLINGTON AUCKLAND

DIVE ZONE TAURANGA 213 CAMERON ROAD TAURANGA

DIVE WELLINGTON 432 THE ESPLANADE ISLAND BAY WELLINGTON

DIVE ZONE WHITIANGA 10 Campbell Street WHITIANGA

DIVE OTAGO 2 WHARF STREET DUNEDIN

DUTCHYS 12 THE MARINA TAIRUA WAIKATO

GLOBAL DIVE 132 BEAUMONT STREET WESTHAVEN AUCKLAND

KIWI DIVERS NZ 8 KEITH HAY COURT SILVERDALE AUCKLAND

NZ DIVING UNIT 2, 9/23 MORRISON DRIVE WARKWORTH AUCKLAND

OCEAN HUNTER AUCKLAND UNIT 12, 2 TAWA DRIVE ALBANY AUCKLAND

OCEANS ALIVE 35a Ocean View Parade Breakwater Bay NEW PLYMOUTH

OCEAN HUNTER WELLINGTON 2/56 KINGSFORD SMITH STREET LYALL BAY WELLINGTON

WAIKAWA DIVE CENTRE UNIT # 2 (REAR) WAIKAWA MARINA PICTON

www.dive-pacific.com 47


GEARBAG

West Australia invests $1 million in personal shark deterrent subsidies

The West Australian Government has announced an

additional 1,000 subsidies for Ocean Guardian’s shark

deterrent devices. Resident local surfers and divers there

have been taking up a government subsidy programme

in big numbers - the increase brings the total cost to the

government up to $1 million.

The subsidy programme, the first of its kind in the world,

has so far paid out 3,800 rebates to local surfer and divers

worth $200 each. The only devices qualifying must be

scientifically proven and the only ones that meet that

criteria are Ocean Guardian’s FREEDOM+ Surf (Bundle) and

the Ocean Guardian FREEDOM7.

With the $200 Government rebate, the surf bundle is $299

and the dive device $399 available through the programme

from a registered retailer.

Both devices are shown to significantly reduce the risk of a

negative interaction with great whites and other sharks.

The Shark Shield Technology also prevents the unnecessary

killing of sharks by environmentally fatal shark nets,

drum-lines and shark culling. It works by generating a

three-dimensional electrical field which causes spasms in

the sensitive receptors of sharks’ snouts, with no known

harmful effects to the sharks or to humans.

www.ocean-guardian.com

...reducing shark tax

Ocean Guardian launched their new FISH01

at a recent Sydney International Boat Show. Its

developed for the fishing industry to improve

catch rates by reducing ‘shark tax.’ That is, it helps

avoid sharks taking the catch.

The FISH01 has between 10-12 hours of battery

life, delivers a protective field up to 15m deep and

6m wide, at a maximum depth of 200m.

www.ocean-guardian.com RRP $2,999.

New community funded rescue vessel ready for the Gulf

Auckland Coastguard has

worked for two years to get the

funding and commission its

latest rescue boat Trillian Trust

Rescue.

Designed by Naiad Boats and

built in New Zealand by Alloy

Cats the new 15m rescue boat

extends the range from North

Cape through to East Cape and

the ability to engage in overnight

and extended search and rescue

operations.

Significant grants from

Trillian Trust, Lion Foundation,

Foundation North, the Lotteries

Grants Board and Kelliher

Charitable Trust along with

funding from Coastguard, made it

possible.

The Trillian Trust Rescue complements

the existing Lion Foundation

Rescue, a 15m semi-foiling

catamaran, and Trillian Rescue

Alpha, a 9.5m fast response vessel.

Based at Mechanics Bay, Auckland

Coastguard comprises 150 volunteers

staffing 24 hours a day, 365

days a year. Over the previous

12 months they attended 430

incidents from mechanical

difficulties to search-and-rescue

emergencies.

The new purpose built rescue

vessel features include:

• 700hp Scania inboard diesel

engines

• Fuel range of 200 nautical miles

• A fully integrated Simrad navigation

suite including a Radio

Direction Finder and a Thermal

Search Camera

• Full first aid and resuscitation

equipment

48 Dive New Zealand | Dive Pacific


Washing your dive gear made easy

Salt-Away is the cheapest and most

concentrated product available, says

Shane Housley warming up on the

subject of salt water corrosion.

As the Salt-Away distributor in New

Zealand of course he would say that,

but he has the facts to back up the

claim.

With Salt-Away diluted 500 to one

it takes just a few millilitres to

fully protect costly bits of kit like

camera housings, regulators and

BCDs - and you can keep on using

the same bucket of solution for

several months – it’s a persuasive

argument.

“Its water based, a green product,

and you can be 100% certain

you can soak your gear in it at no

risk,” Shane says. “It won’t attack

any metal or alloy and it protects

rubbers too; it doesn’t make them

go hard. I’ve got sensitive skin but

I’ve never had any skin reaction to

it either.”

He said the active ingredient,

Cortec N370, makes the corrosive

properties of salt inert whereas

competitor products attempt to

dissolve or counteract the salt.

A keen diver himself Shane says he

always squirts it into his BCD, forcing

it up the dump valve. You can use the

Salt Away mixing unit attached to a

garden hose back at home, swishing it

around and over the tank, putting the

GEARBAG

regulator into a bucket of diluted Salt-

Away overnight then just letting it dry.

No rinsing in fresh water required.

For regulators he recommends first

blowing water off the first stage inlet

using air from the cylinder, replacing

the dust cap, then soaking it overnight

in the same way. The same general

process should be followed for

wetsuits, dive computers, goggles,

flippers, tanks and other gear.

For outboards he recommends

adding 200 to 250 ml to salt

water then rinsing it through the

heat exchanger. Salt-Away also

supplies collapsible flush bags

for the purpose in varying sizes,

which are also ideal for dive gear.

But head to their website for more

comprehensive info on washing

engines, boats, and fishing gear.

Salt-Away products are widely

available, probably at your nearest

boat or dive shops but it's just as

easy to shop online at

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www.dive-pacific.com 49


GEARBAG

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opposite – there’s so much! And how do you know what’s good to get and if it will even work with their system? So we’ve

written this rule-of-thumb guide to safe gifts.

1. Lenses – The most common thread is M67 (AKA 67mm)

– and even if the housing has a different thread,

adaptor rings are readily available and affordable.

2. Macro lenses are usually a good choice for any

system and most can be stacked to make even higher

magnifications – so even if the person who you’re

buying for has a macro lens, another one can still be

great.

i-Torch Video Pro8

- FL-A085

3. Lights – You can never have too much light. Seriously.

The brighter the better, but some is better than none.

4. GPS geolocation devices are a great way to show you

care about a diver’s wellbeing! Check out the Nautilus

Lifeline.

Visit https://www.seatech.co.nz/collections/

gifts-for-divers and see some items we’ve

picked out.

But remember – if you want a hand, give us a call, we’re happy

to help! And if you buy during October you’ll get an even better

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50 Dive New Zealand | Dive Pacific


SPECIESFOCUS

Black angelfish

~Parma alboscapularis

By Paul Caiger

Black angelfish are a charismatic

addition to any northern New

Zealand reef scene. As their name

suggests, they are black. However

they are not an angelfish, but

rather belong to the damselfish or

demoiselle family more common

to the tropics of the world. And

unlike their tropical cousins

they are far larger, up to 30 cm,

as are a handful of other Parma

species, and the Garibaldi, found in

temperate locations.

As juveniles, black angelfish are far

more colourful (see photo) and far

more like their tropical counterparts;

bright yellow with iridescent

lightning-blue dots adorning them.

Black angelfish are predominantly

herbivorous fish and live in fairly

shallow depths where sunlight

fuels algal growth. Their incisorlike

teeth are arranged into cutting

plates, perfectly adapted to nip

and shear small delicate seaweed

with their favoured types being

greens and reds. So these fish are

usually found in areas devoid of

the thicker brown kelps, some of

which is their own doing.

These fish are avid gardeners,

removing undesirable algae

and encrusting invertebrates to

encourage the growth of their

favoured food. Consequently, they

are highly territorial, a territoriality

that is enhanced during

the breeding season when males

will aggressively seek out and

defend optimum terrain. Such

terrain includes not only favoured

resources and a lack of large kelp,

but also large boulders or rocks

that include vertical rock faces

which serve as nests. In defense of

their territory, and particularly to

guard their nests, adult males will

chase off intruders, racing at them

with a strong “bark”, and flashing

a white patch on the top corner of

their gill plate. Similarly they will

happily target divers too, chasing

at any that get too close to their

nest, even nipping at stubborn

intruders.

This ability to vocalise is a trait

shared in damselfishes; black

angelfish are one of the few very

actively vocal species in northern

New Zealand reefs. In the tropical

species, sound cues emanating

from reefs has been shown to

provide orientation and settlement

cues for larvae looking for

a suitable home. It is unknown if

this is the case with Parma though

certainly very feasible.

Black angelfish are an extremely

long-lived species; up to 90 years

old! This is up there with some the

longest lived reef fish anywhere.

Remarkably too, they grow to adult

size in under two years, a factor

that permits them to put energy

into maintaining territories and

gardens, along with putting huge

investments into courting females

and protecting their offspring until

they hatch.

~Parma alboscapularis

1

2

3

4

“alboscapularis” refers to the white shoulder

patch that flares up when excited.

Brilliantly coloured yellow and electric blue

juveniles.

Herbivorous, feeds on red and green algae.

Marine gardeners, removing unwanted algae

and invertebrates in their garden.

5

6

7

8

One of the most vocally active fish species in

New Zealand.

Extremely long lifespan, living up to 90 years

old.

Grow to adult size in under two years.

Aggressively defend nests laid on rock faces.

www.dive-pacific.com 51


INCIDENTINSIGHTS WITH THE DIVERS ALERT NETWORK (DANAP]

By DAN World

Symptoms return after flying:

Did the diver fly too soon?

In this incident a diver was evacuated for recompression, but flew home sooner than DAN

advised and, unfortunately, the symptoms returned and persisted for some time. Could this have

been avoided if the diver had delayed his flight home?

The dives

A 28-year-old dive

instructor completed a long

45m dive on mixed gas

with decompression. The

next day he completed a

dive (on air) to 26m for 65

minutes, and afterwards

noted that he felt more

tired than usual.

Symptoms present

The following day, more

than 24 hours since his

final dive, he felt an ache/

burn in his right shoulder,

and the next day, when

DAN was called, he had

some altered sensation

in his hip and elbow. By

then he had been receiving

oxygen first aid for six

hours without any significant

improvement when the call

to DAN was made.

DAN’s advice

The DAN Diving Emergency

Service (DES) doctor was not

certain the diver was experiencing

DCI based on the information

provided. The diver was

asked to continue breathing

oxygen for a few more hours

that evening and take Ibuprofen,

and in the morning, he would be

re-assessed.

As the diver was in Timor where

there are no chamber facilities he

would need to be evacuated for

treatment if symptoms did not

improve.

When DAN spoke to the diver

the following day he told them

that he remained on oxygen

for an additional six hours and

continued breathing pure oxygen

for an hour that morning. He

thought the Ibuprofen relieved

the ‘pressure’ he felt in his lower

back but mentioned that pain in

his right shoulder and the hypersensitivity

in his shoulder, arm

and chest area were still present.

He also mentioned that he was

continuing to experience discomfort

in his right hip, felt waves of

pain flow through his right elbow

and had a stiff right little finger.

When he attempted some light

activities with his clients he had

difficulty breathing and experienced

shortness of breath.

Evacuation required

The DAN doctor recommended

the diver be seen by a Hyperbaric

Medical Specialist and told him

that recompression treatment

was a possibility. DAN determined

that the closest facility

capable and available to treat this

diver at the time of his accident

was in Singapore, so DAN began

to coordinate his evacuation.

While waiting to be evacuated

to Singapore the diver breathed

oxygen for another three hours

and reported feeling much better.

In fact, he felt so much better that

he considered calling DAN to say

he was better. But that evening

his symptoms returned.

52 Dive New Zealand | Dive Pacific


Treatment

Once in Singapore the diver

was evaluated and ended up

receiving two recompression

treatments. His symptoms

mostly resolved but he did

express to the doctor that he

still had shoulder discomfort

post treatment. The doctor

felt it wasn’t DCS and he was

discharged from the hospital.

Conflicting ‘Do Not Fly’

advice

The diving doctor advised the

diver not to fly for three days,

but DAN advised that this was

insufficient and that he should

wait at least a week before flying

back to Timor given the remoteness

of his destination.

The diver ended up flying home

back there four days after treatment

and upon his return he

advised DAN that he was again

experiencing residual symptoms

in his hip, shoulder and elbow.

The DAN doctors advised

the diver to continue taking

Ibuprofen for several days to

help with the residual inflammation,

remain hydrated, and

refrain from exercising, or going

to altitude. The diver’s condition

did not deteriorate further.

However his improvement was

very slow, to his frustration.

Cost: Emergency Evacuation

USD$34,500

DAN comments

While the diver’s symptoms in

this case were mild, they were

persistent. The diver was evacuated

to Singapore and received

two treatments and, unfortunately,

DAN’s advice to avoid

flying for at least a week was not

followed.

In many cases divers are cleared

to fly after three days from their

final treatment if they remain

asymptomatic. This is often fine

and many divers following this

advice have no further issues -

although a small number will.

In this case, DAN’s recommendation

was more conservative

than the doctor’s recommendation

as DAN factored in

the remoteness of the diver’s

location. The reason behind this

more conservative approach

stemmed from the fact that once

the diver flew home to Timor,

he would be back in the same

situation should symptoms

reappear: Stuck in a location not

equipped with the necessary

medical facilities or equipment,

including a chamber, to treat his

injuries.

It is not surprising that flying

prematurely aggravated this

diver’s condition because it is

likely he had residual bubbles in

his system. When divers have

residual bubbles it often takes

a longer time for persistent

symptoms to fully resolve.

This case serves as an important

reminder to adhere to the advice

of DAN as our case managers

factor in all aspects of a diver’s

situation when providing advice.

Visit “Diving Safety” at DANAP.

org for more diving health and

safety information, including

DAN Doc.

YOUR LEADER IN

GLOBAL DIVE SAFETY.

+ 39 Years

Divers Helping Divers

+ 24/7

Emergency Medical Services

+ 150,000

Emergency Calls Managed

+ 2,000,000

Members Served Worldwide

Experience Matters.

Join DAN

DANAP.org

For more diving health

and safety articles

DANinsider.org for

weekly posts discussing

recent incidents, and

diving health and safety

content.

Visit: daninsider.org and

follow us on Facebook by

searching DAN World.

Need more information?

Send DAN World an email

(info@danap.org) or call

+61-3-9886 9166

www.dive-pacific.com 53


DIVEMEDICINE

The fascinating problem of inner

ear decompression sickness

By Professor Simon Mitchell, University of Auckland

In this incident a diver was evacuated for recompression, but flew home sooner than DAN

advised and, unfortunately, the symptoms returned and persisted for some time. Could this have

been avoided if the diver had delayed his flight home?

Decompression sickness

(DCS) is the well-known

diving disorder caused by

bubbles formed from inert

gas (usually nitrogen) that we

have breathed and absorbed

during a dive.

Everyone who has done an entry

level dive course knows the

story. We absorb nitrogen into

blood and tissues from the air we

breathe during a dive. The deeper

we go the more nitrogen we can

absorb, and the longer we stay at

depth the more nitrogen is taken

up. Most dives are performed

according to time and depth

guidelines that allow us to make

a direct ascent to the surface

at the end of the dive (so-called

“no-decompression diving”) but if

we exceed certain depth and time

limits then we have to ascend

more slowly and make “decompression

stops” to allow time for

nitrogen or other inert gases we

may breathe to be eliminated

from the body.

What dive tables and computers

attempt to do in prescribing

no-decompression time limits, or

in prescribing a pattern of decompression

stops during ascent, is to

prevent the pressure of dissolved

gas in our bodies from exceeding

the surrounding pressure (a

condition known as supersaturation)

by more than is considered

safe. Supersaturation of dissolved

gas in our bodies is the primary

driver for bubbles to form, so by

controlling supersaturation we

control bubble formation and

lower the risk of DCS – that’s the

theory anyway!

Nothing is simple about DCS.

Bubbles can form in tissue

themselves, or in the blood

(typically the venous blood

because it drains from the tissues

where all the nitrogen has

accumulated).

Organs can be affected

Many organs can be affected,

producing confusing patterns of

symptoms of varying severity.

Some symptoms are caused

by those bubbles that form in

tissues, and others are thought

more likely related to bubbles that

have formed in the blood. Some

organs can be affected by both.

The inner ear is a tiny organ

that lies in the bone deep to

the ear. It is responsible for

processing the neural signals of

hearing and balance. It is easy

to understand how something

going wrong with it can produce

very unpleasant and potentially

disabling symptoms, like intractable

vertigo, nausea, vomiting

and deafness.

Why now?

Why write about it now? Well, I

was reminded of the issue this

month in processing the next

issue of Diving and Hyperbaric

Medicine to be published at the

end of September. In It there is

an article by a group from Malta

describing their DCS caseload

since the late 80s. Around 1990

about 5% of their DCS cases had

inner ear symptoms but by 2017

this had risen to 50%, an extraordinary

increase [1].

Our DCS case numbers are low

across the board in New Zealand,

…The inner ear is tiny, but it contains several relatively

large pools of fluid that can absorb and eliminate gas from

the blood – but only through the sensitive neural tissues.

These pools of fluid have no blood supply of their own…

but we too are seeing more inner

ear cases. The obvious question

is why? And the answer is that

it probably reflects the nature

of the diving going on. Basically,

with the increasing popularity of

technical diving and rebreather

use we are going deeper.

Going deeper

To understand why depth can

be a particular issue for inner

ear DCS we need to consider its

fascinating pathophysiology.

Here it can get a little complicated.

The inner ear is one of

those organs we believe can be

injured by bubbles forming in the

organ itself, and also by bubbles

reaching it in the blood.

Let’s start with bubbles forming

in the inner ear itself. That seems

like a fairly simple concept. If the

inner ear tissue became excessively

supersaturated with inert

gas then bubbles could form,

disrupt the inner ear function,

and cause symptoms. This has

often been seen during decompressions

from very deep dives

(I’m thinking typically more than

100m).

54 Dive New Zealand | Dive Pacific


Fig. 1 Advantageous counter-diffusion after a helium to

nitrogen switch during decompression. This situation

would likely apply in all tissues except the inner ear.

Fig. 2 Disadvantageous counter-diffusion in the inner

ear after a helium to nitrogen switch during decompression.

The fluid pools are represented by the darker blue

panel.

Terrifying instance

I had one particularly terrifying

experience with a buddy

suffering this problem during a

decompression from a 120m dive

when we still had two hours of

decompression to go. He was so

dizzy he could not open his eyes

and spent those hours coming off

the rebreather to vomit on open

circuit scuba, and going back on

the rebreather again. It was a

remarkable feat of diving skill and

endurance that we were able to

complete the decompression. The

puzzling thing is that, as in this

case, it is often only the inner ear

affected by the problem. Why only

the inner ear? Why aren’t other

organs affected at the same time?

Unique risk factor…

The answer is that the inner

ear has a unique risk factor for

developing excess supersaturation

during decompression from deep

dives: it is the one and only organ

in the body vulnerable to isobaric

counter-diffusion problems

(there’s a term you can drop into a

diving medicine conversation!).

In deep diving helium is typically

blended with oxygen and nitrogen

as ‘trimix’ and used for its

non-narcotic, low density properties.

In decompressing from deep

dives it has been common practice

to switch from helium breathing

to nitrogen breathing (air or

nitrox) during the decompression.

In theory, this should result in

faster reduction of tissue inert gas

because the helium being a light

molecule will diffuse from tissue

to blood faster than nitrogen will

diffuse from blood to tissue.

The principle is illustrated in

Figure 1 which shows a theoretical

tissue with a blood vessel

passing by just after a switch from

…normal scuba air divers are also vulnerable to inner ear

DCS, particularly if they venture down around the

25-30m depth much…

breathing primarily helium to

primarily nitrogen. The helium

diffuses rapidly into the blood

(large arrow) because there is

little helium there after the gas

switch to nitrogen breathing, and

nitrogen diffuses into the tissue

but more slowly (smaller arrow)

than the helium diffuses out. The

net effect is a faster reduction of

inert gas pressure in the tissue

and this process of the two gases

diffusing in opposite directions is

called isobaric counter-diffusion.

Figure 1. Advantageous counter-diffusion

after a helium to

nitrogen switch during decompression.

This situation would

likely apply in all tissues except

the inner ear.

…because of unique

anatomy

Unfortunately this does not quite

work for the inner ear because of

some unique anatomy. The inner

ear is tiny, but it contains several

relatively large pools of fluid that

can absorb and eliminate gas from

the blood – but only through the

sensitive neural tissues. These

pools of fluid have no blood supply

of their own. If this fluid has

absorbed a lot of helium during

the dive, and it only loses it slowly

through the tissue space, then a

switch to nitrogen will have the

opposite effect to that described

above. Yes, helium moves from

the tissue into the blood faster

than the nitrogen diffuses from

the blood into the tissue, but the

helium pressure in the tissue is

constantly topped up by helium

moving into the tissue from the

adjacent pools of fluid, and so the

helium pressure in the tissue does

not fall.

The net effect is that the diffusion

of nitrogen into the tissue will

transiently increase the dissolved

gas pressure in the inner ear, thus

www.dive-pacific.com 55


increasing any supersaturation that already exists and

potentially being the final straw that leads to bubble

formation. This process is illustrated in Figure 2.

One way of avoiding this problem is simply to avoid gas

switches during decompression, or taking care with

the depth at which you make such switches, but the

latter discussion is beyond the scope of this article.

Figure 2. Disadvantageous counter-diffusion in the

inner ear after a helium to nitrogen switch during

decompression. The fluid pools are represented by the

darker blue panel.

KEEPING DIVERS SAFE

AROUND THE WORLD

Normal scuba air divers vulnerable too

Non-technical divers may be feeling smug that this

mechanism does not apply to them, but normal scuba

air divers are also vulnerable to inner ear DCS, particularly

if they venture down around the 25-30m depth

much. Dives to these depths (or deeper) are almost

certainly associated with a greater degree of bubble

formation in the venous blood on surfacing.

Some bubbles form in the veins relatively commonly

and rarely do us harm. But if you form a lot of venous

bubbles, and combine that with a means by which

these bubbles can avoid being filtered by the lung

capillaries, and enter the arterial circulation (such as a

patent foramen ovale (PFO)), then problems can arise.

Small venous inert gas bubbles entering the arteries

can distribute around the body in the blood. Problems

can arise if they find their way into the capillaries of

functionally important organs that remain supersaturated

with inert gas after the dive at the time these

bubbles arrive. The inert gas dissolved in the tissue

can then diffuse into the bubble and cause it to grow

and create problems – where normally it might not.

The inner ear tissue remains supersaturated with inert

gas for about 30 min after a dive, so that is a danger

period should any small bubbles arrive there in the

blood. It is no surprise that the typical inner ear DCS

case in a recreational air diver arises around 30 min

after an air dive to 25-30m, and that most of these

cases turn out to have a large PFO.

In summary

The reason we are seeing more of this fascinating but

distressing problem is almost certainly more divers

are becoming adventurous and going “tech” or pushing

their scuba air diving a little deeper than previously.

Inner ear DCS is treatable with recompression, so don’t

ignore severe dizziness/vertigo arising early after

diving (or during decompression from deep trimix

dives). It may be inner ear DCS and you need to contact

the DES line as early as possible.

Reference:

1. Azzopardi CP et al. Increasing prevalence of vestibulo-cochlear

decompression illness in Malta – an analysis

of hyperbaric treatment data from 1987 – 2017. Diving

Hyperb Med. 2019;49(3):161-6

SAFETY MATTERS

JOIN DAN

+ 24/7 Emergency Medical Services

+ Emergency Medical Evacuation

Assistance

+ Membership & Assistance Coverage

+ First Aid Training

+ Online Dive Safety Resources

DANAP.ORG

56 Dive New Zealand | Dive Pacific


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www.dive-pacific.com 57


SHADES OF COLOUR PHOTOGRAPHIC COMPETITION

Image Post Editing can make

a huge difference

By Dave Moran, Editor at Large

The variety of images received for this fun

competition sure makes you think, I need to go

diving more often! The variety of subjects is just

amazing. It’s great to see a mix of local and international

dive locations represented in the final winning

mix.

The judges again remind us to use Post Editing tools

such as Lightroom and Photoshop to improve your

images.

We ask entrants to advise us if Post Editing has been

done as we see this as a skill that should be encouraged

as it is now a big part of how images are finally

presented/displayed.

Simon Pierce, Advanced Highly Commended, used

both Lightroom and Photoshop to improve his entry of a

close encounter with a whale shark Good skills Simon!

Novice category winner, Sarah Ford was advised

by judges on editing tools to remove a subject that

detracted from the main image in the picture.

Graeme Lynam, Novice highly commended, was justifiably

proud of the image he entered taken by a simple

point and shoot camera to snap a beautiful image. The

judges advised a little cropping could greatly improve

the image.

You can have a lot of fun editing but it takes TIME to

fully master the various tools a program can deliver.

Once mastered it can be a very quick process to

enhance your chosen images.

It’s just a matter of asking yourself, do I want to

develop skills that can improve my images?

The judges and the team at Dive New Zealand/Dive

Pacific magazines look forward to receiving your

personal masterpieces. See: www.divenewzealand.

com click on Photo Competition. It’s free to enter. You

can view galleries of all the entries over www.seatech.

co.nz/blogs/shades-of-colour-photo-competition

Thanks for taking the time to enter!

'Winter light' (freediving in Goat Island marine reserve on a cold winters day)

Canon 7DMKII, Tokina fisheye lens, Ikelite housing, ikelite DS-125 , DS-150 strobes – f/7, 1/250, ISO100

Advanced Category Winner:

Congratulations Dan Westerkamp, New Zealand.

Dan was diving on a cold winter’s day at Goat island

Marine reserve, north of Auckland. He became very

creative shooting a half and half image of three

stunning snapper with the island in bright sunshine

above!

Dan receives a Gift Voucher for NZ$100.

Judges’ comments:

This is a beautiful split level image and deserves to

win. Even the exposure is correct on both levels. Well

done.

58 58 Dive Dive New New Zealand Zealand | | Dive Dive Pacific Pacific


Advanced

Highly Commended:

Congratulations Simon Pierce, NZ

Simon was diving off St Helena

island (British Overseas

Territory) with a group of four

whale sharks when one came

over to check him out!

Simon used Post Editing

software Lightroom for basic

cropping, colour and contrast.

Any backscatter was removed

in Photoshop.

Simon receives a Gift Voucher

for NZ$75.

Judges’ comments:

Fantastic sharp close image

and very colourful. The darker

background really brings it to

life.

A great recording of a close

enciounter with a gentle giant!

‘St Helena whale sharks’; St Helena Island: ony A7rIII camera, Nauticam NA-A7RIII housing, Canon

8-15 mm lens with Metabones V adapter, Zen 100mm port – f/9, 1/250, ISO400

‘Can I join you?’; White Island, New Zealand: Nikon AW130 full auto, no flash, no editing.

Novice Highly Commended:

Congratulations, Graeme Lynam, New Zealand.

Graeme was off the coast of White Island, New Zealand

when this formation of dolphins came zooming by!

Graeme receives a Gift Voucher for NZ$50.

Judges’ comments:

An impressive image. A little Post Editing cropping

would have made this image even more impressive!

Well done.

www.divenewzealand.com 59


SHADES OF COLOUR PHOTOGRAPHIC COMPETITION

‘Bigfin Reef Squid’; Arefi Beau Dive Site, Raja Ampat: Sealife DC2000, wide angle lens – f/2.0, 1/160, ISO125

Novice Category Winner:

Congratulations, Sarah Ford, New Zealand.

Sarah was enjoying the diving at Raja Ampat,

Indonesia when she came upon a group of Bigfin reef

squid at a dive site named, Arefi Beau. The squid

were placing their numerous eggs on a sandy bottom

amongst some red coral.

To witness these beautiful, translucent squid laying

their eggs is the type of diving experience we all hope

will come our way during our time underwater!

Sarah receives a Gift Voucher for NZ$75.

Judges’ comments:

An impressive image. A little Post Editing cropping

would have made this image even more impressive! Well

done.

Thanks

to all those

who entered this fun

competition. The judges,

Iain Anderson and Andy Belcher

and the team at Dive New Zealand/

Dive Pacific magazines look forward to

receiving your photographic masterpieces

in October for the December/January

2020 issue of the magazine.

See: www.seatech.co.nz

click on Photo Competition.

It’s free to enter.

The judges, Iain Anderson and Andy Belcher and

the team at Dive Pacific magazines look forward to

receiving your photographic masterpieces in October

for the December - January 2020 issue.

Sea Tech is the official New Zealand distributor of Ikelite, Fantasea,

Recsea, Inon, Bigblue, Nauticam and other leading brands of underwater

photographic equipment.

Visit: www.seatech.co.nz or for personal service email: info@seatech.co.nz

60 Dive New Zealand | Dive Pacific


A selection of notable photos entered for this edition's competition

(N) Talia Greis

(A) Dave Weeks

(N) Robert Spankie

(A) Jon Lyall

(A) Dan Ruglys

(A) Mark Blomfield - New Zealand

(A)Matt Dowse

www.divenewzealand.com 61


DIGITALIMAGING

Hans Weichselbaum www.digital-image.co.nz

every month?

In May this year Adobe quietly debuted new pricing for its photographer bundle. The monthly cost went from

$9.99 to $19.99 in some countries. Adobe officials said they were ‘testing’ new pricing tiers. The reaction from

photographers round the world was not pretty, and Adobe didn’t quite follow through with their plan, but it left

a bitter taste.

Currently you pay $A14.95/month

in Australasia, which gives you

full access to Photoshop, Lightroom

and a 20 GB Cloud storage facility.

Most importantly, you automatically

receive regular upgrades.

My personal experience over the

last few years is the benefits from

those updates is very modest,

hardly noticeable. The cost of using

Photoshop comes to almost $NZ200

per year, plus the constant threat of

a price increase at any moment.

Alternatives

Little wonder then that many

photographers, professional and

amateur, have started to look around

for alternatives, and they are discovering

there are lots of image editors

out there which can easily compete

with Photoshop.

I have been following the various

tests and rankings over the last few

months and found that Affinity

Photo regularly got the top spot.

It’s a program developed by Serif, a

European company which has been

around for 12 years.

Affinity Photo is available for Mac

and Windows platforms, as well

as iPad. It currently costs NZ$90

one-off. The latest version 1.7 came

out in June this year and was a

major upgrade, especially in terms

of improved speed. It was free for

existing customers and the company

forum states that future upgrades

are going to be free too until the

next full version is released. This

looks promising and I want to give

you the results of my three weeks of

testing it.

Starting up Affinity Photo

Downloading and installation on a

Windows machine was straightforward.

Image 1 shows you the interface

with the familiar toolbar on the

left of the image. One way of opening

an image is through the File menu:

File > Open (Ctrl+O). Thankfully,

you’ll find that most of the keyboard

shortcuts familiar from Photoshop

are working just fine.

On the right, underneath the histogram,

you have a number of tabs:

Adjustments, Layers, Effects, Styles

and Stock with more farther down.

Image 1 - The Affinity Photo Interface

62 Dive New Zealand | Dive Pacific


Let’s first look at the five buttons

on the top left, circled in red. These

are modes specific to Affinity, called

Personas: Photo Editing, Liquify,

Raw Developing, Tone Mapping

and Export. These Personas switch

Affinity into different operating

modes, translating to distinct

toolbars, menu options and side

panels. Typically, you’ll spend

most of your time in the Photo

Editing Persona, which offers

access to the main toolkit, and the

Raw Developing Persona which is

designed for pre-processing of RAW

files.

In this introduction we’ll only look at

the leftmost Persona - Photo Editing.

Basic Image handling

The first steps you are likely to take

after opening an image is to crop,

optimise overall lightness, contrast,

colour balance and colour saturation.

The Crop tool in the Tool bar comes

with additional settings such as ratio

and image size. It also allows you to

rotate and straighten your image.

Have a look at the long list of

Adjustments on the right in Image

1. Very importantly, any of the

image corrections are applied

non-destructively on its own layer,

similar to the Adjustment Layers

in Photoshop. This allows you to go

back anytime and fine-tune or get

rid of any adjustment previously

made, without affecting the pixels of

the image.

Image 1 shows you the simple

two-slider Brightness/Contrast

control in action. Depending on

your skill level you might prefer

adjusting these parameters with

the Levels or the Curves interface.

This also allows you to fine-tune

individual colour channels for colour

corrections. More commonly the

Colour Balance adjustment is used

to optimise the colours. This interface

looks and feels familiar if you

come from Photoshop (Image 2). It

has three sliders for the primary

colours and lets you adjust the

colour balance independently in the

highlights, mid-tones and shadows.

Image 3 shows you the Layers

Palette with a couple of Adjustment

Layers. The Curves Adjustment

Layer has an added Layer Mask

Image 2 - The Colour Balance Interface

allowing you to affect only part of

the images. Coming from Photoshop

this will make you feel completely at

home.

Affinity Photo has a large bank

of filters. Image 4 shows you the

Colours filter with its many options.

Many (but not all) are available as

Live Filter Layers, which act non-destructively

like Adjustment Layers.

Image 3 - The Layers Palette with

some Adjustment Layers

Under the Sharpen filters you’ll only

find three options: Unsharp Mask,

Clarity and High Pass. Though

Photoshop gives you more options

the Unsharp Mask filter is the only

one I’ve ever used, besides the very

useful High Pass filter.

Selections and other tools

The selection tools are what you’d

expect: Rectangular, Elliptical, Free

Hand (Lasso), Flood Select (Magic

Wand) and Selection Brush - all at

your finger tips. Cleaning up difficult

selections like hair in a portrait

works surprisingly well, often just

with a simple click of the Refine

button.

The Tone Mapping persona does

a good job merging a range of

exposures for HDR photos. You’ll

find tools for stitching panoramas

and focus-stacking. There is even

a Live Projection mode for editing

360-degrees photos.

For saving your images you need

to go to the Export Persona which

allows you to pick the right file

format and other parameters.

Image 4 - The Colours Filter with all

its options

For more on other tools such as the

RAW converter engine, or the Tone

Mapping and the Liquify personas

there are dozens of good tutorials

on the Internet that go into all the

details.

Should you get Affinity Photo?

If you are already familiar with

Adobe’s flagship, it won’t take you

long to orient yourself in Affinity. If

photo editing beyond the basics is

new to you, you’ll pick it up quickly.

Affinity Photo can be yours forever

for less than half of a year’s

subscription of Adobe’s photography

package. The program might

seem priced for the amateur, but

the developers are keen to stress a

professional feature set. You also get

CMYK and LAB colour space support,

necessities in the print industry.

Affinity Photo has its own native

.afphoto format but also extensive

support for the Photoshop

PSD format. However if you

exchange layered PSD files with

other Photoshop users you will

run into problems. But this is the

only limitation I can think of which

could prevent you from switching to

Affinity.

In the next issue we’ll be looking

at other features of Affinity Photo,

especially its handling of RAW files in

comparison with Adobe’s Lightroom.

www.dive-pacific.com 63


Chapter 4:

Back to the Basics Pt.IV (abridged)

A Practical Guide for Beginners by Alexey Zaytsev

By Alexey Zaytsev, exclusively for Dive magazine.

(All photo's by Alexey Zaytsev)

Alexey Zaytsev is well known

amongst Russia’s dive and

underwater photography

community, and has undertaken

professional photographic

assignments in many

places around the world,

including many visits to Egypt,

Sudan, Bali and elsewhere. To

illustrate the book, and also

his own credentials, Alexey is

making available a selection of

his fine photographic work for

this series.

Focus, frame, shoot

Focusing points and focusing areas

You can choose a focusing point with almost all modern cameras that

makes sure the camera will focus where you want it to. But older

digital cameras and cheaper modern camera models do not have many

focusing points. The more expensive the camera, the more focusing points

it has and the more precisely it focuses.

Focusing areas are groups of focusing points which the camera will prefer

during focusing. For example, if a wide-angle focusing area is set, the

camera will choose the largest objects within that area to focus on. But

underwater, the camera may not focus where you want it to. The unpredictability

of automatic focusing makes autofocusing area selection an

unnecessary option, while being able to select a focusing point is a very

useful and must-have option.

“Whale shark” Sail Rock, Gulf of Thailand, Koh Phangan, Thailand.

NIKON D700 15 mm F2.8 and Magic filter (f8; 1/60; ISO800) Ikelite housing

Focusing point selection. Or are there more options?

It is quite easy to choose a focusing

point. There is a controller (Nikon),

a dial (Canon) or a cross-shaped

button on a camera body. By

pressing or turning it we move the

autofocus point around the frame

to place it where we want it to be.

On land this is easy to do because

the buttons or controls are located

right under the thumb of your

right hand. You can use the same

finger to easily change the location

of the focusing point within the

frame while looking through the

viewfinder. But underwater it is

much harder to do, especially with

big rig DSLRs.

Generally, you will not be able

to reach these buttons with one

finger without letting go of the

housing handle. It is even harder

if you are wearing thick gloves.

What to do? Use a separate shutter

release from autofocus! Awkward?

But once you know this technique,

you will forget about autofocusing

problems once and for all!

AF-ON, the saviour button for an

underwater photographer

Canon was the first to add the

64 Dive New Zealand | Dive Pacific


AF-ON button to its cameras. Now,

almost all modern cameras have

the function. The AF-ON button

activates the autofocus of the

camera independent of the shutter

release button. Press the AF-ON

button and the camera will focus.

While holding the button down

you can recompose your image as

you need and take as many photos

as you want, because pressing the

shutter release button will not

cause the camera to refocus.

Imagine you are taking a portrait

of a fish. Place the

focusing point in the

centre of the frame. You

won’t have to change its

location again. Move your

camera so that this point

is aligned with the fish’s

eye, press the AF-ON

button and the camera

will focus. Now, holding

down this button, recompose

the image and press

the shutter release button.

By pressing the AF-ON

button you will be able to

take as many frames as

you need and not waste

time refocussing. You will

appreciate this focusing

method even more when

shooting macro.

Shutter(s)

A shutter is an electronic

mechanical device that

consists of metal curtains

which open for the period

of time required for an

exposure (exposing a

photosensitive material or

a sensor).

Simply put, exposure or

shutter speed is the time during

which the light hits the sensor.

Each exposure value on the scale

(from the shortest to the longest)

doubles the amount of light that

goes through the lens.

Set your camera to M. Rotate the

shutter control dial and you will

see how shutter speed changes on

the monitor. For shooting underwater

we will be interested in

exposures of 1/30 and shorter. A

standard sequence of consecutive

values looks as follows: 1/30 s; 1/60

s; 1/125 s; 1/250 s; 1/500 s.

Modern digital cameras offer

fractional shutter speed values for

exposure fine tuning. By rotating

the dial toward slower shutter

speeds you will hit the value ‘B’.

When you set your camera to this

value and press the shutter release,

the curtains will remain open for

as long as you keep the shutter

release pressed.

A short shutter speed ‘freezes’ the

motion of the subject. With longer

shutter speeds, subjects may come

out blurred. By playing around

with the shutter speed we can

also determine the mood of the

photo we are taking. You as artists

should make the call: to blur the

subject to convey its motion, or to

‘freeze’ a unique moment of its life.

Like aperture, shutter speed can

be one more artistic brush for the

photographer.

Of course you may produce a

blurred image of a stationary

object - the photographer’s hands

may shake, or the camera may

move when you press the shutter

release button. A tripod can help

avoid this motion blur but tripods

are almost never used underwater.

So to do? We can use the rule of

‘safe shutter speed’.

SSSR – the safe shutter speed rule

The longest shutter speed when

you are hand holding the camera

is the shutter value closest to

the focal length of your lens. For

example, if you are shooting with

a 35 mm lens then use a shutter

speed of 1/30 s, but you will be

safer shooting at 1/60 s. However

with a 15 mm lens you can shoot at

1/15 s though safer with 1/30 s.

A practical piece of advice: if your

ISO is set to 100, then most of

the time you can shoot with the

shutter speed at 1/60 s.

Some models of modern

cameras have a minimum

ISO of 200 and in this

case you can use a faster

shutter speed of 1/125.

Shutter speeds of 1/250

and 1/500 are particularly

useful for shooting

flickering sunrays on the

surface and underwater.

Fisheye recipes

1) You are shooting in the

morning, the sun is bright,

the seawater is clear. Your

background is blue water

or a coral reef. The camera

is horizontal. For ISO-100

use shutter speed 1/60 s.

2) You are shooting in

the afternoon, the sun is

bright and the seawater

is clear. In addition you

now have a water surface

in the background - you

are shooting in relatively

shallow waters with a

fisheye lens or pointing

your camera upwards

toward the surface. For

ISO-100, use shutter speed

. 1/125 s.

3) You are shooting in the afternoon,

the sun is bright, the

seawater clear. Your background is

the surface of water. The camera is

pointed vertically upwards toward

the surface. For ISO- 100, use

shutter speed 1/250 s.

4) You are shooting in the afternoon,

the sun is bright, the

seawater is clear. The background

has the water surface, the sun is

in the frame. You are shooting

in relatively shallow waters with

an ultra wide-angle lens, or your

camera is angled toward the

www.dive-pacific.com 65


surface or vertically up. Use ISO

-100, shutter speed 1/500 s.

Sensors (ISO) and pixels

A camera sensor is an electronic

microchip that consists of photodiodes

(pixels) that absorb light

and transform it to a flow of

digital data which the camera

then records on a memory card.

Resolution, or the ability to show

fine detail, defines the total

number of photodiodes or pixels of

a sensor.

The number of pixels on the

sensor of a modern camera can

reach tens of millions and keeps

on increasing. Not too long ago

a camera with a 6 million pixel

sensor was considered top notch;

now a 24 or 36 million pixel camera

surprises no one.

First place in the category of

“Wide Angle” White Sea Cup 2006

Russia

Nikon D70 10,5 mm F2.8

(f3,5; 1/80 ñ; ISO400)

The physical dimensions of

individual pixels are currently

0.005-0.006 mm. The larger

the pixel, the larger the area it

occupies and the amount of light

it absorbs, hence higher sensitivity

and better signal-to-noise ratio

(colour noise). The pixel size also

determines another important

characteristic: photographic tolerance

or dynamic range. This is

the ability of a sensor to properly

render the brightness of a subject

being photographed. The wider the

dynamic range, the smoother the

transition from bright to dark. For

example, the sun photographed

through the water surface by a

camera with a sensor that has a

narrow dynamic range will look

like a ‘hole’ with ragged edges.

Sensors of modern cameras use

different technologies to capture

light. We will not get into that.

Use cameras with the best sensors

you can afford. A general rule of

thumb is: the larger the physical

size of the sensor, the higher the

quality of images. So a lot of underwater

photographers today prefer

cameras with sensors at maximum

size, or full-frame sensors. The size

of the sensor is the same as the

size of a 35 mm film: 24x36 mm.

*Digital cameras with a similar

size sensor are called full-frame or

1.0xcrop sensor cameras (FX). All

other digital cameras have smaller

or cropped sensors (DX). A crop

factor is a value by which the sensor

is smaller than the 24x36 mm full

frame. For example, the crop factor of

Nikon SLR camera sensors is 1.5x. In

other words, the sensor is 1.5 times

smaller than the full frame; for Canon

it is 1.6x. The sensor of Olympus

cameras is exactly twice. Generally,

compact camera sensors are even

smaller.

Why do we have to know that? The

thing is that the majority of interchangeable

lenses that were designed

and made for analogue cameras are

still manufactured and successfully

used with digital cameras. But there

are some nuances: lenses designed

for film or digital full-frame cameras

when used on a crop-sensor camera

lose part of their angle of coverage.

Because the crop sensor is smaller,

part of the image is left out of the

frame as if a 24 mm lens were used

instead of a 16 mm one. That’s why

special lenses were developed for

cropped sensor cameras, and the

diameter of the image they produce is

equal to the diagonal of the cropped

sensor. For example, the angle of

view of the Nikon 16 mm lens is 180

degrees on a full-frame camera, but

the same angle of view for a croppedsensor

camera can be obtained only

with the help of a 10.5 mm lens.

Conclusion: specially designed lenses

should be used with crop cameras in

order to obtain the maximum angle

of view. The only exception is macro

lenses (lenses that shoot with a 1:1

or even higher magnification). When

used on cropped-sensor cameras,

macro lenses for full-frame cameras

will give you an additional magnification,

which will be beneficial.

So what sensor should we go for?

Naturally, the larger the physical

size of the sensor, the better

quality images we will produce:

greater detail, better dynamic

range, and less noise. But is

their superiority over smaller

sensors that obvious? Not at all!

Manufacturers of cropped-sensor

cameras are constantly working

to improve the quality of their

products and the capabilities of

cropped sensors are more than

enough to achieve most of the

photographic objectives of amateur

photographers.

Sensitivity (ISO)

The sensitivity of a sensor (or

film) shows how much light is

needed for your exposure. ‘High’

sensitivity requires less light to

expose an image and can be used

in relatively low lighting conditions,

for example, at dawn, late in

the afternoon or at deeper depths.

‘Low’ sensitivity requires more

light and therefore is used in bright

conditions.

International Standards

Organization (ISO) uses a simple

and easily understood system to

66 Dive New Zealand | Dive Pacific


define sensitivity: the higher

the number, the higher the

sensitivity. The number

always follows the ISO abbreviation.

Consecutive sensitivity

values

Every time when the sensitivity

value doubles, the

sensor requires two times

less light to correctly expose

an image. For example,

ISO400 would require two

times less light than ISO 200

and four times less light than

ISO100.

Whole sensitivity values are

100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200,

etc. There are also fractional

values between them at 1/3

and 2/3 steps. In the past,

during the camera film era, a

correct choice of film determined

whether your photo

shoot would be a success or

a failure. Now, the choice

of the sensor sensitivity is a

matter of a few seconds: all

you need to do is press the

proper buttons and voila!

The viewfinder

A viewfinder allows a photographer

to see a future image,

compose it, and assess the focus.

For an underwater photographer it

is of a paramount importance! You

need to be able to see well through

the viewfinder.

Modern cameras use two types of

viewfinders: liquid crystal display

(LCD) in compact cameras and

mirrorless camera, and mirror

reflex optical viewfinders on DSLR

cameras. The mirrorless cameras

have an electronic analogue of the

optical specular viewfinder which

are very similar to the viewfinder

of an ordinary DSLR, and even

better.

At first glance the large LCD screen

of a compact camera is more

convenient than a mirror reflex

viewfinder. For example you see

an interesting subject under a

coral (where you don’t fit) but can

easily place your camera there.

You look at the screen at arm’s

length, frame the image and shoot!

However…

The mirror reflex optical

Shag Rock, Goat Island Marine Reserve, NZ

Olympus Tg-4 on 25 mm with wide lens

PTWC-01 (f2,8;1/200; ISO100)

Olympus PT-056 housing

Nauticam with mirrorless Olympus.

viewfinder more than makes up for

any drawbacks. With it:

1) Even in the brightest conditions

you can see a clear picture of the

image. It gives you the possibility

to easily frame your image and

assess its sharpness.

2) There is no shutter lag. As soon

as the subject is framed and in

focus, the shutter opens up instantaneously.

3) It doesn’t matter whether you

are short sighted or farsighted: all

modern reflex cameras have a +/-

diopter adjustment option. You can

see everything clearly and sharp.

4) An electronic “mirror”

viewfinder mirrorless (also called

optical), allows you to see right in

the shot.

Special adapters can be used to

install a third-party 45-angled

viewfinder on almost all housing

models. For example, I was able to

install an Inon viewfinder on my

Ikelite housings and am now using

a similar viewfinder by Nauticam

with mirrorless Olympus.

But to use all the advantages

of a mirror (optical)

viewfinder you need to learn

how to use it well. So:

1) Use low-volume masks!

A one-window mask would

not allow you to bring your

eye close enough to the

viewfinder to be able to see

the whole field of the frame.

2) Press the housing

viewfinder to the mask

window. Don’t be afraid! This

is the only way you can see

the whole frame.

3) Learn to look through the

viewfinder properly. Because

you are looking through it

with one eye, the first thing

you see is the central part of

the frame. If you don’t take

your time, you could end up

with things in your image not

supposed to be there. Before

pressing the shutter, look

around the whole frame. Pay

special attention along its

perimeter. So, first the centre,

then the edges, then press the

shutter button!

4) To make it easier to focus,

some housing manufacturers

produce magnifying viewfinders.

These can be used even by divers

with full-face masks. There are

straight and angled types of

magnifying viewfinders, and when

you use an angled viewfinder, you

don’t look straight through it but

rather at a 45-degree angle and

slightly downwards. They are very

helpful when you are shooting

close to the seabed, from top down

or taking above and below (splitlevel)

shots. Some models can be

adjusted to change the angle of

the viewfinder. The only disadvantage

of such viewfinders is their

relatively high price.

Next time: ISO, exposure and other

underwater “spices”

www.dive-pacific.com 67


DIVE STORES / TRAVEL

By region. To list your dive/sports stores contact Dive New Zealand for information.

More information on Dive Stores, Clubs & Travel at www.DiveNewZealand.com

NORTHLAND

NEW ZEALAND

A to Z Diving & Cylinder Services IANZ accredited

SCUBA, LPG & Industrial cylinder testing. Certified

in servicing all brands of dive gear. Supplier of

compressor consumables: carbon, molecular sieve,

felt pads, oil, O-rings etc. Certifiers of Air & LPG

Fillers. All major gases available onsite.

235 Wiroa Rd, Kerikeri. P: 021 508 707

www.atozdiving.co.nz

E: andre@atozdiving.co.nz

Dive Zone Bay of Islands Far North’s only

PADI 5 Star IDC facility. Open Water to Instructor

courses. Freedive and spearfishing training & trips.

Dive trips,On-site equipment servicing & cylinder

testing. Aqualung, Mares, Scubapro, Beuchat.

Open 7 days! 5 Klinac Lane, State Highway 10

Waipapa. 09 407 9986.

www.divezoneboi.co.nz,

info@divezoneboi.co.nz

Paihia Dive Dive training, charter and retail in Paihia.

Dive the Rainbow Warrior, frigate Canterbury and

the Bay of Islands. PADI courses: Open water to

Instructor. Quality scuba brands: Aqualung, Tusa,

Faber, Luxfer and Wettie spearfishing. Open 7 days.

Williams Rd, Paihia, P: Craig or Lisa 09-402 7551

E: info@divenz.com www.divenz.com

Northland Dive World Class Diving package – Great

diving mixed with even better accommodation, meals

and hospitality. Dive with the team that instigated the

sinking of the Canterbury Frigate. Full Gear available

incl NITROX – PADI /TDI/ SDI training “Unbelievable

value for money”. 3851 Russell Road, Whangaruru,

Bay of Islands, P: 09 433 6633,

E: info@northlanddive.com

www.info@northlanddive.com

DIVE NOW One of Northland’s premier dive

training facilities. Highest standard instruction

and equipment. With their own on-site

heated training pool and classroom. Staff and

instructors have extensive knowledge of diving,

marine environment and diver safety. At the

gateway of the beautiful Poor Knights Islands.

41 Clyde Street Whangarei

Freephone: 0800 102 102 or

P: 09 438 1075 E: info@divenow.co.nz

www.divenow.co.nz

Dive! Tutukaka The Poor Knights Islands experts –

professional, fun and safe – “It’s what we do” – With

5 boats, catering for all abilities; Adventure Audited,

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facilities – Behind Schnappa Rock. Marina Rd.

Tutukaka, Whangarei. Open 7 days, 7am-7pm.

Always someone at the end of the phone 0800 288

882. Phone: 09 4343 867

E: info@diving.co.nz www.diving.co.nz

AUCKLAND / DISTRICTS

New Zealand Diving Charters to the Hauraki Gulf

incl marine reserves, Little & Great Barrier Islands.

Also overseas trips. NZ’s leading SDI & TDI 5 star IDC

& PADI with a wide selection of courses. Qualmark

endorsed. Nitrox, 300bar fills, servicing & rental hire.

Full selection of gear for sports & tec divers.

22 Whitaker Rd, Warkworth.

P: 0800 NZDIVING. E: Neil@NZDiving.co.nz

www.NZDiving.co.nz (DNZ164)

Go Dive Center For All Your Diving Needs. SSI

Training Facility. Authorized Mares Dealer. Servicing,

Tank Fills and Trips. Come in and let us take you on a

journey of discovery in the underwater world.

Unit 3/30 Tironui Road, Papakura, Phone 09 298

6431 or 0210 385 940 www.godivecenter.co.nz

Performance Diver NZ’s diving superstore! Massive

stocks of all lines at unbelievable prices. PADI 5 star

Instructor Development Centre offering training from

beginner to Instructor. Local & national dive charters,

overseas trips, servicing, air fills and rental. Open 7

days!

74 Barrys Point Road, Takapuna

(behind Avanti bikes). 09 489 7782

www.performancediver.co.nz

Dive HQ Westhaven in Auckland's CBD. PADI

5 Star Instructor Development Centre. Become

a PADI Dive Instructor with us. NZQA approved

Part Time and Full Course available. Still Your

Local Dive Shop for all your SCUBA dive,

freediving, spear-fishing and gear-servicing

needs. Mares, Atomic, Oceanic, Pinnacle,

Beuchat, and Zeagle. Fully equipped dive

equipmentservice centre and dive cylinder

testing facility onsite.

Corner (101) Beaumont & Gaunt Sts,

Westhaven, Auckland. P: (09) 307 3590,

E: info@divehqwesthaven.co.nz

www.divehqwesthaven.co.nz

Global Dive NZ’s favourite technical and recreational

dive store. All top brands stocked and serviced. Our

active dive club meets monthly with guest speakers and

BBQ. Experts in photography and tech diving. Quality

rental gear, including technical and drysuits. Nitrox fills.

132 Beaumont St, Westhaven, P: 09 9205200

www.globaldive.net E: info@globaldive.net

Dive Doctor Mt Wellington New Zealand’s specialist

dive servicing company, regulator servicing, drysuit &

wetsuit repairs, compressor servicing, cylinder testing,

NITROX, O2, Helium, 300 BAR air fills. A full selection

of quality products as well as hard to find items for the

technical, recreational and commercial diver.

20R Sylvia Park Rd, Mt Wellington

www.divedoctor.co.nz P: 09 5308117

E: info@divedoctor.co.nz

DNZ161

Auckland Scuba on Auckland’s north shore.

PADI 5 STAR IDC diver training specialists. PADI

dive courses beginner to instructor and tec

rec. Part time/full time tertiary (student loan

approved), NZQA credits. Dive trips, air/nitrox fills,

cylinder testing, equipment servicing. Top quality

equipment!

Unit I, 121 Rosedale Rd, Albany.

P: 09 478 2814 E: info@aucklandscuba.co.nz

www.aucklandscuba.co.nz

KIWI DIVERS SSI, TDI/SDI, RAID dive centre.

Recreational and Technical dive courses

(rebreather friendly). Regular trips from our

own boat. Equipment sales, servicing and hire.

Cylinder testing, air/nitrox trimix/oxygen fills.

Open 7 days. 8 Keith Hay Court, Silverdale

(just 20 mins north of Akld) P: 09 426 9834

E: info@kiwiscubadivers.co.nz

www.kiwiscubadivers.co.nz

Manufacturing Quality

Wetsuits in New

Zealand

for New Zealand

conditions.

www.seaquel.co.nz

15G Porana Rd, Glenfield, Auckland

wetsuits@seaquel.co.nz Tel: 09 443 2771

For the latest in maritime news and views,

from tinny to tanker we have it covered

VIP0819

SUBSCRIBE NOW

www.skipper.co.nz • phone 09 533 4336

68 Dive New Zealand | Dive Pacific

DNZ164

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dnz164

More information on Dive Stores, Clubs & Travel at www.DiveNewZealand.com

COROMANDEL / BAY OF PLENTY

TUTUKĀKĀ

NEW ZEALAND

SIMPLY

AWESOME!

Dive Zone Whitianga Only PADI 5 Star IDC facility on

the Coromandel Peninsula. PADI courses from Open

Water to Instructor. Dive trips from boat, shore and

kayak, to many amazing dive sites. Full gear service

and extensive retail store. Open 7 days.

10 Campbell Street, Whitianga, P: 07-867 1580,

E: info@divethecoromandel.co.nz

www.divezonewhitianga.co.nz

Cathedral Cove Dive & Snorkel Half day

trips – everyday through the summer at 9.30am

& 1.30pm. Marine reserve or outer reef diving

for new and experienced divers. Full gear hire.

Individuals & groups welcome. Check out our

website for a full list of dive sites and prices, or

link onto our facebook page for an up-to-date

weather/sea/dive report in the Hahei & Mercury

Bay areas. 48 Hahei Beach Rd, Hahei

Phone 0800 CCDIVE (0800 223 483)

www.hahei.co.nz/diving

CENTRAL NORTH ISLAND

Dive & Gas Gisborne's authorised Aqualung dealer

with full product range. A great range of other Scuba

and Snorkel gear in-store as well. Plus we test and

fill all Scuba Tanks. Kevin & Tracey Halverson, cnr

Carnarvon St, and Childers Rd, Gisborne.

P: 06 867 9662 E: diveandgas@gmail.com

FREE

PHONE

0800 288 882

www.diving.co.nz

3-5 Rona Place, Tutukaka, Whangarei, SOUTH PACIFIC

Dive Zone Tauranga is Tauranga’s only

PADI 5 Star Instructor Development Centre

offering everything from Open Water courses

to Specialty Instructor training. Gear sales for

all scuba, spearfishing & snorkelling needs.

Hire equipment, gear servicing, air fills, dive

charters, cylinder testing and more! See us at

213 Cameron Road, Tauranga,

P: (07) 578 4050

E: info@divezonetauranga.co.nz

www.divezonetauranga.co.nz

DNZ163

• New BAUER compressors

• Late model, low hours,

preowned BAUER

compressors

• Service, spare parts, oil

and consumables

AVAILABLE NOW FROM

General Marine Services

65 & 90 Gaunt St, Westhaven,

Auckland. Phone 09 309 6317

www.generalmarine.co.nz

sales@generalmarine.co.nz

service@generalmarine.co.nz

APPROVED

BAUER

AGENTS

WELLINGTON / DISTRICTS

Dive Wellington Become a Padi Dive

Instructor with our fulltime Diploma course. NZQA

approved and eligible for student loans and

allowances. Contact us for a course prospectus.

Dive Wellington is an audited and approved sub

contractor of Academy of Diving Trust

E: dive@divewellington.co.nz P: 04 939 3483

www.divewellington.co.nz

NZ Sea Adventures PADI 5 Star Instructor

Development Centre – also TDI Technical diver training

including CCR. Open 7 days. Dive courses – beginner

to Instructor. Club dives and trips in NZ and overseas.

Dive retail, fills, gear hire & servicing.

9 Marina View, Mana, Porirua.

P: 04 233-8238 E: nzsa@scubadiving.co.nz

www.scubadiving.co.nz

Island Bay Divers NZ’s Pro Gold Centre, Wellington’s

oldest dive shop. Top brand retail, equipment hire,

servicing all brands. Tanks tested within 24 hours.

CMAS, NAUI & PADI training. Club dives every

Saturday. Corner Reef St & The Parade, Island Bay.

Summer open 7 days 9am–6pm, winter closed Tues

& Wed. P: 04-383 6778,

E: tim@ibdivers.co.nz, www.ibdivers.co.nz

Dive & Ski HQ Wellington PADI dive courses

– beginner to professional qualifications. Dive

club with regular local, national & overseas trips.

Wide range of diving/ spearfishing equipment

and accessories. Equipment servicing/tank

testing. Open 7 days.

14 Waione St, Petone. New Zealand

P: (04)568 5028 mob 0210369996

www.diveski.co.nz E: diveskihq@xtra.co.nz

snow ski and board rental available

www.facebook.com/DiveSkiHQ

SOUTH ISLAND

Go Dive Marlborough Specialist TDI technical diver

training facility. Mixed gas, decompression and

advanced wreck courses. Operate Lermontov Lodge

(Port Gore) our base to diving one of the world’s

biggest wrecks the Mikhail Lermontov. Weekly tours

ex Picton from 1–6 days. Direct flights from Wellington

to Port Gore. We offer Inner Sounds Tours from Picton.

South Island’s only SSI Dive Centre.

www.godive.co.nz Freephone 0800 GODIVE

Email info@godive.co.nz

Dive Kaikoura is the only dive shop on the North

Canterbury East Coast. Located 180kms North of

Christchurch off State Highway 1 in the beautiful South

Island. Specialists in having Fun, Tours, Shore Dives,

Spearfishing, Air Fills, Nitrox, PADI 5 Star Courses.

Servicing of all gear AND we’re a Cressi Premium

Dealer! Dive Kaikoura 13 Yarmouth St, Kaikoura.

03 319 6622. www.divekaikoura.co.nz.

Open October to June.

Oceandry suits are at 35 Station Road.Wellsford

www.oceandry.co.nz

Call Paul on 021 425706

Email: info@oceandry.co.nz

MINI ADS - GREAT RATES

Colin Gestro - Affinity Ads

M: 027 256 8014

www.dive-pacific.com 69


DIVE STORES / TRAVEL / PRODUCTS / SERVICES

Dive HQ Christchurch 30 years industry

experience, Christchurch’s only PADI 5 Star

Instructor Development Centre and Adventure

Activities Certified for SCUBA diving and

snorkelling. Busy retail store selling the world’s

leading brands and offering PADI recreational

and tertiary SCUBA qualifications. Full range

of spearfishing equipment including breath

hold courses. Quality gear hire, service centre,

Enriched Air training and filling station, local and

international dive and spearfishing trips.103

Durham St Sth. Sydenham, Christchurch.

Freephone 0800-DIVEHQ.

P: (03)379- 5804 www.diveskiworld.co.nz

E: sales@diveskiworld.co.nz

Waikawa Dive Centre located at Waikawa Marina,

Picton. Offering dive training and trips through the

Marlborough Sounds. Fully-certified dive cylinder

filling/testing, dive gear servicing/repairs, hire gear.

Carrying a multi-brand range of diving equipment.

Open 7 days during summer. Ready to take care of all

your diving needs.

P: 03-573-5939, F: 03-573-8241

waikawadive@xtra.co.nz

www.waikawadivecentre.co.nz

www.facebook.com/WaikawaDiveCentre

Deep Blue Diving Making diving affordable for all

divers. The Deep Blue brand is well known for its

value for money and has a strong company reputation

for delivering quality and excellent service. Visit our

website or come in and see us for a huge range of dive

gear, equipment servicing, tank filling, gear hire and

Padi training.

15B Byron St, Sydenham, Christchurch 8025.

P: 03 332 0898 E: sales@deepbluediving.co.nz

www.deepbluediving.co.nz

MINI ADS - GREAT RATES

Book an ad space today!

Colin Gestro - Affinity Ads

M: 027 256 8014

colin@affinityads.com

INTERNATIONAL DIVE

OPERATORS AND RESORTS

AUSTRALIA

Pro Dive Cairns Offers the highest quality, best value

PADI dive courses and 3-day liveaboard Outer Great

Barrier Reef dive trips in Cairns. We have 16 exclusive

dive sites across 4 different reefs to choose from and

departures 6 days/week.

Check out www.prodivecairns.com

or call us on +617 4031 5255

or E: info@prodivecairns.com

Spirit of Freedom visits the remote dive destinations

of Cod Hole, Ribbon Reefs, and Coral Sea. The 37m

vessel offers spacious en-suite cabins, every comfort

on board, and exceptional service. Marine encounters

include the potato cod feed, Minke whales in season,

and the shark dive at Osprey Reef.

E: info@spiritoffreedom.com.au

www.spiritoffreedom.com.au

Tusa Dive Cairns local day dive operators with over

30 years experience diving the Great Barrier Reef.

Tusa’s fast modern catamaran the Tusa 6 will visit two

unique sites where you can enjoy up to three dives

in the day. Tusa Dive also offer a great day out for

snorkellers. P: 00617 4047 9100

E: info@tusadive.com www.tusadive.com

HDS Australia-Pacific

PO Box: 347 Dingley Village Victoria 3172,

Australia. www.classicdiver.org

COOK ISLANDS

Dive Aitutaki with Bubbles Below Explore Aitutaki’s

underwater world with Bubbles Below. Only 40

minutes from mainland Rarotonga to the picturesque

island of Aitutaki.PADI dive courses Beginner to

Dive Master. Manned boats during dives! Safety and

enjoyment paramount! ‘Take only Memories & Leave

only Bubbles Dive Safe, Dive Rite, Dive Bubbles

Below!’ www.diveaitutaki.com

E: bubblesbelow@aitutaki.net.ck

The Dive Centre – The Big Fish PADI 5-star dive

operator. Services: intro/lagoon dives, dive trips

twice a day, courses, retail and rental gear. 2

boats, boats are manned with an instructor, 7 days,

night dives. Aroa Beach by the Rarotongan Resort.

P: 682 20238 or 682 55238

E: info@thedivecentre-rarotonga.com

www.thedivecentre-rarotonga.com

DIVE COMPRESSOR

sales and servicing

High Pressure

Equipment NZ Ltd

ph 09-444 0804







Master Agents

for Bauer

Kompressoren in

New Zealand and

have been for the

past 20 years.

Servicing & repairs of all compressor brands:

Bauer, Poseidon, Coltri, Bristol, Brownie.

and most other brands.

High pressure regulators.

High pressure pumps.

Compressor consumables and spare parts.

Customised filling panels.

Breathing air equipment.

New Zealand Master

Agents for:

BAUER KOMPRESSOREN

compressors/spare parts

BAUER-POSEIDON

compressors and spare parts

DNZ163

Contact us at: ph 09 444 0804, fax 09 443 1121

32 Parkway Drive, Mairangi Bay, Auckland.

Email info@highpressure.co.nz

www.highpressure.co.nz

dnz164

70 Dive New Zealand | Dive Pacific


More information on Dive Stores, Clubs & Travel at www.DiveNewZealand.com

FIJI

VANUATU

Subsurface Fiji Visit Fiji for fun, relaxing

tropical diving. Subsurface Fiji PADI 5-Star Dive

shops are located in the beautiful Mamanuca

Islands, offering daily trips and courses to some

of the best dive spots in Fiji. Subsurface provides

full diving services from Musket Cove, Plantation,

Malolo, Likuliku, Tropica, Lomani, Funky Fish,

Namotu, Tavarua, Wadigi & Navini Island Resorts.

E: info@subsurfacefiji.com

www.subsurfacefiji.com (DNZ159)

Captain Cook Cruises Reef Endeavour and Tivua

Island are 5 star PADI operations – Discover Scuba –

Scuba Dive – Open water dive – Advance Wreck Dive,

MV Raiyawa at Tivua Island. Fiji P: +679 6701 823 E:

fiji@captaincookcruisesfiji.com

www.captaincookcruisesfiji.com

Mantaray Island Resort Yasawa Islands – Fiji – Over

40 dive sites ; vibrant reefs, stunning coral gardens,

caves, swim throughs, wall dives, drop offs, shark

dives, turtles, and a stunning house reef. Fiji’s only

accredited free-diving school, Mantaray swimming

May–Oct. Small group diving in a safe and enjoyable

environment visit us at

www.mantarayisland.com

Volivoli Beach Resort offers you relaxed, unspoilt

white sandy beaches in a spectacular part of Fiji. Ra

Divers operates from the resort giving you a water

wonderland on the worlds best soft coral dive sites.

The Fiji Siren is a livaboard boat offering you 7 and 10

night dive packages. www.volivoli.com

E: info@volivoli.com P: +679 9920942

SOLOMONS

Raiders Hotel and Dive Wreck and Reef diving,

Accommodation, Bar and dining, Snorkelling

Hiking and more. Located 1 hour from Honiara on

the waterfront of the historic Tulagi harbour. Dive -

Discover – Relax. www.raidershotel.com

email raidershotel@solomon.com.sb

ph +677 7594185 / 7938017

SIDE Dive Munda – Dive the unexplored

Experience Magical Munda at Agnes Gateway Hotel.

Award winning service and pristine diving. SSI

Instructor Training Centre. WWII wrecks, caves and

reefs – untouched and unspoilt.

www.divemunda.com

divemunda@dive-solomon.com

Find us on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram

SIDE TAKA Dive See more of the Solomon Islands by

liveaboard! Save $700 on a 7 night booking on board

MV Taka: 7 Nights Accommodation; 3 gourmet meals

daily; 24 Dives – sharks, WWII wrecks, manta rays,

night dives; Round trip airport transfers. Conditions

apply. For more information or to make a reservations:

book@dive-solomon.com

Tulagi Dive Solomon Islands An underwater paradise

for marine life and explore the many ships and aircraft

wrecks at the famous Iron Bottom Sound. We offer

the PADI and TDI courses. Phone (+677) 25700

www.tulagidive.com dive@tulagidive.com

THIS SPACE

COULD BE YOURS

ADVERTISERS’

INDEX

PLACE AN AD WITH US

Enquiries to: Colin Gestro

Affinity Ads M: 027 256 8014

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Airtec 7

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Fiordland Expeditions 11

Nautilus Watersports Vanuatu’s longest running

dive operation in Port Vila with 30+ years’ experience.

Nautilus offers 4 dives a day (double dive both

morning and afternoon). We also offer PADI course

from Discover Scuba right through to Dive Master. For

dive groups we can also offer diving/accommodation

packages. P: Peter or Leanne +678 22 398

www.nautilus.com.vu

E: nautilus@vanuatu.com.vu

TRIPS/CHARTERS

CRUISE FIORDLAND

fish • hunt • dive • cruise

Fish, Hunt, Dive or Cruise aboard the fully

refurbished MV Cindy Hardy. Fiordland or

Stewart Island, our scenic cruises will provide

you with a once in a lifetime experience.

Everything is provided regardless of how

short or long your time on board with us is.

Cruise options available on our website.

www.cruisefiordland.com

info@cruisefiordland.com

+6421 088 14530

(DNZ156)

DIVE HOLIDAY

Travelandco

At travel&co (previously Dive Fish Snow

Holidays) we’ve been crafting tailor-made active

travel trips and experiences for over 30 years.

Our team of active travel experts share your

passion for adventure and can help book an

exceptional active travel experience that goes

beyond the ordinary. From wreck or reef diving,

learning to dive, to liveaboard adventures - for

insider tips on the best dive locations and

tailormade diving experiences let your active

travel journey start with us.

t: 09 479 2210 Toll free NZ: 0800 555 035

e: enquire@travelandco.nz

www.travelandco.nz/dive

Outer Gulf Charters

One hour north of Auckland CBD

Providing divers with the ultimate diving day

out with diver lift, fast/comfortable travel, hot

water shower, and all the tea and coffee you

want.

Recommended Dive Sites: Goat Island Marine

Reserve, Mokohinau Islands, Great/Little

Barrier, Sail Rock/Hen & Chickens in style. Trip

schedule and info

www.outergulfcharters.co.nz

or phone Julie 021 827 855

Harcourts - Dive Zone

IBC

PADI 17

SeaTech 50

SIDE Dive Munda 30

Subscription 72

On the seafront downtown Port Vila.

• Certified dives • Snorkel Tours • Training to

Instructor Level • Full gear hire available •

Very friendly, professional & experienced

local Instructors & Dive Masters.

20 dive sites (10 to 20 minutes) including 5 wrecks

(including 4 engine QANTAS Sandringham flying

boat and 150 year old sailing ship Star of Russia)

Temp 24-28°c. Viz 10m to

40m. Free pickup from

Resorts in town.

P: +678 27518 or email:

dive@bigbluevanuatu.com

www.bigbluevanuatu.com

For your safety Vanuatu has

recompression facilities.

SPEAKERS/LECTURERS

Available for talks to dive clubs etc. You can find full

details on these speakers/lectures at

www.DiveNewZealand.co.nz/dive-in-nz/dive-shops/

Terry Brailsford Wreck diving for gold & treasure. Incl

the Rothschild jewellery, search for General Grant.

0274 958816, theadmiral@xtra.co.nz

Tony Howell History and entertainment with lots of

rare historical photos and illustrations – 12 powerpoints

in total. 45 mins –1 hr each.

Contact me for topics. 04 233-8238,

www.scubadiving.co.nz

tony@scubadiving.co.nz

Darren Shields Spearfishing titles,uw cameraman,

author. Motivating/compelling/innovative/inspiring/

entertaining P: 09-4794231, 021839118,

darren@wettie.co.nz

Jamie Obern Technical instructor/cave diver, 20+

years exp. globally. Photos/video: uw caves in

Mexico, On USA, the UK, seafront NZ, Australia. downtown Techdive Port NZ/GUE Vila. NZ

instructor. • Certified P: 021 dives 614 • 023, Snorkel Tours • Training to

www.techdivenz.com Instructor Level • Full jamie@techdivenz.com

gear hire available •

Dave Very Moran friendly, Ching professional Dynasty porcelain & experienced

from the Tek

Sing. P: Dive local New Instructors Zealand & 09-521 Dive 0684, Masters.

E: 20 divenz@DiveNewZealand.co.nz

sites (10 to 20 minutes) including 5 wrecks

(including 4 engine QANTAS Sandringham flying

Samara boat and Nicholas 150 year M.O.N.Z old -Programme sailing ship Star Director: of Russia)

Experiencing Marine Reserves Temp 24-28°c. – Te Kura Viz Moana: 10m to

samara@emr.org.nz 40m. Free pickup from

www.emr.org.nz www.facebook.com/emr.mtsct

Resorts in town.

P: 09 4338205 or 0210362019 (field only)

P: +678 27518 or email:

dive@bigbluevanuatu.com

Saltaway www.bigbluevanuatu.com

49

Suunto

For your safety Vanuatu has

recompression 47 facilities.

Travel&co 57

Wakatobi IFC - 1

ALPHABETICAL ORDER

• C

Inst

Ve

20 d

(inc

boa

• C

Inst

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20 d

(inc

boa

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Has Photoshop killed off the photographer's skill?

Holiday package to Fiji's best resort

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• Our photo competition ga lery • Wildlife Photographer of the Year - finalists

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Rich days of

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P A C I F I C

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What lies

beneath?

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New Year,

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What makes Milford Sound

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The richest marine ecosystem on Earth

The no-brainer case for more, bigger marine reserves

Shark feeding

regs tightening?

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Cousteau:

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Marine Reserves: winning

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Why isn't the NZ Government interested in Cook’s Endeavour?

Meeting the unexpected in the Philippines

NZ Underwater Hockey teams win gold

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your tanks?

Why would you?

What's it like starting out with diving?

The wrecks of Solomon Islands

Vol i v ol i, a l o f F i j i a t one t op r e s or t

Heavenly haven at Havannah harbour

Has Photoshop ki led o f the photographer's ski l?

Holiday package to Fiji's best resort

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Whether you are a snorkeler, scuba diver, diving instructor or just love the ocean and want to live and work

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Originally from the Bay of Islands, Kelly always wanted to return so

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Dennis Corbett Business & Commercial Specialist

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www.dive-pacific.com 73


LIVE VOLCANO

There’s more to do

in Vanuatu

LAND DIVING

DIVING & FISHING

T A N N A IS L A N D

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74 Dive New Zealand | Dive Pacific

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