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ISSUE 159 - $9.90 inc GST August / September 2017


Z E A L A N D ’ S







Crayfish “functionally extinct”

California’s Channel Islands

Birth of a new video camera 1 • Solomon Island’s Dive Festival • Becoming Nitrox Qualified • Why Wakatobi? 12 reasons


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In Depth 4 Editorial – Positive outcomes from NZU, and the bs ‘stewardship of the sea’ ads on TV 5  Crayfish ‘functionally extinct’ in Hauraki Gulf 6 Soundings – Local & International News Cover Story 16 Friendship runs deep – “We just wanted to bring our friends back” Special Features 10 The changing face of conservation – How you can sign up 12 Building artificial reefs, the BIRI initiative 30 Paradise Cocos Keeling, way off the beaten track 37 The birth of a new underwater video camera – The Paralenz story Bucket list destinations 22 The Solomon Islands Dive Festival – all you need to know to get there! 24 Fiordland – one of the world’s great wildernesses 26 Vanuatu – Premier dive destination for very good reason 29 Bigeyes Lair & Keyhole Cave – Part II of the caves and arches of Northland, NZ 42 Niue – top spot to train for your dive instructor ticket, or just learn to dive Check out our website


Dive New Zealand / Dive Pacific magazine is available in the lounges and inflight libraries of these airlines:


2 Dive New Zealand | Dive Pacific

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18 44 Why Wakatobi? – Here’s a dozen irresistible reasons!

ISSUE 159 - $9.90 inc GST August / September 2017


50 The undersea forests of California’s Channel Islands

Z E A L A N D ’ S






Regular columns 40 Why you should consider becoming NITROX qualified 54 D  ive Medicine – CPR in diving; just the C or the PR too? Professor Simon Mitchell of the University of Auckland discusses cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

56 Gearbag – Latest product news 60 W  inners of our always astonishing Shades of Colour photo competition


Crayfish “functionally extinct”

California’s Channel Islands

Birth of a new video camera

• Solomon Island’s Dive Festival • Becoming Nitrox Qualified • Why Wakatobi? 12 reasons

63 Digital Imaging – Where do you save your photos? Safeguarding them is a major concern, with Hans Weichselbaum 65 Species Science Focus – the Sand flounder, with Paul Caiger 66 Diving the Web with Phil Bendle 72 Accident Incident Insights with the Divers Alert Network (DAN) 67 Classifieds

Do you have a possible cover image? Email: NZ$100 will be paid if used. Must be relevant to the marine world.

30 44 3


Positive action, and some total bs about the stewardship of NZ fisheries fishers, have positively affected the following: scallops, paua, blue cod and snapper.


recently had the pleasure of attending the New Zealand Underwater Association’s (NZUA) 64th AGM which was held at the Dolphin’s Underwater club rooms beside Lake Pupuke, Auckland (30 June–1 July), hosted by Wettie Spearfishing Club. Many divers have no idea what the NZUA does behind the scenes regarding the welfare of underwater activities/sports such as underwater hockey/rugby, spearfishing and scuba diving. Delegates representing these sports reported that they are experiencing strong participation and the competitive spirit amongst participants is alive and well! One of the NZUA’s Key Missions is the security of the marine environment. You do not need to be a rocket scientist to realise that we humans are having a huge impact on the marine environment and the life forms that live beneath the water surfaces of this planet. NZUA have formed a collaboration with LegaSea. LegaSea is a recreational fishing advocacy group established in 2012 to help the public understand the issues affecting our marine fisheries and environment and why we need to restore abundance, ensuring there is enough fish in the water for future generations. It is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the New Zealand Sport Fishing Council.

The critical condition of the decreasing number of crayfish in the CRA2 Area fishery off Auckland’s east coast and the Bay of Plenty is of great concern. Many knowledgeable people now consider a total closure is needed to prevent the complete collapse of this fishery. The commercial fishing industry is currently doing a major public relations campaign. The commercial fishing industry has taken a battering by an in-depth study of under-reporting and wasteful dumping of fish in New Zealand waters over the last 60 years and their management of the tuna fishery. The public have had a guts-full of the waste and the fishing industry’s seeming lack of regard for the Quota Management System (QMS) and the government’s wet-ticket management of the industry. Many of you will have seen the Fishing Industry’s TV and radio PR campaigns, which are trying to promote an image that the industry and its people can be trusted to manage our fishing stocks and the

During LegaSea’s presentation at the AGM it became abundantly clear that New Zealand’s fisheries are in big trouble. Recent postings on their website ( echo their concerns about the condition of New Zealand’s fisheries. Some of the fisheries have been hammered to the point that drastic steps need to be implemented to allow the remaining stock a chance to rebuild. You have to ask, how was it allowed to reach this point? Closures, or a reduction of the allowable take by recreational and commercial 4 Dive New Zealand | Dive Pacific

Photo by Paul Caiger

marine environment. Is this their reaction to the mounting pressure being brought about by social media and mainstream media?—people are screaming—enough is enough! Obviously the industry is prepared to throw thousands of dollars at a PR campaign to try and change people’s opinion of the industry. Most people will see it for what it is, a load of PR BS! The dairy industry is also doing a similar PR campaign. We also know that many of the public have scant regard for the environment. The Goat Island Marine Reserve is plundered day and night. Especially at night. Cray pots laid without any marker buoys. Divers retrieving the pots at night – on and on it goes. I’ll leave you with a comment from Jean-Michel Cousteau: We may be the only species capable of truly appreciating the beautiful complexities of our little blue jewel. Sadly many of us do not see the beautiful complexities.

Dave Moran, Editor at Large


Crayfish “functionally extinct” in the Hauraki Gulf

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LegaSea dumps on government’s mismanagement.


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August/September 2017 Issue 159 Publisher Gilbert Peterson +64 27 494 9629 Dive Publishing P.O. Box 34 687 Birkenhead, Auckland, New Zealand 0746 Editor at Large Dave Moran +64-9-521 0684 Advertising Sales Manager Colin Gestro +64 272 568 014 Art Director Mark Grogan +64-9-262 0303 Printed by Crucial Colour Ltd Retail distribution NZ: Gordon & Gotch Aust: Gordon & Gotch Contributions

Unsolicited material submitted will not be returned unless a stamped self-addressed envelope is supplied. The Publisher assumes no responsibility for loss or damage. 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 Sea Tech Ltd. All material is accepted in good faith and the publisher accepts no responsibility whatsoever. Registered Publication ISSN 1774-5622 (print) ISSN 2324-3236 (online)

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Accusations of bias from commercial interests have been directed at LegaSea since we launched the Crayfish Crisis campaign in July. Commercial fishers argue there are abundant crayfish stocks between Pakiri and the East Cape of the North Island, and that we are creating an issue where none exists. This assessment conflicts with independent scientific research, and recreational and customary fishers who confirm the depletion of crayfish stocks in many traditional hotspots. LegaSea wants you to know we will not back down. LegaSea is committed to raising awareness of the need for MPI Minister, Nathan Guy, to restore crayfish stocks to abundant levels, for the benefit of current and future generations. This is his job, and his statutory obligation to us, the people of New Zealand. The plain truth is we could have plenty of crayfish for everyone if the fisheries were managed to higher levels, but the only people that can deliver abundance is the Minister, and the Ministry for Primary Industries. It is difficult to see a solution in the shortterm when, on the one hand you have commercial fishers adamant that all is well, and on the other hundreds of people who consider the CRA2 fishery to be decimated. In 2014, one of New Zealand’s most respected scientists, Alison MacDiarmid, commented that, “Rock lobster was the third most trophically important benthic invertebrate group in the region [Hauraki Gulf] before human arrival. Rock lobster are now the least important”. Backing her is another scientist, marine ecologist Tim Haggit. In 2016 Haggit said

the numbers of crayfish are so low in the Gulf that they no longer contribute to the marine ecology. Crayfish are “functionally extinct”. These are damning assessments. The Hauraki Gulf is a significant part of the CRA2 management area between Northland and East Cape. In our view, the crayfish resource in the CRA2 area is no longer able to replenish itself. Given the seriousness of these concerns, LegaSea undertook a survey earlier in the year with the outcome showing a surprising level of support for a closure of the fishery. Recreational divers and potters were prepared to forego their catch in the short-term so there is more for everyone in the future. Crayfish stocks have been in the Quota Management System since 1990 and now, after 27 years of “mismanagement” CRA2 has collapsed. LegaSea urges you to watch the CRA 2 video and petition your local MP for a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Quota Management System. It’s broken. It needs fixing, and we can start with a restoration programme for CRA2. Call 0800 LEGASEA (534 273)

LegaSea is a public outreach initiative of the New Zealand Sport Fishing Council. The Council has an experienced fisheries management, science, policy and legal team. On behalf of the Council LegaSea raises funds and provides publicfriendly information about a variety of processes that are important to restoring abundance in our fisheries for future generations. 5


Club delegates and visitors assembled for the NZU traditional AGM photo

New Zealand Underwater AGM dedicated to critical issues by Dave Moran, Editor @ Large This year the AGM of NZ Underwater was held in the Dolphin Underwater club beside Lake Pupuke in Auckland hosted by Wettie spearfishing club, and with conservation and environmental issues taking up a lot of the deliberations. In particular presentations were delivered on:

them to consider supporting a lower cray take number below the current six per diver per day. • Underwater Hockey and Rugby. The winners of the NZUA’s photographic competition were announced. Photography is an activity more and more divers are enjoying.

• Marine reserves and their conservation • Spearfishing, Freediving and LegaSea. A discussion on the critical situation regarding crayfish numbers in the CRA 2 area Hauraki Gulf/Bay of Plenty) resulted in a proposal that, due to the critical state of the crayfish biomass in the area, club delegates go back to their members to ask

An excellent presentation by the South Taranaki Underwater Club based in Hawera outlined a project they have been involved with documenting the marine life living on, and visiting a reef area 11 kilometres off the South Taranaki coast at a depth of 23m.

For this, the South Taranaki Reef Restoration Project, a time lapse camera has been installed on the reef to record the passing parade of marine life - the information so collected is a credit to all involved. The project’s main goal is to document the marine life that would be smothered if a mining proposal to extract millions of tons of iron sand from the seabed were to be go ahead. The presentation was a superb example of what a dive club can achieve and the spin off involving the local community and schools is amazing! Saturday night’s dinner was held at Darren and Alison Shield’s home where the food was delicious and fine wines were enjoyed! Thanks guys! Guest speaker Vaughan Hill retold his harrowing experience of being attacked by a Great White while commercial paua diving off the Chatham Islands. An inspiration. NZU has achieved a lot during the year with its ongoing restructuring of the organisation and investment in how to better serve the divers of New Zealand.

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Environmental policy director wins Wyland Award


t is with great pleasure we announce that the 14th recipient of the annual Wyland Foundation-Dive Magazine Award is Raewyn Peart, BSocSc (Waikato), BCom (Otago), LLB (Otago), MCom (Natal), Policy Director, Environmental Defence Society. The Award recipient was announced at New Zealand Underwater’s Annual General Meeting in June, and is primarily for those who have contributed huge amounts of time and effort to conserving the ocean environment and/or helping making others aware of it, for no real personal gain or glory. Their passion for the marine environment results in benefits that flow through to all divers and non divers alike. For the past decade, Raewyn’s work has focused on landscape protection, coastal development and marine management in New Zealand. She has written numerous papers, research reports and guidance material on these issues. Raewyn has published major books on coastal development Castles in the Sand: What’s happening to the New Zealand coast?, marine mammal protection Dolphins of Aotearoa: Living with dolphins in New Zealand - which was shortlisted for the New Zealand Royal Society Science Book Prize) and environmental change in the Hauraki Gulf marine area The Story of the Hauraki Gulf. She was a member of the collaborative Stakeholder Working Group which successfully prepared the first marine spatial plan for the Hauraki Gulf. As Policy Director of the EDS, Raewyn heads up their environmental policy think-tank group. She has over 20 years professional experience in environmental law and policy having worked previously as a resource management lawyer and policy adviser to business, government and the not-for-profit sector. Raewyn was co-winner of the 2013 Resource Management Law Association Publications Award, and recipient of the 2016 Holdaway Award for leadership in and

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Raewyn Peart with her 2017 Wyland Foundation-Dive Magazine Award

around the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park. She is a keen sailor, snorkeller, snowboarder and photographer. The Wyland Foundation-Dive Magazine Award is named in honour of the renowned marine life artist (Robert) Wyland ususally referred to just as Wyland who is based in the USA. Wyland changed the way people think about our environment when he started painting life-size whale murals on the sides of buildings in the 1980s. By 2008 he had painted over 100 of them, the largest covering three acres. Wyland was invited to New Zealand by the late Sir Peter Blake during the America Cup sailing competition in 1999/2000, and subsequently painted the 420m x 20m mural in Auckland’s Viaduct Basin depicting humpback, blue, pilot and killer whales at play. Wyland is now synonymous with the new awareness of the importance of environmental conservation. Through his unique marine life paintings, sculptures, and photography, Wyland is inspiring a new generation about the importance of marine life conservation.


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Time & place set for NZ spearfishing champs The next spearfishing New Zealand national championships are to be based at Mulberry Grove near Tryphena, Great Barrier Island from January 16th to 22nd next year. Events and activities include night squid spearfishing by torch, cooking and photography competitions, a dance and activities for the kids. Attendees are urged to book accommodation and transport arrangements early.

Waikato Boat Expo 2017 coming up The upcoming Waikato Boat Expo is being held November 4th and 5th at The Base, Te Rapa Hamilton. More information is available at

Mercury heading out there, further Mercury Outboards’ new Go Boldly message being rolled out is to encapsulate the pursuit of adventure and excitement the company stands for, to try something new, it says. And to capture this spirit of self-assurance the company has created a video. “We want to provide not just an engine, but an experience time after time,” the company says. The video is at:


Fiji Resort hires high profile marine conservationist Nanuku Auberge Resort in Pacific Harbour, Fiji, has recruited high profile Fijian marine scientist Kelly Dawn Bentley to manage the luxury resort’s ‘Planet Auberge’ environmental programme. Ms Bentley is well known in Fiji for her school and community work in building awareness on climate change, marine pollution, mangrove and coral reef conservation. “We know our guests are very sensitive to environmental issues and the impact tourism can have on the locations and communities they visit,” said General Manager of Nanuku Auberge Resort, Sascha Hemmann.

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IFDI offers neutral world for dive instructors IFDI is the first international organisation of scuba diving that regroups divers and instructors from different diving organisations under the international ISO standards that set quality norms throughout the world. This guarantees you high quality diving courses and a diving certificate that is recognisable all around the world. An example of the services offered by the organisation is its online log book for divers that can be digitally signed by all instructors worldwide. With its neutral structure IFDI accepts all instructors regardless of their organisation, and is the first and only one to offer such a service. Divers can replace their paper log book for a digitalised version, which can be signed, authenticated and recognised by other instructors. Though still relatively new IFDI has members in 34 countries.

Caribbean coral spawning phenomenon time comes around Every year snorkellers and divers at St Lucia’s Anse Chastanet Resort are invited to witness first hand one of nature’s most remarkable and spectacular performances – the upward moving clouds of coral spawning. This year the mass reproduction event that turns the sea yellow and pink is predicted to occur from 14th to 16th August, and the predictions are always accurate. After they drift to the surface for fertilisation, the sea becomes partially covered by the coral larvae before they settle to the bottom to build the next generation of corals. The ideal time for the release of these reproductive cells (in St Lucia) is known to be a week or so after a full August moon and an hour or two after sunset. The cover of

darkness increases the chances for larvae to survive fish predators. Tropical coral reefs are essential to sustaining worldwide food chains including ours. The phenomenon which is critical to the survival of coral reefs was first discovered in the 1980s at Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.

Divers find human remains on WW2 bomber Archaeologists diving near the Croatian island of Vis in the Adriatic have found the remains of US airmen in the wreckage of a WW2 Douglas B-24 Liberator bomber, reports Divernet (July, 2017). In 1944 the plane crashed into the sea after battling German fighters. Seven of the 10 aircrew were rescued. The wreck, found by divers in 2010 in around 40m, has become part of a US Defence expedition dedicated to bringing home remains of service personnel missing in action.

400-year-old sharks ‘living time-capsules’ The Greenland shark lives for 400 years or more, the world’s longest living vertebrate, and it should be given special conservation status says a geneticist who is sequencing its DNA. Professor Praebel of UIT the Arctic University of Norway says the genes of the sharks could hold the secret to long life for other vertebrates including humans. The Greenland shark found in deep NorthAtlantic waters is part of the 110-millionyear-old sleeper shark family. The oldest shark studied so far has been a 5m female reckoned to be 392 years old plus or minus 120 years. Professor Praebel described them as ‘living time-capsules’ with their tissues, bones and genetic data able to help measure the impact of climate change, industrial pollution and commercial fishing. Other scientists have found their heart rate to be unusually slow – a single beat every ten seconds.

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Plastics Pouring down rivers into the world’s oceans


he research team reporting in 2014 that there are over 5 trillion pieces of plastic weighing over 250,000 tonnes floating in the seas – ‘The Sailing Seas of Plastic’– has released another report showing where a lot of the waste is coming from; down rivers and off beaches. The latest report issued in Nature Communications journal in June estimated “between 1.15 and 2.41 million tonnes of plastic waste currently enters the ocean every year from rivers, with over 74% of emissions occurring between May and October. The top 20 polluting rivers, mostly located in Asia, account for 67% of the global total.” New Zealand data visualisation company Dumpark (dumpark. com) earlier produced maps highlighting the distribution of the 5.25 trillion plastic particles being driven around the globe by the prevailing ocean currents. (see world map above)

great threat to oceanic life as they are often too small to be distinguished from regular food sources and ingested by marine life. The contribution by rivers to plastics in the oceans is derived from individual watershed characteristics such as population density, mismanaged plastic waste (MPW), production per country and monthly averaged runoff. The model was calibrated against river plastic concentration measurements from Europe, Asia, North and South America. For more: The original publication is at Also see: the Gyres Institute

Other studies, such as that by the 2016 Plastic Oceans campaign, estimates that of the 300 million tonnes of plastic produced globally each year, up to 8 million tonnes finds its way into the world’s oceans. The latest report states “a significant portion of the plastics produced worldwide enters and persists in marine ecosystems. This includes shoreline, seabed, water column and sea surface environments of the world’s oceans.

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“The release of plastics into the marine environment occurs through a variety of pathways, including river and atmospheric transport, beach littering and directly at sea via aquaculture, shipping and fishing activities. “It has been estimated that between 4.8 and 12.7 million tonnes of plastic enters the ocean every year from coastal populations worldwide. Plastics within coastal areas however do not only enter the oceans through rivers. It can also reach oceans by other processes such as direct littering near beaches, followed by tidal or wind transport. “It is also important to note that our model is calibrated against buoyant plastics found on river surface waters, whereas this previous coastal contribution assessment considers all types of plastics found in municipal waste. Finally, we only consider a section of the full plastic debris size spectrum as particles smaller than the mesh size of the sampling nets were not accounted for and debris larger than the aperture size of the trawl devices are under-represented. For these reasons our estimate should be considered conservative.” The earlier report on Plastic Pollution in the World’s Oceans was based on 24 expeditions between 2007 and 2013 across all five sub-tropical ocean gyres, coastal Australia, the Bay of Bengal and the Mediterranean Sea. Each white dot on the map represented an estimated 20 tons of plastic of which 92% is ‘miscroplastic’, small particles measuring only a few millimetres in size which constitute a


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The changing face of marine conservation How you can join up By Kathryn Curzon

With the advent of social media it is easier now more than ever to experience marine conservation and make a difference to the health of the ocean.


hereas once individuals needed a scientific background and a large budget to participate in conservation initiatives, this is no longer the case. Global connectivity is allowing people from all walks of life to take up the call to help protect our blue planet, with little more than passionate voices and laptops. And they are using their time and diverse skills to create positive change, without necessarily leaving home. In this way the face of conservation is changing and becoming accessible for all. A brief Internet search reveals numerous conservation projects around the globe offering expedition placements for volunteer divers at idyllic locations and with an understandably large price tag. But while the value of the project work is undisputable these are not the only options for divers and their families to add their contribution to conserving the ocean. The movement is growing strongly around the globe whereby people are creating conservation initiatives

of their own by working within their own local communities and reaching people on a global scale. Here are some examples.

founders work closely with volunteers in both field and home-based remote roles, and they are currently looking for more ambassadors.

Fin Fighters is a new UK shark conservation organisation on a mission to end the sale and distribution of shark fin products in Britain by 2023. It was founded by two individuals with no scientific background or charity experience who aimed to create “a growing movement of ordinary people working together to make a difference”.

The Gills Club is an education initiative founded by the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy. It takes a different approach and is focussed on creating the next generation of women in science and ocean conservation.

The charity has quickly gained recognition as being effective and one to watch, thanks to its unique approach of empowering others to protect the ocean, and by collaborating with communities, councils, international scientists and members of parliament. Their campaigns include a Citizen Science Shark Project in which they train individuals on methods to conduct shark research, undercover fisheries monitoring, producing Ocean Optimism documentaries and a Surfers for Sharks campaign. The

The club gives girls aged 13 and younger the opportunity to get involved in projects that will help change the public perception of sharks, and to become “Smart About Sharks”. Members of the club receive monthly newsletters and tools allowing them to educate their own peer and community groups about shark conservation. It also hosts a supportive online community, featuring the work of female shark scientists, as well as nurturing young girls’ interest in science, technology, engineering and maths. Membership is free of charge.

Plastic debris can now be found on uninhabited islands around the globe

A small budget need not be a limiting factor when deciding to embark upon marine conservation, as demonstrated by Friends for Sharks, a shark conservation organisation based in the Wairarapa founded by two Great White Shark dive guides. Friends for Sharks was created after a serious back injury unexpectedly ended their marine conservation career in South Africa. With a limited budget and no prior experience, they created the self-funded initiative with the aim of raising worldwide awareness of the threats facing sharks by providing marine conservation events for people of all ages and social backgrounds. A charitable World Tour for Sharks was completed

10 Dive New Zealand | Dive Pacific

Friends for Sharks creating the next generation of shark conservationists at Te Uki Ou school, Rarotonga. 60 events like this were also run throughout New Zealand in 2015.

during 2015, which involved organising and completing 87 shark conservation events in eight countries, and presented to over 7000 people. Friends for Sharks provide talks at dive clubs in New Zealand and can be reached at Regardless of preference, ability and time, everyone can find a way to become involved in ocean conservation including divers whilst underwater. Dive Against Debris with Project AWARE is open to divers through their local dive centre, or you can go one step further and create your own “clean-up dive� project to remove discarded fishing gear and other waste from the ocean.

Ghost Fishing NZ is an organisation promoting initiatives worldwide to remove lost fishing gear and to do this they collaborate with technical divers and salvage companies to recycle the discarded gear they recover. Along the way they build and encourage social awareness of the problem and its solutions, and offer lectures for presenting at dive events. As global connectivity and social media use keeps on increasing, now is a good time to make use of tools like these to create positive change. Join a conservation initiative such as one of these or use it as model to start your own. With global ocean health balancing

Dives Against Debris are a great way for divers to get together and remove trash from the ocean. Koh Sdach, Cambodia.

on a knife-edge and the continual loss of marine species, it is vital that we divers work together as part of the solution.

Kathryn Curzon is an environmental educator, writer, public speaker and co-founder of Friends for Sharks. Kathryn trained as a scuba diving instructor in Egypt, worked with Great White Sharks in South Africa and currently lives in the Wairarapa. She is the author of No Damage: An adventure in courage, survival and the pursuit of dreams (available on Amazon). See

Over 100 million sharks are killed each year primarily for their fins and meat. A quarter of all shark species are heading towards extinction. 11

The building of

artificial reefs By Richard Ewen

The first ever artificial underwater habitat in the Philippines will be a bench mark for Biri Initiative, an underwater park that will generate tourism and help enhance the income of the local village people bringing employment to many and eventually providing greater fish stocks. Fees for diving in the area will go towards policing the Marine Protected Area and for funding marine education, in local schools and colleges; beach and island clean ups and other initiatives.


he BIRI Initiative (Building Innovative Reefs Independently) in the Philippines is an independently funded and managed organisation promoting marine awareness in multiple localities there and backed up by marine education and research programmes. Along with their restoration work building and installing artificial reefs BIRI initiatives range from cleaning up beaches to sticking it to Crown of Thorns by cleaning them up too. Overall BIRI is seeking to raise community awareness of the importance of local marine issues, and especially in a local economic sense, to help attract eco-tourism. One way they get locals involved is by hosting students to spend a week or two in the ocean studying their local, marine protected environment where they learn to dive at the same time as learning the fundamentals of conservation protection: basic surveying techniques; data collection; and grid mapping methods. BIRI makes available to them their own findings, data and observations. The artificial reef building initiative is deployed in areas where over fishing, illegal fishing and bad marine practices such as dragging anchors over coral, has damaged the marine environment. Installing these reef structures promotes habitat restoration and they’re proving their tangible benefits for tourism.

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Measuring success

Success in the short and long-term is being evaluated by an ongoing monitoring programme based on fish abundance, fish sizes, species richness, and species spatial distribution. Data collection for this evaluation is done on a macro scale with photo/video surveys to assess the marine context for management purposes while the fine-scale data required for scientific research is collected using Underwater Visual Census (UVC) monitoring

techniques and transect mapping. BIRI started rolling out ‘reef buds’, rather than large structures in 2013 after finding the smaller alternative could be deployed with less cost and more practicability. They called them Biri Buds. Now, after four projects and four years of experience they decided it was time to channel their efforts into larger and even more productive projects.

Locals are brought in to help manufacture the Biri-Buds

In a marine protected area of 1000 square metres in the near shore waters of Biri Island in Northern Samar, Philippines, a plan is being implemented this year to recover loose coral fragments from the seabed and plant them on 150 Biri Buds and on 100 small and large cages made up of iron rebar. The objective is to create an underwater habitat though technically it is also a park with an entrance gate, park benches, baskets for taking trash, statues, ponds with ducks and fish, flowers, a holy cross, even goal posts, all created from concrete and iron. The aim is for it to be aesthetically pleasing for divers at the same time as becoming a wonderful niche and unique place. Marine biologists were brought in to research the quality of the corals within the protected marine area, and storm produced fragments of the three fastest growing species of coral (elkhorn, staghorn and finger corals) were collected from the shallow reefs. The shallow reef environment was found to be highly dynamic, with corals

recruiting to the reef, growing and dying. A total of 13 corals are being used. Homer Hernandes a marine biologist conducted seminar/briefing on coral transplantation and reef rehabilitation prepared the tools and materials for trial-run coral transplantation, and in March this year, we transplanted 165 coral fragments achieving a 95% survival rate. Lesions quickly healed, and calcification showed that the fragments were attaching themselves to their substrates.

Divers place Biri-Buds to create new reef structures

The rehabilitation method was found to be simple, inexpensive and could easily be conducted by community volunteers and/ or resource managers wishing to enhance or repair a reef. Big Apple Dive Resort The Big Apple Dive Resort combined with our efforts to start reef rehabilitation deployment in an already busy dive attraction Puerto Galera, Mindoro Island, Philippines.

Longevity in reef buds has a short but effective history of technology driven by eco-friendly concrete and engineered structures designed to last centuries. 13

Biri Reef Buds Biri-buds produce a unique form of artificial reef with the following characteristics: Porosity Biri-Buds absorb sea water much like a sponge. Together with the water, they also absorb microscopic marine life such as spores, plankton and algae. Strong currents simply drive marine life into the Biri-Buds millions of cavities, and the entire Biri-Bud takes on the pH of the surrounding ocean. Calcification The blend of materials in the Biri-Bud reacts with seawater triggering a process very like the natural processes that take place continuously in the sea such as calcification in coral structures, crab shells, crustaceans, and turtle shells etc. This makes the Biri-Buds a natural habitat for all forms of marine life. Stability Because they are heavy structures and become heavier as they absorb seawater and marine life, they cannot be moved by strong currents during storms. Their aqua dynamic shape allows currents to glide around them. Their stability encourages permanent homes and spawning grounds for marine life.

This one is called the GREAT BIRIER REEF. This staghorn coral pictured is not a transplant, but began growing almost immediately on one of the first Biri Buds deployed in our designated reef restoration area in June 2015. Don’t believe the stories about hard corals growing at 1cm a year!

The performance of the reef-buds has been an outstanding success. For more information on how you can help, contact us at: E-mail: Website: To donate:

Biri-Buds attract and shelter small fish almost immediately

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Speed of growth: A spectacular feature of Biri-Buds is the speed at which they are populated by marine life. In as little as eight weeks after deployment in a “marine dead” area (only sand and/or mud), they have become home to algae, anemones, baby fish and squid, and a host of other wildlife.

These are the initial reef buds deployed in September 2013 showing growth up until July 2016 Coral is also transplanted onto steel cages in a variety of novel cage designs

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Friendship runs deep A feature length documentary has been made about a group of Finnish cave divers and their mission to bring their dead friends home: Diving Into The Unknown. This is their remarkable story. by Jill Heinerth

In the thin light of a wintry polar morning in February 2014 five divers set out on a bold dive in a deep underwater cave in Pluraden, Norway. Two did not come home. The other three are forever changed.

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A cross-section of the cave system shows the dry entrance, the submerged entrance, and the location of the two bodies in red


iving into the Unknown is the just released movie by Juan Reina that’s more than just a dramatic tale about the daring recovery of two bodies; it’s a story about unconditional friendship, teamwork and the deep moral questions surrounding choices we make about risk. The documentary includes remarkable footage from the actual accident and an astonishing recovery mission in an intimate look into the life and death decisions involved in cave diving. The film asks of us what we might do to recover the body of a friend, and it entreats us to consider the collateral damage our choices have on our wider community. Deep caves have often been referred to as the ‘Mount Everests of diving’, because of the technical training and skills required, and their powerful allure. Over 280 people have died attempting to conquer Mount Everest and over 200 bodies remain on the mountain, frozen in time, knees hugged for warmth or sprawled grotesquely after a fall. 18 Dive New Zealand | Dive Pacific

But the warrior’s ethos may not always hold true. ‘Leave no man behind’ has its limits. Recovering lifeless remains are not always worth the risk of death to others. Despite the risk, the survivors of this cave dive went back to complete one of the most secretive underwater body recoveries in history. There was no question they would not return to recover the remains of their two friends. Yet the veteran British cave dive Rick Stanton said on a television interview, “They’ve made a film and they all come out as heroes, but these two people should never have died in the first place.” Veterans of high peaks and deep caves offer a similar viewpoint. In 2004, technical rebreather diver Dave Shaw perished while attempting to recover the long lost remains of Deon Dreher from South Africa’s Bushmansgat Cave. In 2012, Mississippibased diver Larry Higginbotham ran out of gas when he became wedged in a cave while searching for the body of Ben McDaniel in Vortex Springs.

Other searches for lost cave divers have simply been abandoned. For 30 years the decomposed body of a diver known as ‘Uncle Charlie’ has resided in an Andros Island cave, his skeletal wet suit and gear in clear view of any visiting cave diver. The searches for Frank Martz in the Bahamas and Dean Valentine in Florida’s Spring Bayou were simply abandoned. Mystery Sink in Florida is now closed to cave diving as a gesture of respect to the families of two deceased men entombed there.

…There was no question they would return to recover the remains of their two friends… Diving into the Unknown was never intended to be a documentary about a cave diving accident. Developed by Finnish authors Janne Suhonen and Antti Apunen, the intention was to shoot a world record cave diving distance attempt by a team of Finnish divers. But while training for that dive, the terrible accident claimed two of their team.

The underwater traverse, located in Norway, is a mile and a quarter long and 426 feet deep. The water is ice-cold, between 36 and 39 degrees Fahrenheit (2°-4°c)

The tragedy unfolded as an ill-planned effort to make a 1980m long traverse from a small pond known as Plura, to another cave exit called Steinugleflaget, where a vaulted ceiling rises 90m overhead to where daylight flickers through a crack in a hillside. The challenge of the dive required swimming to a depth of 130m and squeezing through a gap before ascending to the surface. Obviously it would require long decompression in near freezing water. And if one of the party failed to negotiate a restrictive passage those following would be blocked. Standard planning procedure for a cave traverse like this entails first completing a series of dives, from one side then the other, to reconnoitre and establish familiarity, set abort limits and place emergency gas supplies. Further dives are often required to place safety equipment and set temporary lines. A dive of this magnitude also demands safety divers and surface support personnel to be on hand.

“If we had done a practice run then things would have been different. It was totally our own fault”, said Patrik Gronqvist. Gronqvist is a highly accomplished technical diver, and is regular job is as a firefighter. He admits the last time, “I didn’t know whether to come back up or stay down there”.

…Not wanting to repeat the catastrophic mistakes of the original dive, the team planned for every eventuality… On the fateful morning, Gronqvist, one of those who had discovered the passage between the caves, descended with good friend Jari Huotarinen through a hole cut in the ice. Thirty minutes later he successfully passed through a restriction in the passage but on looked back he saw his buddy signalling with his light. Huotarinen was stuck. He was panicking. Then he became trapped further, entangled in his scooter leash. Gronqvist went back to help, but could only watch, helpless, as his friend

drowned desperately trying to switch off his rebreather and bail out to open circuit gas. To survive Gronqvist had to continue the dive plan, leaving Huotarinen, and heading to the only way out, the Steinugleflaget exit. Two hours later and completely unaware of the tragedy, Vesa Rantanen, Jari Uusimaki, and Kai Kankanen descended from the Plura pond intending also to make the traverse to Steinugleflaget. The team had had no indication of anything amiss until they got to the point where Huotarinen’s lifeless body blocked the passage. Lead diver, Vesa Rantanen, shocked, realised he had two options: attempt to pass the body, which was the shortest route to an exit, or backtrack through the deepest section of the cave. If he chose to go back he knew he would need much longer decompression times, and he was unsure if he had enough gas to survive. Instead he decided to push on, struggling to squeeze between Jari Huotarinen’s corpse and the cold wall of the restriction. 19

The effort added more than 15 minutes to his bottom time. He aborted his decompression 80 minutes early and soon began to suffer the decompression illness that has left him with spinal cord damage. Meanwhile remaining team members, Jari Uusimaki and Kai Kankanen, were unable to free the body or get past it. Kankanen opted to retrace the swim back to Plura completing a remarkable 10 hour dive, unsure in the confusion whether or not he was the only survivor. He recalls little of what happened. From the time he came on Huotarinen’s body at the restriction, Kankanen says his only focus was to return to his family. He reasoned he had no other option but to go back. Ahead there may have been other

20 Dive New Zealand | Dive Pacific

blockages. He surfaced not knowing that his team mate Jari Uusimaki had also drowned somewhere deep in the Plura system. Straight after the two fatalities local authorities prohibited further access to the cave. But just over a month later a team of divers - 17 Finns and 10 Norwegians – arrived covertly in trucks, cars, sleds and even snow machines, lugging a tonne of gear. This time they planned for every eventuality. At both ends of the traverse two teams of support divers would work at shallower levels. Over a carefully planned series of dives team leader Sami Paakkarinen, along with survivors Patrik Gronqvist and Kai Kankanen, would recover the bodies of their comrades from the deepest point of the cave. The third survivor, Vesa Rantanen, still in

recovery, would help coordinate their efforts from the surface. Diving into the Unknown documents the details of the accident and the recovery effort as they unfold. During the recovery we see Kai Kankanen is overwhelmed by flashbacks, and aborts. When he turned back at 90m I breathed a sigh of relief. When Gronqvist and Paakarinen approached the body of their dead colleague, he appeared as they had left him. I was amazed at the footage. Director Juan Reina handles the story with grace. Finns are known for the character trait called sisu, or grit in the face of adversity. Reina deftly breaks through this outer Scandinavian resolve to reveal the sensitivity and intense friendship among the surviving group.

For more info on the film, behind the scenes video, and screenings visit:

Ultimately, the movie is about love and the lengths one will go to for a brother. But why go to such risky lengths to bring the victims’ bodies home? Perhaps for the survivors it was too painful to consider mourning forever if they were never recovered. Perhaps, making the recovery effort, successful or not, would help lay to rest the demons haunting the souls of the survivors. Now the mention of Jari Huotarinen and Jari Uusimaki are preserved in the survivors’ memories as strong, young men, and in this way the film honours their remarkable lives, rather than keeping their memories in a boundless and unimaginable grave. As divers we can certainly relate to the humanity of this story, and yet we cannot ignore the psychological costs. Diving into the Unknown reminds us that the choices about the risks we take are not just about us, but about the people we might leave behind.

Jill Heinerth, a Canadian, is herself a highly experienced cave diver.

You can choose to have HECS technology in any of our top quality NZ made drysuits

25 Station Rd, Wellsford, Auckland

Phone: 09 423 8237 21

Solomon Islands to host 2nd Annual Dive Festival OCTOBER 2–7, 2017 IN WESTERN PROVINCE In celebration of the magnificent diving experiences the Solomon Islands has to offer to the international dive community, the 2nd Annual Solomon Dive Fest 2017 will take place in the country’s Western Province from October 2–7 2017.

freedom for the Pacific was hard fought for and ultimately won. Hosted locally by Dive Gizo, SIDE Dive Munda and SIDE MV Taka, dive excursions, cultural activities, photographic competitions, and workshops have all been combined.

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the battle for Guadalcanal so the event holds even greater significance for the people of the ‘Hapi Isles’ who take immense pride that their home is the place where

The festival also features the opportunity to experience a liveaboard dive boat aboard, SIDE’s renowned MV Taka.

The Solomon Islands, the ultimate dive experience The Solomon Islands is the epitome of a hidden South Pacific paradise, a true living culture, rich in art, dance and the iconic sound of the ‘Hapi Isles’ panpipe music. The archipelago of 992 richly forested mountainous islands and low-lying coral atolls has attracted international visitors since 1568 when Spanish explorer Alvaro de Mendana first sailed there. Many of the islands still bear the Spanish names he gave them: Santa Isabel, San Cristóbal and perhaps the best known of all, Guadalcanal, synonymous with the infamous and bloody World War II campaign in 1942 and the catalyst for the Allies ultimate victory over the Japanese Imperial Forces. From then til recent years, the Solomon Islands and their quiet, reserved people – a mix of Melanesian, Micronesian and Polynesian cultures – were pretty much left alone.

Honiara Honiara is the perfect location to start. Dives on the famed Bonegi I and Bonegi II are easily arranged and a short boat ride away lies Tulagi, the venue for the well-known dive site ‘Twin Tunnels’ and the many wrecks lying below Ghuvatu Harbour. Iron Bottom Sound is literally littered with wrecks, including a recently discovered submarine.

Marovo TheLagoon Marov

But lately an invasion of a different kind, a steadily increasing number of international dive enthusiasts, are discovering just what makes these ‘Hapi Isles’ such a mecca for lovers of the undersea world. What makes the Solomon Islands’ dive potential so unique is an amazing mix of WWII wrecks, technicolour coral pastures, steep walls, shallow reefs, tunnels, drop-offs, and a veritable pot pourri of demersal, reef and pelagic fish swarming these bath warm waters. Definitely ‘no wetsuit required’. So where to go? While amazing dive sites abound, some still waiting discovery, the following are some of the more popular, and accessible dive sites.

Russell Islands

Munda North west of Honiara is home to one of the best dive outfits in the Islands – Solomon Island Dive Expedition’s (SIDE) Dive Munda. Munda on the Vona Vona Lagoon has swim-through caves, and wrecks of planes and boats all within a short boat ride. Munda is also the place where water flow and currents create perfect conditions for barracuda and jacks feeding frenzies. At Barry’s Breakfast you can hang in mid-water surrounded by the swarming pelagics.

This group of islands lying 40 kilometres off the northern tip of Guadalcanal is a regular venue for divers aboard SIDE’s luxury liveaboard vessel, MV Taka. The Russell Islands offer special geological features including the Mirror Pond Cave and Bat Cave where divers surface in an ocean water pool surrounded by jungle. At Karumolun Point divers can join schooling jacks and barracuda, the occasional squadron of devil rays, staghorn meadows, turtles and countless clownfish.

Recommended for a World Heritage listing, the Marovo Lagoon is renowned, where mantas and hammerheads abound, along with barracuda, eagle rays and swarms of jacks.

Gizo Gizo Divers visiting Gizo, home to the reputable Dive Gizo, can visit Grand Central Station boasting the highest fish count in the world with more than 275 species, a 440foot Japanese freighter, the Toa Maru, and an almost fully-intact US Hellcat fighter aircraft lying in shallow waters, a short boat ride from Gizo Town.

22 Dive New Zealand | Dive Pacific

We offer PADI & TDI courses.

Email Phone (+677) 25700

Solomon Islands

An underwater paradise for marine life Explore the many ships and aircraft wrecks at the famous Iron Bottom Sound.


So Solomons, So Adventurous! Explore the hidden paradise of the South Pacific archipelago, comprising of a vast group of 922 breathtaking tropical islands. Diving in the Solomon Islands has gained an enviable worldwide reputation that is unsurpassed.

Experience the abundance of World War II history, via the Solomons numerous wreck dives. Get up close to the extraordinary array of differing reef structures and bio-assemblage.

With worldclass dive sites in Honiara, The Floridas, Iron If you are not a diver, but interested in learning, there could BottomDive Sound, Gizo, Munda, Western Marovo and Eastern be no better place to discover this completely newon world, For more the Solomons Fest 2017 Marovo the Solomon Islands are sure to provide a dive than the warm crystal clear waters around the Solomon visit: Email experience like no other. Islands.Throughout these magic islands is an endless variety And of dive sites suit all tastes and levels of experience. FB:to

For travel and accommodation information contact one of these:

• Solomon Islands Dive Expeditions: FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:

• Dive Adventures - at or call 1300 657 420 Solomon Islands Visitors Bureau Head Offi ce Allways Honiara, Dive Expeditions 1800 338 239 PO Box 321, • Mendana Avenue, Solomoncall Islands call (677) 22442 or email

• And enter’s dive competition for a chance to win a spot for FREE & automatically win a $300 Dive Fest Travel Voucher at

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One of the world’s great wildernesses


few weeks ago I was minding my own business when a mate asked, are you going? I had no idea what he was talking about but it turned out a group of guys had arranged a fishing trip out of Doubtful Sound and decided I could go too. I had to think about this long and hard – 2.5 milliseconds. The trip was with the Fiordland Jewel berthed at Deep Cove, from Queenstown past the Manapouri power station and over the spectacular Wilmot Pass. Once on the Jewel we decided to make the run to Dusky where the fish are bigger, the crays even bigger and the paua and kina huge. On the one line I caught the two biggest cod I’ d ever seen. That day we fished for five hours and got our full four days’ quota! Cod, groper, trumpeter… the most fun I’ve ever had on a boat. We reluctantly headed home after an incredible few days laden with seafood and memories. A great trip with some fantastic people and a great crew. Would I do it again? You bet! – Unique Fiordland marine life: demoiselle and black coral

From Norm Morgan, Auckland Being so remote few people have enjoyed the amazing, untouched part of New Zealand that is Fiordland. Even fewer have had the chance to see it underwater. Fiordland is remarkable in that many species normally found only at great depth are visible in shallower waters due to a lightabsorbing freshwater layer. The water is also relatively warm and remarkably clear allowing access to flora and fauna usually out of reach, including black coral, saucer sponge, large tube anemone and spiny sea dragons, and 160 fish species. Plus crayfish for dinner. Dive destinations include five marine reserves: Gaer Arm, the Gut and Elizabeth Island in Doubtful Sound and Wet Jacket Arm in Dusky Sound which have up to seven metres of rainfall floating on top of the seawater. The Five Fingers Peninsula Marine Reserve is exposed to wave action mixing fresh and salt water together. Fiordland Discovery supplies all dive tanks and weights and has its own compressor on board. Other dive gear can be arranged on request. As well as diving their charter service offers fishing and hunting with accommodation over five or six days. These are fully catered, and guided by expert crew, and include heli-transfer, Lake Manapouri and Willmott Pass crossings, cabins with private ensuites, on-deck hot tub, air conditioning, heating and an underwater HD video camera, so that if you want to rest onboard you can watch the diving action below.

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Last words are from Paul Straight in April this year: So I’m back at home this morning and still getting over our incredible adventure to Fiordland. What an amazing vessel… I would think there wouldn’t be a boat in New Zealand doing fishing charters at the same level. We all had an amazing time. Craig and I managed to get a stag, the divers had a ball, we caught plenty of fish and the scenery was absolutely breath taking. The weather really turned it on for us too, we never needed to break out the wet weather gear and it was flat calm everywhere inside the fiords. The helicopter trip out was incredible and really was the icing on the cake. Thanks! (I have a smile on my face every time I think about the trip.) For more details: Fiordland sea pen 25

Vanuatu, premier dive destination, for good reason by Gilbert Peterson

Vanuatu is widely regarded as one of the premier destinations for divers wanting to explore coral reefs and shipwrecks. The sprawling archipelago includes plenty of them, many unexplored, but most people tire themselves out discovering just Espiritu Santo and Tanna Island. Santo has an aura of its own. That’s where the world-renowned Million Dollar Point is located; at the end of WWII the US military dumped masses of army surplus there and you get to dive on jeeps, bulldozers, trucks, forklifts, unopened boxes of clothes, even boxes of Coca-Cola.

Finding fascinating flatworms and an amazing array of other critters on every dive makes every dive an adventure Photo: Eric and Anne Simmons

Possibly the biggest attraction though, is the SS President Coolidge, the massive luxury liner converted to a troop carrier for the war and sunk by a mine in 1942. Because the ship beached within metres of the shore, it’s one of the largest wrecks anywhere in the world accessible to recreational diving. Guns, cannons and the personal gear of many soldiers’ rests there intact. But its sheer size means if you want to see all of it, at least 10 dives are needed. Anyone who has dived on the President Coolidge knows Alfred Niko, Alfred Numba Wan as he’s known; the dive master is a legend with some 13,000 dives on the wreck, more time than anyone when it was afloat. The legend continues with Alfred’s son, Sethy. Both know every minute detail of the ship, the maze of passageways and exits, and you can dive with Alfred or his son, at Aore Adventure Sports and Lodge. And meet perhaps Boris, a large potato cod, dugongs scratching themselves on the bow, and leopard sharks on the main mast. Every dive is an adventure. Santo is also the locale of the silver and sapphire Champagne Beach, blue holes and caves, great food, and some of the friendliest smiles.

Classic volcano The glow from Mt Yasur on Tanna Island drew Captain Cook there in 1774 and the classic volcano has been attracting the curious ever since. You can go right up to the crater now too, on a 4WD drive adventure. Active volcanoes, including several underwater, are a feature of any visit to

26 Dive New Zealand | Dive Pacific

Tanna as are the caves. Entry to some is by snorkel access only; a local guide can explain their history and legends, especially those with skeletons.

considered a place where Melanesian customs and culture remain paramount; traditional village life is preferred here, as it has been for centuries.

On land, body scrubs, and massage may take precedence. Or kayaking, horseback riding and jungle ziplines. Tanna is

Air Vanuatu operates to and from Auckland, Sydney, Brisbane and Fiji.

The Dugong buries its snout in the sandy bottom and bulldozes forward, feeding on the seagrass Photo: Eric and Anne Simmons

There’s more to do in Vanuatu



































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Bigeyes Lair & Keyhole Cave

Spectacular diving in the caves and arches of Cape Brett

Part II of our series diving near the Hole in the Rock in the Bay of Islands By Craig & Lisa Johnston of Paihia Dive


eading out of the Cape Brett Reserve you come to Bigeyes Lair, situated on the north side of Kariparipa Point. This cave starts at a depth of 14m and runs back towards the point shallowing up to 5m. As you can tell by the name it’s a place full of bigeye cavefish. We also often see toadstool grouper and yellow banded perch there, both tropical fish not often seen in coastal dive sites. Take care as you near the back of the cave – hundreds of black urchin line the floor! Like land mines!

where little blue penguins nest. But please note, it is not practical to access this beach due to the nature of the restrictions present, and even on the calmest of days it gets a lot of surge. The possibility of getting in and not being able to get out is very real. Please practice caution.

The Hole in the Rock is probably the Bay of Islands most popular tourist attraction but those who don’t dive miss out on a truly spectacular experience.

Outside the cave many boulders and undercut rocks hide lots of critters for you to find. The average depth here is 10–16m.

On the right day, with a bit of current, the entrance and exit to the Hole are filled with schooling koheru, trevally, sweep, blue maomao, kahawai and huge kingfish. At times you will find it difficult to see your buddy as the fish can be so densely packed!

The next two sites are at Motukokako or Piercy Island, otherwise known as the Hole in the Rock itself.

To be continued… For more info contact Paihia Dive at

Further up the cape towards the Hole in the Rock we have Keyhole Cave, a great site and easy to spot since above the water it is shaped like a keyhole. The reef area in front of this cave has lots of rays, schooling fish, crayfish, and scorpionfish. Many other reef fish also call this place home. The entrance is easily accessible with rays often hanging out in it. At the rear is a very small restriction which, on the calmest of days it is possible to pass through. But once through it is pitch black so remember to take a good torch. At the back of the cave there is a beach

DIVENZ.COM Discover the underwater wonders of the Bay of Islands with Paihia Dive. Daily dive trips to the wrecks of the Rainbow Warrior, and HMNZS Canterbury. Explore the amazing caves, arches and reefs of Cape Brett, and visit the Hole in the Rock. Paihia Dive is the Bay of Islands longest running dive charter operaters. Conveniently located in the heart of Paihia. We have a highly professional, experienced and friendly crew, which can look after all your diving needs. From Discovery Scuba right through to Assistant Instructor. Paihia Dive is the only full service dive and fishing shop in Paihia, if you need advice come see us.

PAIHIA DIVE: Williams Rd, Paihia, Bay of Islands, Northland Ph: 09 402 7551 • Freephone: 0800 107 551 • 29

Paradise Cocos (Keeling)

way off the beaten track Deserted picture-postcard beach on West Island

Fairy terns breed at Pulu Keeling

By Pete Atkinson


ieter Gerhard, owner of Cocos Dive, greeted us with the news that at first light we would be leaving for Pulu Keeling, 36km to the north. He hoped no camera gear was in a suitcase of ours still languishing in Kuala Lumpur. Fortunately that contained only non-essentials for the tropics like clothes. Pulu Keeling National Park is about as remote as you can get and visitors rare. It’s a closed atoll with a brackish lagoon, home to millions of sea birds including the endemic Cocos buff-banded rail. The passage between Cocos (Keeling) and Pulu Keeling is open ocean, where swells are driven by trade winds for much of the year. Very few boats make the trip and it is even rarer to get a chance to dive there. Dieter used his 8.5m aluminium dive boat, Putri Laut (which translates as something about a princess, not a festering hoodlum) for the trip north over the lazy swell.

30 Dive New Zealand | Dive Pacific


Pulu Keeling National Park

Cocos Islands

Darin Limsuansub (my wife!) with a blacktip reef shark in The Rip at Direction Island

Pratt and Whitney engines of the Catalina JX 435 lie a few metres from each other 31


On board was a descendant of one of the crew of the SMS Emden, a German light cruiser that had a spectacular career in the Indian Ocean, capturing or sinking 31 vessels during World War I. Captain von Muller was highly regarded for his gracious treatment of prisoners. On 9th November 1914 Emden had sent a small contingent ashore at Direction Island to destroy the Eastern Telegraph Company wireless telegraph and cable station and while they were ashore Emden was engaged by the light cruiser HMAS Sydney which had been escorting a troop convoy nearby. Sydney had heavier guns of longer range. After a crippling bombardment SMS Emden beached at Pulu Keeling. After further shelling she was persuaded to surrender. This was Australia’s first naval victory.

Meanwhile the German shore party at Cocos (Keeling) commandeered a local schooner, Ayesha, which they sailed to Sumatra, eventually returning to Germany seven months later. Surviving crew from the Emden were allowed the rare honour of adding the suffix Emden to their names. It was one of only two vessels ever awarded the Iron Cross by Kaiser Wilhelm II.

the Japanese salvors who, in 1950 ripped the ship apart with explosives and shipped much of it off to Japan, or to the swells that thunder in emphatically much of the year.


Cocos (Keeling), an atoll, belongs to Australia though it lies closer to Sri Lanka than to Perth in Western Australia, way off the beaten track, in the middle of nowhere. Flights are expensive and not entirely reliable which is why only about 30 visitors a week got there. It’s flatter than a nit, with 26 islands necklaced around a shallow lagoon.

On a good day the Emden site is an easy dive only a few metres deep. The boat can’t anchor there so we dived in relays; the visiting film crew first, the hoi polloi and us later. The props and drive shafts are prominent, as are 105mm guns concreted into the reef. There’s a no-touch policy from Parks Australia which might have been better applied to

One of the propellers and shaft strut of the SMS Emden

In the lee of Pulu Keeling where we anchored for lunch green turtles were clambering over one another to get their genes represented in the next generation. Or playing piggy back.

Darin snorkelling over the hard ‘broccoli’ coral near Direction Island The solo resident male dugong, Kat

On the windward side lies Home Island, home for around 400 Cocos Malay people. The Cocos Malays were originally brought in by John CluniesRoss in the nineteenth century to work the copra (dried coconut flesh) plantations. They are Muslim and they have a fascinating culture mix of Malay and Scottish. Even though Queen Victoria gave the islands to George Clunies-Ross and his descendents in 1886 in perpetuity, the islands became an Australian Territory on 23 November 1955. John Cecil Clunies-Ross sold Home Island to Australia in 1978 for $A6.25 million. West Island, 8.5 km to leeward across the lagoon, has the airstrip, one restaurant, a couple of cafes, a bar and 120 primarily expat Australians. The road end to end is 11km. Traffic hazards include goats, crabs, erosion and high tides.


Parts of the atoll are beautiful. The surfing, kite-surfing and diving are excellent. If you want a palm-covered island with crystal clear water all to yourself for the day, it is easy to arrange. 33

Manta ray at 40m in the lee of West Island

One of the best things in Cocos (Keeling) is not a dive at all, but a snorkel called The Rip, a narrow channel to the east of Direction Island where clear ocean water floods continuously into the lagoon. The strength of the current depends on the tide, the swell and the phase of the moon, anything up to about four knots. You throw yourself into the water towards the seaward end and get blasted through towards the lagoon. There’s a safety rope if you can’t swim back, but swimming cross-current brings you into calm lagoon water. The Rip is about 7m deep, the southern wall covered with live coral, riddled with caves and teeming with fish. Some of the fish are regulars, like a barracuda about one and a half metres long and a blacktip reef shark with its dorsal missing. There are humphead parrotfish, napoleon wrasse, reef sharks, morays and groupers. Perhaps because every visitor comes here the fish are oblivious to people.


One of the things I love about Cocos (Keeling) diving is the variety. There are 34 Dive New Zealand | Dive Pacific

steep coral walls dropping off into the abyss. There are shallow coral gardens, the wreck of a Catalina flying boat strewn through the sea grass beds, a fishing boat wreck and areas of old junk from the dismantled telegraph station on Direction Island. There’s a resident dugong, Kat, who likes to scratch himself on the anchor line, spinner and bottlenose dolphins, mantas, reef sharks and an area with several encrusted cannons. Last year they saw humpbacks, whale sharks and tiger sharks too. It’s remote and an oasis for anything passing, so you can expect the unexpected.


Catalina JX 435 was on a flight from Red Hills Lake airbase in Madras via Colombo when it crashed into the lagoon at Cocos (Keeling). It attempted a downwind landing on a choppy lagoon. Bouncing once, it flipped over and caught fire before sinking. Rescuers from Direction Island managed to pull out seven men but two died later from their injuries. Seven more were lost with the plane and never recovered. The

two Pratt and Whitney engines now lie close to one another but the debris field extends 600m to the south-west and most of the fuselage is missing. It is only a few metres deep to the sea grass beds so you can explore the whole area in a couple of dives.


Accommodation on the island is catered to by several fantastic guest houses. The most basic is $180 a night and a buffetstyle meal at the Tropika Restaurant is $33 a head. It may seem expensive but the costs of doing anything, especially running a business are daunting. It’s just so far away from the mainland, but high speed internet is available. On Prison Island, an idyllic location for photography, you can attract black tip reef sharks with a small offering, and the palms provide shelter from the sun. You can even walk there from Home Island at low tide though I wouldn’t recommend it – we nearly had to spend the night there after an error of judgment!

Taking Innovation to New Depths From 250 to 30,000 lumens

VL30000P Pro mini


Darin with a devil scorpionfish in The Rip

All rated to 100m

Getting there: V  irgin Australia fly to the Cocos Keeling Islands from Perth twice a week.

Diving: T here’s only one operator, Cocos Dive. Booking ahead is essential.

Water Temperature: 27ºC or more

Water temp: tends to stay in the 20s

When to go: The diving is great all year round. Winds are lighter during cyclone season, November to April.

Currency: Australian Dollar. Eftpos facilities are available but bring some cash. A Commonwealth Bank agency is open limited hours.


Accommodation: Castaway is mid-range and nice Cocos Beachcombers is one of the best guest houses.

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Sea Tech Ltd

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Travel insurance: This is one destination where travel insurance is highly recommended as flight cancellations could leave you an accommodation bill not budgeted for.

Available from your Professional Dive Store Trade enquiries welcome 35

A tester’s verdict:

By Dave Abbott

New underwater video camera impresses


ver the past few months I’ve been testing out a new hands-free action camera designed specifically for divers, the Paralenz, a neat little camera with some unique and useful features.

in 38 countries a Beta version of it to test in a broad range of conditions. The testers then provided the developers with critical feedback as to what worked, or didn’t work, and how the camera could be improved.

I was introduced to the Paralenz and its developers at the DEMA dive show last year, and was really impressed both by its quality, and the commitment of the team in designing a camera uniquely tailored for divers.

Having your target market test the product you want them to buy while still developing it is a great concept, and it has resulted in a product that customers know really works.

Unlike the majority of cameras in the action camera category the Paralenz is a cylindrical rather than boxy design and machined out of aluminium rather than plastic, which gives it a nice weight in your hand and a quality feel. The cylindrical form factor also makes the camera easy to strap to your mask, wrist, scooter and so on. It has similar technical sp ecs to most of the other camera contenders in its class: 4K video recording, 100fps recording at 1080p, still-image mode etc, but it is rated to 200m and with a slide switch that is easy to use even if wearing gloves. It also has a couple of additional features I really liked, one in particular that turns it from ‘just a camera’ into a really useful tool. The first feature is depth-controlled white balance, a clever idea that means instead of having to use filters to bring back the colour as you go deeper, the camera adjusts the white balance automatically relative to depth. This avoids having to use a red filter and getting a reddish cast when filming at shallower depths, or using artificial lights. The second feature that really grabbed my attention is a data overlay capability. The Paralenz has inbuilt depth (pressure) and temperature sensors and allows you to overlay that information on your footage as well as ‘mark’ points of interest as you go. This is pretty exciting if you work underwater in marine science, archaeology or any sort of commercial diving. If, for example, you are doing subtidal bio-surveys of fish or invertebrate life, instead of having to stop and make notes on a slate of the species/depth/ habitat/ time seen etc you can simply roll the camera for the whole dive and the data overlay function will record all that information for you! I really admire Paralenz’ commitment to making the camera ‘fit for purpose’ by giving a worldwide network of 250 divers

36 Dive New Zealand | Dive Pacific

To quote Michael Trøst, CIO and founder of Paralenz’ parent company: “…to make a great product, you need to involve the users from the very beginning”. Being one of the A-testers I got to see the process in action as feedback and suggestions poured in from divers around the world, and it was great to see the Paralenz’ team take it all on board, tweaking software and firmware, adjusting white balance settings, testing different data overlays, improving battery life… More than 30 improvements were made on the initial prototype camera. It certainly made me appreciate the huge amount of R&D in taking a product from concept to production! My testing involved mounting the Paralenz on top of my large camera rig and taking it on a number of dives in several different conditions, and I found it to be a great little camera for the purpose it was designed for. The image quality is good for a camera of this type, the battery life was sufficient for a day’s diving, and it is compact, tough and easy to use.

It doesn’t come with an LED back but after all it is a POV (point-of-view) camera, and the Paralenz’ mounting system is compatible with a range of other brand camera mounts, which is handy. The data overlay option certainly is a really useful feature. Overall this is a great little video camera for divers wanting a durable, user-friendly, hands-free 4K system to record their dives easily and reliably. Dave Abbott is a New Zealand based specialist underwater and adventure-sport cameraman and independent film producer, and director of Liquid Action Films. Dave’s cinematography has been featured on programming around the world including tagging Great White sharks, kiwi conservation, extreme sports, arctic adventures, giant eels and current affairs.

The birth of a new video action camera

Interview by Gilbert Peterson

What led you to develop a new underwater video camera? Earlier we had developed a camera for angling and Martin, being a diver, felt there was the need for a dedicated action camera. So after some months of him bringing up the idea at every possible opportunity, we decided to make one. What were the shortcomings of other cameras that you wanted to overcome, and what problems or issues did you find you had to address? All action cameras on the market are made to be as all-round as possible. But having an extra housing is fiddly and a cause for

Above: co-founders of Paralenz Martin Holmberg, CEO left, with Michael Trøst, CIO to the right

Paralenz based in Denmark

has developed an underwater video camera with several advanced unique new features (see Tester’s Verdict opposite). So we asked Michael Trøst, CIO and founder of Paralenz’ parent company, more about the project, what obstacles they had to overcome, and what’s been achieved. Images from the Paralenz camera 37

concern when under water, the buttons are too small and you cannot feel them when you press them. You must use colour filters. They do not record long enough. The list goes on. Overall, diving makes some extreme demands on the gear that were not being met. Who was the camera intended for, its market? We carried out polls on diver forums, and talked to divers and dive shop owners, asking about what they currently use for video and if they liked it. We found out most of them wished for more but to do that they needed to spend a lot and learn a lot to get to the next level. This camera is for anyone who would like to record video under water, and would rather have a camera dedicated to that than an all-round camera. When was the first prototype ready and how far has it changed from there to the fully finished product? We have developed products for clients for over 15 years, and we have a workshop with everything in the way of machines that you can wish for, and we know how to use them. The first models we made were of various sizes, and we had divers try them out to find the right size. We made different buttons and tested those as well. When we were happy with the design we held a huge number of meetings with suppliers in China to find the right ones. Then when we were sure it was doable we went on Kickstarter. The cameras we used in the video are 3D printed prototypes. What technical obstacles did you encounter during product development? We had a lot of technical obstacles in production. We have changed the lens, the image sensor, hall sensors, magnets and all the moulded parts as well. It’s one thing to know what we would like to do, and another to produce what is possible. We have 17 factories making special parts, so communication is properly the biggest task. Have you taken out patents as a result of the technical development of the camera?

38 Dive New Zealand | Dive Pacific

And will your camera become the market leader? We have not taken any patents, and we built on known technology but used it in a way appropriate for diving. The Depth Colour Correction (DCC) we may have to patent at a later stage. But no other camera can put depth and temperature in your recordings and this one does not need colour filters. It will be some months yet before we can tell if divers like it as much as we do. There are some cameras just for diving, Intova for instance, but GoPro is still the benchmark for image quality, and most divers have owned one at some point. How was the project funded?  Was funding an issue? We have had no investors other than 1250 divers from crowdfunding. The rest of the investment required was covered by work for other clients and a bank loan. It is costly to start a production like this. We have used more than 15,000 man hours, and buying components must be done in large quantities or you cannot afford them. Many components we must buy at 5000 to 20,000 at a time. I understand you used Kickstarter. Did this present any special challenges and benefits? Kickstarter is a great way to get funding, but the process does require a lot of work. Especially before the campaign starts. You must reach a lot of people who might be interested in buying, so the product needs to start selling right €ay, or it will not be funded.

I understand you enlisted 25 testers of the camera located in 35 countries. How were these people identified and recruited? We also got all the A-testers from Kickstarter. We made 50 A-tester pledges (what they call the products on Kickstarter) for each continent so who ever bought them became an A-tester. How would you describe the feedback from the A testers overall? The A-testers have been invaluable. Besides testing and bringing new ideas, we asked about their preferences whenever there was a choice to be made, and this makes it possible to choose what most divers would prefer. They have played a big part in the development! For a layperson, are the video images produced by the camera of broadcast quality? Or is it aimed more for playing on web and social media platforms? The image quality is very good. The sensor is very light sensitive and this coupled with the DCC makes it possible for anyone to shoot great video under water. I think many professionals could gain something from adding this to their setup, and it also adds a subtitle with depth and temperature that can be useful to couple with other recordings done at the same time. What is its availability in Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific? At present it is only available from our web shop. We will ship out of New Zealand to Australia and it will become available in dive stores over the coming months.

TECHNICAL SPECS Battery life: Insulated for cold water diving. Max recording time is over two hours in 4K! Charging: Fully charged within 1-2 hours with the USB-C cable. App: Makes snaps of your movies to place on your dive profile precisely where you took them. Tags: Tag your recording on the dive by the press of a button. Material: Military grade aluminium allows dives to 200m with no added housing. Mounting: A unique T-rail mounting system snaps the camera easily onto all accessories. Sound: Yes, internal microphone Price: For a rough guide only in the EU, =C 649 incl. taxes; in US/Asia $US599 excl. taxes.

SEA TECH HAS YOU COVERED SEA TECH has been supplying divers with their photographic and lighting requirements for over 20 years! Check out our vast product range online. Your professional dive store can assist.

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Why you should consider becoming NITROX qualified By Charles Davis

Nitrox or more precious Enriched Air Nitrox – EAN – has been available to recreational divers for over two decades but is still not well understood by many divers. In fact, one training agency called it Safe Air.


does have its benefits but also has risks so the term Safe Air is misleading. Let’s get some basic concepts and terms down before diving into the pros and cons of EAN. Enriched Air Nitrox is created by adding additional oxygen to the compressed air filling your scuba tank. The air that surrounds us is approximately 78% nitrogen and 21% oxygen. By adding oxygen we change that ratio. In scuba diving, we identify the percentage of oxygen in our cylinders. If the cylinder has 32% oxygen we refer to it as EAN32.

at a certain depth and ascend directly to the surface with the nitrogen level in our system still at an acceptable level. This is the No Decompression Limit or NDL. If we go beyond our NDL, then we must make decompression stops on the way to the surface.

That raises the question, what good does that do you? Honestly, the extra oxygen does little for you. It is the decrease in nitrogen that is the key to the success of EAN. Using EAN either: • Extends your bottom time for a specific depth or • Decreases your risk for a specific depth

The benefit of using EAN at depths is that there is less nitrogen available to be forced into our tissues that has to be removed, to surface safely. Let’s look at some examples. Imagine a great dive to 25m using standard air. At around 29 minutes you would reach your NDL. If you used EAN32 (32% oxygen) we can stay for 37 minutes, which allows over 20% more bottom time. If I use EAN38 (38% oxygen), my NDL extends to 56 minutes. In this example using EAN38 and possibly also with EAN32, we shift our limiting factor. But many divers will use Nitrox while maintaining their air NDL, or set their computers for air to create larger margin of safety.

As you know, when we dive the increase in pressure impacts on the amount of gases in our bloodstream and in our tissues. More nitrogen enters our bodies. As we return to the surface that nitrogen needs to leave our body. Having too much nitrogen in our system can cause decompression illness. Scientific studies have determined how long we can stay

You will often hear people say that with Nitrox you can go deeper. That is not 100% true. In fact it could be 100% deadly. Using air at 25m our NDL is 29 minutes. However, using EAN32 we can dive to 33m before needing a 29 minute NDL. So it could be that you can dive deeper if you are just comparing depth and a set NDL. But there is a limit.


40 Dive New Zealand | Dive Pacific

The risks of EAN A thing that irritates me when I read a news article about scuba diving is when a reporter calls our scuba tanks oxygen tanks. Except for very limited use in technical diving, and as a first aid measure on the surface, we do not use pure oxygen. The very simple reason is that it can kill us. At a high partial pressure oxygen (ppO2 ) can become toxic causing our bodies to go into convulsions and shutting down our organs. Each of our body’s will react differently but having a ppO2 of 2.0 is considered lethal. Recreational divers are trained never to exceed a ppO2 of 1.6 and to plan their dives using a ppO2 of 1.4. The NDL times used in the examples above used the 1.4 limit. When we plan our dive with air we concern ourselves with nitrogen intake expressed as NDL and how long the air will last. The ppO2 does not come into play because we will not reach the 1.4 ppO2 until we are past 56m. Our NDL and air supply will not let us go that deep with a single tank, and return safely to the surface. However, if we were to go on a deep dive to 40m, the limit of recreational diving, air would give us 9 minutes and for most divers the NDL would be the controlling factor of the dive. Using EAN38 at that depth would give us a 1.90 ppO2 , well outside the safety limit

for recreational divers and possibly lethal. Even using EAN32 would put us above the planning limit and at the edge of the safety limit. These issues require training. Oxygen content of every EAN cylinder must be verified EAN divers are responsible for verifying the oxygen content of their cylinder before each dive. Cylinders containing Nitrox must be marked. Using a gauge, they check the oxygen content, calculate their Maximum Operating Depth or MOD, and record both on a log. They also mark a sticker on the tank with the MOD and oxygen percentage. The MOD tells the diver how deep they can go before reaching the 1.40 ppO2 limit. Get trained as Nitrox diver Nitrox has no benefit to offset the additional cost if you are diving at 10m or shallower. The air supply will give out long before the NDL time is reached. Beyond that depth a shift occurs where the NDL becomes the controlling factor. When you can choose to increase your dive time you get more options. The training course to be certified to use EAN is short. The theory segment explains the descriptions above in more detail, and shows you how to analyse your gas supply. It requires just two open water dives. Many dive schools will combine open water training or advanced open water training with an EAN diver course requiring just one extra dive. One more thing. Many divers report feeling fresher after diving with Nitrox but scientific studies have provided no evidence Nitrox boosts your energy levels or reduces fatigue. 41


Top place to become a Dive Instructor or just learn to dive


rowing up I always dreamt of having a job that let me travel the world, chasing the sun. Some of my mates wanted to be firefighters, doctors, lawyers. Not me. At the time I had no idea how I was going to make it happen but I knew I wanted sun and saltwater. After I tried my first dive, blew my first bubbles, I never looked back. Within the year I was a qualified instructor and moved to Europe to work around the Mediterranean. Over there Kiwis and Aussies are known as hard workers, and within one short year and I was managing my first dive centre in Cyprus, an historically rich country, with great food, wine and adventure. Though this industry is the hardest I have worked in, I would change nothing. The memories, adventures and people I’ve met have taught me more than years in a classroom ever could. The world seemed to be my office, but now my office is one of the smallest of the world’s countries by population, Niue.

By Shannon Hunter Niue is an ideal location for learning to become a Dive Instructor, or just learning to dive. If you are averse to a relaxed pace of life, coconut palms fringing the roads and coastline, friendly people, and world class diving, then perhaps not so. Niue offers all this and more. The land and seascapes are amongst the best: terrestrial and submarine caves and caverns to explore, wall dives and abyssal drop-offs. Niue also boasts the world’s best visibility and clearest ocean water, and much easier to get to than Pitcairn Island. Water clarity is attributed to no rivers or waterways creating silt or runoff, meaning all you get is crystalline waters and incredible photo opportunities. Niue has the endangered coconut crab, a native Katuali Seasnake, Spinner Dolphins and many more gorgeous animals waiting to get to know you, and only a three hour flight from Auckland.

Very few dive centres in the world have both an Instructor Trainer and an Instructor Certifier working in them, certainly none in Australia, New Zealand, or elsewhere in the South Pacific. The sole exception is Buccaneer Adventures Niue Dive, in Niue.

If you’re not ready to give up the corporate life and become a Dive Pro, Buccaneer Adventures Niue Dive also offers a one day experience SCUBA programme, an entry level Open Water Diver for the non-diver, and Advanced and speciality courses. . Dive Master Internship programmes are offered on request. There are also fun dive tours for those just wanting to enjoy their holiday.

Buccaneer Adventures Niue Dive has allowed me the opportunity to train a new generation of Dive Instructors, the next generation of people who feel they don’t want to waste their drive and enthusiasm in an office, people who want to travel and explore. In this industry you truly can do it.

Buccaneer Adventures Niue Dive is the longest running, and most experienced operator in Niue and where prospective dive pros can be assured their training will be first class; their instructors have over 50 years diving industry experience between them.

A general Instructor Training Course takes approximately 10 days, including the examinations. It’s delivered over an entire month and, along with accommodation, dives, Instructor Training Course, Instructor Exams, and the opportunity to deliver some teaching experience, the investment required is $NZ4500. This would generally be the cost anywhere else of the 10 day programme on its own. And we have all the staff in house required to support your training. Buccaneer Adventures Niue Dive offers more than just an internship or an Instructor Training Course. We offer a taste of the wider industry. This will be your best experience ever… Trust me, 15 years in the dive industry and the only direction I’m looking is ahead. Yes it will be hard, but nothing great ever comes easily, and in this ever changing industry there is always room for growth, ongoing training, and experience that other industries can only envy. I have never regretted my decision to become a dive professional. It opened up the world, and gives me vital “vitamin sea”! This could certainly be the opportunity and direction you are looking for, in an industry that presents many challenges, and a career in an amazing world still waiting to be fully discovered. I look forward to joining you on your journey and passing on my experience to the next generation of dive professionals. Come to Niue for our Instructor Programme at the end of this year. Best fishes from Niue, the rock of Polynesia.

42 Dive New Zealand | Dive Pacific

Holidaying in Neptune’s playground


iue, one the best dive destinations on earth, unspoiled and untouched, offers an authentic Pacific Island experience close by though a world away from city life. The Scenic Matavai Resort, the island’s only full service resort, is an excellent base from which to explore ‘the Rock’ and all it has on offer: by walking, bicycle or car, or have one of the local tourism operators to come by and pick you up. They’ll be pleased to do so, for an outing like no other.

below the Resort’s terrace. Spinner dolphins frequently come by too, to revel in these clear, warm waters and sheltered bays. Since Niue is one of the few places anywhere on the planet where people can enjoy land based whale watching, viewing platforms and binoculars have been installed at strategic points around the island. But for those seeking a closer encounter there’s the

opportunity to swim with the humpbacks and dolphins, which has to be the biggest marine encounter of all, and a big tick off any bucket list. Back on land the hospitality on the Resort’s expansive outdoor terrace and dining area, the setting is one of the most spectacular seascapes, second to none and where stories are shared and splendid sunsets enjoyed.

Fine dining at Niue’s Scenic Matavai Resort

But if it’s a marine encounter that you want, Niue is a veritable Neptune’s playground, where a myriad of fish species and coral are to be found beneath Niue’s pristine waters, and with plenty of marine action at the surface too. The island is renowned the world over for its natural, animal friendly dolphin and humpback whale encounters, and visitors between July and October can be lucky enough to experience these incredible mammals from the terrace of the Matavai Resort. Many guests have marvelled at the whale gymnastics in the ocean directly 43

Why Wakatobi?

Ocean bungalows on the north end of the resort. Photo by Didi Lotze

Here’s a dozen reasons By Walt Stearns

Wakatobi Resort consistently ranks as one of the world’s top-rated diving and snorkelling destinations, but what exactly does that mean? Here’s a dozen reasons why Wakatobi remains top of so many divers’ bucket lists.

Protection pays

In an era where even the most remote diving destinations are subject to the effects of human activity, a policy of managed and enforced environmental protection is the only way to assure the health of the underwater ecosystem. Wakatobi Resort lies within a marine reserve created and operated by the resort’s founders covering more than 20 kilometres of reef line. The Wakatobi Collaborative Reef Conservation Programme created in the mid – 1990s is a no-take zone encompassing some of the region’s most spectacular and biologically44 Dive New Zealand | Dive Pacific

rich underwater landscapes. All destructive forms of fishing have been eliminated, dive sites are protected by permanent moorings, and a strict no-touch policy is in place. As a result, fish populations have increased, and corals have returned to near-pristine status.

High critter counts Wakatobi Resort is located in the area known as the Coral Triangle which contains the planet’s highest levels of marine bio-diversity. On the reefs surrounding the resort, divers and snorkellers can tally more than 500 varieties of hard and soft

corals, 2,000-plus species of fish life and thousands more invertebrates. Healthy reefs attract swarms of colourful tropicals, while schooling fish patrol the edges of walls and the tops of underwater seamounts.

Part of the solution Wakatobi’s Collaborative Reef Conservation Programme hasn’t just put a halt to destructive fishing practices and reef degradation, it creates a sustainable alternative whereby healthy reefs become a source of revenue for the local community. A portion of all guest

Wakatobi’s boats are like floating docks, making for a very desirable dive platform Photo by Walt Stearns

Protection pays off, which is why photographers find a degree of nirvana on Wakatobi’s reefs – between the spectacular clarity, a high degree of marine life diversity and some of the healthiest and pristine corals they are likely to encounter in the Indo-Pacific Photo by Glen Cowans 45

Wakatobi guests can dine on the patio Photo by Didi Lotze revenues make direct lease payments to the area’s villages and sustain other community initiatives for education, clean water and electrification. By giving the surrounding community a stake in preserving the reefs, Wakatobi has transformed local attitudes to encourage a sense of stewardship. With many reefs attaining the status of fish breeding sanctuaries, local fishermen are finding their catch enhanced within designated fishing zones.

Bobtail squid Photo by Walt Stearns

46 Dive New Zealand | Dive Pacific

Cruising in comfort

Underwater diversity

Wakatobi Resort operates a fleet of custombuilt 21m dive boats with shaded decks, spacious benches, dedicated gear storage, and a separate camera table. Water entry is from the middle of the boat keeping divers well away from engine exhaust. Boat crews deliver personal service, with thorough briefings provided before each dive, and with each guest given attention to ensure safety and maximum diving freedom.

Many dive sites surrounding Wakatobi Resort begin as shallow reefs then transition dramatically to steep slopes or walls. The topography means divers can log bottom times of up to 70 minutes while remaining within a no-stop dive profile. At certain locations you can make extended drift dives. Night dives showcase a different cast of marine characters too, with unique fluorescing of corals and other marine life on show.

Chromodoris nudibranchs are one of many varieties spotted on Wakatobi’s reefs Photo by Walt Stearns

A shore with more Directly in front of the resort is the House Reef, one of the world’s number one shore dives. Exploring the vast area is as easy as wading in. Divers have been known to spend entire days working along just small areas. Inshore of the reef, a seagrass meadow shelters a menagerie of juveniles, invertebrates and sand-wellers.

Snorkellers welcome Though it’s a dive resort, Wakatobi is a great place for snorkellers too. As well as

the House Reef, corals rise to the surface at dozens of other sites. Snorkellers are given all the personal attention, with guides on hand. Mixing diving and snorkelling allows groups and families to better share the experience.

Apres dive Guests who don’t spend every possible moment in or under the water have plenty of other options: kayaking, stand up paddleboarding and wakeboarding. Between May and September, light seasonal winds make Wakatobi ideal for kite surfing.

Those who prefer the land can indulge in a spa visit, wander a nature trail, tour a local village or sign up for an Indonesian cooking or culture class.

Barefoot luxury The phrase is a bit cliché now but how else do you describe a place where spa services, fine dining, attentive personal service and million-dollar ocean views blend with beachfront bungalows amongst a palm grove, and private villas perch on the shoreline? 47

The reefs of Wakatobi have such a brilliant nature it is easy to take in the big picture Photo by Walt Stearns

Ditch the diet Wakatobi kitchen staff include internationally-trained chefs, with each meal another opportunity to showcase their talents, from international favorites to Indonesian specialties. Wakatobi’s culinary team accommodate a wide range of dietary requirements and wishes, and are always happy to handle special requests.

Warmth of the welcome Guests are welcomed with the same genuine warmth as if invited into a private home. When staff members smile and greet you by name, it’s no gimmick. They take pride in going the extra mile to deliver personal service, making sure you want for nothing, while at the same time respecting individual privacy.

Remote yet accessible Wakatobi is located on a small island hundreds of miles from city lights, but getting there is easy, thanks to private, direct charter flights from Bali. The trip to the resort’s airstrip is 2.5 hours. Wakatobi

The reefs of Wakatobi sport many varieties of frogfish, including the unique painted frogfish Photo by Walt Stearns 48 Dive New Zealand | Dive Pacific

maintains airport concierge staff in Bali, and a VIP airport lounge for guests. The concierge team assists with transfer details, and can arrange hotels, transportation and activities if you wish to make a Bali layover. Once at the resort, guests can choose to tune out, though full connectivity is still on hand when needed through a combination of Internet, cellular and satellite links.

A stay at Wakatobi Resort is truly a worldclass, idyllic vacation, but to discover all there is on offer you need to go there yourself. More at Email

Blue water on the right, blue water on the left, an impressive reef down the centre. That is the majesty and diversity of the site known as Blade Photo by Walt Stearns

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of California’s

By Paul Caiger

The engine falls away to an idle, rousing me from slumber below deck. We are approaching our first dive site after a three hour journey from Ventura in southern California. After boarding the boat the previous night, the skipper cast off at 3 am and it is now 6.30 am, the sun is rising along with our excitement levels with the prospect of what is to come.


hough situated in 20 metres of water tucked in behind Gull Island, the kelp is matted thickly on the surface. Californian sea lion heads pop up intermittently. “Gates are open” is the call from the skipper, and he needn’t say it twice. We giant stride into the giant kelp below, and it’s really quite something being immersed in the three dimensional maze of kelp; those first moments flying through an undersea forest are forever etched in my mind. In 1980, Congress designated Anacapa, San Miguel, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz and Santa Rosa Islands and 125,000 acres of surrounding waters, a national

50 Dive New Zealand | Dive Pacific

park, because they possess unique natural and cultural resources. Boy, did Congress get that one right! Those named are five of the eight Channel Islands in southern California, home to a breath-taking array of animal diversity and colour. Though tantalisingly close to major populations centres along California’s coastline, the Channel Islands isolation and the protection of their national park status has kept them largely undeveloped. The first things that stand out are the giant kelp itself, and the legions of sea lions darting in and out like fighter

pilots. But we quickly come to see there is an extremely rich diversity here. Other iconic animals are easily seen, such as the state fish of California, the gaudily coloured garibaldi. The sheephead wrasse is another famous inhabitant, and in the protective waters of the marine reserves, these distinctive, bold black-and-red predators often come in close for a curious look. Sheephead fill a similar ecological role to our own snapper in New Zealand, feasting on sea urchins, and in doing so allow the kelp to flourish. We dived both inside and outside no-take zones, and whilst there were

Channel Islands accessible, unforgettable

dozens of very large sheephead on each dive inside, we failed to see a single large adult outside! This at dive sites just a couple of kilometres apart. Due to the structure of the kelp reaching from seafloor to surface, the extra habitat it affords greatly increases the number of fishes finding shelter here. It also provides an opportunity for different species to find their own unique niche; the sheer diversity is testament to this. We see kelp bass hovering amongst the fronds, schools of opaleyes (like our parore) and seaperches soaring through the canopy. Shoals of blacksmith – the two-spot demoiselle equivalent of the

Channel Islands – gather en masse. Mini cigar-shaped wrasses called senoritas fill one’s vision at every turn. Perhaps my favourite were the many flavoured rockfishes (Sebastidae), if nothing else than for their variety. This family of fishes, closely related to the scorpionfish, has undergone a remarkable adaptive radiation, with around 130 species found up and down the west coast of America and Canada. We would easily have counted 15 different species over the course of our few dives. Invertebrates also take advantage of this immense structural haven. Crabs and

gastropods abound in many of the kelp’s surfaces, feeding off the kelp itself or the plethora of mini crustaceans harboured by it. The deep ocean is not far away from the outer side of the islands, with pelagic animals often seen on clear days. Ocean sunfish, dolphins and soupfin sharks were all sighted by our liveaboard party during the trip. Liveaboards are certainly the best way to maximise any dive trip in terms of the time they allow underwater, this trip being no different. Twelve dives over two days is certainly bang for buck! And there are no shortage of options at either Ventura or Santa Barbara. Liveaboards 51

also offer the opportunity for a night dive, accompanied by Avatar-like phosphorescence! The northern hemisphere’s late summer and autumn are probably the best time, when the water is at its clearest, and the weather is more reliable with minimal winds. Autumn water temperatures are relatively warm (16–19°C), and ok in wetsuits. However, in these rich temperate

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seas I was glad to be in my drysuit to maximise the multi-dive days on offer. While we made the most of our two days at the islands, the trip left me longing for more. Perhaps next time a camping trip on the islands combined with another liveaboard is the ticket!

Paul Caiger contributes Dive magazine’s Species Focus, a marine biologist who is passionate about the oceans, its inhabitants, and pretty much nature in general. He completed his post graduate studies at the Leigh Marine Lab adjacent to New Zealand’s first marine reserve at Goat Island where he spent a lot of time because he found it such a hard place to leave!

He is currently based in Woods Hole in the NE of the US, where he has an 18 month research contract with NOAA’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center studying the

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Getting there: Los Angeles to Ventura, from where many charter boats operate, is a 90 minute drive. Best time of year: The Channel Islands can be dived year round though conditions are at their best in late summer and autumn. Weather: Summers and autumn are warm, with rainy, stormy days in winter, and decent swells. Average day time temperatures mirror water temperatures of 8–12°C in winter to 20–25°C in summer. 95% of the rain falls between November and April. Visibility: Water visibility ranges from 5m to 25m or more, as dictated by currents and storms, and also seasonal plankton growth. Best visibility is during settled weather and after the summer plankton bloom subsides, around August or September (reliably 10-15 m +). Water temp: Temperatures range from 10–12°C late winter to 20–21°C late summer, with coolness due to the upwelling system near Pt. Conception. Note: the water is warmer at the southern Channel Islands south of LA.

High Pressure Compressor Specialists 53



in diving accidents:

Just the C or the PR too?

Professor Simon Mitchell, University of Auckland In the modern setting it is rare to hear a discussion of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) without someone mentioning the issue of ‘compression only CPR’ (chest compressions without expired air resuscitation). Since resuscitation of injured divers is an unpleasant possibility that we all must confront, the subject of compression only CPR is sometimes raised in the context of diving (several times recently in on-line diving forums). There are substantial misunderstandings about this issue in the diving community, and it is a subject worthy of clarification in the pages of Dive Magazine.


irst, a little non-diving background. Traditional CPR, as most people will know, involves taking an airway – breathing – circulation (ABC) approach to resuscitation of a person who collapses and becomes unresponsive. In this paradigm, a person who collapses will have their responsiveness challenged by some sort of stimulation, and if apparently unconscious, their airway will be opened by the first responder. If there is no breathing the rescuer will then deliver expired air resuscitation (EAR) typically using a mouth to mouth technique. This is followed by a check for a pulse, and if there is no obvious pulse, chest compressions will be undertaken to establish circulation. The subsequent ratio of breaths to compressions has typically been considered dependent on whether there are one or two rescuers, but these details are irrelevant to this discussion. Early this decade a series of studies was published in the medical science literature that appeared to demonstrate that CPR in which the rescuers performed chest compressions only resulted in superior outcomes to CPR where the rescuers tried to perform both compressions and breaths. The results of three studies were analysed together. In these studies, subjects suffering cardiac arrest were randomly assigned to receive compression-only CPR or conventional CPR (compressions plus breaths) by an emergency dispatcher who instructed untrained first responders (by phone) in undertaking the assigned technique. This analysis showed a small but significant increase in survival (absolute increase 2.4%, number needed to treat = 41) when compression only CPR was used. The latter means that one extra victim survived for every 41 victims managed with compression

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only CPR. These studies excluded cases in which there was intervention by bystanders trained in CPR, and consequently, they have been criticised as simply demonstrating that it is easier to instruct untrained laypeople in chest compressions alone than in compressions plus breaths via the telephone in an emergency. It was a controversial finding, but there is some plausibility.

…In a diving rescue it is not possible to tell if the victim is in respiratory but not cardiac arrest, but if that is the situation (and we would hope it is), then the only realistic chance of saving the victim is to stop them going into cardiac arrest in the first place. Thus, rescue breaths (breaths as early as it is physically possible to administer them) may be the key lifesaving intervention in drowning… To be clear, these studies took place in the community where the the victim collapsed and stopped breathing because of a problem with their heart (a ‘community cardiac arrest’). Such events are typically caused by blockage of one of the arteries supplying blood to the heart (‘a heart attack’) or by a disturbance of the heart rhythm due to some other cause. The crucial point to emphasise is that in such situations, at around the time the heart stops, there is a ‘normal’ level of oxygen in the lungs because the victim was breathing normally right up to that point. Performing chest compressions circulates blood through the lungs, collecting some of that oxygen and carrying it to the vital organs like the brain. Although oxygenation is not optimal and will quickly become progressively less so, the study outcomes suggested that it was sufficient to ‘tide the

patient over’ until more expert medical care arrived. In addition to the fact that it appeared to work, compression only CPR had a number of other advantages. First it overcame the reluctance that bystanders often have in undertaking a complex process under pressure. If all they have to do is chest compressions, without having to remember the ratio of breaths to compressions, and different rates in one- or two-person CPR etc, then they are likely to experience less anxiety about starting CPR when it was needed. Similarly, compression only CPR mitigated concerns that first responders might have about communicable disease transmission if performing mouth to mouth EAR. Thus, compression only CPR offered the prospect of seeing many more victims of cardiac arrest in the community receive supportive care in a timely fashion. For all these reasons the technique has been widely promoted as a legitimate (and perhaps preferable) strategy in cardiac arrest, especially for responders with no training in proper CPR. Unfortunately the advice is frequently not contextualised accurately enough. Compression only CPR works in community cardiac arrest because the cardiac arrest is due to a heart problem, and there is at least some oxygen in the lungs at the time. In contrast, in drowning the patient becomes hypoxic before the cardiac arrest; indeed, hypoxia is the eventual reason the heart stops. That is, as hypoxia worsens, breathing efforts cease and eventually, if the hypoxia is not corrected, there will also be a cardiac arrest. Compression only CPR will not work in this setting because there is effectively no oxygen to circulate.

Wherever I’m diving... I take DAN with me It is more complicated than that though. As implied above, in drowning there is a period between respiratory and cardiac arrest. If hypoxia can be corrected during this period then cardiac arrest may be prevented which, in reality, is the only thing likely to save a life out in the ocean. In a diving rescue it is not possible to tell if the victim is in respiratory but not cardiac arrest, but if that is the situation (and we would hope it is), then the only realistic chance of saving the victim is to stop them going into cardiac arrest in the first place. Thus, rescue breaths (breaths as early as it is physically possible to administer them) may be the key life-saving intervention in drowning.

…compression only CPR is not appropriate for use in cardiac arrest where drowning may be the cause (as it is in most diving related deaths)… Finally, one of the reasons that compression only CPR works in community cardiac arrest is that definitive emergency care frequently reaches the patient quickly. If paramedics can take over early in the event and restore oxygenation of the lungs, then compression only CPR may be enough to get by in the interim. However, it is likely to take longer to obtain expert support in typical diving situations, so compression only CPR is much less likely to be adequate. In conclusion, compression only CPR is not appropriate for use in cardiac arrest where drowning may be the cause (as it is in most diving related deaths). There is no substitute in diving for getting properly trained in CPR and practicing the technique regularly. Hopefully you may never need it, but if you do you may save a life. References: 1. Soar J, Perkins GD, Abbas G et al. European Resuscitation Council Guidelines for Resuscitation 2010 Section 8. Cardiac arrest in special circumstances: Electrolyte abnormalities, drowning, accidental hypothermia, hyperthermia, asthma, anaphylaxis, cardiac surgery, trauma, pregnancy, electrocution. Resuscitation 2010; 81: 1400–1433 2. Mitchell SJ, Bennett MH, Bird N et al. Recommendations for rescue of a submerged unconscious compressed gas diver. Undersea Hyperbaric Med 39, 1099–1108, 2012 55

GEARBAG AXIOM wins boat show Innovation Award for ‘showing sea floor as it is’ Raymarine’s AXIOM RealVision 3D Sonar won the New Zealand Boat Show Most Innovative International Product Award at the 2017 Hutchwilco New Zealand Boat Show in Auckland recently. The judges were full of praise for the innovative ‘all-in-one’ fish-finding system. They said “the AXIOM RealVision combines new 3D Sonar technology with CHIRP DownVision and CHIRP SideVision, and a unique gyro stabilisation system, to deliver astonishingly accurate images of the seabed, underwater structures and fish.” The AXIOM’s gyro stabilised 4-in-1 transducer nullifies the effects of wave action on the boat at the surface, eliminating false readings and showing the sea floor as it is. It comes with WiFi connectivity, giving instant access to Raymarine apps, feature updates and on demand weather. The 7-inch display sells for around $2500 and the top-of the line 9" display is around $3400.

New autopilot for trailer boats award-winner Just released is the Evolution EV-150 Hydraulic Autopilot System designed and engineered as cost effective for both medium to large trailer boats and smaller hydraulically-steered launches. The new EV-150 is claimed to be user friendly and accurate, simple to install and set-up and with completely automatic calibration. The EV-150 system is suitable for boats with a steering ram capacity between 80cc (4.9 cu. in.) and 230cc (14.0 cu. in.) and a 12-volt DC electrical system.

Rayglass Boats keep on winning way

Auckland boat manufacturer Rayglass Boats continued on their winning ways at the Hutchwilco New Zealand Boat Show this year. The Rayglass Legend 2500 won the Award for the All Purpose Family Boat Up To 8 Metres, and the Rayglass Legend 2800 won the Show’s All Purpose Family Boat Open category. The company’s enviable record now is since 2000 they have won a total of 33 Boat of the Show Awards, with the Overall Winner title (now Supreme Winner) six times. The Legend 2500, said to be easily New Zealand’s best-selling 7-metre GRP boat, is the most recognised boat in the awards’ history with seven; the Rayglass Legend 2800 has won six awards. Rayglass employs 60 people in three state of the art manufacturing facilities in Auckland, New Zealand.

Ultimate rapid USB charger made waterproof The new Scanstrut ROKK charge+ rapid-charge waterproof USB charger will charge devices up to three times faster than standard USB sockets, and is purposely designed to remain waterproof when charging regardless of the conditions. It has dual USB input sockets to charge two devices at once and can be used in both 12v and 24v systems. At 29mmH x 94mmL it can be mounted anywhere on board. Available nationwide from Lusty and Blundell’s network of leading marine dealers. 56 Dive New Zealand | Dive Pacific

No matter where you surface… “The most important piece of equipment every diver should carry.”


nowing the exact location of all divers in the water can be very reassuring for any boat skipper, especially if s/he knows they can locate the precise position where a diver surfaces anywhere within a six kilometre plus radius.

greatly increases the chances of rescuing any individual thanks to its ability to transmit both AIS and GPS data to the vessel from where they came and to all other AIS equipped vessels within a 6.4 kilometre (4 mile) radius.

The McMurdo Smartfind S10 AIS Diver Recovery Beacon claims all this and more, using AIS and GPS technology for a resurfacing diver can manually give out their location information.

The beacon features a built-in GPS receiver to transmit target survivor information, including structured alert messages, GPS position information and a unique identity number. Bearing and distance information are accurately transmitted and displayed on the AIS receiver or plotter screen, giving potential rescuers all the information they require to carry out a swift retrieval.

The beacon is just such a tool, both to assist with getting divers back onboard, as well as a last resort for the recovery of people in difficulty at sea, the man overboard scenario. Every time a diver resurfaces and activates the S10, their location is illustrated on the GPS chartplotter (when AIS capability is installed). It’s fully resettable so can be used multiple times. The unique device is waterproof to 60 metres, buoyant and compact, and it

The beacon will also regularly update position information, and comes with a five year battery storage life. It also features a flashing LED light to assist visual fixing and night-time location, and is easy to activate even when wearing gloves.

To recap, the Smartfind S10 AIS beacon: • Will transmit continuously a minimum of 24 hours • Uses both AIS and GPS technologies • Manual activation and can be turned on multiple times • Waterproof to 60 metres • 6.4 kilometre transmitting radius to AIS equipped craft and VTS land based stations • Transmits alert message, GPS position and a unique serial number • Bearing, range and location information are transmitted and displayed on an AIS receiver or GPS plotter screen • Small and light (150 gm, 5.29 oz) • Easy to activate. For more information about the Smartfind S10 AIS go to

SmartFind S10 an AIS rescue beacon made for divers • Sends your GPS position to your chart plotter • Compact, buoyant, submersible to 60m • 5 year battery life, 24h continuous operation

McMurdo products are available from these leading retailers: All Marine Whangarei Ph 09 438 4499 · Barton Marine Wellington Ph 04 385 1490 · Bivouac Outdoor Stores Ph 0800 248 6822 · Cater Marine Opua Ph 09 402 8292 · Equip Outdoors Hamilton Ph 07 829 8476 · Family Boats East Tamaki Ph 09 274 0511 · Hamills Tauranga Ph 07 578 0995, Te Awamutu 07 871 5857 · H & M Pascoe Whitianga Ph 07 866 5866 · Lighthouse Boat Supplies Mairangi Bay, Auckland Ph 09 444 3442 · Marine & Engineering Supplies Marsden Cove Ph 09 437 0661 · Mobile Systems Mt Maunganui Ph 07 575 2966 · Oddies Marine Picton Ph 03 573 8369 Outdoor Adventure Sports Ashburton Ph 03 3082493 · Outdoors Group Stores Ph 07 578 4148 · Rivers to Ranges Hastings Ph 06 878 7177 · Sailors Corner Westhaven, Auckland Ph 309 6153 Steves Marine Supplies Tauranga Ph 07 578 9593 · Shooters World Gore Ph 03 208 7456 · Southern Ocean Safety Equipment Bluff Ph 03 212 8893 · Trek’N’Travel Hamilton Ph 07 839 5681 Wild Outdoorsman Hokitika Ph 03 755 8947, Greymouth Ph 03 768 0206 · Woodbine Marine East Tamaki, Auckland Ph 09 265 1623 McMurdo emergency beacons are exclusively distributed by Absolute Marine 57

GEARBAG Balex boat loader has new owners Two Kiwi businessmen Daniel Given and Reon Oak (rt) of Gait International, have purchased Balex, the inventor of the automatic boat launch and retrieval system after it was put into liquidation. Given says he and Oak are very enthusiastic about the unique Kiwi innovation and its huge potential. “We have enormous confidence in the Balex Automatic Boat Loader’s future,” Given said. “It is incredibly well engineered, and utilizes the best in high precision components. The Balex Automatic Boat Loader (ABL) is simply far too good to be allowed to fail.” The Gait Group has been developing and manufacturing components from Asia for 25 years supplying to healthcare, automotive and hardware companies including F&P Appliances, F&P Healthcare and other internationally-renowned manufacturers.

Housing for Olympus Tough TG-5 camera

The Olympus range of Tough cameras has set the bench mark for compact cameras used using in extreme outdoors conditions. The TG-5 continues the legacy, and Nauticam also known for its benchmark quality, have just released their NA-TG5 housing for this camera with the following:. • Access to all camera controls • All controls clearly labelled • Easy to operate rotary locking latch • Optional handles with rubberized ergonomic grips • Fibre optic for external strobe triggering • Standard 52mm thread port for wet lenses • 100m Depth Rating

Housing only: $1450.00

58 Dive New Zealand | Dive Pacific

200DL introduces housing for Canon EOS 7D Mark II DSLR Camera Features include the following: • The new Dry Lock (DL) port system • All important camera functions are accessible • Numerous lens ports available for various lens • TTL circuitry option available • Vacuum valve included. • Rated to 60m Housing only: $2700.00 Prices current till 30th September 2017

Trade enquiries welcome.

All products come with full manufacturer’s warranties & New Zealand back-up service

New generation of private seaplane launched AKOYA, a small private plane developed by French company LISA Airplanes offers a new way to travel: the aircraft can land on water, snow, and land, ideal for accessing remote (dive) locations. At its destination the aircraft’s wings can be quickly folded for storage, literally in a garage. The two seater comes with a range of 2,000 km, a maximum speed of 250 km/h, and low fuel usage. The project’s specifications were to create an “all-terrain” aircraft that performs well and is aesthetically pleasing, comfortable, and easy to fly. The use of “Seafoil” patented technology enable the aircraft to take off from water on small wing-like fins under the aircraft similar to the hydrofoils now revolutionizing the world of sailing. Another feature is its retractable landing gear; it’s fitted with wheels and skis making it the only aircraft in the world that can take off from land or snow and land in a lagoon. Safety features include an integrated parachute to enable the aircraft and passengers to land safely in case of emergency. The AKOYA has been designed to comply with the US LSA (Light Sport Aircraft) regulations and similar to the CS-LSA (Certification Specifications for Light Sport Aeroplanes) in Europe.

New Humminbird delivers clearest imaging ever The next generation of the Humminbird boasts models featuring MEGA Imaging™ and AUTOCHART® Live vegetation and bottom hardness mapping. MEGA Imaging claims to deliver sonar frequency nearly 3-times greater than traditional 455 kHz frequencies, resulting in the clearest, sharpest underwater views while improving side and down imaging. AUTOCHART Live has expanded to offer users, in addition to mapping depth, the ability to map aquatic vegetation and changing bottom hardness.


Perseverance brings results


ongratulation to Mark Blomfield and Cameron Barton for not giving up on achieving a winning result in this fun competition. Both Mark and Cameron have been constant entrants to this competition over many years. What we have seen in their entries is a gradual improvement over time as they have improved their photography skills. They are truly great ambassadors for this competition’s primary goal of encouraging divers to have a crack at underwater photography. I would like at this time to remind entrants that the judges do not know the name of the entrant or the photographic equipment that is being used. This is important as it ensures that the judges’ decisions are totally impartial. The judges and the team at Dive New Zealand/Dive Pacific magazines look forward to receiving your personal masterpieces.

er Winn ry go , N Z . e t Ca ield

f ed anc lom Adv ark B


60 Dive New Zealand | Dive Pacific

The judges and the team at Dive New Zealand/Dive Pacific magazines look forward to receiving your personal masterpieces. See: click on Photo Competition. It’s free to enter. Thanks for taking the time to enter!

Congratulations to this issue’s winners: Advanced Category Winner: Congratulations Mark Blomfield, New Zealand.

The tiny pygmy seahorse presents a challenge for photographers, first in the finding, then in the shooting. Mark has proven himself both sharp-eyed and skilful in the use of super macro photography. But the real skills displayed here are patience and perseverance; the Bargibanti seahorse has a frustrating tendency to turn away from movement! Mark receives an Ikelite Gift Voucher for $100.

By Dave Moran, Editor at Lage

Judges’ Comments: A nice photo of this tiny and difficult-tofind creature. While our judges couldn’t quite agree on how this image should be cropped (left and right sides to produce a ‘true portrait’, or cropped to avoid central composition?) they did agree that the image should be cropped. With an image like this, it can sometimes be worth experimenting with different crops until you find the right one. A good profile shot of a difficult subject!

Bargibanti Pygmy Seahorse; Missool Island, Raja Ampat, Indonesia: Nikon D300, Sea&Sea housing, Nikon 105 macro lens with an Anthis + 10 diopter wet lens, Sea&Sea YS-D2 strobe – f/18, 1/100 sec, ISO 100.

S SE HA AF A DN E SZ O S HF A C DO E SL O FU R C OPL H OU O RT O P HGORTAOPGHR A I CP HCI CO M C OPM E PT EI TT IITOI ONN Mantis Shrimp; Boonsung Wreck, Thailand: Nikon D60, Aquatica housing, Nikon 16–85mm lens, 2 x Nikonos SB-105 strobes – f/13, 1/100 sec, ISO 200.

Advanced Highly Commended: Congratulations Dave Weeks, Calgary, Canada. Dave was diving amongst the abundant and varied sea life on the Boonsung Wreck in Thailand when he found this mantis shrimp walking around in open ground – an unusual event. Luckily he had his camera handy and was able to capture it for posterity – and a gift voucher for $75.

e nd e d mm a. Co ly a n a d h C H ig s ,

k d nce ee Adva ave W


Novice Category Winner: Congratulations, Andy Wingate, Queensland, Australia. Andy was diving around Cook Island in New South Wales in Australia when he bumped into this very angry fish. While it’s possibly a recently-mated male defending a nest site, it’s equally possible it could just be over-zealous in defending of its home turf – damselfish are known for their almost foolhardy level of aggression towards much-larger predators. Andy receives an Ikelite Gift Voucher for $75.

Judges’ Comments: You don’t see a mantis shrimp out walking around much; especially a colourful fellow like this one. Unfortunately, this composition is not doing it justice: this photo desperately needs some cropping done to it. Losing some of the negative space would have given it a greater impact and brought greater focus to a stunning subject that you’ve captured in focus and nicely posed. ‘Angry Damselfish’’; Cook Island, New South Wales, Australia: Nikon D810, Sea&Sea housing, Tokina fisheye lens, 2 x Sea&Sea YS-250Pro strobes – f/9, 1/125 sec, ISO 100, lens at 17mm.

Judges’ Comments: A well-composed image with eyes sharply in focus and a rare example of an image utilising central composition as a strength: a stunning full-face photo with a great non-distracting environmental background. An excellent example of get-close then closer-still – don’t fire until you see the whites of its teeth! We’d also love to know: what’s up with this fish’s forehead? Novice Highly Commended: Congratulations, Cameron Barton, New Zealand. The contrast between colours and the long exposure here have really worked well together to create this almost paint like image where the ubiquitous blue maomao operates almost as a backdrop to the red pigfish. Cameron’s made great use of a maomao cleaning station at Poor Knights Island, New Zealand and, with a little luck, turned these rather ordinary fish into a photo opportunity. Cameron receives an Ikelite Gift nded me Voucher for $50. m Z. o C n, N hly r to H ig B a

n ice Nov mero Ca

r inne yW or , Aus. g ate gate eC vic Win No y

An d

Judges’ Comments: A nice ‘stray pigfish in amongst the blue maomao’ shot. A little overcooked on the blue maomao undersides, which could have been avoided through dialling down and better positioning the strobes. If you have the raw image, you may be able to go back into Photoshop and correct some of this. With this slow shutter speed and low ambient light, using ‘rear curtain sync’ on your flash settings would have put the shadows/trails behind the fish instead of in front – though it can be tricky to implement correctly, it’s worth practising.

‘Slow-mo blue maomao’; Poor Knights Island, New Zealand: Canon 70D, Ikelite housing, 2 x Ikelite DS160 strobes – f/13, 1/2 sec, ISO 100. 61

(A) David Haintz

(A) Dave Weeks

(N) Nick Bell

(N) David Forsyth

Ikelite Underwater Systems are a world leader in the manufacture of top quality photographic equipment: Housings, strobes, and lighting for both still and video photography. Visit: for personal service email:

62 Dive New Zealand | Dive Pacific

(N) Steve Simmons

SEAFANZ is NZ's premier digital underwater photographic society. Visit: or email Colin: Ph: +64 (09) 410 3881. Andy Belcher workshops: One day foundation workshops and Adobe Lightroom workshops at his home in Maketu. Visit: or call 021 444 830.

Sea Tech is the official New Zealand distributor of Ikelite, Fantasea line, Recsea, Inon, Bigblue, Nauticam and other leading brands of under-water photographic equipment. Visit: for personal service email:

DIGITALIMAGING Hans Weichselbaum

Where do you save your photos? Safeguarding our precious shots is a major concern for us photographers.


Floppy disks from the distant past

t was simple in the days of film. Prints were put in an album and the film was stored in a box. In the digital age things got easier and more problematic at the same time. Digital photos are easy to save and copy, but can we retrieve our shots in 50 years’ time? Can our grandchildren access them in the next century?

In the last issue we looked at the question of file format. (How do you save your photos? – Dive NZ June/July issue). You might understand the concern if you ever found yourself trying to open a computer document written a few decades ago. As we saw last month we won’t have this worry with images, because there are only a handful of formats around and they are guaranteed to be readable well into the future. But what about the hardware?

Magnetic storage media: Floppy disks Have you tried to read data from a floppy disk recently? Younger readers won’t know what I am talking about, but floppies started as 8" disks in the 1970s. Then they shrank to 5¼", and finally the 3½" hardcover version took over in the late 1980s. If you still have some data on one of those larger floppies you can forget it. Drives for reading those gadgets are “rare to nonexistent”, to quote Wikipedia. You might still find an external USB device to read an old 3½” disk - but hurry, they won’t be around for much longer! You get the idea. The media on which you store your valuable photo collection is all-important.

Well, writable Blu-ray DVDs never saw the light but the main problem proved to be longevity. Computer written CDs, and especially DVDs, have a life expectancy that varies widely between manufacturers. Some disks are failing in less than 10 years, even when stored properly! If you leave a disk exposed to sunlight you can expect it to be unreadable within months. Commercial music CDs and video DVDs are still very popular and will be around for a long time, but they are produced through a different process and last much longer than those written with a computer DVD writer. Today you will hardly find writable CDs or DVDs in a computer store anymore. And this is a good thing because we now use USB sticks for transferring files and hard disk drives for long-term storage. If you still have valuable files stored on optical media you should urgently transfer them onto a hard disk.

Magnetic storage media (again): Hard disk drives Hard disk drives (HDD) have been around for a very long time. I remember my first computer in the 1980s sporting an 80 MB hard drive. Today’s drives work on the same principles but have a much higher storage density. However most computers today, especially laptops and tablets, have a limited storage capacity and in most case you’ll want to store your images on an external hard disk. This is by far the best solution. You can get a 5 TB drive (that’s 5000 GB!) for around $275, and there are external drives of that size available that are USB powered and

Optical storage media: CDs and DVDs Once floppy disks became too small to handle the huge volumes of digital files we produced, writable CDs and later DVDs came on the market. At first we all thought that DVDs with their capacity of 4.5 GB (and writable Blu-ray DVDs just round the corner) would be the answer to all our storage problems. 63

USB ‘Thumb Drive’ and USB Pocket Flash Drive

don’t need a separate power supply, although they tend to be a bit more expensive. If you have a very large video collection and want to have all your files on one drive, you might want to go for an 8 TB drive (about $460). Today’s hard disks are very reliable but they can fail – we’ll discuss that problem in a minute – and you can get special ‘rugged’ hard drives which are very forgiving in case you drop them accidentally, or work in a dusty or wet environment.

Semiconductor Storage Media: Solid State Drives Solid state drives (SSD) are the latest type of storage media. They have no moving mechanical components, will survive a severe fall, are not affected by magnetic fields and will tolerate a wide temperature range. They also have a superior data transfer speed though that’s not important for archiving photos. Their only drawback is the price. They are

64 Dive New Zealand | Dive Pacific

roughly four times more expensive than conventional hard disks, and you will hardly find an external SSD with more than 2 TB capacity (around $1500). We know from our camera memory cards that solid state memory also wears out and it can fail, especially through power outages. But a failure is much less likely than with a conventional hard drive.

Safety First! There is also the option of cloud storage as an online backup. Needless to say your files are not stored in the clouds but on somebody else’s computer. This comes with drawbacks in terms of security and reliability but it is said to be very safe and you have all the advantages of getting access to your files anywhere and from any device. The convenience of having all our files on an external (or internal) hard drive must not make us complacent. Every hard drive is going to fail one day. The list of possible disasters waiting to happen is long: dropping

your laptop, loss through theft, a stroll through a magnetic field, overheating, a power surge, fire or flood damage… And let’s not forget computer viruses, or simple wear and tear that one day makes your data inaccessible. Today, with affordable external hard drives, there is no excuse for not having a duplicate of your irreplaceable photo collection as a backup. Ideally you should have a third copy stored safely at a different location. There is no doubt our current hard drives will follow floppy disks and writable DVDs into extinction. However, for the foreseeable future your photo collection is safe on an external hard disk – as long as you have a secure backup!


Sand flounder ~Rhombosolea plebeia By Paul Caiger


he New Zealand sand flounder is a member of the right-eyed flounder family Pleuronectidae. In New Zealand there are also left-eyed flounders (Bothidae) and soles (Soleidae) and these are the most commonly encountered flatfish in coastal New Zealand waters, familiar to snorkellers, divers and other fishermen alike. They are most commonly found in shallow bays, estuaries and harbours where they comfortably live in water depths of less than a metre lying on the bottom partially covered in mud or sand where their camouflage protects them well from predators. When approached carefully by divers they usually remain still. At night they are much more active, ambushing mobile invertebrates such as crustaceans, worms and brittlestars, whilst inadvertently ingesting seaweed and detritus. Like other flatfishes, the sand flounder undergoes a remarkable metamorphosis. It begins life as a normal looking fish larva, swimming upright (laterally compressed) and with one eye on each side of its body. As it progresses through the various larval stages, firstly feeding off its yolk-sac, then on small planktonic prey, it gradually moves one eye around to the right side. During this metamorphosis, swimming as an odd-shaped larva can be awkward and exhausting, and is sure to contribute greatly to mortality. By the time it reaches settlement stage, the fish is dorso-ventrally flattened like the flatfish we know. It now

moves by undulating its marginal fins, whilst capable of rapid bursts with its tail when spooked. As an adult flounder, the colouration varies markedly, adopting the colour and pattern of the surrounding substrate via special pigments in the skin. The underside is a pearly white. The unusual, twisted shape of the mouth is due to the movement of the skull and bones as the left eye migrates to the right side. Flounders have no swim bladder, and only leave the seafloor for courtship and spawning, which they do after a couple

of years, moving to deeper waters up to 50 metres in depth. From then on in they migrate back and forth to shallow waters in spring-summer and spawning grounds in autumn-winter. The sand flounder is also a popular eating fish. Recreational fishers catch them with beach seines, setnets or spears, in harbours and estuaries and even on surf beaches. They are also commercially important, and harvested commercially with trawls and setnets. Traditionally, Maori would use wooden spears, using light from burning torches made of pine to spot them at night on the shallow sand and mudflats.

Sand flounder ~Rhombosolea plebeia

1 A right eyed flounder. 2 Endemic to New Zealand. 3 In Ma-ori, known as patiki, although this refers to several flounder species in general.

4 Also known as New Zealand dab, diamond, tinplate, square flounder.

5 Begins life with eyes on each side of the body. 6 Are known to be omnivorous as larvae, eating algae and spores in addition to zooplankton.

7 Adults reach about 45 cm in length. 8 Short lived, living only 3–4 years.. 65

DIVING THE WEB Phil Bendle e:

Tony Wu was the winner of the 2016 underwater section of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year with his photo Snapper Party. The link will take you to his gallery page with links on the left of various subjects.

There are fears that five sunken vessels off Indonesia, which are the graves of 2,200 people, may have been salvaged for metal. An international investigation has been launched into the mysterious disappearance of three Dutch Second World War shipwrecks which have vanished from the bottom of the Java Sea.

This an interesting site on the World of Molluscs by Robert Nordsieck, a German living in Vienna. The link opens a page on the cone shell. There is also a video of this shell, the world’s most venomous animal.

Videos of the top 30 Wreck Dives in the World. There are two videos Part 1 Part 2

Jack Perks is a marine and natural history cameraman, who mainly worked on BBC Nature series. He is a freelance film maker primarily working underwater. He also undertakes commissions, filming for conservation groups.

Historically the UK has been home to some of the world’s most prestigious underwater photography competitions. To view UK Underwater Photography Competition photos, click link to download the 2017 Yearbook (27Mb).

66 Dive New Zealand | Dive Pacific

More information on Dive Stores, Clubs & Travel at


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

NORTHLAND 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 E: (DNZ163)

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., (DNZ161) 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: (DNZ161) 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: (DNZ162) Dive HQ Whangarei 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: (DNZ162) 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, Qualmark endorsed, PADI 5 star IDC; air fills, nitrox, gear hire. Shed 7 with salt-water pool and training 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: (DNZ162)

AUCKLAND / DISTRICTS New Zealand Diving Offering training for all divers, whether complete beginner or interested in deep, cave or any kind of technical diving. Full retail & Nitrox available at our store. Our charters cover: Goat Island, Hen & Chicks, Lt & Gt Barrier, Mokohinau Isl, Poor Knights & many International trips. 22 Whitaker Rd, Warkworth. P: 0800 NZDIVING. E: (DNZ164)

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: (DNZ160) 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) Ph: 09 426 9834 Email (DNZ162) 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 (DNZ159) 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: (DNZ162) 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 E: (DNZ160) 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 P: 09 5308117 E: (DNZ165) 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 (DNZ159)

COROMANDEL / BAY OF PLENTY 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: (DNZ159)

CENTRAL NORTH ISLAND Wainui Dive Gisborne’s authorised Aqualung dealer with full product range. PADI instructor, air fills, tank testing and qualified service of all brands of gear. Plus current Commercial Dive ticket. Cliff Blumfield, cnr Carnarvon Street and Childers Rd, Gisborne. P: 06-867 9662 or 0274-469 526. E: (DNZ160) 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, 0800 DIVE ZONE E: (DNZ162) Dive HQ Rotorua Start your diving adventure with this PADI 5 Star training centre, your leading BOP dive & kayak shop. Showcasing a great range of quality diving, spearfishing, kayaking & water sports equipment. Filling and testing of dive cylinders, servicing of regulators and BCD’s. An IANZ certified cylinder test centre. 290 Te Ngae Rd, next to Repco. P: 07-345 3047 E: (DNZ159)

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: P: 04 939 3483 (DNZ163) 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: (DNZ160) Dive Kapiti Your scuba, freediving & spearfishing specialists in the heart of the Kapiti coast. Quality servicing, airfills, dive training, Kapiti Island dive & spearfishing trips and retail sales. Full range of Cressi products, our friendly staff are always happy to help! 27 Milne Drive Paraparaumu 5032. P: 04 297 0075 E: (DNZ162) 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:, (DNZ164)


our deepwater – fishery




debates controve RENCE rsial issues

CELL PHONES – the hidden killer at sea



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S72 covers.indd

1 67

DIVE STORES / TRAVEL Dive & Ski HQ Wellington PADI dive courses – beginner to professional qualifications, tertiary courses available. 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. P: (04)568 5028. E: (DNZ161)

SOUTH ISLAND Fiordland Discovery Fiordland boasts some of New Zealand’s most spectacular diving, fishing and hunting. We offer six-day, five-night private charters in the Fiords and the Tasman Sea. Be one of the first to discover Fiordland aboard our luxurious new cruise boat, the Fiordland Jewel. Multi-day cruises, private charters and individual bookings are available for diving, fishing & hunting. #Fiordlandjewel P: 0800 100 105 or +64 3 441 3322 E: (DNZ160) 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. Group charters by arrangement. Freephone 0800 GODIVE Email (DNZ161) 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 (DNZ160) 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: (DNZ163)

Book an ad space today! Colin Gestro - Affinity Ads M: 027 256 8014

More information on Dive Stores, Clubs & Travel at 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 E: (DNZ162)


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 or call us on +617 4031 5255 or E: (DNZ161) 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: (DNZ164) 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: (DNZ164)

FIJI 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: (DNZ160) 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 (DNZ164) 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: (DNZ159) 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. E: P: +679 9920942 (DNZ160) Wananavu Beach Resort – Suncoast Fiji The legendary Bligh Waters are waiting for you at our PADI 5 star Dive Resort and with PADI qualified Dive Staff that know the dive sites like the back of their hands. Offering Viti Levu’s first onsite Nitrox and rated in Trip Advisor’s top 10 resorts in the Fiji Islands in 2014 , 2015 and 2016 means you have the best Resort-Dive Combo in Fiji. So come and see for yourself! (DNZ160)



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!’ E: (DNZ164)

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. email ph +677 7594185 / 7938017 (DNZ162)

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: (DNZ159)

metal detectors now available in New Zealand

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. Find us on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram (DNZ162)

AQUASCAN Metal Detectors Aquapulse 1B

Aimed to reach the beginner through to the advanced diver. This edition refers to local conditions and fish species of New Zealand. Sections include: equipment, diving and hunting techniques, diving situations, medical, fish id characteristics, useful contacts. A5 Soft cvr, 48 pgs, b&w, colour sections.


Available at your local dive store

or order online at

68 Dive New Zealand | Dive Pacific

The ideal unit for a diver to closely inspect a wreck site or search for lost items beneath the seabed.

Sea Tech Ltd

Auckland, NZ ph 09-521 0684 email

DIVE STORES / TRAVEL 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: (DNZ162)



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 (DNZ162)

Travelandco Holidays Experience amazing diving holidays in some of the best dive locations in the South Pacific and beyond. Our team can provide you with expert advice on the best diving options. Learn to dive, enjoy a liveaboard adventure or talk to us today to arrange a holiday for your dive group or friends. Make your Diving Holiday DREAMS a reality. P: +64 (9) 479 2210 Toll Free NZ: 0508 348 334 E: (DNZ161)



Allan Power Dive Tours The longest established and most experienced dive operator in Santo, Vanuatu. Over 45 years diving the President Coolidge and other sites in and around Santo. Located in the main street in the town of Luganville on the Island Espiritu Santo. PADI Resort Member. A full range of PADI Courses available. PO Box 233, Santo, Vanuatu. P/F: (678) 36822 E: (DNZ159) 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 E: (DNZ160)

Colin Gestro - Affinity Ads M: 027 256 8014

Available for talks to dive clubs etc. You can find full details on these speakers/lectures at

Terry Brailsford Wreck diving for gold & treasure. Incl the Rothschild jewellery, search for General Grant. 0274 958816, 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, Dr Roger Grace ‘Why do we need no-take zones?’; ‘20 years as a Greenpeace photographer’. 021 126 5292, Darren Shields Spearfishing titles,uw cameraman, author. Motivating/compelling/innovative/ inspiring/entertaining 09-4794231, 021839118, Jamie Obern Technical instructor/cave diver, 20+ years exp. globally. Photos/video: uw caves in Mexico, USA, UK, NZ, Australia. Techdive NZ/GUE NZ instructor. P: 021 614 023, Dave Moran Ching Dynasty porcelain from the Tek Sing. P: Dive New Zealand 09-521 0684, E:

Dive Shop for Sale: Honiara - Solomon Islands - Tulagi Dive Located in one the most ideal locations in the South West Pacific, we are offering the lifestyle opportunity of the year. Our facility offers some of the best WWII wreck and reef diving in the world (big call I know but we’re up there). Diving ranges from easy shore dives for the novice diver through to some of the most spectacular technical wreck diving to be had in the tropics. The shop is located centrally in the country’s capital close by to all the major hotels. We are currently the only dive shop and training facility in Honiara. The dive school is busy, certifying upwards of 100 divers a year. Our staff have been with us for many years and are well acquainted with our dive sites and are well received by our guests. The sale comes with all the equipment that runs the operation. We have quality rental gear and a lot of it, for the recreational diver through to technical diving requirements, with consumables. An 8-meter dive boat, transport vehicles, hydrostatic test station, regulator service equipment and spares. This is a turnkey operation, the company has Solomon Island Government foreign investment approval and is registered with the Solomon company’s security commission. It took us 15 years to build this business so to aid with the purchase we offer a long handover period of 6 months or more to provide a seamless transition with our suppliers, travel agents, local partners, introduction to all the dives sites, learning the ropes of a different culture, statuary body changes and any other introductions needed. It is not easy to value a million-dollar lifestyle living in tropical paradise diving the sites that are the envy of most, but we have listed the sale at USD$320,000 with room to negotiate. Should you be interested we’d be pleased to provide further details you may require.

TRIPS/CHARTERS 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 or phone Julie 021 827 855


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. +6421 088 14530

Cathedral Cove Dive & Snorkel 48 Hahei Beach Rd, Hahei Phone 0800 CCDIVE (0800 223 483) 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.

Air Vanuatu Airtec Bigblue DAN Fiordland Discovery Heser Ikelite McMurdo

27 7 & 53 35 55 & 72 25 9 49 57

MV Taka Nautilus Lifeline Niue Mercury Oceandry Paihia Dive SeaTech Scenic Hotel

7 15 OBC IFC 21 29 39 43

Side Drive Munda Solomons Subs Tahiti Tulagi Dive Solomons Wakatobi

8 23 28 IBC 22 1 69




B AY O F I S L A N D S , N E W Z E A L A N D

“World-class diving package” “Great diving mixed with even better accommodation, meals and hospitality” “Unbelievable value for money”



[ R E C E N T T R I P A DV I S O R C U S TO M E R R E V I E W S ]


dnz164 Tel +64 9 433 66 33


Drysuits / Wetsuits Sales and Repairs

suit repairs, seals, zips, boots, leaks Viking • Otter • Fourth Element Manufacturing Quality Wetsuits in New Zealand for New Zealand conditions.

All brands Qualified technicians


Regulator Servicing

15G Porana Rd, Glenfield, Auckland Tel: 09 443 2771

Dive Compressors


New and used machines Servicing all brands Consumables - Hydro panels

Dive Doctor

now at Sylvia Park Rd Unit R 20 Sylvia Park Rd Mt Wellington Auckland

THIS SPACE COULD BE YOURS Enquiries to: Colin Gestro Affinity Ads M: 027 256 8014

(next to the Sylvia Park Mall)


09-530 8117 E:

70 Dive New Zealand | Dive Pacific



sales and servicing

High Pressure Equipment NZ Ltd

p h 0 9 -444


Master Agents for Bauer Kompressoren in New Zealand and have been for the past 20 years.

Strobes Lighting Systems Camera Housings Camera and Housing Packages

Trusted Brands Trusted Distributor

New Zealand Master Agents for: BAUER KOMPRESSOREN compressors/spare parts BAUER-POSEIDON compressors and spare parts DNZ163


• 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.

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

32 Parkway Drive, Mairangi Bay, Auckland. Email



Sea Tech Ltd P: (09) 521 0684 E:

HDS Australia-Pacific

PO Box: 347 Dingley Village Victoria 3172, Australia.


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Incident Insights with the Divers Alert Network (DAN AP) The Diver: Began diving at age 48 and is an Advanced Open Water Diver with a Computer Nitrox Diver certification. The diver is in good overall health though infrequently suffers from migraines. Diver’s Experience: 130 logged dives. Prior to this trip, the deepest dive completed was to 35m. The Trip: An organised club trip to Vanuatu. The Dives Two dives per day for two days, at which point symptoms developed and the diver ceased diving. Dive Profiles Day 1 • D  ive 1: Max depth 33m, with a total dive time TDT of 44 minutes, a safety stop at 5m for around 10 minutes. Surface interval SI of 4 hours 45 minutes. Dive2: Max depth 33m, with a total dive time TDT of 44 minutes, a safety stop at 5m for around 10 minutes. Surface interval SI of 4 hours 45 minutes. Day 2 • Dive  1: Max depth 45m, TDT 61 minutes, including a 2 minute safety stop at 10m, a 2 minute safety stop at 8m and a 20 minute safety stop at 4-5m. SI of 4 hours 29 mins.  Dive2: Max depth 38.9m, TDT 59 minutes. This included a 2 minute safety stop at 10m, 2 minute safety stop at 8m and a 15 minute safety stop at 4-5m. Onset of Symptoms A fter the second dive on day two the diver developed an ache in her abdomen which quickly increased in intensity. A strong pain also developed in her left breast. The diver was travelling with her children and didn’t want to make a fuss but on exiting the bus after the short trip back to the dive shop her legs turned to jelly. She staggered to sit down and had to admit she was unwell. Diagnosis: Decompression Illness.

medical team lacked experience and the diver chose to return to her hotel and continued breathing O2 via the dive shops O2 unit. The next day she continued breathing O2 and was in regular contact with DAN AP. DAN AP offered to evacuate the diver to Port Villa for recompression but she chose to stay with her family and continue breathing O2 . The pain in her abdomen was subsiding though the itch remained. Two days after the first onset of symptoms, the diver suffered a relapse, with the pain in her abdomen and chest recurring, and increasing in intensity. It was decided to evacuate her to Port Villa and she was immediately put into the hyperbaric chamber. The diver received three separate recompression treatments, with ‘no fly’ orders for a week. • 1 x Table 6 • 2 x Table 5 Recovery: A week after returning to Australia the diver saw a specialist dive physician who referred her for a bubble test that confirmed she had a PFO (patent foramen ovale). She has since had this closed and is awaiting clearance to return to diving. Costs: Evacuation US$8,000 with treatment costs a further US$7,700 Analysis • The four dives completed, while not excessive, are relatively deep and would have contributed to greater bubble loading. • The diver responded well by advising the dive shop staff quickly, and the team acted correctly by providing oxygen therapy. It is important to check the Oxygen Preparedness of dive operators prior to booking your next dive holiday. • By staying on oxygen for an extended period the diver resolved many of her symptoms. However, when the oxygen therapy stopped, the diver’s symptoms returned, which is not unusual.

• A ir breaks during the provision of oxygen are not required. DAN’s advice is to provide ongoing oxygen first aid, with no breaks, until Treatment: The dive shop manager immediately commenced oxygen advised otherwise. The only reason that doctors provide air breaks (O2 ) first aid: 20 minutes on with a five minute break. This pattern during treatments is to prevent oxygen toxicity – this is not of continued and DAN AP was called. Whilst breathing O2 the diver concern to the first aider. Oxygen should be always provided at the also developed a strong itch across her abdomen. On DAN AP’s highest possible DAN Dive Safety 8x6cm Dive Log NZ 20/5/15 12:46 PM Page 1 concentration from the first onset of symptoms recommendation the diver was taken to Santo Hospital, however the until advised by the diving doctor to stop.

dive safety A diver collapses after a dive. He urgently needs oxygen.

begins with me.

• PFO-related bends are becoming more common. This is likely a result of divers diving more aggressively, using computers to increase the number of daily dives and the duration of those dives, as well as to minimise surface intervals, all factors that increase the bubble loading.

Do you know Pantoneto Colorsdo? Version what Contact DAN: the Specialists CMYK Version

• Not travelling to Port Vila when DAN AP first recommended recompression increased the risk of symptoms worsening or embedding. It is also the likely reason that the diver ultimately needed three treatments. Earlier action may have resulted in fewer treatments.

in Oxygen & First Aid Training and Equipment.

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Dive Pacific Issue 159 Aug/Sept 2017  

The Pacific's most informative dive magazine

Dive Pacific Issue 159 Aug/Sept 2017  

The Pacific's most informative dive magazine