Sunday diving at Kwinana Grain TerminalJune 17, 2013
It was a tough job to roll out from our warm beds today day but eight of us braved the low temperatures for the Manta Club, Sunday morning dive.
We kicked off with some bacon and egg burgers (with considerable assistance by the BBQ , backseat drivers….) and made our way down to the Kwinana Grain Terminal.
While it was a chilly start, it wound up being a beautiful, cloudless day with great viz throughout the dive. We were inundated with bright orange and yellow nudibranchs as we swam underneath the jetty. The dive was also full of large boxfish, spiny leatherjackets and octopus feeding within the coral beds between the pylons.
Great dive, thanks to all the people who braved the cold and made it down for another fun day.
Sunday morning dive at Robb JettyJune 10, 2013
A group of 10 of us braved the predicted thunderstorms this Sunday morning for a club dive down at Robbs Jetty. After a bbq breakfast we headed down to the dive site, and luckily managed to miss the rain. The cloudy conditions didn’t affect the visibility too much, though with the high tide and strong current it did take a couple of go’s at navigation to find the dive site. Once we found it, there was a lot to see, with large and small nudibranchs everywhere you looked, quite a few fish hiding out around the coral covered pylons and even a cuttlefish found sleeping at the entrance to a fallen timber pylon. Thanks to everyone who joined us, look forward to seeing you at there again.
Mehi’co Update from our travel bloggerJune 8, 2013
So its day number 5 here in Playa del Carman on the Yucatan peninsula just south of Cancun in Mexico.
Its been an amazing trip so far.
Yesterday was our third day of cavern diving in the cenotes. If anyone doesn’t know what the cenotes are, they are basically sinkholes that connect to underground water systems. The mayans believed these cenotes were sacred and were used to complete a range of rituals involving human sacrifice and throwing valuables into them as offerings to the gods. They believed the cenotes were the gateway to the afterlife.
Diving through the underground water system was amazing! We were never more than 40m from the nearest sinkhole (otherwise its technically a cave dive) however, on a couple of the dives it definitely felt like cave dives.
The underground water is fresh until you descend to the deeper parts where you find the salt water. Due to the vastly different densities of the two waters, there is little mixing and you can easily see the horizon where the two meet. The point where they meet is called the halocline. When someone swims through the halocline it mixes the two waters and causes a crazy blur which reduces the visibility behind the diver to less than 1m.
The salt water is very warm, I imagine around 30 deg. The fresh water was typically around 26deg. I completely the first two dives on the first day just in my bikinis while the boys complained they were too cold in their 3mm wetsuits. What little girls!
I should mention that the visibility was crazy! It was so clear that we could see as far as the torches would allow us. It really is a completely different world under there.
The day before yesterday a few of us took the day off diving to finally get some sleep from the 30odd hour trip from Perth. Unfortunately Birdy and myself keep finding ourselves laying here awake at 4am!!!
Our day off was lots of fun. The storms finally stopped and the sun came out. There was plenty of drinking in the pool and the boys played a game of aus v usa beach vollyball which was hilarious. Sadly aussies won . A few of us hired some crappy bikes and explored the local community, followed by some archery at the resort. And I am proud to say that I was the only one that got a bullseye! Put all the boys to shame! Haha
Yesterday, when we finished our dives, we joined the rest of the crew at the pool bar followed by a heated game of water polo. Aus v poms…. Again aussie won! It was also the birthday of one of the guys in the crew, so we all went out for an italian dinner followed by a few hours enjoying a tropical flavoured shisha.
Today we are having another break from diving. Just been chilling at the pool bar drinking coronas, cocktails and lots of pool water! Ha! At the moment I’ve just finished a game of beach volleyball with the guys and a few americans (I suck!). Now im just watching our crew kick some volleyball ass… Again.
Tomorrow we are heading out for an adventure day including zip lining and 4WDing through the bush and paddling through the caves.
Saturday and sunday I will be ocean diving at some of the local dive sites known for their amazing sea life. Followed by the Mayan ruins, Chichen Itza, on monday while birdy and some of the other guys head out for some sport fishing on one of the locals boats.
Tuesday we head back to Dallas where 6 of us continue on to Vegas and the others head on home. I am not looking forward to Dallas airport after the fiasco on the way here!
I have found that I really love Mexico. I tend to be happiest when I am out of the resort experiencing the culture and nature. Driving deep into the bush just to find a cenote to dive in was great fun, especially in torrential rain. It is beautiful with the flush greenery, bird life and bloody iguanas everywhere! The mosquitos are a pain, but they tend to bite everyone but myself.
The locals are very polite and patient while we try and speak very bad spanish. It tends to result in all parties laughing and us simply pointing to what we want. Hey! At least we are trying!
I will definitely be here again, for a much longer period, so I can fully appreciate Mexico and not just the Yucatan. But I need to worry about my NZ snowboarding trip in August and my diving Indonesia trip next April before I can even think about coming back to Mexico.
If anyone is interested in seeing pictures of my travels, check out my facebook page. Otherwise check out my photography website (and blog) www.crawleyvistas.com which will be running shortly after I arrive back in Perth.
Exploring the caves of Yacutan PeninsulaJune 7, 2013
written by Josh Phillips – Perth Scuba Mexico Tour Leader
Day 4: Took us to 2 different cenotes. First one was Chiken-Ha this site had 4 different cenotes all linked up underground. Not much light entering due to it being overcast but some excellent underwater formations. Second site was Garden of Eden. By the stage we went for the dive the sun had come out and some awesome beams of light shone through. This cenote has been the biggest we have been to so far (see photo) and we went all around the edge of it.
Day 5: Colin’s birthday (Happy Birthday Colin). The morning started with heaps of rain. Half of the crew had a rest day today while a couple did either cave or cavern dives. The rest of the crew met at the pool bar (finally the sun decided to show its face) and started celebrating, then we got invited to play water polo (vs whinging Americans) we had the disadvantage as we had already been drinking but ended up whopping them. After the game we chilled out for a bit then went to Italian for dinner to celebrate the birthday. Once dinner was over we then headed back to the bar and finally to bed.
Day 6: Some people made this a rest day (what happens after you celebrate all night) others headed out to cave or cavern dives. Michael started his cave course and was looking forward to it. I headed out to Garden of Eden again and this time the plan was to head through to another cenote from the main one. While descending my buddy couldn’t equalise so we headed back up to the surface and then headed back under. The dive was awesome with a lot of light shining through and with only myself and the guide I managed to have a good look around. After that we headed back to the dive shop and then to the hotel. We then borrowed the bikes, headed to subway for lunch then had a look around the estate. We checked out the dolphin discovery and all the little shops around. We are now back at the hotel, about to head to the bar and then to Mexican for dinner.
Marine Vote Won – one more vote to goJune 6, 2013
Australia’s new marine parks were voted on last night in Parliament and I thought you should know what happened.
You’d remember that Australia declared the largest network of marine parks in the world last November. Here’s the map if you missed it.
It’s normally a mere formality, but approval for any new parks and sanctuaries is needed from Federal Parliament before they become law.
The excellent news is that last night the Lower House voted and all new marine parks and sanctuaries were approved. This is a fantastic result, so thank you for all your hard work and support.
But there is one more hurdle to be cleared when the Upper House (Senate) votes on the 25th June.
Traditionally our marine life has enjoyed strong support from both sides of politics with Liberals protecting the Great Barrier Reef and the current Labor government delivering the national network. However in a sign of today’s heavily polarized politics the vote was split along progressive/conservative party lines with the Independents carrying the day FOR marine parks and sanctuaries.
This split in Parliament, however, doesn’t tell the whole story and the majority of conservative MPs remain marine park supporters. With your help over coming months we hope to bring their views to the fore so the Liberal Party returns to its traditional position of supporting marine parks.
In the meantime today’s result has been a great one for our marine life. We’ll let you know when the final vote occurs at the end of June in the Senate.
Thanks for seeing this through right to the finish line.
Save Our Marine Life
PS – You can read the ABC Online story covering the vote here.
Perth Scuba brings the rain to MexicoJune 4, 2013
written by Joshua Phillips – Perth Scuba Tour Leader
The Mexico crew departed perth at 5am on Saturday morning, after 3 flights and no time for a break in between flights we finally arrived in Cancun at 10pm (11am Sunday morning Perth time). We headed to our rooms and then to the snack bar to finally eat some food. After food and tequila we headed to bed for some much needed sleep.
Sunday morning marked our first dive morning. We headed out to chac mool to do 2 cenote dives, everyone enjoyed the dives and were surprised of the clarity of the water. On the second dive we had to head down through water that had less visibility than the wreck trail. Once down there we explored the halocline (where the fresh water meets the sea water) and was surprised how much the visibility drops when mixed together. We then headed back to the resort to catch up on sleep. Then went and had dinner and headed to the tequila bar and went to sleep.
Day 3 we woke up to more rain than we have had any other days. We headed to Taj Mahal and did another 2 cenote dives but they felt more like cave dives as the sky was so overcast and barely any light was coming through the rock formations.
Hopefully tomorrow will bring our first sunny day and no rain.
Scuba diving in BruneiMay 22, 2013
Filmed & edited by Joey Pool – Perth Scuba Assistant Instructor
Day 1 in paradise and after collecting our last few star divers at the resort we headed to the boat ramp to meet Luke and his crew on board Shore Thing.
After being given a briefing we were introduced to our cabins and given half an hour to get our snorkeling gear ready for an afternoon snorkel.
The site was very calm and clear and we were told we might see turtles, sharks, eagle rays and other stingrays as well as a bunch of fish…. They didn’t disappoint. We saw all of that and more in an hour of snorkeling and then headed back to the boat for dinner. We threw the lines out to do a spot of fishing and Luan was very happy when he caught his first EVER fish.
Great Job Luan, even if we did have to put him back while we went for his bigger brother or dad
A few fish later and still not enough to cover dinner… For one… We packed up the rods and sat down to a great steak dinner cooked by our star chef extraordinaire Ali.
After dinner and a few drinks later we all headed off to bed to prepare for the next day.
Dive 1: Black Douglas Rocks
The conditions for this one were a bit choppy and the currents were very strong but being Perth Scuba crew.. We were up to the task.
Being the first dive we worked out any issues that we had and then headed down and along the sand towards the 2 big bommies that made up the dive. We were greeted by a group of Sweet Lips that had to have been at least 10kg each. They seemed quite happy to sit and watch us swim by. Then we came across a group of North West Snapper which weren’t quite so trusting until we dropped to the bottom and stopped moving. As we did this a group of Bat fish circled us and swam around us for about 5 minutes. This seemed to also gain the trust of the Snapper as they then swam right up to us to see what we were all about. From there we swam across to another small outcrop of reef which was hiding a school of Catfish. Not sure at first they headed under the rocks and out to the other side where we were waiting for them with GoPro in hand to catch the action. They swam madly around the Go Pro for a while and then we took off to another part of the reef. We chased a couple of Spotted Blue Rays and then our air decided that it was time to call it quits for the dive.
After a short safety stop we headed back to the boat against the current giving ourselves a work out at the end of a very eventful dive. Can’t wait to see the video footage from that dive!
Dive 2: Asho’s Gap
dropping below the surface fairly quickly so we didn’t drift too far we followed our Dive master Travis to the “shark cleaning station”. The visibility was a little bit murky due to the recent front that had gone through but the fish didn’t seem to care as we were welcomed by hundreds of them as we worked our way towards the cleaning station. Our excitement made us hardly notice the currents although some of the legs were starting to tire a little.
We arrived at the shark cleaning station but unfortunately the sharks around here must already be clean as there was no shark action to be seen.
A swim along the reef and over patches of awesome Stag horn coral.
The corals up here are fantastic and they hide so many critters!
The dive itself was quite uneventful but we saw lots of cool fish and really big corals. Time to head back for a fantastic lunch, once again prepared by our guru food girl Ali “with an i”.
Dive 3: Achanea Reef
The action started as soon as we hit the water on this dive!
Landing on the bottom we were suddenly surrounded by thousands of glass fish which were covering the entrance of a really cool cave. Swimming through the cloud of silver lead to an opening with 4 of the largest Lion Fish I have ever seen. Their size is a good indication that the Glass Fish are a good food source for them. After checking out the big fat Lion fish we ventured deeper into the cave to see what Looked like a type of Snapper and he was about 3 and a half foot long and almost as high.
He didn’t stick around for long and we were soon moving along the reef between countless bommies and once again looking out into the distance to the limit of our visibility there were plenty of large dark shapes although nothing at this stage ventured close enough to see what they were.
I was just filming a small ball of juvenile Catfish when I looked up to see a massive Grouper swimming towards us. He had to have been at least 5 foot long and 3 foot wide. He seemed very friendly yet cautious as he approached. There were 6 of us at that point in the dive so there were plenty of bubbles to scare him off but he seemed more interested in us than being worried about the bubbles. I managed to get up to his level to film a bit on the Go Pro before he eventually turned and swam away. I dropped back to the ocean floor to find myself in front of a Blue Spotted Ray. He wasn’t so keen on sticking around so he took off in a cloud of sand. I gave chase and filmed him zipping along the ocean floor until he hit the turbo and he was out of there. as I turned back I came face to face with a Yellow Trevally. I have never seen one that colourful before. I caught up with my dive buddies and after checking out more cool bommies we headed up to the surface to call it a day. What an awesome day of diving and we had only just begun!
Tonight is the start of the inboard antics and our great Skipper (and owner of Shore Thing) handed us a game that he had just bought for us to play… “Articulate”. What a cool game. Teaming up and with only 30 seconds of time on your side, you have to get your team to say the words on your card without saying, sounds like or any part of the word. You can mime if you like, and this is where the funny stuff started. Tibs (one of our crew) was brilliant at it and we soon found that partners have a weird wavelength which can get their partner to say the right word. This was evident early and this made the battle of the Brits Vs the South Africans difficult for the Brits… Although some of the words were hard to understand, we still managed to break the words down to come up with the real word. This game is one of the funniest games I have ever played and I went to bed that night with a headache from laughing so much. The result… The A Team (Lee, Luan and Wes) 1 and the B Team (Rob, Luke and Ali with an I) Nil and Team SA also Nil… The next night was sure to bring us more fun and another fierce competition.
** Admittedly the A Team did steal Luan who could have easily been classed as South African but naturally he wanted to be on the winning team so he chose the A Team J
Day 2 Dive 1
again another slightly choppy day left us diving in the inside reef but the promise of nice weather on the way leaves us hopeful of some outer reef diving later in the trip.
Dropping in on the site this time I was given the responsibility of navigating the way for my group. The plan was pretty straight forward though so I figured we should be ok. Ha!
This dive was a great dive! There were some amazing finger corals and bommies covered in Christmas tree fans and surrounded with just about every type of fish you could imagine. The current was fairly strong against us but the knowledge of a great drift dive ahead on our return made it a lot more manageable. The reef patches were close together and the bommies just kept of producing more and more cool stuff to check out. I came across an Octopus sitting in the middle of the sand. He saw me and darted toward the rocks changing colours constantly until he found a rock to hide next to. Instantly he turned into the same rock! Amazing how they can do that. The colours were so exact I had to look again to find him. As I did I noticed a small white Moray Eel next to the rock. He was very cute and also inquisitive. He came right out to see my Go Pro camera before sliding back into his hole as the other divers caught up. We stayed there for a little while and then worked our way along the reef walls before turning back toward the boat. This time we moved slightly west to put ourselves at the edge of the reef to see what we could find in the sand. We weren’t disappointed as almost instantly there was a huge Turtle looking down at us. We watched him for a while, whilst drifting with the current. Then a bit further on we were surrounded by a school of Barracuda. They hung with us for a while circling us. There were probably about 40 to 50 of them in all and as they circled, they just seemed to get closer and closer.
Not long after the Barracuda we came across a huge sting ray. He was at least 4 foot across and didn’t seem to like us dropping in for a visit at first. Although once we settled on the bottom and showed we were there to look not harm, he settled back down and watched us. We left him after a little while and continued our drift until the first diver hit 70 bar. We signaled to go up and after our stop we surfaced about 15 metres from the stern of the boat. The surface current took us to the back laddering matter of a minute and we all got out thrilled at what the dive had brought us.
Ali with an ‘I’ had yummy snacks for everyone inboard on our surface and she decided the next dive she would also do with us.
Day 2 Dive 2
with a successful navigation exercise on the earlier dive, I was given the responsibility again. I don’t mind navigating because when I am responsible for others I tend to make sure I get it right ultimately saving me a long swim back to the boat.
This dive was once again quite strong with the currents but once again the reef gave us plenty to keep our eyes on. Leading this dive was quite a spectacular dive to lead. The current took us through the patches of reef and bommies at a good pace and the marine life here was about as good as you can get. Literally thousands of fish both big and small peppered the reef. There were sharks, turtles, Snapper, and Sweet Lips everywhere. The dive seemed to last only 5 minutes as we raced along at a very fast pace. Eventually we came to the end of the reef to a sand patch and using Luke’s dive site description; I directed the group along the sand toward the place where we were to meet the boat. During the sand run we came across more Barracuda and a school of Buffalo Bream which circled us for a little while before we headed up for our safety stop.
Another fantastic dive and smiles from ear to ear all over the boat. Wes was very happy with his photograph of a Flying Gurnard. They are very rare and Luke has never seen one in Ningaloo – though he has heard of them being there. He was jealous but very happy to see the photograph.
With the promise of outside reef dives tomorrow, the divers were very upbeat and excited about what might be the next day.
Day 2 Dive 3
One word can explain this dive site… Wow!
The dive board showed a few bommies and a. Wall with the possibility of a cleaning station for sharks.
Upon our descent we found the visibility was a little better than some of the previous dives and straight away we were surrounded by fish, big and small
the first bommies had a decent sized crayfish looking out at us and he seemed pretty gutsy. Not skittish like the Rottnest Island ones. We picked him up for a quick photograph and then headed on further to check out what else the dive site had to offer.
Another very large shadow appeared in the distance and only Wes was lucky enough to have seen that it was another huge Grouper. More sharks scooted around uses we moved along the reef. We came across a large Wobbegong and more Cray fish, Lion Fish and more balls of Juvie catfish. They were really cool.
The dive once again seemed to last only a few minutes but the hour was up and it was time to once again surface to head back to the Shore Thing.
Smiles all around once again and the boat was buzzing.
A night dive was planned for the next dive and only 2 takers made me wonder if the divers were either too tired or freaked out by what might turn up on the dive. The guys fishing the night before had some lines snapped off by some very big fish. Rob took my go pro and managed to get 1 second of footage… Yep that’s right… 1 second! Nice work Rob!!!
After the dive we had an awesome dinner once again “thanks Ali with an ‘I’”
Desert this time was chocolate pudding and ice cream! Damn this diet!!! Followed once again by the next evening of “Articulate”. The teams change a bit this time with the addition on the second night of Tibs. I never want to play against this guy in Charades! Awesome to watch and his team surged ahead to make it a 3 way neck and neck tie for the final question which of course was won by the A Team yet again! (JUST!)
DAY 3 DIVE 1
Finally the weather has decided to give us a break and we were able to take the Shore Thing out to see if we could find Mantas.
We kitted up pretty quickly on this dive with the promise of “bigger stuff”.
MANTAS!!! As we dropped onto the reef we were welcomed by our first Manta and he was huge! Not at all bothered by us, he swam around us for ages before going on his way to check out what the other dive group was doing. Everyone was buzzing after this dive for sure!
The dive was all that was promised and more with sharks, Barracuda, Buff Bream, Turtles and really cool landscape which gave us lots of exploring to do under the ledges and caverns. This dive was the best of the trip by far. Everyone got Go pro footage and photographs so I am sure when we get back Joey will post some of it on the FB site and in the upcoming newsletter.
I can’t wait for the next dive!!
DAY 3 DIVE 2
Outside Reef II
After lunch we picked up the mooring and headed South to another site which also promised great topography and the possibility of more Mantas. (I wasn’t going to mention that Skipper Luke and Ali (with an i) went on a short dive while we had lunch and were visited by a Dugong! It was certainly a case of If you didn’t get a photo you didn’t see it… but they did one better than that – They had Go Pro footage of it! Damn! That would have been soooo cool!
After a “live drop” (where the divers line up and jump in the water one by one as quickly as possible while the boat in still in motion so they can all stay as a group and descend together, we grouped and dropped to the bottom. The visibility on this dive was better than the first one and the ground looked very cool to say the least. Lots to explore and a solid ridge running directly North to our right meant I didn’t even have to navigate on this dive! BOOM! (As Rob would say).
As we worked our way towards the ridge a group of 4 Mantas came into view. They weren’t at all shy and came right up to us and glided around us for the first 20 minutes of the dive. We were happy to stay in one spot and we managed to get a heap of video and photo proof too.
The Mantas were definitely the highlight of the dive but it was also a great dive for other reasons. We found a boat anchor as we worked along the reef, huge Lion Fish, Schooling Barracuda, sharks, turtles and again heaps of Giant Trevally. The dive site eventually flattened out and the ridge joined the ocean floor so we headed back a little bit out away from the ridge this time to see what else might be lurking in the depths. Once again we came across more Barracuda and Stingrays but unfortunately no Dugongs or Whale Sharks L
Doubling back across the reef we came across the Mantas again and after watching them, we continued along the ridge to see if we could find the swim through that Luke had mentioned to us in the pre dive briefing. We found it and one by one went up inside what was like a water chimney – the surge of water literally fired you out of the top like a canon face to face with another very big Manta. As everyone popped up through the swim through (or push through) they all sat in the one place as the Mantas started to come in closer. This time – so close they literally swam up alongside us and touched us with their wings. It was amazing!!!
We didn’t want to leave the bottom after such an awesome dive experience but unfortunately we couldn’t stay any longer.
We surfaced to lots of Whoops and Hollers and the dive site was unanimously decided there and then to be the best dive of the trip. What a dive!!
With time on our side for one more dive, the crew went back into the water. Unfortunately I can’t tell you what they did or saw because I stayed onboard for the last dive of the trip. I figured that there is no better way to end a trip than on such a high note – that nothing was going to top that dive…
The final evening onboard saw the final showdown in the “Articulate” game and we all agreed at the beginning that this one was a winner takes all game. So with everything to lose on the A Team side and everything to gain on the other team’s sides, the pressure was on. Without going into details on how the game works, the A Team were not at all on form and forfeited more goes than we heard Rob Say FOCK! On the trip – which was quite a lot really? That still didn’t hold back the A Team but the B Team certainly surged to the front and hit the finish line before anyone else. To complete the game you have to do an all play type of word where all teams have to try to get the answer before the team on the finish line to hold them back until their next turn – this can go on for a while – and in this case it took 4 goes for the B team to finally take the checkered flag and left us all wondering how the hell Rob pulled the answer out of his… well. I am sure you know what I mean… The first and only thing Luke said to Rob for Rob to get the answer was “Wild Women” to which Rob yelled out “Amazon” yep – he was right… go figure… So that was it. Full honours go to the B Team and congrats to them. Thanks especially to Ali with an I for her contribution of collectively 8 minutes of time over the 3 nights playing the game. Skype was the winner in her world over those few nights.
The battle lines have already been drawn for the next showdown… but that will have to wait until the next Ningaloo trip onboard Shore Thing.
The whole trip can be summed up very easily and probably no better than in Rob Cahill’s words…
It was Focking Fab !
We will keep you posted on our next upcoming trip to dive the Ningaloo Reef as soon as we lock in the dates!
Night diving at Bicton BathsMay 16, 2013
written by Lani Thygesen – Perth Scuba Divemaster
After a few rough weeks weather-wise, it finally cleared up and conditions were perfect for the Wednesday Night Club dive down at Bicton Baths. The river was glassy, with not a breath of wind around. It was a little chilly in the water (18°C), but visibility was great, with very little silt. There were only a handful of divers out at the site. There was a lot to see with seahorses hiding in the weeds, star fish crawling over the river floor blanketed with little hermit crabs and huge nudibranchs having their nightly feed. When the lights were turned out you could play with the bio-luminescence floating around in the water- always an amazing sight. Those out prawning were a little disappointed with the size of their catch for the night, but overall it was a great night out diving.
The White Divers of FremantleMay 10, 2013
Sunday 12th May 2013, 10am to 3pm
Come and see a live display of Hard Hat diving as done by divers from the late 1800′s to the mid 1900′s collecting pearl shell around Broome.
See how they are dressed into a sealed diving system weighing 85kg. Watch as they walk to the water and see them enter and walk around in a visually exciting atmosphere. Talk to the divers and have a photo taken behind a cut out of a diver in full dress.
This is the only regularly used Hard Hat diving system in Western Australia by experienced qualified divers. Make sure you bring your camera’s.
Location: Fremantle Sailing Club
151 Marine Terrace, South Fremantle
Sausage sizzle and full restaurant available
This is an authorised Telethon community fundraiser event.
A 2013 Western Australian Heritage Festival event
Flick this to a fisherMay 2, 2013
Last year you (The Perth Scuba Crew) were part of the Big Blue Army which did something inspiring and created the largest network of marine sanctuaries in the world. Thank you! It was amazing.
But now we’ve uncovered a new campaign by fishing groups to use the coming Federal election to roll back this hard-won protection so vital for the future of our turtles, whales, sharks and fish.
Their web site states boldly:
We are seeking commitments from the Coalition that if elected after September 14 they will review the regulations and reverse the Biggest Aussie Angler Lock out in History… We are organising a number of activities, such as write-in and phone-in campaigns and local rallies, to raise the profile of our issue with the community.
Keep Australia Fishing
We know that ordinary fishers support marine protection. This campaign, however, has been remarkable for the extent of its misleading information – enough to make even reasonable people concerned (if it were true).
Luckily one of Australia’s most trusted voices, the Founder of Clean Up Australia Ian Kiernan AO, has set the record straight. He’s produced a short video and micro-site with a plain-talking message about our new parks, and we really need your help to get it out there.
By correcting the record we’re hoping the plan to kill our marine parks is exposed for what it is, falls flat and disappears forever. Here’s how you can help make this happen.
- Check out Ian’s message for yourself here.
- Forward the site’s link to anyone you know, especially if they fish.
- Post the link on Facebook and other social media (even fishing or other marine-related pages).
With your help thousands of people will realise that protecting key feeding and breeding areas is just plain common sense and can only make fishing better, as well as create a better future for our marine life.
Thanks again for taking action for our unique marine life.
All the best,
Save Our Marine Life
PS – I’ll do more research about what’s happening politically behind the scenes and get back to you with any further moves we can make to defend our marine parks. In the meantime, flick this video to a fisher and a friend and help expose the misleading campaigns against marine parks for what they are.
Palau Tour 2013April 26, 2013
Filmed & edited by Brett Cook on the Perth Scuba Palau 2013 Tour
Thanks Brett! We love it and looking forward to seeing your next awesome video!!!
Sunday diving at Robb JettyApril 23, 2013
The weather for the Sunday morning club dive didn’t look too promising as we headed out to Robb’s Jetty after a bbq bacon & egg breakfast at the shop. But, the rain passed as we rocked up to the beach, we geared up and headed down to the water. After a quick briefing, we pushed through the surf out to the jetty remains. Once under the water it was it was a surprisingly calm dive with decent visibility. There was lots to see with hundreds of large pink nudibranchs in amongst the sponge covered timber jetty remains. Schools of fish were found swimming around the site, or feeding on the sandy bottom, including a couple of lionfish towards the end of the jetty remains. Cuttlefish and octopus were also spotted.
Most of the group managed to navigate their way out to the site, which can be a little tricky to find if you are not focused on your compass and directions. But, it was a great dive- thanks to everyone who joined us. Look forward to seeing you at the shop for another club dive.
Wrecked in Truk LagoonApril 22, 2013
Mention the San Francisco and the Rio De Janiero wrecks and you could be forgiven for mistaking that these wrecks were American Ships not Japanese Ships. The fact is that both of these wrecks, named after US cities, were taken by the Japanese government from the owners (who were Japanese) and used for the war effort in World War II, only to never have the chance to return them to their owners. These are just 2 of many wrecks in Truk Lagoon which have the name MARU after them. Maru was added to the name given to non military ships which were “attained” by the Government, armed up and sent out to war. The bottom of the Atoll of Truk (Chuuk) Lagoon is littered with wrecks from the Japanese imperial navy. Only 3 of which were actually built for war. 2 destroyers and a submarine were unlucky enough to have been caught out in “Operation Hailstorm” on the 17th of February 1944. This operation started from an accidental reconnaissance mission of a US bomber who went off course only to observe one of the largest fleets at anchor and going about their daily business ever to have been amassed in one area. A gold mine find for the US. The Japanese did spot the reconnaissance plane and immediately began to remove major utilities such as battleships, aircraft carriers and other destroyers out of the lagoon and away to Palau. (This was to ultimately lead to a fleet which was almost defenceless to an aerial attack. Upon reporting back to the US commanders on the bomber’s return, aircraft carriers were scrambled together for a massive aerial assault on the Japanese ships and installations at Truk Lagoon.
This attack would go down in history as one which broke the back of the Japanese war effort in the Pacific and one which undoubtedly saved thousands of lives of allied soldiers and navy personnel.
69 Years on and the Perth Scuba crew, headed by 5 time Truk Lagoon Tour Leaders Lee and Joey, went on a 10 day visit to the region with 23 others to take a closer look at the remains and devastation caused over 2 nights of bombing. The result with almost 70 years of resting on the bottom mostly around 20 – 50 metres, is some spectacular soft corals covering these almost fully intact wrecks, (albeit for aerial torpedo holes and aerial bomb damage scattering the decks). The wrecks are a combination of freighters which were laden with tanks, planes, trucks, cars and even bicycles, tankers which were there to supply the vessels with fuel, ammunition and medical supplies right down to tug boats and airplanes which were either bombed or shot down during the vicious attack. Truk Lagoon has to be the most concentrated area of World War 2 wrecks in the world. Some of the wrecks are deep, the San Francisco Maru wreck sits at 62 metres and is definitely worth building up the depth profiles to be able to dive this “trademark” wreck. Whilst a great dive, it is not necessarily the best wreck, but it is one which almost definitely captures the imagination of everyone who dives her. The San Francisco Maru is probably the most photographed wreck of Truk Lagoon. The three, 2 man tanks on the deck make for a great photo opportunity and the contents of the holds, land and beach mines stacked against the hold walls along with aircraft parts and crates of ammunition all make for great viewing, even though time at this depth is limited.
The great thing and most inspiring thing about diving the wrecks of Truk Lagoon, is that every wreck has its own story. How it got to where it is today, what it was doing there, what was its purpose right down to how it even became a part of the war in the first place. The visual experience of diving these wrecks can only be described as amazing and the history in Truk is endless. Every diver on the trip had a favourite wreck. Some loved diving on planes, some loved diving on freighters, others loved getting deep into the wrecks to check out the engine rooms, whatever the case, these divers had a fantastic time.
Many of the divers on this trip went to Truk Lagoon not knowing what to expect. Many of them came with limited experience on diving both wrecks and diving deep. By the end of this trip with 24 wreck dives under their belts over a 10 day period, they all came back as much more accomplished and much more confident divers. Many of them reached depths well beyond their imagination and learned about decompression diving first hand. Along with having the trained technical divers and instructors to assist in their planning, all of the divers were involved in the planning and execution of the deeper dives by building up to deeper depths as they felt comfortable to do so. They were shown the advantages of completing decompression and safety stops on a higher percentage of oxygen in their “bail out” cylinders and were shown that technical diving doesn’t have to be technical provided that a good plan is in place before the dive and that the plan is stuck to during the dive. Every diver reached their goals and no one came back with regrets of anything they didn’t accomplish on the trip. A fantastic trip was had by all.
Over the next few weeks we will have a write up and photographs of the wrecks of Truk Lagoon. We will have some of the crew who visited there, share first hand, their experiences and what they saw and felt while diving these fantastic wrecks. We will also cover the cool and unplanned visits by dolphins and sharks while on our decompression stops as well as that last day shark dive where the crew witnessed the buzz of about 20 or 30 sharks swimming around them giving photographic and video opportunities to bring home with them to share with you.
If you are interested in joining Perth Scuba on the next trip to Truk Lagoon, we are heading back in 2015 onboard the TRUK SIREN live aboard vessel. There will be an upcoming information evening about the trip following this series of articles. For more information on this trip in the mean time, please contact Lee or Joey at Perth Scuba on 9455 4448.
Next week, “Diving the Fujikawa Maru” The worlds number 3 best Wreck Night Dive.
Night diving the Kwinana Grain TerminalApril 19, 2013
written by Lani Thygesen – Perth Scuba Dive Master
Our small club dive group had a great night dive down at the CBH Grain Terminal Jetty on Wednesday. Conditions were perfect with a warm evening, no wind and a flat ocean. There was lots to be seen as usual at this site, with a few gloomy octopi venturing out from their hiding spots, a tiny blue ringed octopus wrapped around a piece of coral and lots of brittle stars making their way across the sandy floor. There were some interesting fish, including quite a few catfish that tried to bolt as we approached. A few crabs and prawn hanging around the shallows, lots of nudibranchs and some bizarre feeding habits and weird creatures that have yet to be identified… Thanks to those who came along last night- the next night dive is in a similar location, the BHP jetty. Look forward to seeing you there – Lani
Manta Club descends on Jervoise Bay for a diveMarch 26, 2013
On Sunday, March 24, 17 divers headed to Jervoise Bay for a club dive. Jervoise Bay, located at the southern end of Woodman Point, is an interesting alternative to the better known Ammo Jetty. With water depths ranging from 4-12 m and an abundance of marine life around the rock jetty, Jervoise Bay is an attractive dive site for both beginner and the more experienced diver.
The conditions were ideal on Sunday – warm, sunny day with little or no wind or waves and decent visibility (3-5 m). The rock jetty, which extends several hundred metres, offered a wide range of macro-marine life including the elusive cuttlefish (although I did not personally see one, I saw the photographs from a few of the divers!). Thanks to everyone for a great day and a wonderful dive.
Toy Story models for our PADI Digital Underwater PhotographersMarch 24, 2013
written by Joey Pool – Perth Scuba Assistant Instructor
Six of the Perth Scuba Crew joined me for their PADI Digital Underwater Photography Course on Saturday 23 March 2013. We went over the theory of how all the crew could improve their photography and then headed off to the swimming pool to put our theory into practice.
So what do you take photos of in a swimming pool? We had some cooperative models to take LOTS of photos of and they didn’t complain about being struck with multiple strobe lights. We had most of the Toy Story characters lined up on the pool ledge where the crew could shoot, examine & adjust and their subjects didn’t swim away – yay! No bum shots!
It was great to see everyone’s photography improve from their first dive to their second dive. We went over manual white balance, external lighting, getting the best colour in your photos and getting sharp photos. We spent lots of time just getting the best photos we possibly could on the subjects in front of us.
I had a wonderful day out with all the crew and they were all fantastic students! Well done guys and girls and I can’t wait to see more photographs coming in from all of you soon!!!
SAN FRANCISCO International Ocean Film FestivalMarch 22, 2013
The inaugural Australian tour of the San Francisco International Ocean Film Festival is proud to bring North America’s premier CINEMAQUATIC™ film event for ocean-related independent films to 6 cities around Australia.
Offering a carefully curated group of diverse films that capture the beauty, power and mysteries of the ocean, SFIOFF solicits documentaries, narratives and animated films of varying lengths from around the world. Film topics focus on all aspects of our Blue Planet, including ocean exploration, wildlife, conservation, seafaring adventures, sports and coastal cultures.
Screening for the first time in Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane, Cairns, Perth, Sydney and Townsville in 2013. The festival experience features a collection of breath taking films that are educating, engaging and entertaining audiences about the importance of our world’s ocean and its resources. To purchase your tickets to the Saturday 23rd March showing click here.
Lena wreck dive in BunburyMarch 14, 2013
Filmed and edited by Shane Willis – Perth Scuba Crew
Perth Scuba Deep Diver Course at Rottnest IslandMarch 12, 2013
Filmed & edited by Joseph Bicanic – Perth Scuba Instructor & Videographer
Operation Hailstone… A little history of Truk LagoonMarch 11, 2013
written by Glen Outhred – Perth Scuba Instructor
Lying within the Federation States of Micronesia, roughly 1800 kilometres north east of Papua New Guinea lies a wreck diving meca that has been the skies limit (or ocean depths) for divers across the globe holding more wrecks than Palau and Papua New Guinea. This popular location is Chuuk Lagoon and as you read on, you will find out how these atolls and islands came to be the awesomeness that it is today.
Many of you probably best know Chuuk Lagoon as Truk Lagoon or Ruk. Chuuk Lagoon was original a misinterpretation of Ruk, which then led to the popular name Truk Lagoon as you know today. Part of the Austronesian language, Chuuk means mountain which describes the atolls and protective reef.
Chuuk lagoon is a group of 11 major islands and approx 100 smaller islands. Although Chuuk was populated by the natives of Kosrae and Pohnpei around 2000 years ago it didn’t gain much notice until early in World War II when the Japanese used it as there main base in the South Pacific. Due to the heavy man made and natural fortifications, Chuuk was known as “The Gibraltar of the Pacific” and considered the most formidable of all Japanese strongholds.
With this we come to the American payback attack known as Operation Hailstone. With such an amass of battleships, aircraft carriers, gun ships, tug boats, tankers, cargo ships, submarines and minesweepers. Truk was the perfect choice to mount an attack to deal as much damage as the Japanese made on Pearl Harbour. On February 17th the Americans made their move but using a combination of airstrikes, surface ship actions and submarine attacks to take down the Japanese stronghold in complete surprise. The base of the attack was in the air force with bomb droppings and torpedoes. The navel fleet intercepted any Japanese ships that tried to escape. In total over 260 Japanese aircraft were destroyed along with over 50 ships including submarines, tankers, destroyers and cargo ships. All this was done in a battle that lasted 3 days.
Most of these sunken wrecks were originally in the Federation of Palau until they were moved inside the realm of the Chuuk islands. The attacks for the most part ended Truk as a major threat to Allied operations in the central Pacific; the Japanese garrison on Eniwetok was denied any realistic hope of reinforcement and support during the invasion that began on February 17, 1944, greatly assisting U.S. forces in their conquest of that island. After completing Operation Hailstone the Japanese would never be able to recuperate for the amount of loss sustained to their cavalry which in turn (after a few more American attacks) led to their surrender in August 1945.
Today Chuuk (Truk) is a mecca for wreck diving with an entire fleet all in one underwater location. Ships as deep as 70 metres fully intact (some with Jeeps and tanks still aboard). For the most part, the wrecks are in shallower water only as deep as 35 metres. Whether you’re an Open Water diver or Tec Trimix and rebreather, Chuuk Lagoon really is a must see in your diving adventures… And that’s exactly why 23 of the Perth Scuba Crew will be diving there next month!
Leonardo DiCaprio asking you to help protect our oceansMarch 9, 2013
A message to the Perth Scuba Crew:
Experiencing the unique beauty of the underwater world as a diver inspires me to do what I can to protect our ocean and its inhabitants, particularly magnificent species like sharks and rays.
Sharks and rays are being pulled out of the ocean at unprecedented levels. Each year tens of millions of sharks are killed to meet growing demand from Asia for “shark fin soup” often used in weddings and other special occasions. The meat of sharks and rays is also prized in Europe and, increasingly, the gills of manta rays are sought for a traditional Chinese health tonic. Believe it or not, this lucrative international trade remains virtually unregulated.
We have an opportunity to turn the tide as officials from countries around the world convene in Bangkok for a conference of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). There, they can decide to protect a record number of shark and ray species – including oceanic white-tips, hammerheads, and mantas – from the unsustainable international trade that threatens their survival.
Sharks and rays are simply not cut out for intense fishing pressure. Most species grow slowly and produce just a few young. The resulting population declines are widespread and in many cases severe. Depletion of these critical species threatens ecosystems, livelihoods, and eco-tourism.
Through Project AWARE’s petition, I’m calling on country delegates to list sharks and rays under CITES and hold international trade to sustainable levels.
Join this growing voice of concerned citizens acting to protect these species before it’s too late.
Thanks for your support.
The German Elasmobranch Association, Humane Society International, Project AWARE, Shark Advocates International, Shark Trust, and Wildlife Conservation Society, with support from Oceans 5, are working as a coalition to promote adoption of the proposals to list shark and ray species under CITES.
Port Coogee WreckMarch 2, 2013
written by Lindsay Phillips – Perth Scuba Divemaster Extraordinaire
Perth Scuba headed down to the Coogee/Wreck for the weekly night dive, the water was quite calm and vis around 3 meters. Most of us had a hour dive.and saw plenty of critters.There were plenty of lion fish heaps of octopus, crays, sea horses, cuttle fish and mahy more critters .Sarah come back and said it was one of the most awesome night dives she has had in Perth, I would agree with her. Both the north and south walls have so much to see in such a small area!!
Busselton JettyFebruary 18, 2013
Filmed & edited by Brett Cook – Perth Scuba Divemaster Trainee
Sunday scuba diving the Busselton Jetty
On Sunday, 30 Perth Scuba divers headed down to dive the Busselton Jetty. There were 20 divers on the first boat dive, and 10 on the next boat dive. The visibility was about 10 meters with plenty of critters to been seen around the pylons with abundance of more around the old pylons littering the bottom. It is amazing what you can see when you take your time and look, there is no hurrying in diving so relax and study the underwater environment your diving in and you will surprise yourself on what you find. On both dives there was a school of hundreds of tailor circling around the pylons, what an awesome sight. There was another awesome sight, Lee zooming around on the new Seadoo underwater scooter , with the new Gopro video camera mounted on the front. Lee was everywhere on the scooter when you looked up he was zooming passed, he zoomed around for over 1 hour on the scooter with a big smile on his face, what a great run time for a small unit, we are look forward to see the video from the GoPro.
Explore the diving in EsperanceFebruary 16, 2013
After the success of Perth Scuba’s Esperance trip in January 2012, Lee and Joey are putting on another great weekend of diving in one of WA’s premier sites. I was stoked when asked to be Tour Leader as I so enjoyed the last trip. And what an experience we had. The drive itself, although long, went so fast thanks to my drive buddies, Bel and Tina-Marie. We managed to pop past Wave Rock For a quick pretend surf (well worth the few extra kilometres to see it).
Of course the diving was the big attraction and we had 6 planned dives including 2 on the Senko Harvest. By far these were the best dives. The wreck is too huge and can not be seen in just 1 dive.
Day 1 saw us diving a site called Long Island, which also has a little wreck called the Lapwing to investigate, followed by Sandy Hook. Lots of Talma’s, Old Wives, some big Blue Groupers, soft corals and even some prized Black Coral. And the glass fish make for great footage hhas they spiral around in small schools making patterns as they dance through around the coral. Such a wide variety of marine life to observe, photograph or video. Visibility was around 30 meters (check out my Esperance 2012 video above with an average maximum depth of 30 meters. Perfect for those wanting to do a deep course.
Day 2 – S. H. The Sanko Harvest. What a majestic vessel bottoming out at around the 48 meter mark. The enormous super structure, easy swim through’s, massive openings, lots of life, so much to see and do. The time went by all to quickly as we explored as much as we could during our double dive on this monolith. Lee led us into a cargo hold where we were greeted by several Port Jackson’s peacefully lazing within the ships hull. Fortunately for us they were quite photogenic and we have the evidence to prove it! The excitement on board after both of these dives was electric. I am so, so looking forward to re-visit this wreck to again appreciate her beauty.
On days 1 & 2 the more enthusiastic amongst us did up to 2 night dives in Sheerwater Bay and were treated to a plethora of life including Boar Fish, Bull Ray’s, Cow Fish, Octopus, Cuttlefish, Leather Jackets, as well as the usual suspects.
Day 3 saw us at Woody Island and Rabbit Island. Both around the 25 meter mark and both boasting an abundance of life. Some very cool swim through’s to explore and these massive rocks jutting from the bottom almost to the surface which made for a maze like experience.
My drive buddies joined me on one last dive on Tanker Jetty. A fair walk out to what is now now the end of the jetty then a reasonable swim to what was the jetty’s end. A swim worth the effort. Tina-Marie, Bel and I finned our way through the artificial reef and followed the line until we reached, what we considered an aquarium, at the end of our trek. We swam into a wall of Old Wives and Yellow Tails. They ignored us as they danced around the old wooden posts. On the return swim we saw some Gurnards and Leather Jackets and of course more Blue Groupers. And finally we were farewelled by 3 seals under the jetty just off the shore.
So if this sounds like the sort of diving you would like to do then join us on our 2013 Perth Scuba Esperance adventure. I look forward to seeing you. Contact us to book your place on this exciting trip!
Starfish melt on our Sunday shore dive at BHP JettyFebruary 11, 2013
A wonderful dive was had today by 15 manta club members at BHP Jetty. Ninja crabs, box fish, old wives, lots of fatty starfish and even a half eaten sting-ray. Thanks to everyone for coming and hope to see you next week. As you can tell by the starfish in the photo it was a warm day.
Seadoo Seascooters come to Perth ScubaFebruary 9, 2013
Every now and then something new comes to Perth Scuba and as the staff will tell you, it’s never good to have all these new toys coming in because as divers we all live by the rule “he who dies with the most toys wins”. Last week was no exception with the arrival of the new Seadoo Underwater Scooters. The range is very comprehensive with everything from cute little green kids ones designed to go to 5 metres right up to big kid sizes that go to 50 metres and go 7 km/h for 90 minutes.
Naturally when the scooters arrived last week I had to have a go of one just to make sure they were ok… of course!
We headed down to the HMAS Swan with an R2 scooter and a crew from Perth Scuba. The R2 scooter is one off the top of the range. This scooter has a 75 minute run time and a max speed of 6km/ph. There are a few different brands of scooters on the market and for the really serious guys that want to scoot to Rotto for kicks, the Halcyon scooters are the best, but not everyone can fit $8,000 in to their budget right?
After hopping in to the water and clipping the scooter safety straps on, I sussed out the speed settings and away we went. The R2 has a set of green LED lights on the “dash” which shows you how much battery life you have remaining. There are 2 speed control triggers, one a constant running one and the other a speed / power variation trigger. Then there is a lock so you can stay at whichever speed setting you choose without having to hold the triggers at all. Working out the settings took all of about 2 minutes and it was time to head off. One of the cool things about the R2 is that it is neutrally buoyant. It uses water as ballast to make it that way. There are 4 small steel pins which make it slightly negative and the water does the rest. It’s great knowing that if you have to let go for any reason at all (and it isn’t attached), it will stay with you.
Cruising to the bottom is as easy as tilting the nose downward. Going left or right is as easy as dropping the handle down on the side of the direction you want to go. All of your movements are controlled by tilting the scooter. The first speed setting is a casual pace – sort of if you were diving and not in a hurry. The second setting is a good pace. Fast enough to get you to where you want to go quicker than if you were kicking hard (even with Sea Wing Novas) and the fastest speed is very good when going against a current or if you want to beat everyone to the crayfish… Not that there were any of those on the Swan of course. The big advantage of a scooter in a wreck – is that you aren’t kicking your legs so there is no silt. You can cover a lot of ground and of course because you aren’t working hard, you save air. The big puffer fish didn’t share my enthusiasm though as I zoomed by them after chasing them around the bow of the wreck. The scooter can easily keep up with the fish as a 3 foot Samson Fish found out once I spotted him. The only down side of having a scooter when your buddies don’t… They want to play too. I handed mine over 20 minutes into the dive and didn’t see it until the end of the dive. (Although I did hear it zipping around the place for the duration of the dive – If only they made scooter immobilizers).
Now that we have the Scooters we will be offering DPV (Diver Propulsion Vehicle) courses and naturally we will have them for hire too.
The course is 2 very cool and very fun dives with a Scooter and is a PADI Certification course with text book and certificate and card. It can also be used towards the Perth Scuba Master Scuba Diver Challenge. The course is $249 or $199 if you have your own scooter (You can purchase one before or during your course to save the $50). Our next course is heading out on Thursday 21st February, call 9455 4448 to book your place!
The Seadoo scooter range starts at $219. Here are the specs for the range:
|MODEL||PRICE||WEIGHT||RUN TIME||SPEED||GEARS||CHARGE TIME|
|RS 1||$1495||9.5kg w/ battery||90 mins||7km/hr||3||7 hours|
|RS 2||$1149||8.6kg w/ battery||75 mins||6km/hr||3||4 hours|
|RS 3||$899||8.6kg w/ battery||60 mins||5km/hr||2||3 hours|
|Explorer X||$999||14.5kg w/ battery||120 mins||5.5km/hr||3||12-14 hours|
|VS Supercharged Plus||$699||8.2kg w/ battery||90 mins||4.8km/hr||2||6-8 hours|
|GTI||$569||8.2kg w/ battery||120 mins||4km/hr||1||6-8 hours|
|Pro||$419||6kg w/ battery||60 mins||3.2km/hr||1||4-6 hours|
|Aquaranger||$359||5.2kg w/ battery||60 mins||4km/hr||1||14-16 hours|
|Dolphin||$289||5.4kg w/ battery||90 mins||3.2km/hr||1||14-16 hours|
|Aquanaut||$219||3.3kg w/ battery||60 mins||1.6km/hr||1||10-12 hours|
Want to get your hands on your very own? Contact us or head into the store for the full range.
Congratulations to our new PADI InstructorsFebruary 2, 2013
Last weekend was a great one for Perth Scuba and 5 of our Instructor Candidates with the finale if their hard work coming to fruition on the latest PADI Instructor Examinations.
Jocie Tysoe, Vicki Jones, Chun Kan Lam, Neill Papenfus and Alex Hebmann completed their Instructor Development Course the week prior with our Resident Course Director Garth Schumann who once again did a fantastic job in preparing the crew for the big weekend.
Garth was very impressed with the level of competence that the guys and girls showed and equally impressed with their presentations.
PADI’s Richard Evans flew in from Sydney to a fantastic weekend of weather and as always did a great job in relaxing the candidates for the big weekend. All of the new Instructors took on the Master Scuba Diver Trainer course which will allow them to begin teaching not only Open water , Advanced, Rescue and Divemaster courses, but another 5 specialty courses including Wreck, Nitrox, Deep, Navigation, Search & Recovery and heaps more. (They all got to choose 5 different ones).
Jocelyn gets her wings (or should I say “fins”) today with her first Open water course and Neil will be taking his first course next week. Great work guys! We all hope you enjoy teaching as much as the rest of us. Good luck to Jocie and Neil.
Unfortunately for us, a couple of our new Instructors will be heading overseas to pursue their new careers. Alex is heading to France to teach and will be getting into some of the technical diving side which will be great for him.
So once again, Perth Scuba is on a mission to get more Instructor candidates for our next IDC Program which commences on the 9th of March. The course is open to all qualified Dive masters and is very highly recommended as not only a great career step, but for anything you ever teach, present or whenever you do any public speaking, the PADI Instructor course will prepare you for it all.
Naturally, Perth Scuba has the best priced fully inclusive Instructor course in Australia and as our instructors are finding out, they are very highly regarded within the industry around the world due to the experience of the local conditions here in comparison to other places around the world. Whilst there are nice warm water places you can go to do your IDC, there is no substitute for the experience of diving in Perth which will prepare you for real day to day diving experiences.
If you would like to join the next Instructor Development Course in March, call the store to arrange an appointment with Garth or Yasu (Japanese Instructor Candidates) or simply book by calling into the store.
For an IDC information pack, call 9455 4448 and start your new career as a PADI Pro Today!!
A word from an upcoming Perth Scuba InstructorJanuary 22, 2013
written by Jocie Tysoe – Perth Scuba PADI Instructor Development Candidate
The Instructor Development Course. Reportedly the hardest week of your life.. Akin to participating in Army Boot Camp.. At least that is what we were told.
To be honest, the IDC run at Perth Scuba by Garth Schumann, was one of the most rewarding training courses I have attended. After the last few months of chipping away at getting my Dive Master (or for those who had their DM for some time) this week seemed to solidify all of the bits and pieces learnt along the way and give you a reason for everything you have been through.
We participants turned up on day one, expecting the worst, waiting to be told that we would be attending class from 730am – 9pm with hours of study and gruelling exams, only to find that Garth had the week mapped out with a completely different plan in mind. The Perth Scuba IDC 9 day course consists of minimal classroom and homework, and maximum practical ‘in the water’ skills.
Day one was a classroom based day. Orientation, “getting to know you’s” and introduction to the topics to be covered throughout the week. I will admit, the following 8 days loomed large at this stage! So much to learn – so little time! The afternoon got us started on the topics, with a surprise presentation by each of us thrown in!
Day two saw us head up to Bayswater Waves, a morning bringing with it memories of DM skills days and fitness tests.. eughh :P Then the afternoon, back to Perth Scuba into the MAGICAL air-conditioned training room – rugged up in jumpers like we were in the arctic while the rest of the shop was sweating it out in the mid 40’s!!
The next two days followed a similar pattern. Bayswater waves for the morning, where we interspersed our Confined water skills practice and demonstrations with bagging out all of the non-Perth Scuba groups for their terrible training form (jokes…) and enjoyed the sunshine (a little bit too much for some.. namely me ). Afternoons were spent in the class, doing practice exams, paperwork and presentations and trying to decide if we really wanted to fork out the extra money to complete the Master Scuba Diver Trainer in addition to the Instructor (to which we all in the end decided it was definitely worthwhile!)
By the mid way point (Wednesday)..There were muscle strains, bruises, exhaustion from the day in day out water sessions and not feeling like the demonstrations we were doing were EVER going to hit the mark! I know I was starting to wonder if this ‘diving malarky’ was really the way to go.. The plan was to change it up and head to Rockingham Wreck Trail to get started on our Open water sessions. I am not sure if Garth was feeling sorry for us, or if he really thought the weather was too messy to dive, but half way to Rockingham we all got the shoutout to head back to the shop as it was ‘too rough’ (not that I’m complaining!). We waited out the windy weather days in the classroom, finishing up presentations and delivering our own presentations to the group.
By this time, with Garth’s nicknames (Monsieur, Jackie Chan, Victoria, Josseeeee and The boss) and the fact that we had all been up the front of the class making a fool of ourselves several times, the group was all beginning to get to know each other quite well. There is something so comforting about other people getting up and being just as nervous as you are that makes you feel ok to get up and mess up in front of them!
Friday, after the weather blew over, we headed back to Rockingham. A first time trip for some of the group, who had never even had a ‘Perth’ dive yet. Alas with the ‘limited’ visibility on day one, Rockingham didn’t put on too much of a show, but for our open water presentations and rescue scenarios, it did the trick.
The weekend came, and with it, a feeling of excitement. 7 days down – only 2 to go, and we hadn’t ‘failed’ yet!! As long as Chun managed to get to the dive trail on time, and Garth managed to learn french so he could mark down some notes for Alex, it looked as though there was a chance we were all going to survive this course! A marked improvement could be seen in the presentations delivered by all of us (although – and I’m sure Vicky will agree, us girls totally kicked ass!). I know that by the time we were done filling out our obligatory paperwork on Sunday, I certainly was feeling a lot more comfortable and (hopefully this doesn’t jinx me to say it) prepared for the Instructor Exam in a weeks time!
With the exam looming large in each of our minds, I can say with complete honesty that I’m so thankful I completed my IDC with Garth and Perth Scuba. I feel like the IDC training, as well as the Emergency First Response accredited Training, and MSDT has given us a really great foundation and prepared us for what to expect in the IE and (hopefully) given us the skills to pass with flying colours… but I guess that the proof will be in the pudding and by the end of the weekend we will know for sure. What a fabulous way to spend the Australia day weekend
Want to know more about becoming a PADI Instructor? Contact us for a full information pack!
Thirty divers dive on Coogee MarinaJanuary 21, 2013
30 (Yes you read it right 30!!!) of Perth Scuba’s Manta Club members headed to the North Side of Coogee Marina today for the Sunday Morning Club Dive. We started the day off with a lovely breakfast cooked by Lindsay & Brett (Cheers guys!). Once at the dive site the crew then got in all there gear and we did the dive briefing and headed off for a lovely dive. Down below the crew sighted everything from heaps of Fish to Sea Horse’s to Cray’s to a baby shark (Wobbegong or Port Jackson). This dive site will improve over the next coming years and will be a popular site in the future.
Thanks to everyone who came along!
You’ve created a seismic shift!January 19, 2013
Last year you helped make great strides forward for ocean protection, but I wanted to let you know that just weeks into 2013 you’ve helped do it again (twice)!
In November I emailed you about an oil company wanting to explore for oil using underwater sonic blasts just off the wildlife refuge of Kangaroo Island. These blasts are 10,000 times more intense than a jet engine and would happen inside the blue whale feeding season and at a critical time of year for sperm whales, dolphins and Australian sea lions.
With thousands of emails we called for a halt to the plan until a full scientific assessment of the proposed blasting was carried out.
In a result which has sent shockwaves right back at the oil industry, Environment Minister Tony Burke has now ruled that this assessment must be carried out.
This is only the second time in Australia’s history that this has happened. It has raised the bar on protection for marine life around Australia and improved the scientific standards of such exploration in our oceans.
This new standard was reflected in a second excellent decision by the Environment Minister this week, when he also blocked a very similar proposal to search for oil off World Heritage listed Ningaloo Reef off Western Australia. You may be interested in the full report which was in the Sydney Morning Herald.
While the Kangaroo Island decision doesn’t mean that we have yet stopped the proposed exploration (and the drilling and risks of an oil spill that may follow it) both of these decisions are a momentous result. They will make a real difference to marine life and have only been possible because you took action.
Thanks again for being part of the Big Blue Army standing up for our marine life.
All the best for another great year for our oceans.
Save Our Marine Life
Diving the Lena wreck in BunburyJanuary 14, 2013
On Sunday 6th January 2013, Joey & Ken headed down to Bunbury to try out diving on the Lena Wreck.
Apprehended by the Australian Navy in February 2002 while fishing illegally for Patagonian Toothfish in Australian waters the Lena now provides a unique dive wreck only 3 nautical miles from the coast in Bunbury Western Australia. Bunbury is only 178 km and a comfortable 2 hour drive south from Perth. The Lena was sunk as a dive wreck on Friday 19th December 2003 – and since that time a huge variety of corals and fish have made it their home.
We arrived at the Jetty at 8:00am ready for our two dives in Bunbury, unfortunately, the weather wasn’t cooperating with the a southerly blowing through and rain pelting down. So our friendly skipper Kim told us to go and chill out at a coffee shop and wait until 9:00am to see if the storm would blow itself out – which it did!
So we loaded the gear onto the boat and headed off for a short 30 minute ride to the wreck. We pulled up and geared up quickly to descend on this 55m wreck. The viz wasn’t too bad considering the storm that blew through at a reasonable 10 metres. The wreck is in only 18 metres of water so you have PLENTY of time to explore every nook and cranny without getting close to deco or running out of air. We explored for 60 minutes on our first dive and a further 50 minutes on our second.
There was loads to see with beautiful hard corals, colourful soft corals all over the hull and plenty of fish life. It’s very easy to penitrate the wreck with plenty of space so you don’t kick any silt into your buddies face. There’s big cut outs along the hull that make it easy to swim in and out of the boat. The wheelhouse collapsed a few years ago and this has allowed big schools of Buff Bream to circle the inards of the wreck. As you swim inside there are blue devils, clouds of bulleyes and even tiny crayfish – but no taking this is a no-take zone!
We enjoyed two dives on the wreck and it was great fun. Perth Scuba will be heading back on Saturday 23rd February 2013 to dive this wreck again, but in the meantime, click here for some of my images from the day. Contact us if you’d like to join us on our next wreck dive on the Lena.
The Official Report: Divemaster Skills Training DayJanuary 13, 2013
The DM skills day went well despite pool visibility dropping to three metres, giving us a very realistic dive trail feeling to the whole event. Through the murk of summer holidays build up of hair and bandaids the contestants did well with the skills, rescue and equipment exchange.
Trusty DM Robyn supplied lunch which was a clear winner. Although she did dob me in for making one of the contestants swim and extra lap ! Shaving that cheesy moustache off made him that streamlined and quick I missed his first turn.
Anyway that puts me into a very rare breed of instructor….. No not the fact of making a mistake but only admitting to it ! Besides…… I was just making sure.
Anyway, well done people look forward to seeing you on courses. Oh and a little tip for anyone thinking of doing the skills day……. If you show up a bit late and your evaluating instructor offers to help carry your gear in make sure you don’t give him / her all the heavy stuff.
The One That Got Away a Lesson to AuthoritiesJanuary 11, 2013
written by Tim Nicol – CCWA & PADI Spokesperson
The recent failure by Fisheries Officers to catch and kill a white shark in Geographe Bay has demonstrated why the Government must rethink the controversial pre-emptive kill policy for protected white sharks.
The hunt started not because a shark had behaved in a menacing way, but because shark sightings had repeatedly forced the closure of beaches. It was assumed that shark sightings between Christmas and early January may have been the same shark but no evidence was provided.
An order was then given to kill a protected white shark displaying natural behavior in known shark habitat because it was holiday season. It seems more like prolonged inconvenience than imminent threat.
It would have been difficult having to ask people on a beach holiday during a heat wave to leave the water. But do we really want to start killing protected animals for that?
And if they had caught and killed a large shark? Would Fisheries or the Premier have then said that the ocean was now safe? I don’t think so, because in reality the risk would hardly have changed.
In the end, despite the deployment of hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of equipment, the Fisheries Department was unable to catch a single white shark. Meanwhile, other marine life was put at risk of capture by the prolonged use of baited hooks, whilst the surveillance and education campaigns did their job of keeping people and sharks apart.
And for now it appears the white shark has done what white sharks do, moved on. White sharks are highly migratory and will not stay in an area long.
The Government’s kill policy is not helping the situation in Western Australia. Far from dispelling people’s fears, the sight of numerous boats hunting a shark off our beaches risks heightening the fear and thereby the damage to our marine tourism businesses.
Alongside the kill policy, the Government announced new surveillance, research and education policies for which they should be commended. These policies are proven ways of reducing the risk of shark attacks.
Education in particular is desperately needed after years of poorly informed public discourse that has led to a number of myths that a responsible Government should be seeking to bust.
Sadly, every shark species has been tarred with the brush of the recent series of attacks. There are 180 shark species in Australia, all critical to healthy ocean ecosystems and fisheries. Only three of these are considered responsible for most unprovoked attacks, that is white sharks, bull sharks and tiger sharks. People need to understand that every shark sighting doesn’t mean a dangerous animal is lurking off our beaches.
Further, the likelihood of an unprovoked attack remains low. Even lower now at patrolled beaches with aerial surveillance.
Despite public perceptions fuelled by increasing awareness of the sharks off our coast, there remain very few white sharks. The best estimate we have from genetic studies suggest there are only about 700 breeding age white sharks in Western Australia and South Australia combined. Despite protection, white sharks still die in significant numbers as accidental catch in fisheries.
The most likely reason for more white sharks visiting WA beaches in the past couple of years is a change in ocean currents that may reverse in future years.
More education is also needed on the circumstances of attacks. A useful recent report from the Department of Fisheries looked at a range of environmental factors, but did not examine human activities such as fishing.
As a diver, that is very important information in assessing the potential risk of my activities. The risk of shark attack and the range of species that might attack are completely different for spear fishing compared with sightseeing dives. Perth’s largest dive charters have done hundreds of thousands of dives without seeing a large shark, yet larger sharks are occasionally reported by other sightseeing divers and are commonly seen by spear fishers.
As our population grows and more people enter the water in more locations, we will increasingly become aware of the sharks that live in our waters. We need to better understand these animals for our own safety and theirs, because the healthy ocean environment we all value depends on maintaining healthy populations of sharks.
The kill policy is costing literally millions of dollars of taxpayers’ money and putting marine life at risk with no demonstrable benefit to public safety. Surely it would be smarter to redeploy this money into boosting proven prevention methods like surveillance, research and education that will continue to further reduce the already low but still real risk of a shark attack.
Perth Scuba finds a new dive site in Jervoise BayJanuary 8, 2013
26 Divers headed down to a new dive site at Jervoise Bay, the vis was around 2mtrs, but all along the coast it was the same. There were small crays seen a giant cuttlefish plenty of other critters.
This site should be good for a night dive, also we like to welcome the new Perth Scuba Manta Club divers who attended hope you had a great dive.
Thanks to Sarah (DMT) for a great dive brief, and for cooking the sauages,and thanks to Tracey for looking after the dive board again.
Hope to see you on the Perth Scuba Manta club night dive on Wednesday night, check on Face book for the location.
Night diving on the BHP JettyJanuary 5, 2013
On Wednesday 2nd January 2013, the Perth Scuba Crew hit the BHP Jetty for a night dive under the stars. It was a beautiful clear night with little to no wind and not a hint of swell. We all kitted up our gear in the car park, attached the strobe with great skill & dexterity to our flag (okay, it was sticky tape) and headed down the short sandy walk to the jetty. Luckily all the beach fishermen had already left by the time we arrived so there was no fishing lures to avoid.
Divemaster extraordinaire Lindsay Phillips gave the briefing and then it was time to descend… And what a surprise we were in store for – the viz was at least 10 metres. Good for this particular dive site!
Within a minute of dropping down we came across 2 seahorses sitting happily together on a short length of rope. Then we moved on to a small ray munching on crustaceans it found on the sand bed – it really didn’t care we were there in the slightest. As we moved over the site we came across hundreds of small crabs of all different shapes, sizes and colours. Some would pull shells over their heads to hide themselves, others would dart under rocks and whilst other aggressive sorts would stand their ground, claws in the air.
Lindsay, Kristy and Adam spotted an octopus, large ray and orange nudibranch. The water was a toasty 24°C with some of us even venturing into the water with only a 3mm wetsuit. After nearly an hour we trekked back up the beach to our cars and to share our experiences for the night. Thanks for joining us once again on a great night dive and we look forward to seeing you on the next one heading out Wednesday 9th January 7pm – call 9455 4448 for the location!
Perth Scuba PADI Open Water CourseJanuary 2, 2013
Filmed & Edited by Brett Cook – Perth Scuba Divemaster in Training
Location Rottnest Island, Western Australia
PADI Open Water Diver Course 29 Decembere 2012
Perth Scuba Open Water Course 3rd day at RottoDecember 31, 2012
Filmed & Edited by Brett Cook – Perth Scuba Dive Master in training.
Perth Scuba night dives Point Walter ReserveDecember 23, 2012
Friday 21st December 2013, the Perth Scuba Crew descended on Point Walter Reserve for a night dive followed by a BBQ. It was a beautiful night with very little wind and the water pretty much glassed off. We waited for the sun to descend below the horizon and then it was time to gear up and jump into the Swan River.
Point Walter Reserve as a dive site can be a bit murky, okay, a lot murky! But it does offer loads of seahorses for the photographer and prawns for the Christmas cook. Under the jetty you’ll find lots of critters including different coloured seahorses, decorator crabs and soft corals. As you head further away from the jetty into deeper water, you can find Blue Swimmer Crabs, Prawns, Mantis Shrimp (watch out for these guys!) and Sea Wasps.
Dive Master in training Matthias, gave the Perth Scuba Crew their briefing of the dive site, the guys threw in two dive flags with their orange blinkers – and then they jumped into the depths of Point Walter. The Department of Marine Transport was on the warpath the same night and was randomly trying to hand out fines – even though all the crew were following the rules! But that’s a story for a future blog… Don’t forget your dive flags and orange strobes for the flag on your night dives everyone.
Whilst the buddy teams were diving, the rest of the crew were drinking, eating and being merry whilst Glen cooked the BBQ – thanks Glen! The divers started coming out of the water 45 minutes to an hour later and then it was on for young and old to grab a bite to eat.
It was awesome to see so many of the Perth Scuba Crew in attendance and wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Click here for more photos from the evening.
Take the Master Scuba Diver Challenge!December 16, 2012
What is a Master Scuba Diver?
Master Scuba Diver is PADI’s highest non professional recreational diving certification. This is what the best of the best reach for, because the dive possibilities are endless.
How do I become a Master Scuba Diver?
You must complete your PADI Rescue Diver + five PADI Specialty Diver Courses. Then head into Perth Scuba before 31st May 2013 to apply for your Master Scuba Diver rating – it’s FREE!
I already have a couple of Specialties, what do I need to do?
Do you already have a one or two PADI Specialty Courses completed? You only need do enough courses to take you up to five in total. For example: You have Enriched Air Nitrox & Emergency First Response – then choose only three more to apply for Master Scuba Diver!
Do you already have your Rescue Diver completed? Then you only need to do five Specialty Courses.
What’s the Master Scuba Diver Challenge?
Become a Master Scuba Diver with Perth Scuba before 31st May 2013 and you’ll be entered into the Master Scuba Diver Challenge Competition. This is your chance to win a trip to Sydney where you’ll be awarded with the Ultimate Master Scuba Diver Trophy, a Scubapro Dive Package & PADI Dive Master Course.
What Dive Courses can I jump on to become a Master Scuba Diver?
There’s LOTS coming up PLUS you get a FREE Perth Scuba Limited Edition MSD Challenge Shirt for each specialty. Upcoming Dive Courses:
Enriched Air Nitrox Specialty: nights 19-Dec, 3-Jan, 17-Jan, 31-Jan
Peak Performance Buoyancy: 5 January
Deep Diver Specialty: 12-13 January FULLY BOOKED
Equipment Specialty: nights of 15-16 January
Navigation Specialty: 19-20 January
Wreck Diver Specialty: 2-3 February
Shark Aware Specialty: night of 23 January
Master Scuba Diver Challenge is on now!December 10, 2012
written by Ian “Destructor” Ross – Perth Scuba Instructor
I am really excited about the Master Scuba Diver Challenge. I think it is an excellent qualification being the highest in the non-professional stream. Whilst myself going onto a Professional qualification, that I have enjoyed as a fun part time career and also in the way I have met so many really cool people. I very much appreciate divers that devote their time to the recreational aspects and skill development of diving.
The longer I have been instructing the more excited I get about The Master Scuba Diver Qualification. It guides divers to a thorough understanding of diving in a safe manner. Having seen many aspects of diving I have become a strong advocate of a statement I first heard as a casual comment from a Staff Instructor when I was doing my IDC and that was “Every diver should be trained to the Rescue Diver level” at the time I didn’t realise what an insightful comment that was!
I suppose at the time I could see people’s rationale thinking ‘well I don’t want to dive deep’ and ‘I already know how to dive and that is all I need’ etc but, like many things a greater appreciation and relaxation comes from an activity when you are confident and know how to handle any situation that may come up.
Which brings me back to the Master Scuba Diver qualification. The completion of it includes Open Water, Advanced Open Water, Rescue Diver, 50 logged dives plus 5 specialties I won’t list them all but they focus on the safety, practical and fun aspects of diving, All these together makes it a very worthwhile qualification to hold.
I will conclude by again promoting that comment ‘Every diver should be trained to the Rescue Diver level’ and I would encourage divers to progress at least to that level. I will also add that you will not be ‘jumping the gun’ by moving onto the Rescue course as soon as possible. Many Open Water divers think, as I did, that they need experience before going on through the advanced and rescue courses. But the skillset you learn is that of being more confident in your abilities and being able to keep yourself safe in an emergency or while helping others should that need arise. To me it just seems extremely sensible given the environment in which we operate.
National Geographic scuba dives Rottnest IslandDecember 7, 2012
Best day in the office ever!
Filming yesterday with National Geographic on a doco about sharks – screening right across the US and in Australia on Channel 7 next year. It’s in response to the media hype around shark attacks in WA and the new so called ‘imminent threat’ shark kill policy. Fear from the continuous media coverage is keeping people from enjoying our marine life and hampering efforts to promote shark conservation.
Perth Scuba came along to point out that they’ve never seen a white shark in decades of diving off Perth. Surprise, no sharks! But we did get a visit from a friendly sea lion, a green turtle and heaps of fish, corals, rays and nudibranchs. Click here for Tim’s photos from the day.
Manta Club dives North Mole FremantleDecember 3, 2012
What a great day for diving, we had 28 divers turn up for the Perth Scuba Manta club dive. This morning bbq breakfast was bacon and egg rolls cooked by Brett , after breakfast we all headed down to North Mole in Fremantle for some great diving.
On arrival at North mole the water was like glass,the dive brief was done by the “cook” Brett who also is trainee dive master who did a very Professional brief. I’d like to welcome all the new divers who turned up for the dive, l hope you had a great dive. There were only a few small crays caught, but they were released to get bigger for next year.
Playing with manta rays in Raja AmpatDecember 1, 2012
So, it was with great reluctance that my arm was twisted, my hair pulled, and I was thrown bound and gagged into a plane to head off for the warm waters of Raja Ampat… Yeah right! (on second thought that sounds more like a chapter of Fifty Shades…)
Last week I returned from a 10 day journey cruising along the coast of Raja Ampat. This was a bit of an exploratory trip where we sought out new dive sites and hit a couple of old favourites. Our first stop of the journey was in the Dampier Strait where we descended on a very aptly named Manta Spa. This wasn’t like most those other dive sites that are named “Shark Point” and there’s not one shark to see or “Turtle Wall” and you’re lucky if you find a nudibranch! When they said Manta Spa they meant Manta Spa!!! The site is a Manta cleaning station (hence the name) and the big fellas cruise on in to get their wings cleaned by the little cleaner wrasse. They were BIG and quite happy to come in close to the camera. This was my first try of my 15mm fish eye and the Manta’s helped me out by coming in less than a metre from my dome port!
It was great to watch these huge fish cruise in lazily and spin around us as they got cleaned. They weren’t bothered by the divers bubbles at all and they put on a great show for all the crew. The dive site wasn’t just good for the Manta Rays, but we also found a couple of wobbegong, one lazing on the sand and the other sitting in a coral bombie waiting for unsuspecting fish. As I was photographing the wobbegong one of the other divers (thanks Sheridan!) got my attention and pointed behind me. As I turned a Manta Ray came sweeping over me and I had just enough time to snap a couple of photos! Yippee!!! And with that I was satisfied and ready to come up from a great start to a 10 day dive tour.
Our next two dive sites for the day were Cape Kri and Blue Magic, both of which had gorgeous and colourful coral growths. There were plenty of schooling fish and just a little bit of current… Okay, A LOT of current!!! Woah! Now that was fun getting plunged past the reef at a million miles an hour and trying to take photos – NO CHANCE! Until we turned a corner and then *poof* the current was gone and you could swim around and marvel at how quickly the conditions could change. When the current was strong that was when the most fish life was around, once the current slacked off the schools of fish decreased – current good! Plus, there was very little swimming required, all you needed to do was drift and control your direction with a quick flick of a fin here and there.
Then it was time for a night dive on Yembesser which is a small Papuan village. There was loads of cool stuff there including the tiniest little bobtail squid that when you looked really closely reflected all the colours of the rainbow! Plus pygmy seahorse, whip coral shrimp, flat worms, brittle stars and gorgonian crabs. The next 5 days of exploring Raja Ampat was great – so many fish and beautiful coral formations that you didn’t know where to look. Perth Scuba Instructor Joseph “Mac-Daddy” is leading a group to Raja Ampat next year and I’m sure he’s going to have a BLAST!
For more photos from my trip click here.
Congratulations to the WAUPS Novice Portfolio WinnersNovember 28, 2012
Congratulations to Marjon Phur, winner of the 2012 Novice Portfolio for the Western Australian Underwater Photography Society (WAUPS). Marjon won a brand new dive computer with integrated compass to help her find her way to the coolest critters!
Celebrate Australia’s New Marine ReservesNovember 20, 2012
Time to celebrate! Today in Australia the largest network of marine parks in the world was officially declared and is now legally in place.
Over the last few years your submissions made the Australian Government aware of the broad support for ocean protection amongst the global dive community – well done!
Join us in thanking the Australian Government for this landmark decision to protect our unique marine wildlife and places.
The new reserves protect some of Australia’s marine treasures including the Coral Sea, the jewel in Australia’s marine crown. With pristine corals and swarming sharks, the Coral Sea is a dream destination for divers everywhere. Also protected are unique environments in SW Australia, where blue whales come to feed and 90% of marine life is found no where else on earth.
Covering an area almost one-third the size of Australia the new reserves are a big step forward for ocean protection, but we have an opportunity to make them even better. Very soon we will tell you more about this opportunity and how you can help make the reserves the best they can be.
But for now let’s celebrate the creation of the world’s largest network of marine reserves! Highly protected marine reserves enable threatened species like sharks, rays and turtles to recover.
Perth Scuba returns from diving Wakatobi ResortNovember 3, 2012
written by Joey Pool – Perth Scuba Assistant Instructor
Never have we received such outstanding service!!! Let me start by saying that the service the Perth Scuba Crew received whilst staying on board the Pelagian luxury yacht and Wakatobi Resort was outstanding. The food was restaurant quality including sumptuous desserts and entrees. The accommodation was very comfortable, more like a hotel than a dive resort or live-aboard! The dive boats from the resort were fully shaded (see above) including tea, hot chocolate and coffee – all made by the crew for you. Plus we only ever had a maximum of 12 divers per boat, even though there was space for at least 30! Never once did we need to lift a finger to carry our gear, swap a cylinder or even wash our gear from day to day. Gees, after 10 days of this kind of treatment – how are you meant to get back to the reality of doing it yourself???
The Perth Scuba Tour began with a flight to Bali. The flight was rather ordinary, but what followed just made our day. After disembarking the plane we were met by a lovely young lady (Graeme stop drooling!) who escorted us past immigration and to our baggage. We cruised past the long lines of Visa applications and passport stamping and grabbed our bags from the conveyor belt. Our lovely host returned with our stamped passports and we were escorted through customs and out the airport door. It took all of 10 minutes to get from the plane to our waiting transport. After our rush through immigration it was followed with an overnight stay at the Dynasty Resort…. And of course, a couple of cocktails from the “hard day” we’d had flying to Bali – yeah right! Early the next morning it was time to shoot off to the airport for our short flight to Wakatobi Resort. We were met outside the airport by our Wakatobi host and taken to the check-in counter for our chartered flight. All our baggage was sent to the plane and then we were taken to the private lounge to await our flight. Unfortunately, there was a slight problem with our private charter (waiting on a part), and so we didn’t miss a day on board our luxury yacht, Wakatobi Resort chartered another flight and then zoooommmm we were off to Wakatobi!
After a short flight, followed by another stay in a private lounge, then our final short flight, we arrived at Tomia – one of the islands that make up the area where Wakatobi is situated. The Perth Scuba Crew disembarked our private Fokker 50 aircraft and jumped straight into the waiting transfer vehicles. No need to fuss over the luggage – someone else was there to do that! We drove past small neatly kept homes on our way to our boat transfer. It only took 10 minutes are we had arrived at the jetty where dozens of children were fascinated by the colour of Sarah’s hair (blonde). We jumped on our transfer and zoomed over to our floating home for the next 5 nights – the Pelagian Yacht. Oooooo and was it nice!!!
Click here for a few of Joey’s images (except the exterior of the Pelagian & Master Suite) from Perth Scuba’s Tour of Wakatobi. Part 2 of our adventure to Wakatobi Resort and the Pelagian liveaboard next week!
Free manta mask strap with your $25 donationOctober 31, 2012
Manta rays, a species close to the heart of every diver are at risk of extinction. The time is now. If you are a renewing PADI Member (Divemaster, Instructor and above), then you can make an urgent donation with your PADI Member Renewal to protect mantas globally.
All gifts of AU$25 or more received during PADI Member Renewals receive a new AWARE manta mask strap. There’s 4 ways for PADI Members to make a gift:
1) You can choose to donate when you set up your Automatic Renewal
2) If your Auto Renewal is already set up simply email your PADI Team to add the donation for you email@example.com
3) Choose the donate option when you complete your renewal online
4) Complete the PADI Member Renewal 2013 Form which includes info about the special offer.
FACT: Your support has already helped Project AWARE and our conservation partners succeed in safeguarding the globally threatened giant manta ray and its key habitats under the Convention on Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS).
FACT: Manta ray catch has nearly quadrupled in seven years according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
Project AWARE relies on you – the PADI Member – to help raise critical funds and take action for ocean protection. We’re working at every turn to ensure that mantas will not disappear on our watch.
Don’t forget to replace your PADI Certification Card with Project AWARE’s new Manta Ray Card. Every Perth Scuba certification will show that you’re mad about manta rays in 2013.
GoPro HERO3 Coming SoonOctober 29, 2012
Smaller, lighter and 2 x more powerful!
Pre order yours today – click here for the full GoPro HERO3 specifications.
WA Beach Clean Up hits South Mole FremantleOctober 15, 2012
Thank you to all our wonderful Perth Scuba volunteers for joining us at South Mole Fremantle for our Tangaroa Blue WA Beach Clean Up.
On Sunday 14th October, over 45 volunteers joined us in Fremantle to clean up Bathers Beach foreshore and the South Mole marine environment. Our Perth Scuba coordinator for the event was our Instructor Josh Phillips who did a great job of directing the volunteers to the clean up the area. The crew pulled out bags upon bags of rubbish from the ocean, including a huge assortment of glass bottles, plastic bottles & bags, wire and even a garden hose! The shore support crew find plenty of plastic bottle tops, aluminium cans, broken pieces of plastic, cigarette butts and even condoms (EWWW!) in the sand dunes. Great work guys and girls, and very thankful the rubbish is no longer there to hurt the local non-human inhabitants.
The weather conditions weren’t fantastic with a high swell and moderate winds to contend with – the divers did a great job of cleaning up and looking after themselves. After a big morning of cleaning up rubbish the boys and girls enjoyed a piping hot BBQ lunch (cooked by Josh) and a few drinks. Thankfully the rain never came and everyone not diving stayed dry.
Special thanks go to Lindsay Phillips (Divemaster extraordinaire) for organising the divers, Jocie Tysoe (Divemaster trainee) for keeping an eye on the divers in and out of the water, plus Dale Grice for helping Lindsay get the “washed up” divers out of the water!
Salik tests out his new Scubapro Sea Wing Nova finsOctober 13, 2012
Lee and Joey had such an awesome time diving the reefs of Kosrae with two fantastic dive guides, Salik (above) and Doug from Nautilus Resort. Whilst we were there Lee gave Salik a try of his Sea Wing Nova’s for one of our dives. After seeing the big smile on Salik’s face when we returned from the surface – we knew we’d made another Sea Wing Nova convert.
Salik has the enviable position of being a Divemaster at Doug & Sally Beitz’s Nautilus Resort in Kosrae Micronesia. When a divers arrive to Kosrae Salik kits them out, gets the boat ready with Doug and then vrooooommmmm it’s off to the dive site…. A whole 10 minutes away! Salik then guides us to the most amazing critters amongst beautiful pristine reef. He found us leaf fish, colourful nudibranchs, big fat clown fish, tiny crabs hiding in the coral and so much more.
After arriving back in Perth we shot out Salik a brand new set of Scubapro Sea Wing Nova fins to call his very own. We hope you enjoy them Salik and we’re looking forward to diving with you again when the Perth Scuba Crew return in 2014.
Want to join us? Read more here…
Plastic Ocean: Why we need to Clean Up!October 12, 2012
Oceans are silently choking on our plastic waste. Plastic and synthetic materials are the most common types of debris in our oceans and are having horrific impacts on marine wildlife and systems. As an island continent “girt by sea” marine debris is of particular importance.
Source: Catalyst ABC TV
Point Peron Gangnam Style with the Manta ClubOctober 7, 2012
Filmed and edited by Brett Cook – Murky Productions & Perth Scuba Manta Club Member
Thanks Brett! The Perth Scuba Crew LOVE IT!!!
Clean Up West Australia’s Beaches on Sunday 14 October
What is Marine Debris doing to our Ocean?
A 1997 study found that at least 267 species have been affected by marine debris worldwide, including 86% of all sea turtle species, 44% of all seabird species, and 43% of all marine mammal species, as well as numerous fish and crustaceans. Laist, D.W. “Impacts of Marine Debris: Entanglement of Marine Life in Marine Debris, Including a Comprehensive List of Species with Entanglement and Ingestion Records.” In Marine Debris: Sources, Impacts and Solutions, eds. J.M. Coe and D.B. Rogers. New York, NY: Springer-Verlag, 1997.
About one million seabirds and 100,000 marine mammals (including 30,000 seals) and turtles are killed by plastic marine litter every year, around the world. Dr David Kemp Minister for the Environment and Heritage March 2004
In South Australia alone, marine debris is believed responsible for the deaths of about 370 sea lions and fur seals each year. Around Kangaroo Island, Australian sea lions and fur seals get entangled at a rate that is the third and fourth for any seal species globally. Plastic is a particular danger to 20 Australian threatened species, listed under the EPBC Act.
Endangered species: Loggerhead Turtle, Southern Right Whale, Blue Whale, Tristan Albatross, Northern Royal Albatross, Gould’s Petrel.
Vulnerable species: Leatherback Turtle, Hawksbill Turtle, Flatback Turtle, Green Turtle, Wandering Albatross, Humpback Whale, Antipodean Albatross, and Gibson’s Albatross, Southern Royal Albatross, Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross, Grey Nurse Shark, Grey-headed Albatross, Blue Petrel, and Northern Giant Petrel.
Dr David Kemp Minister for the Environment and Heritage March 2004
Marine debris can be ingested by animals, fish and birds causing internal blockages and death. 76 pieces of plastic were found in the stomach and intestines of a green sea turtle. It had died of septicaemia and starvation. (picture right top).
Many animals including albatross have died due to ingestion of many pieces of plastic. When this animal degrades into the earth, the plastic will remain and potentially cause the death of many other animals.
Animals, fish and birds can become entangled in marine debris. The marine debris becomes tighter and tighter as the animal grows eventually causing painful infections, amputations and death.
In every square kilometre of ocean there is an estimated 18,000 pieces of plastic. Marine life and seabirds are living in an ocean of plastic!
Plastics breakdown into smaller and smaller pieces as they float around the oceans and do not biodegrade. Not only do they become ingested by marine life, but they can also accumulate toxic chemicals, including DDT and PCBs. Plastic particles have been found to concentrate such chemicals to one million times the levels found in the water itself. Moore, C. “A Comparison of Neustonic Plastic and Zooplankton Abundance in Southern California’s Coastal Waters and Elsewhere in the North Pacific.” Presentation to California and the World Ocean Conference. Santa Barbara, CA, October 2002.
How Can You Help?
Help keep our beaches beautiful by joining the Perth Scuba volunteers already registered in the great WA Beach Cleanup on Sunday 14th October @ 8:30am. We want to help protect the marine environment from the harm of marine debris. After our recent club dive to the area we understand how much help the South Mole beach needs from divers and non-divers alike.
You can get involved by joining our clean up at South Mole Beach, Fremantle. Meet at South Mole Fremantle 8:30am near the Challenger TAFE carpark on Fleet Street. If you’re diving for debris don’t forget to BRING: Dive Gear, Sturdy Gloves & Catch Bag OR if you’re shore support bring your Sturdy Gloves, Sunscreen & Hat. All volunteers will enjoy a FREE BBQ lunch after cleaning up above and below the water.
Thanks for keeping Australia beautiful! Register as a volunteer by contacting us.
Dive travel to Kosrae MicronesiaOctober 6, 2012
written by Lee Johnson – Perth Scuba Manager
This month Perth Scuba is happy to announce one of our upcoming trips to Kosrae.
Kosrae, situated between Pohnpei and Honolulu in the Micronesian Islands is home to the best reef diving we have ever seen. In this modern day, to be able to visit a place where fewer than 200 divers per year explore the fantastic reefs and walls, is unbelievable and the diving… nothing short of spectacular!
Australian owners of the Nautilus Resort, Doug & Sally, are the best hosts you could hope for and run one of the nicest boutique type resorts in Micronesia. All of their staff are Kosraean and are fantastic. Nothing is too much trouble for anyone at Nautilus Resort and Doug & Sally are more than happy to arrange some of the many other non diving activities such as rainforest treks, Kayaking and visiting the ancient village ruins of the ancestors of the Kosraean people for those in between dive times.
The diving… As I mentioned, never have I seen such pristine reef. With massive hard and soft corals as far as the eye can see and colour which covers every possible combination of the colour spectrum, the cameras didn’t get a chance of a rest. The diversity of Kosrae diving is great. Wall diving with large marine animals on one side of the island and smaller critters including leaf fish and the biggest clown fish you have ever seen on the other. There are corals there which have has so long to grow uninterrupted, that they have other formations growing out of them showing me the full potential growth of these corals and formations which I had not seen anywhere else that I have dived in the world.
Doug, who runs the dive operation, has just installed a Nitrox system for anyone who prefers the option of diving on Nitrox which is great news.
Perth Scuba is heading back to Kosrae in August (29th) 2014 with a group of divers. If you are interested in a trip with a real difference and one I guarantee you will be talking about for years to come, contact us to arrange your booking. This trip is strictly limited to 12 people.
If August 2014 doesn’t suit you, can’t wait that long or you would like a trip booklet for all of our upcoming dive trips sent out to you, contact Perth Scuba on (08) 9455 4448 or by email and we can arrange your trip for you.
Don’t forget to also check out this month’s FEATURE TRIP to Mexico in our advertisement in this issue of Dive Log.
Perth Scuba runs around 7 trips annually to the world’s best diving destinations. Previous trips include Antarctica, Galapagos Islands, Palau, Truk Lagoon, Vanuatu, Fiji, Bali, Great Barrier Reef, Solomon Islands, Philippines, Komodo, Borneo, PNG and more. Our trips are all lead by dive professionals who have been trained to be tour leaders. They are there to make your holiday perfect from start to finish.
From the second that you book your trip with Perth Scuba, you will receive updates, trip advice and hints and tips as well as contact to keep you posted on any changes to schedules or flights to make sure you are always up to date. Perth Scuba tour leaders will be there for you, before, during and after your trip to make sure any additional travel plans are met and arranged for you to make your trip exactly what you want it to be.
Participants of Perth Scuba trips also benefit by having a great crew of mixed ages on all of our trips. With group sizes ranging from 10 to 50, it’s a great way to meet new divers or bring a friend and have a fantastic time.
These are just a few reasons why dive travel with Perth Scuba is an unforgettable experience.
Fantastic Open Water Course at Rottnest IslandOctober 2, 2012
written by Glen Outhred – Perth Scuba Instructor (images by Lilian Fierro – Perth Scuba Divemaster in-training)
Let me just start by saying, WHAT A SPECTACULAR WEEKEND!!! As per usual Perth Scuba hosted an Open Water course during Friday, Saturday and Sunday and what a weekend to do your first dive ticket. Happy smiley faces started the day and continued to smile with a nice warm day in the pool as we completed our skills and learnt the fine art of bubble rings.
As Saturday rocked on in it was time to get out in the ocean and explore the Wreck Trail. Flat as a tac and not a cloud visible in the sky! We explored the planes and boats of the Wreck Trail finding lots of sea horses, bait fish, nudibranchs and even trigger fish! The Wreck Trail had never looked so good, 7 metres vis and plenty to see!
Now comes the best day, Rottnest Island! This was truly a wonderful day, 29 degrees and nice flat water. We started with a beautiful dive at West Palace we’re we explored over passing rock formations, huge open mouth caves, schooling fish and massive crayfish! A great start to the day. As we came back on the and head to a nice beach close to Rottnest we found 30-40 sea lions and a pod of 10-15 dolphins!! Rottnest really is an amazing place! As per usual we jumped back in the water to have a good snorkel and play around with the sea lions! Everyone loved watching them show off with twirls and swimming so fast past us they were a blur on the camera. After a good feed and sunbake we heading to Swirl Reef, or we would have if we weren’t stopped by WHALES!! Three humpback whales decided they wanted to play and show off for the boat for a good 30mins. Moving from one side of the boat to the other, so close we could reach and shake their fin! A truly tremendous site to see! And the look on students faces, priceless! What more could you ask for on your first boat dive ever!
Adrenalin was pumping and the students were very keen to get back in the water! As we descended down, we completed our skills and I now had successful open water candidates! Swirl reef is a good with lots of chasms that you can look and go down in, lots of schooling big eye fish, sleeping fish, nudibranchs and rock formations which was home to heaps of soft corals. Expectations are going to be very high after a weekend that these guys had. Jump over to Rottnest Island and hopefully you can have the perfect day as well!
Perth Scuba Crew descends on South Mole FremantleSeptember 30, 2012
Image by Lindsay Phillips – Perth Scuba Dive Master
Thanks to all the Perth Scuba Crew for joining us on a beautiful Sunday morning shore dive at the South Mole. Great to see so many of you out on a wonderful spring morning for a dive!
Some of the discoveries of the day were green pipefish, port jackson sharks, schooling fish, big fat orange nudibranchs, chunky starfish and so much more…
Special thanks to Divemaster extraordinaire Lindsay Phillips for guiding the crew, Josie Tysoe (DM in training) for a great dive briefing and Terry Lui for cooking up his chinese style bacon & egg brekky!!!
Look forward to seeing everyone next Sunday!
Last day to shoot the Underwater Festival 2012
Last day of shooting! – Registration closes TONIGHT.
If you are not registered AND paid for your initial shootout credits by the end of the 30th, you will not be able to submit images. However if you have fully registered and purchased entry credits by the end of this Sunday (30th) you will be able to buy additional entries all the way until the end of the submission date which is Sunday the 7th of October.
PLEASE read the shootout rules BEFORE starting to upload your images or video , most issues so far have been with uploading images that are not .jpg files or that have nor been resized to 200 pixels wide and 1000 pixels wide.
The shooutout entry conditions and rules are online and we have added a QUICK version where you can understand the procedure of participating in 30 seconds!
Most importantly – if you are signed up up or are still considering – set your cameras to 2019 NOW, so you don’t forget (date and time remains the same)
We have published the complete list of UF12 prizes . Check them out and choose your entry categories wisely!
Follow the UF12 Blog and the facebook page.
A quick version of what to do to participate if you haven’t seen this yet is on the UF12 website and below:
- Pay ($50 for 5 photos or 2 videos – more can be purchased later or immediately)
- Check out your profile and your entry page in the MY FESTIVAL tab on the UF11 website.
- Before you start shooting, set your camera to the year 2019 (this date was announced on 29 August 2012 – day of the month and time will remain the same).
- Shoot your best from 1st to 30th of September 2012.
- Photos: Upload 1000 pixel (longest side) and 200 pixel wide versions of your photo entries on your MY ENTRIES page between 1st of September and the 7th of October (this will allow uploads from areas with slow internet connection and still allow judging).
Videos: Upload your films to Youtube or Vimeo in best possible quality and keep videos private. Then upload each embed code and a 200 pixel wide still image to your video entry page on your MY ENTRIES page between between 1st of September and the 7th of October.
- Selected entries will receive an email to forward the full quality adjusted image and/or the original files to us by email or other means.
- Judging will happen online by a massive panel of experienced judges between 8th and 22nd of October.
- Top100 Images and Top20 videos will be on display online from 1st November 2012.
- Awards will be announced as a yet to be determined date.
- Prizes will be emailed / mailed to winners.
Have you already planned some diving for September? Where will you go and what can you capture?
Make some plans with your dive club, take your dive buddy somewhere new, or show us your local knowledge of your nearby dive sites. We want to see it all.
Like an ‘Underwater Earth Hour’ we want you to help us to show the world what we have to lose.
Have a look at the UF12 website where you can check out all the latest.
If you have participated in the 2011 Underwater Festival, your login and password will still work this year. If you forgot your password, there is a recovery tool on the login page
There are a few big changes for the Underwater Festival 2012
- You have the whole month of September 2012 to shoot – you can still dive ‘wherever you like’ in Australasia
- You can redeem your festival entry fees at participating operators – pay nothing to participate
If you have not registered, the first step is to register at:
Once registered you will be given instructions on how to pay for your preferred package
There are 2 initial packages:
- Photographer registration (A$50) – 5 photo upload credits + 5 lucky draw entries
- Videographer registration (A$50) – 2 video upload credits + 5 lucky draw entries
Additional entries can be purchased at any stage in the lead up and during the shootout period:
- A$10 per additional photo – includes 1 lucky draw entry
- A$25 per additional video – includes 2.5 lucky draw entries
Diving the world renowned Galapagos IslandsSeptember 29, 2012
written by Lee Johnson – Perth Scuba Manager (images by Joey Pool)
During August 2012, Lee and Joey led a group of Perth Scuba Divers to explore the world famous Galapagos Islands. The Galapagos Islands are one of the few places in the world where you are guaranteed to see schooling hammerheads and whale sharks when scuba diving – and this was the reason we wanted to explore! The islands are a giant marine park where fishing is strictly governed to a level that is very sustainable (only hand fishing to a small number of vessels is permitted).
Our tour kicked off in Guayaquil, Ecuador about 1000km away from the Galapagos Islands. Guayaquil is the largest city in Ecuador and we were completely unprepared for the sheer scale of the city with a population of approximate 3.5million people! After a 24 hour journey from Sydney to reach Guayaquil (via Auckland New Zealand and Santiago Chile) we were all very happy to slip into bed at the Macaw Hostel on our first evening. After completely bombing out we awoke to the sounds of Guayaquil the following morning – now it was time to hit the town and EXPLORE! Guayaquil is loaded with old buildings including enormous cathedrals, grand parks and outdoor art galleries. It’s a feast for the eyes – but watch out – while you’re looking at the sights there’s some kids closely watching your pockets. That’s right, we had a fascinating experience at the Iguana Park, watching the kids give you big doe eyes until you turned around and they madly scouted out what they could pinch before you knew it. Our crew was very switched on and had no problems with the pick-pockets and watched bemused as they tried their luck on other tourists – no successes whilst we watched! After a day of exploring the sights it was time to hit the hay ready for our early flight to THE GALAPAGOS ISLANDS!
The Galápagos Islands are a group of volcanic islands located around the equator in the Pacific Ocean, about a 4 hour flight west of continental Ecuador. The islands are geologically young and famed for their vast number of endemic species, which were studied by Charles Darwin. His observations and collections contributed to the inception of Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection.
We landed in San Cristobal in no time – one of THE Galapagos Islands – yippee!!! We’d finally arrived after LOTS of flying!!! It was a beautiful sunny morning and after pouring out of the plane we waited patiently whilst ONE – count them ONE – person unloaded the plane… Finally, after the customs doggies had sniffed everything it was time to grab our bags and get out to the waiting arms of our guide Juan Carlos! (JC) Juan quickly loaded us into the bus and drove us down to the marina where we were greated with a dozen sealions lazing across every surface. This included park benches, boats, ramps, rocks (which you’d expect), footpaths and low walls. Anywhere there was a spot of shade, you’d find a sea lion lounging and snoring… What a life!
We loaded our dive bags onto a zodiac and followed our luggage to the vessel “Humboldt Explorer”. From a distance the Humboldt appeared smaller than some of the other vessels but upon arrival it was clearly big enough for everything we needed.
After a briefing from JC about how everything worked and how the trip was going to run, we headed out for our first “check out” dive. (This was just a dive to make sure all of our equipment was working and to show the crew that we could all dive.) The water temperature at San Cristobal was a balmy 16 degrees! We were all starting to question what we had brought in the way of wetsuits and rashies as we sure weren’t expecting it to be that cold! We were told later that this was the coldest place to dive and that as we got further north into the Galapagos Islands the water would get up to 24 – 26 degrees… Whew!
The water was very clear and the Sea Lions were very playful with us on the dive but keeping them interested was difficult. After all how do you compete with an animal that can zip arouns at a hundred miles an hour, turn back on it’s own axis and spin and twirl at a rate of nots? We tried. One of our guys had his head nibbled on because he wasn’t paying attention to the sea lion above him who wanted to play… very cute and very funny to watch.
Dive over and with the dive crew happy that we knew what we were doing, it was time to dry off and make for the better diving of the Galapagos Islands.
During the evening JC told us of the exciting things that lie ahead and a bit about the Galapagos Islands. We were sure in for a treat! We were all asked what we would like to see and were all promised that we would see what we wanted… a tall order but if JC could come through with the goods, everyone would be happy.
The crew on the boat were introduced to everyone on the trip and very quickly the banter started between guests and crew. It was going to be a fun trip.
After steaming all night we arrived in the early hours at North Seymour Island. After a quick breakfast we worked out who was going to be in the A and B team of divers and kitted up accordingly. Group A was ready within a minute and champing at the bit to get into the water. After lots of cameras were handed down to our “Panga” including Joey’s Praying Mantis, our driver hit the throttle and headed out toward our first real dive site. A short briefing from our Dive master (JC) on how to exit the Panga all at the same time without giving the diver next to you concussion and we were ready on the count of 3.
1… 2… 3 it must have looked funny from a distance as 8 divers all rolled back at once from the boat leaving the driver from a full boat to empty in 3 seconds. We hit the water, settled ourselves and clipped everything into place, then descended into the cool but clear waters of North Seymour Island.
The water temperature was now 19 degrees so it was (as promised) getting warmer. The visibility was around 20 metres and the marine life was already starting to show us what we could expect on this awesome and much anticipated trip. Sharks, Eagle Rays and fish everywhere! we sat in one location and took it all in before moving with the current along the steep and barnacle encrusted reef wall.
Joey’s strobes were firing madly – it was like a disco and the go pro cameras were all chasing everything that moved on the reef.
The anticipation was high and it certainly didn’t disappoint. The massive Eagle Rays cruised by us flexing against the moderate current an arms length away from us and they stayed along side us for 10 minutes, almost as if they were checking us out as much as we were them. With lots of photographs and videos taken it was once again time to lift up and move along the reef. This time we swam into a school of Giant Trevally which herded and barrelled through us. there would have been hundreds if not thousands of them… the welcoming party had arrived! with the stampede over after a few minutes the water cleared and there was once again fish of every species zipping around getting in the way of every photo opportunity of a shark or larger fish. We encountered our first Galapagos Shark on this dive and countless other critters which would surely make this trip one of the best dive trips ever… We ascended after an hour and were welcomed by our driver who was waiting to take our cameras and assist us back onto the panga. With the first real dive down, it was going to take a long time for the smiles to wear off this group of divers faces. 3 more dives at North Seymour Island and then we headed towards the equator for our equator party… and of course the best dive sites in the world… Darwin and Wolf Islands.
Scuba diving the Cenotes of MexicoSeptember 28, 2012
written & images by Joey Pool – Perth Scuba Assistant Instructor
Only in Mexico would the airport control tower have a giant Corona bottle painted up its length! And with that it was “WELCOME TO ME-HI-KO!” by our guide at the gate and we were off to our hotel on the beach. And what a hotel it is! Phwaaaaaawwwwh!!! Nice place to be staying when on a “dive” holiday. We were greeted with a cold tropical cocktail, a wristband slapped on and then led to our room by the bell boy – poor fella had no idea what he was in for when he offered to take our bags – we don’t travel light! We wound our way through the lush gardens, swimming pools, another swimming pool, a bar, another bar, past the sports lounge and then arrived at our Garden View Room. Aptly named as you could see the garden out the window BUT beyond that we could see the beautiful ocean beyond – oh baby – this was looking good already, not least of which because I saw the size of the cocktails on our walk past!
The hotel is located in the wonderful Puerto Aventuras development. This is a tourist development which boasts a marina for yachts, a golf course, restaurants and dolphin tanks, all within easy reach of the main Mayan Riviera attractions. Lee and I got up early in the morning (surprising I know!) and went in search of the dolphin tanks. When I say tanks, they were more like closed off parts of the marina with reef growing on the bottom. We found them after an easy 10 minute stroll from the hotel reception. WOW! There must’ve been a dozen dolphins cruising around the marina, leaping about their enclosures and chasing each other – even babies! Very cute and smiley. Right next door there were rays, sealions and three BIG manatee. I’ve never seen a manatee in the ocean and it was fascinating to see these big sea cows grazing around their enclosure and rolling onto their backs to eyeball you.
After our first night chilling by the bar – finding out just how many tequilas and cocktails they’d serve… To the people around us – not us – we were diving in the morning! We were up and bounded out of bed for our pickup for our first two dives of the day. We were collected promptly and taken to the dive shop… A whole 5 minutes drive from the resort! Hmmm well that was easy. We were then introduced to our experienced cavern and cave guide, Alex, and then loaded into the car to our FIRST Cenote Dive!!! In case you’re wondering a Cenote is a deep water-filled sinkhole in limestone that is created when the roof of an underground cavern collapses. This creates a natural pool which is then filled by rain and underground rivers. ome cenotes are vertical, water-filled shafts, while others are caves that contain pools and underwater passageways in their interior. Cenotes are prevalent in the Yucatan Peninsula – which is where we stayed. There are over 2000 Cenote in the area with more being found every year!
Our first dive of the day was to be at Chac Mool, which was a 10 minute drive from the dive shop, everything’s SO CLOSE! Scroll down for more about our Mexico dive tour…
The water was a beautiful 25°C so we only needed to wear a 5mm wetsuit. No drysuit to worry about like you’d need to in other cavern systems across the world! We had the choice of twins or single cylinders to dive the system as the entry was so easy for either. Just looking into the water from the edge it looked like bottom was only 30cm away… And then we found out it was 8 metres! How’s that for visibility yippee!!!
Alex explained to us that Chac Mool was one of his favourite cavern dives with lots of beautiful formations and plenty of variation throughout the system. And he was SPOT ON! It was beautiful!!! Crystal clear water with sun beams lancing through the water down through the jungle canopy. Then the stalagtites and stalagmites formed over thousands, if not millions of years, when the cave systems were not flooded with water. It was fascinating to swim through shimmering haloclines where the salt and fresh water met and created a swim through that made you think you’d been drinking too many tequila! No matter where we swam through the caverns there was always a spot of light where you knew you could escape to the forest above. Surprisingly the cavern system even had fresh water fish, including catfish and small tetra’s that came and nibbled on your fingers whilst you sat still – manicure anyone?
Our next dive was through the very same entry at Chac Mool, but this time we headed off through a restriction and out into what’s known as Kukulkan. At approximately 10mtrs, we entered the Halocline zone. We were shining our torches into the point were salt and fresh water meet and marvel the reflections projected on the walls of the Cavern. The dive passes through a huge Cavern that surrounds the Cenote. The light effects are amazing, as sunlight penetrates the darkness. If you ever do this dive take a moment to look towards the ceiling at the entrance to see the colors of the rainbow.
Both of our dives were close to an hour long and they were fascinating. Brilliant that even though Lee and I don’t have our cavern qualifications, the guides are able to take us through these dives that otherwise we’d never be able to enjoy. We jumped into the ute and headed back to the dive store and arrived in time for lunch!
We were dropped back at Hotel Catalonia for a relaxing afternoon by the pool. This is where we found out what our wristbands were good for… EVERYTHING! Oh yeah, it didn’t matter which restaurant, buffet, bar, snack shop or drinks cabana you went to, everything you ordered was included. That’s right – you could eat and drink to your hearts content (actually, your doctor would tell you your heart wouldn’t be content – it’d be horrified!) and there was nothing more to pay. The entire time we were staying in Mexico we spent a grand total of $20 – and that was a tip to the taxi driver because we didn’t have smaller notes! Oh yes, we could definitely get used to this treatment.
Check back on Saturday 29th September 2012 for Part 2 of our Mexico Adventure…
Scuba diving weather just around the cornerSeptember 27, 2012
written by Andy Goddard – Perth Scuba Master Instructor
As the season and the weather is starting to pick up thought I’d drop a line on my latest Open Water Course.
So where do I start? At the beginning I suppose! So in them all come Friday morning, not realising the perils ahead of them!! Only joking of course! But it always amazes me people’s expectations of the course that lies in front of them….
The Open Water course I would consider to be one of the hardest courses especially here in Perth. The temperature of the water and the amount of weight the students have to carry is a major obstacle to some.
So on this Open Water course I had 7 seven young ladies and one fella …a good mix a!! The course starts as usual with the Friday pool session…that went according to plan…well in a fashion, but the days was enjoyable and everyone enjoyed themselves…
To my amazement, they all turned up keen and eager for their first Open Water dives. We hit Rockingham around 9pm and after a very windy and chilly first dive spirits were high!! The second dive of the day was a little bit of a tester as the current was getting up for the students but all pulled through and all looked forward to the day on the boat .
We used PDA’s boat for the Sunday and was very pleased to see a large turnout from Perth Scuba on the boat…The conditions were great for the days diving , blue skies , air temperature of 27 degrees and water temperature of 18 !!
The first dive site was Salmon Bay Wall …situated on the southern side of the island a great little dive for the students .The first thing we saw as we hit 18 meters was a Port Jackson Shark …great start to the dive!! After ironing out a few buoyancy skills the dive ended 30 minutes with the students all ALIVE!! Ha-ha ! The smiles on their faces told the story ….and welcome to diving guys!
The last dive of the day was ‘The Colander ‘, a series of small bombies with swim throughs and caves, again another awesome sight!
So after arriving back at Perth Scuba the best part of the course began ….the beer drinking!! I had to drink 2 cartons!! And a big thanks you to Liz Williams for having a go with me!! The drinking carry on ‘til late and was a fitting end to a great course and a great bunch of students……so if you are reading this guys …I’ll see you all very soon for your Advanced Course.
Instructor Development Course UpdateSeptember 25, 2012
Just wanted to run a few thoughts by you guys ….as ever thought about being an Open Water Instructor?
The Perth Scuba Instructor Development Course (IDC) starts this October 18th – 26th 2012
Followed by the Instructor Examinations November 2nd – 4th 2012
This course is the first step on the ladder to becoming an Open Water Instructor; the course is run over a week with the theory section being completed before the start date of the course.
Becoming a dive instructor can be a truly life changing event, the opportunities to teach diving are here with Perth Scuba or if you feel the need to travel then it’s a great way to earn a living…..I know… I did it!! And for many years!
To be a good Open Water Instructor takes commitment, understanding, patience and a willingness to help people through a wide variety of diving courses with the ultimate professionalism. The job, make no mistakes can be very demanding, but the biggest positive about the job is the immense feeling of job satisfaction. Taking people from all different backgrounds in life and getting through their Open Water Course and maybe changing their lives is an awesome feeling.
Teaching is a way of life for me, within it my career I have travelled, owned my own diving business and truly changed my way of thinking about life, to be open minded as an Instructor is key…to be understanding at all times is a must.
Perth Scuba is now a Career Development Centre (CDC) and is the very top for dive education, there are no other CDC in Western Australia, so if you want to be the best…you learn from the best…right?
The IDC is a week intensive course that covers basic teaching principles, it made up of Classroom presentations, Confined Water Presentations, Open Water presentations and Skills. These will be tested at the Instructor Examination which runs over a 3 day period.
Preparation is key to success and the staff here at Perth Scuba are here to help, guide and encourage. The steps that you are making towards being an Open Water Scuba are massive, but you are not alone and with in-depth training and preparation you will succeed.
If this blog has put a seed into your mind, thinking about being a Dive Instructor then call the shop 08 9455 4448 for more information and come and talk to us ….you will change your lives ..
Andy and the crew dive Ningaloo ReefSeptember 24, 2012
written by Andy Goddard – Perth Scuba Master Instructor
Hi to all,
A few lines about the recent trip to Ningaloo Reef that I’ve just returned from leading.
Before I start I want to say a big thank you to all the staff of ……….you was tremendous and all the divers from Perth Scuba want to thank you very much.
The trip to Ningaloo Reef was an amazing few days of diving ……
Leaving Perth on CHILLY Sunday morning we arrived at Learmonth airport at 11.30am and walked into a balmy heat of 30 degrees! Oh yes summer was back!
We were met by the team from the yacht and then taken on a drive down to Coral Bay.
The yacht was great “Shore Thing “is a catamaran fitted out very comfortably with twin, double and single cabins.
We were made most welcome from the first minute we stepped on board and true to the crews words they made the yacht feel like our home over the next few days.
So we set sail late on the Sunday afternoon but being keen to sample the Reef and what it has to offer we dived about 5pm that evening…a shallow dive within the reef but still great by any standards!
Depth was about 10 metres but a wide range of fish life to look at. The water temperature was 22 degrees so certainly a big improvement on the Wreck Trail!! (15 Degrees).
It was then onto “Après Dive “or after dive drinks and dinner, had to say the food onboard was top notch and plenty of it!! Oh! That went for the drinking too!! I did part take in a few Coronas……just to be social ….So as the Sunday evening drew to a close we sailed off into the sunset looking forward to a great days diving with 4 dives planned for the Monday.
After a great breakfast we hit the water pretty early, well 9pm is early isn’t it? First dive on the outer Reef and the deepest …maximum depth for the dive as 26 meters , a wall dive and amazing….the first thing you noticed on the dive was the noise ! Yep Whales singing!! There were loads around, Humpbacks with calves .The dive was noticeable for the turtles and the massive schools of fish that just lined the wall all the way along, a great start to our long day of diving.
We were now a few miles from shore and the conditions were perfect…no wind, no swell, glass like conditions absolutely perfect.
The next dive of the day was again a deepish dive , 18 meters maximum and visibility an average 20 meters ! Diving on Ningaloo Reef covers everything …for the avid photographer heaps of macro stuff and for the diver with bigger expectations turtles and sharks. We encountered a few reef sharks out there and a few wobby’s but on this trip no Tigers, but it must be said they do like the area.
After the dive we were treated to a great lunch!! What could have been better sitting on the back of a yacht in the middle of Ningaloo Reef, eating a great lunch chatting about diving and what is still to come in the day? Dive heaven …I think they call it?
Last dive of the day was a shallow dive; the dive was a preparation dive for the night dive in the same location that was to come that night. The dive site was 9 metres deep, made up of lots of bombies where there was an abundance of schooling fish and of course in the background was the feint singing of the whales.
And so on to Tuesday, again after a great breakfast we planned 4 dives for the day….the last being our night dive. We once again was able to head to the outer reef as dive conditions were perfect, no swell, no wind and glass like condition, we were so lucky !
Again all the dives of the dive were amazing in their individuality, on etching you will soon become aware of if you do venture to Ningaloo Reef is the amazing variety of sites. The place has something for everyone…Hard Corals, Soft Corals, Turtles, Nudibranchs, Schooling Fish, Sharks and more.
So what could the night dive offer!! Well more of the same please!! But as ever we were treated to other surprises, Moray Eels, Crayfish and all types out on the hunt!! Which is why night diving is so popular you just don’t know what you are going to be surprised with?
I have to mention the social side of the trip …our hosts Luke, Vicki and Brione waited on us hand and foot and is the usual seafaring tradition the last night night turned out to be a big night!!The guys tried to poison me with Red Wine…..and succeeded!! .
The morning after was very hazy …not just for me but for everyone!! But after being treated to a full English breakfast felt a lot better with a lined stomach once more.
It was with great sadness that we all said goodbye to our home of 3 days…and absolutely amazing 3 days of diving, eating and drinking!!
If any of you guys are interested in doing this trip next year , I’ll be more than happy to dive Ningaloo again , probably one of the best few days diving I had in all my years of experience…..so get in early for next year!!
See you all soon
Big Thank you to all
The Manta Club search for the wrecks of Blackwall ReachSeptember 23, 2012
Image supplied by Lindsay Phillips – Perth Scuba Dive Master
What do you do when the Perth swell is cooperating for a good ocean shore dive? You head to the Swan River to hunt out the wrecks and critters that you can guarantee in the green brackish waters. And given the conditions of this particular Sunday 23rd September, our Dive Master extraordinaire Lindsay Phillips, steered the crew towards Blackwall Reach Bicton. It’s been awhile since we’ve explored Blackwall Reach and it was interesting to check out what lurks its depths.
The dive site is located on Blackwall Reach Parade Bicton at the northern most end of the road. The crew parked at the spot, geared up and then entered the water near the small jetty. You’ll need to surface swim on a bearing of 35° until you reach buoy #716. You can then descend down the chain to the bottom at 14 metres. A few meters to the west of the chain is a big barge. The barge was scuttled way back in 1967 so it’s broken down a fair bit in that time. Only 8 metres north of the barge is a boat. You can spend your entire dive just covered both these wrecks. Given that the visibility in the river isn’t great it’s a really good idea to bring a torch. The dive site is in the main river flow so you can expect strong currents – so make sure you’re ready for a bit of a swim and take into account when calculating your turn around air.
So what can you expect to see? This dive site is GREAT for seahorses. If you’ve never seen a seahorse this is the spot to come to find them. Plus you’ll usually find decorator crabs if you look closely on the wrecks, plus blue manna crabs lurking in the silt on the bottom.
Thank you to Brett, Mark, Rob, Sarah, Kate & Alicia for joining us on our Sunday morning dive. It was a beautiful sunny day with some warmth in the sunshine hinting at summer just around the corner – yippee!!!
GoPro WiFi BacPacSeptember 22, 2012
GoPro has released a new accessory for their portable action cameras the GoPro Wi-Fi BacPac and Wi-Fi Remote combo are now available for users willing to further extend the capabilities of their GoPro HD HERO and HD HERO2. The GoPro Wi-Fi BacPac attaches to the back of your GoPro camera and should enable you to get live video remote control, preview and playback using an upcoming free GoPro App on your smartphone or tablet (Android and iOS devices will be supported). And the Wi-Fi BacPac should soon also allow you to transfer wirelessly photos and videos from your GoPro as well as to do live streaming from the camera. And when you combine the Wi-Fi BacPac with the GoPro Wi-Fi Remote you should be able to wirelessly control multiple cameras (maximum 50) from a distance of up to 180 meters. You get full camera control including on/off and the camera display gets mirrored on the screen of the Wi-Fi Remote.
Great for those who want to mount it in a unique hard to access position and either want to be able to see what they are filming (Perfect for Spy Cam) or for those who want to control when to start and stop filming (eg if its on the outside of your car and you do not want to get out to turn it off and on)
- Wi-Fi BacPac (with built-in Li-ion Battery)
- Wi-Fi Remote (with built-in Li-ion Battery)
- Remote Charging Cable
- Remote Attachment Key
- Remote Attachment Strap
- Waterproof Backdoor
- Non-waterproof Backdoor
- 12” USB Charging Cable
Congratulations to our newest Open Water DiversAugust 26, 2012
written by Glen Outhred – Perth Scuba Instructor
A big congratulations to our newest open water divers! Some for a hobby, some for a change of sport and some required for the job. Either way they we’re very keen to get in the water and be amazed!
And what a weekend to be out in the water. A nicely warmed heated pool to start off with and with the competent learners they were, we had no trouble with skills, we even learned how to blow the perfect ring! Next step was a boat trip out to Rottnest Island and I can honestly say it has been the best weekend at Rotto for the whole winter! The weather at Rottnest was as good as it gets, so warm I even had a sunbake on top deck. The water was perfect! Crystal clear and glass, could not wait to jump in and explore the sites of Rottnest. After we all got sorted we descended down for our first dive. The students smashed out their skills for a good cruise around Parker Point. First dive done and the divers loved it.
After a good lunch on the boat, some good chats and lots of people taking photos of the glorious day, we were ready to get back in the water. You could the bottom it was that clear. After completing our navigation we swam to Secret Cove (no I can’t tell you where it is otherwise it wouldn’t be secret!). It was a glorious dive and we even came back with a new trucker hat and a Jack Daniels bottle that had looked like it’d been there for 50 years. Such a beautiful way to start our open water dives. You know it’s a good day when divers saw turtles, sharks, rays and dolphins!
Then come the infamous Wreck Trail. And please believe me, the vis was pretty good. The students held their buoyancy top notch and we explored planes and boats, seahorses (unfortunely they were too small to ride), bait fish, star fish, box fish, soft corals. We had a nice good look around. As we surfaced we discovered that maybe we should teach DM’s how to tie lines properly. I spotted our flag swimming away to have a look at the Grain Terminal. As tempting as it was to leave it explore the oceans I don’t think the big man on campus would’ve been to impressed. I now know why we have fitness testing as instructors. Luckily I was testing out the new Seawing Nova Gorilla’s and they pulled through (and if they hadn’t it’d be hard to people not to spot me with the burnt orange colour of the fin!).
After some tasty fish n chips and even ice-cream (my favourite diet) we were keen to finish off our course by finding the bird avery. A great dive with lots of soft corals, seahorses, another good cruise around the planes and yes we did find the toilet at the bird cage and yes we did have an immature muck around. Pool training done, open water dives done, 5 new certified divers completed! Well done Liam, Steve, Matty, Chris and Will! We look forward to seeing you through your advance course and travelling around the world!
Manta Club dives the Marmion Angling & Aquatic ClubAugust 21, 2012
Filming & Editing by Brett Cook
Location Marmion Angling & Aquatic Club, Western Australia
Perth Scuba DMT Rides to Conquer CancerAugust 20, 2012
KARENA WILSON, Perth Scuba Dive Master Trainee has committed to conquering cancer by participating in The Sunsuper Ride to Conquer Cancer® benefiting The Western Australian Institute of Medical Research. She will join thousands of other men and women in a history-making ride on 20 and 21 October 2012. Karena will take part in a 200km two-day ride throughout Western Australia’s scenic countryside with a night of camping. Riders will support breakthrough research and the discovery of new cancer therapies at WAIMR.
One in two Australians will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. Karena is rallying for the cause and cycling in The Sunsuper Ride to Conquer Cancer benefiting WAIMR. Karena, her friends and family lost a ‘great’ man – Trevor who had a positive outlook on life and an awesome sense of humour. He played a big part in the stories created from the Newman-Wilson travel adventures. Karena is doing this ride with her legs of steel in memory of Trevor and your support & her participation will assist in accelerating the conquest of cancer.
For real impact, KARENA, 961021-3 has set a personal fundraising goal of $2,500. To help her reach this goal, visit conquercancer.org.au to make a donation online, or call 1300 99 RIDE.
BE SURE TO WATCH FOR THE SNORKEL ASSISTED CYCLE!
This is the inaugural Ride to Conquer Cancer event in Western Australia. The Ride already has a record of success in Australia. Last year in Brisbane over 1300 participants raised $4.7 million. Riders will be supported by hundreds of Volunteers and Crew Members who will provide meals, water and snack stops, gear transport, portable restrooms, safety on the streets, comprehensive medical services and an overnight campsite complete with tents, massages, and hot showers.
For information about the Sunsuper Ride to Conquer Cancer benefiting WAIMR, please contact:
Michelle Cook firstname.lastname@example.org
About Western Australian Institute for Medical Research
Western Australian Institute for Medical Research (WAIMR) is Western Australia’s premier adult medical research institute, investigating the genetic and environmental causes of a range of diseases. Formed in 1998 with a vision of fostering a high-level of collaboration between the State’s medical researchers, our team has made, and continues to make, a number of internationally-important discoveries with the potential to deliver better health to the global community. Currently, WAIMR is situated at two locations – the Perth Campus is located at the Medical Research Foundation building of Royal Perth Hospital, while the Nedlands Campus is at B Block, Queen Elizabeth II Medical Centre. For more information about WAIMR, visit http://www.waimr.uwa.edu.au
New Australian Marine Reserves at RiskAugust 17, 2012
In June we celebrated a major ocean protection victory – Australia declared the world’s largest network of marine reserves including the second largest marine national park.
Now we are at risk of losing the ocean protection we worked so hard to gain. As a diver with a strong stake in a healthy ocean, you can help Australian marine life keep the protection it deserves through two easy steps:
1. Ask Environment Minister Tony Burke to stand firm and protect our marine reserves. Use the comments field to tell the Minister how important a healthy marine environment is to your business and the staff you employ.
2. Forward the message below to your friends so they can have their say.
The current consultation period should be a formality after the overwhelming public support shown during the 90 day consultation period earlier this year. But groups opposed to ocean protection are working hard to have the new marine reserves overturned. Please add your voice to protect our marine reserves.
Thanks for your support!
Marine Conservation Officer
Project AWARE Foundation
Exploring the wrecks of The CoombeAugust 13, 2012
written by Joey Pool – Perth Scuba Assistant Instructor
On Sunday 12th August, Josh had the pleasure of leading the club dive to The Coombe at Mosman Bay. We’d seen the weather report and with a severe weather warning for anything south of Mandurah, we thought it prudent to dive in a sheltered spot in the Swan River.
Just in front of The Coombe Reserve (end of The Coombe, Mosman Bay) are two shallow wrecks (10-12m deep) and two deep wrecks (20-22m deep). This dive site is a super easy entry off the slowly sloping sand and an easy swim out to buoy #221. This is where we descended down the mooring line and arrived on top of the 10m wreck. Once we explored this wreck we moved on a bearing of 355º towards the 12m wreck. This wreck is larger than the first and we found a variety of critters in the nooks and crannies of its hull.
Half the crew were looking for the more advanced deep wrecks. So off they went in search with a long surface swim that’s well worth the effort – if you find it! From the concrete pipe at the corner of The Coombe Reserve, surface swim 240m following a bearing of 340º to buoy #532 (mistakenly printed as #352). Descend down the mooring line to 21m and then swim a distance of 15m along a 60º bearing to the 22m barge. This is a large boat so you’ll need plenty of time to explore…. If you find it that is!
The weather held out for us just long enough to get out of the water, de-kit and get changed before it bucketed down – yippee! Then we followed up with a visit to the Left Bank for a drink and lunch. One never misses the opportunity to share a pub lunch with a good bunch of people.
Thank you to Drew, Alex, Michael, Leanne, Jocelyn, Brett, Tom, Rowan and even LEE for joining us on a fun day out – who would’ve thought the Swan River would have so much to offer. Never dived the river? Whilst the viz isn’t fantastic it is still filled with the weird and wonderful. We’ll be heading back to the river this Wednesday evening for a shore dive at Bicton Baths. Want to join us? Give us a call on 9455 4448 for all the details.
Dive Master trainees show their skills in the poolAugust 7, 2012
On Sunday 5th August, seven of the Perth Scuba Crew were on their way to elite status by joining us to begin their PADI Dive Master Course.
The first day consisted of a Skill Circuit of 20 skills demonstrated to Instructor ability and a fitness circuit of swimming, snorkelling, tired diver tows and treading water.
We split the crew into two groups, whilst half was under the water demonstrating their scuba skills, the other half was on the surface of the water demonstrating their stamina. Oh yes, the group had a gruelling 400m swim, followed by an 800m snorkel, followed by a 100m tired diver tow in full scuba kit and finally a 15 minute tread water. And the results showed that the girls KICK BUTT when it comes to swimming. Well done Jocelyn & Lillian you nearly lapped all the blokes – go girl power!!!
Once you got the crew under the water it was great to watch them presenting the underwater skills taught in everyone’s Open Water Courses. All the crew had different strengths and weaknesses, but overall it was great to watch everyone’s hovers…. And then compare it to Andy’s! Oh the differences, but something the crew will all be working towards perfecting for that next Open Water Course!!!
Finally there’s a stress test thrown in just to see how the crew handle task loading underwater – I have some video of the guys & girls showing their stuff off – very skillful buddy pairs! It involves each buddy pair buddy breathing whilst exchanging your dive gear, including mask, fins and SCUBA unit. Oh, it sounds so devilish simple now doesn’t it? Believe me, when you’re doing it – easy it is not! Hmm guess that’s why we call it the stress test
All the team put in a huge effort and came through to continue their Dive Master training. Congratulations to Valdimar, Craig, Tony, Peter, Lillian, Adam and Jocelyn on your first day as Dive Master trainees. We look forward to seeing you all soon while you continue your training on our coming Open Water Courses and continued education.
To see more photos taken from the Dive Master course training day click here.
Try new things, keep diving!August 6, 2012
While I was in the shop the other day I was thinking to myself, “Yes it’s winter, yes the water temp drops, but why stop diving?” If you really enjoy doing something, why not do it all the time? I was chatting to a few divers that have come into the saying they don’t know if they could dive in Perth again after visiting such amazing places like Borneo, Palau, Galapagos and Truk. The way Alex Grayson put it, if you took home a super model one night, would you stop going out knowing you couldn’t do better? Of course not. Good point of view by the way Alex
The best way to keep in touch with the water is to try new things. This is why we run specialties courses, to keep divers learning and extending their abilities (even if they thought they couldn’t!). You don’t even have to get wet for some of them e.g. equipment specialty or nitrox. Personally I thought I’d never get into a dry suit but after trying it out, I don’t think I’ll ever get back into a wetsuit again! Haha. Again I never thought I’d be interested in any technical diving but after seeing what divers can do, how much easier it is than what I thought it was, how much of a different aspect it is (I feel like an open student!) and how fun it really is I can see myself taking my diving to a whole new level.
Even as an instructor, there are so many things I would love to do, and you can as well! Whether it be nitrox, wreck diving, dry suit, ice-diving, night diving, search and recovery, photography, the sky is the limit (or in our case, the Challenger Deep is the limit). If you feel like you’ve done all of specialities and getting tired of the recreation side of diving, why not try your hand at something new like technical diving? Perhaps cavern diving? Side mount diving? Multi gas diving? This is the great thing about the dive industry, it can take you anywhere! You can become a photographer for National Geographic seeing the best locations across the entire world, a coast guard diver in search and recovery saving lives, run your own dive resort in the tropics, solve a mystery as a police diver, protecting your nation with navy clearance diving, try your hand at teaching as an instructor, earn the big bucks as a commercial diver such as underwater welding, film the great whites and whales for blockbuster movies as a videographer, feeding your adrenalin by diving into unexplored caves, become a treasure hunter and find a sunken wreck full of gold, explore the world’s deepest depths in the Mariana Trench. You can diving anyway you want too.
So many amazing things to do, so many beautiful locations, so many great people and most important, so many memories to last a life time!
Keep diving guys! Blow bubbles, no troubles
Joseph works the Scubapro Seawing Gorilla FinsAugust 4, 2012
As an Underwater Videographer and Instructor I am careful about the type of fins I use and recommend. There are several excellent fins out there that serve different purposes. So selecting one set of fins, to do a multitude of tasks, is not as simple as it may seem.
Last weekend I trialed the new ScubaPro Sea Wing Nova Gorillas. Impressive to say the least. I own a pair of the Sea Wing Nova’s Mk 2 (hinged on the lower side only). I switched to the Nova’s from another leading brand as I wanted something that was easier on my legs (unfortunately I am prone to leg cramps). The Sea Wing Nova’s offer good control, easy on the legs, minimal silting and reasonably easy to Frog kick in. However I found them slightly under-powered when I was in a Dry suit and carrying twins and stage cylinders or trying to catch Students.
Enter the Sea Wing Nova Gorillas. To look at they appear the same as its predecessor (other than colour). That changes when you hit the water fully kitted out. More power, better control, easier to Frog Kick, easier to swim backwards, easier to catch your students and, most importantly, just as easy on your legs.
A noticeable improvement with no greater effort on behalf of the Diver.
Perth Scuba have these available for try dives. But be warned, once you try you will want to buy.
Congratulations to our newest PADI Night Diver SpecialistsAugust 3, 2012
A big “Congratulations” to Euan, Colin, Chris and Paul who all successfully completed the PADI Night Diver Specialty course last Sunday. We all had fun playing at the Rockingham wreck trail in a not so toasty 15 degree water. For those of us in Dry Suits it was actually quite nice.
Saturday night we managed 2 night dives (Paul and Chris had already done 1 day dive on the Side Mount course with Marc). Conditions above and below the water were reasonable with the usual critters to be found. 4 Sea Horses, several decorative Leather Jackets and few Cobbler to name a few.
Sunday saw the final Night dive of the course. And yes the water was still a cool 15 degrees. Those in wetties starting to think about Dry Suits. I saw my first Lion Fish on the Rockingham Wreck trail that night. The rest of the crew were just as stoked to see it.
Due to the temperature we decided to do the minimum PADI 20 minutes on all dives. This was a bit of a shame really as Sunday night had the best vis of all the dives. Winter is a great time of year to dive so those that do not have a Dry Suit yet, pop in and talk to the staff about which Dry Suit suits you the best.
Again congratulations to our new Night Divers – Euan, Colin, Chris and Paul.
Sunny shore diving at Robb JettyAugust 1, 2012
Last Sunday 29th July, the Perth Scuba Crew headed off for our Club Dive to Robb Jetty in Henderson. Robb Jetty was originally constructed in the late 1800′s and was used as the point where livestock was brought down from the North-West of Western Australia, to be loaded off the ships and slaughtered for the Perth areas meat supply. The original jetty pillars remain at the sight and that’s where you’ll find all the cool stuff!
There is lots of life on the pillars with ascidians, sponges and sea cucumbers being prominent. Fish life includes juvenile Port Jackson sharks (so cute!), numerous schooling fish including yellowtail and wrasse, bat fish, seahorses, rays and occasionally schools of batfish. On the seabed there are several different species of nudibranch and seastars.
The sun was shining, the water was calm and the visibility looked good. The day was so gorgeous you got a hint of the beautiful spring and summer months that we’ll soon be approaching – yippee!!!
It is possible to miss the jetty entirely, so it’s very important to take a compass bearing from the beach… Luckily for all our crew they found the jetty and had a lovely dive.
Great to see the crew with big grins when they came out of the water. The guys and girls saw loads of schooling fish, plenty of fat nudibranchs and the water visibility was good even though a little chilly.
If you’d like to join the Perth Scuba Crew on our next free Sunday Morning Shore Dive, head on in to Perth Scuba at 8:30am for a FREE BBQ brekky and then we’ll cruise out to the dive site. All levels of divers are welcome and we have a qualified Dive Master on hand to guide your dive.
Get colour into your underwater photosJuly 29, 2012
Quick Tips for getting great colour in your underwater photography:
SET FLASH TO ON. Turn your camera flash to ON, don’t leave your camera on the AUTO setting. This way your camera’s flash will go off everytime you take a photo.
KEEP IT CLOSE. Make sure the critter or coral you want to light is no more than a meter away from your camera. Rull of thumb – if you can’t touch it, neither can your strobe.
USE A STROBE. Whilst you can get some good photos with the camera’s internal flash, a strobe gives you a bigger external light source that can be placed to minimise backscatter. And in Perth waters – this is a BIG asset!
Perth Scuba carry a huge range of strobes and lighting to improve colour in your photographs. Come in and chat to us about what will be best for your underwater photographs.
Winter diving at Rottnest IslandJuly 28, 2012
Although it may be somewhat colder in the waters of Rottnest island over the winter months, there is much more on offer than one may think, with a noticeable decrease in plankton over the winter. The visibility can often exceed 25 meters when the sun is shining exposing Rottnest islands stunning over hangs, walls, caves and swim throughs making it the place to be on the weekend!
I would have done around 40 dives at Rotto last year over the winter months, I’m pleased to say that the majority of the dives I did the visibility was over the 15 meter mark and the swell was easy to manage. 2012 at the moment seems to be the year to dive at Rotto, out of the 12 dives at Rotto I have done this year since the beginning of June, there has been only one occasion where the visibility was under 10 meters courtesy of a 4 meter swell earlier in the week. A few weeks before this we had two days in a row where the vis was sitting on the 20 meter mark rivalling dive destinations such as Thailand and Bali. Not a bad outcome considering Rottnest is only 45 minutes away from Perth.
Rottnest has hundreds of dive sites some of the ones that have taken my fancy are Crystal palace, west patch (shark cave), swirl and roe reef, salmon bay wall and Jackson rock. Dive sites like swirl reef and crystal palace where you descend straight into cave and swim through systems where different tunnels and pathways branch out across the reef. Rottnest is ideal in the winter months for the photographers out there because the amount of particles in the water is greatly reduced. The aquatic life is always as abundant as it is in summer, we have seen all the usual underwater critters over the past few weeks including the occasional lionfish, turtle and grey nurse shark. The caves at Rotto are my favourite part with the silhouettes of bullseyes against the light and the wobby’s that lay camouflaged against the seabed.
The thing that obviously makes people hesitant about entering the water in the winter is the cold, last year I dived in a 5mm wetsuit with a sharkskin and a 3mm hood vest underneath. I thought I was toasty until this year when I shown the real definition of being warm under the water. I managed to pick up an everdry 4 drysuit for a bargain here at the shop, there is honestly nothing greater than coming up from a dive and being completely dry. While your diving it doesn’t feel any different to when you dive with a wetsuit or a semidry and adjusting to it is no problem, after a dive in the pool or a shore dive you’ll be ready to hit the mighty Rottnest!. If really do suffer from the cold and you don’t have the spare cash to get a drysuit, why not try out a semi dry? For half the price this is also a great option if you still want to dive Rotto in the winter.
In conclusion, I much prefer diving Rottnest Island in the winter the water is so much more clear and tranquil, if you hate the cold I recommend getting a semi dry, drysuit or at least something that keeps you comfortably warm this way you aren’t missing out on what everyone agrees as being the best diving of the year…
WA school group returns from VanuatuJuly 26, 2012
Through Perth Scuba, Mazenod College has run an extra curricula scuba diving program for several years now. Students are able to complete their PADI Open Water certification and also go onto complete the Advanced certification as well.
This year students where invited on the inaugural Dive Tour overseas to Vanuatu. During the July school holidays 26 students, parents and teachers set off on our underwater adventure.
Vanuatu is a beautiful country that seems almost untouched by tourism. The air was a warm 26 degrees, with the water even warmer. Students completed 10 dives whilst on the island resort of Hideaway Island, with students being exposed to an array of amazing underwater sceneries and marine life. They were able to penetrate shipwrecks, swim with turtles and on the rare occasion white tip reef sharks.
Diving in Vanuatu was an amazing experience, allowing the students to see the world from the bottom up.
Not only were the boys able to experience the wonders of the underwater world, they were also able to immerse themselves into the local culture. They had the opportunity to tour the local village and interact with the children in the village school, abseil waterfalls, taste local cuisines and tour around the capital of Port Vila.
The trip was a wonderful and rewarding experience for all and I’m sure will leave many lasting memories.
Did someone say shark???July 21, 2012
Sharks… The topic that has been at the back of heads and under our noses ever since November last year. If you are like me and the rest of the Perth Scuba crew, we would love to see sharks on our dives, no matter if they are reef sharks as harmless clown fish or the more feisty bull sharks. I love getting close to my fish friends but then, I probably wouldn’t go poking a tiger shark in the eye.
I know that many open water divers going through their course are curious and sceptical about sharks but once they learn just how misunderstood they are, they really can be great to dive with. Obviously we need to be respectful of these amazing creatures. The number one reason why animals attack is out of defence. Most shark attacks are caused by mistaken identity, research shows that when humans are swimming on the surface from below – we represent the same colour and shape of a helpless seal playing on the surface. Research indicates that some sharks have vision which is not as advanced as their sensory “vision” (The way predatory sharks sense their prey). This makes mistaken identity a very unfortunate bi product of the mixture of average vision and shadows and shapes which indicate to a shark that there is a potential meal above them. Once a shark bites – they find it very hard to process a human body because we are too bony and not very tasty, humans are the spam and tofu of a sharks diet. Because sharks find us very distasteful and horrible they will take a bite and spit it out once they discover we aren’t the fillet mignon they thought.
Because sharks don’t have the ability to touch, squeeze and feel before they bite, and unfortunately the only way they can “test” something to see whether it is edible – is to bite it. They usually leave their victims in a very bad way due to the fact that there is probably a couple of tonnes of pressure in those “test bites”.
Up until 2003 – Western Australia was known as the safest state in Australia to dive in terms of sharks but unfortunately that with recent events this is no longer the case. The reason for this turnaround? There a number of factors that contribute. For starters there are more people in the water than ever before!
In June 2012 Western Australia saw an increase of 43% for national travellers compared to May 2011 and also an increase in interstate travellers. As Australia’s population is generally along the coast, travellers come here for the fantastic beaches WA has to offer and to enjoy the beach life.
There are also more of the cute fur seals to play with which (again unfortunately) can represent 20% of the diet and prey for Great Whites. Roughly 150 years ago fur seals were hunted in the south coasts almost to the point of extinction. Now their numbers have increased to the point where we have fur seals at Rottnest Island and dotted all along the west coast.
Another contributing factor to the number of sightings and visits from Great Whites is the increase in the number of whales travelling up and down our coastline. The number of whales in migration has increased to numbers not seen for over 100 hundred years! Just after WW2 humpback whale numbers had reduced from 18,000 to 3,000! Now more recently humpbacks have started to gain their numbers back. As well as an increase in travellers, whales and fur seals the Western Australian population has gone from 300,000 in the war to nearly two million today! With this increase in numbers there will surely be more sightings of sharks and with more seals and whales there is something for them to feed on. Technology, media, the ability to use spotter planes and many more ways of detecting sharks today do not necessarily mean there are more sharks, but it means the sharks that are there – are being detected.
Since records began in 1791 there have been 877 shark attacks in Australia, only 216 of these were fatal. If you consider these figures matched by the number of people that get in the water every year it is safe to say it is a very small percentage that you would get attacked by a shark but very similar to a lightning strike, no one knows when or where the next strike will be. Nearly every attack on humans have been by spear fishers or surface attacks such as surfers or swimmers. For us divers, we are the safest as long as we are being respectful and wary. After all you wouldn’t like it if you found a stranger in your home would you?
The revised statistics for Shark attacks based on recent events in WA puts the odds of being attacked by a shark every time you go into the water in Australia to 0.00000005%. The odds really aren’t that bad when you consider that on the same weekend that the recent attack took place, 4 people were killed on the roads and then on the following Monday another 2 people were killed. This total is more than the number of shark fatalities this year (a year which is unprecedented anywhere in the world).
Whilst the fear of sharks is definitely highlighted in the community, media hype to the point of hysteria and everyone with one eye on the ocean these days, it’s easy to see why there are more sightings. The true statistics show that per capita, the shark attack numbers have actually dropped in recent years.
One of the things which comes to mind when discussing shark attacks is also the simple fact that for an investment less than $500 – they could have been prevented. Shark Shields and ESDS Shark deterrent systems work. These companies have invested millions of dollars into their products to test and improve and re test to ensure that they work. It would only take 1 bite – only 1 from anywhere in the world where someone was using either of these systems correctly and it would be the end of that company and the products it has developed for ever.
They work, they are relatively inexpensive – (Lee jokes that they are a lot cheaper than a prosthetic leg) – and most of all – they give you protection and peace of mind to you and your loved ones.
You wouldn’t walk a tightrope without a net, why would you dive without a shark shield when they are so readily available? Some divers have reacted to the latest series of attacks by not diving or giving diving up. Why? Why give up something you love and enjoy doing? (not to mention the investment you made in learning to dive and those of you who have purchased equipment). All that you need to do is spend that extra $475 to make you 100% safe.
Ever since the movie Jaws, (which author Peter Benchley has said he regrets writing since finding out how much it has affected and changed the public opinion of sharks), the media has hyped up shark attacks even though the amount of deaths on our roads or even coconuts falling on people’s heads have significantly more victims than shark attacks.
The media is also now asking the question of our government “Should we hunt Great Whites off our coast line?” This is something that could be debated for years without actually coming up with any clearly defined answer. The community is so divided that it is almost a 50 / 50 split. Not only does the government risk losing the support of half of the people who are passionate about their view – but it can be seen by the international community as either too harsh or too spineless to make a stand. Considering that Great Whites are on the critically endangered list, the final decision, once made – could impact both sharks and people. The Government has a Duty of Care to protect the citizens if it is within its power to do so. However in this case – it would require temporary removal of Great White sharks from the protected species list. This has never been done in Australia before and it is guaranteed to cause more debate and quickly become a political hot potato.
There are so many things that need to be considered by our government in making this decision as once made – it will be very difficult to turn back.
The division of the people puts most into a category of FOR or AGAINST the “culling” – (which is such a bad word for it as it is surely more selective than that). To make an informed decision – or as informed as one can based on information given to them by a somewhat biased media or biased water user, you need to look at the affects of both sides of the argument:
Those in support of a “cull” site the following reasons:
Tourism: The damage caused to the WA tourism industry is already immeasurable and with no action – one way or the other – this is getting worse by the day. This affects the economy and all tourism destinations such as Margaret River, Dunsborough, Albany which rely heavily on tourism dollars.
Duty of Care: As I previously mentioned – having the ability to prevent another shark attack by removing the sharks deemed to be the ones responsible for the attacks and not doing so with another fatality occurring could lead to the government being accused of having “blood on their hands”.
Water Sport Lifestyle: The recent events, media coverage and general public fear is preventing many people from doing what they love to do. Their recreational sports and activities are heavily impacted because of these sharks. Kids are being robbed of their childhood activities and enjoyment of the ocean. Parents are too afraid to let them swim in the ocean and in most cases are too afraid themselves.
Water Sport Industries: Diving, Surfing and other water based businesses are suffering in a big way due to the negative media and the overall impact of people not doing what they used to do in the water recreationally. These industries employ a lot of people and are a significant part of the retail and training sectors. (and it employs me too).
Overall the people in support of a cull are mainly people who have had their lifestyles changed due to the action of these few shark attacks. The exception is water sport based businesses, of which many are on the fence with the decision due to the fact that they too love the ocean and respect everything that lives in it, but run the risk of losing their livelihoods if there is nothing done to reduce the impact of the attacks or the attacks themselves.
People who are against a cull site the following reasons:
Sharks are in their domain. We have no right to chase and kill them for doing what they do naturally when we are in their water.
You never know whether you got the right shark(s).
They are an endangered species, and should stay protected.
Is culling going to make a difference? – you get the sharks in the area at the time – but they will return as they travel such long distances and are all over the world.
They are an APEX predator – take them out of the food chain and it causes an imbalance in the marine habitat structure.
I personally think that we should leave them alone and let them do what they do naturally. We have been responsible for fishing out the oceans to a point that we are now an easy target. The shark only does what it knows to do. They are endangered and they are a very important part of the ecosystem.
Why cull something because it attacks in its own environment when there is a solution as easy as shark shields?
But that is my view and I am sure that there are many good arguments for and against my opinion and views about this issue.
The debate will continue I am sure and in the end there are no winners. 5 people have lost their lives in the last 10 months doing what they loved doing. Their families have to live with the grief of losing someone in such horrific circumstances.
I just hope that this is a freak run that has now come to an end and that we never have to see shark fatalities like this again.
That’s it for me guys, blow bubbles, no troubles
Night diving at Ammo Jetty encounters blue ring occyJuly 20, 2012
Last Thursday evening Joey and Lee led the Perth Scuba Crew for a night dive at the Ammunition Jetty. With not a breath of wind or sign of swell it was the perfect evening to go for a splash. We were joined by new night divers Bruce, Amanda, Corey and the experienced night diver Lee.
We all kitted up in the car park ready to head into the water… There was only one problem – one of the crew misplaced their weights (not naming any names, but Bruce you owe us a 6 pack!). Lucky Joey had brought stacks of weight for her drysuit and the pockets were transferred from the T-Black to the T-Force and then we were ready to go. Amanda got the pick of the torches and got a Sola 1200 to use on her first night dive -*flash* ahhhhh I’m blinded hehe.
Lee gave the crew the dive brief on the sand, with Joey “helping” Lee & Corey with a compass bearing and then it was time to head into the warm water. You think I’m joking? The ocean was 6 degrees warmer than standing in the carpark!!!
Our four hardy divers descended into the blue under the jetty and headed out under the pilons to find critters. It didn’t matter where Amanda went I could always see her torch, knowing her buddy would be right beside her. Whilst the viz was only a metre, the crew still saw plenty of the weird and wonderful. Lee discovered what he at first thought was a bobtail squid, only to have it wriggle about & change to a pattern of glowing blue rings – eep! A blue ring octopus!!! Lee Kharod even got a cool photo (see above) to prove it – well done Lee. And just think, you and Corey wouldn’t have ever seen it if it wasn’t for Joey’s completely wrong compass bearing that made you swim out past the jetty. *Cough cough* sorry fellas, yes, I do owe you a carton for that blunder!
Thanks for a fun night guys and girls! It was good to get out on such a still night and I’m looking forward to the next night dive soon!
The WA Army Cadets learnt to diveJuly 19, 2012
So the army in were in town last week!!
Future defenders of the realm turned up at Perth Scuba to do their Open Water course. The guys came various Army Cadet Units in the area, giving up their school holiday time to make themselves Open Water Divers.
So on a cold Tuesday morning the guys marched in …..Or should I say, rolled in ….”Too early this “was a remark that was overheard!! And is 8am too early?? And went on to remind them there are two 8’s in one day!!
So we arrived at the pool for confined water training, there were 12 cadets in total, all eagerly anticipating diving for the first time. We split the guys into two groups and my sidekick , Glen took half the group…..after the first few breaths underwater , the guys stood up and with the biggest grins on their faces proceeded to tell me how amazed they were. Not bad considering it’s only the pool!!
The day went pretty smoothly, only a few minor issues, but by 5pm the guys were looking forward to some beach diving at Rockingham the following day.
So again 8am in the dive school, the guys rolled in….”tired” they said!! But after a good stirring up the smiles came back to their faces!! And off for a days diving we went.
The sun was out, the sea was flat but bloody hell …it was cold!! 16 degrees in the water!!
So , of course being the good dive instructor I am , I got rugged up….the poor students only had 5mm wetsuit , but hey …….”Build a bridge” came into my mind ….”You’re in the army!!”
All the guys came through the ordeal, still with smiles on their faces!!! Just had to scrape the ice off to see their faces!! And so onto the following day!!
Boat Day!! Rottnest Island, the best day out by far!!! And yet again the weather held firm, great dive conditions!! Hardly any swell, hardly any wind and the sea temperature were up to 18 degrees!!!Heaven!!
First dive of the day was over and sitting on the boat the guys were commenting on how amazing everything is under the water….welcome to our world…was my reply.The cold was forgotten, the true dive experience had kicked in.The last dive of the course was completed with ease, all great in the water, I think with a bit more experience all instructors to be!
So well done guys, great that you kept going in testing conditions, great that you enjoyed your few days with Perth Scuba and lastly great that you guys are now trained to go on and enjoy the sport!!
Look after yourselves
Three of the wrecks to explore in Truk LagoonJuly 18, 2012
On November 15, 1939, Admiral Katagiri Eikichi’s Fourth Fleet is established at Truk. Chitose is assigned as flagship with tenders Kamoi and Kinugasa Maru of the 17th Sentai for the new fleet. During December, 24 H6K Mavis flying boats of the Yokohama Kokutai are also stationed at Truk Lagoon.
On the morning of February 17, 1944 US Navy aircraft launched a surprise attack (operation Hailstorm) against Truk Lagoon and caught many merchant vessels and warships at anchor. 400 tons of bombs and torpedo were dropped. Attacks continued February 18, 1944. A total of forty ships were sunk and thousands of Japanese were lost. Ten weeks later, a second raid sank more ships.
In 1969, French oceanographer Jacques Cousteau and his team explored Truk Lagoon. Following Cousteau’s 1971 television documentary about the lagoon and its ghostly remains, the place became a scuba diving paradise, drawing wreck diving enthusiasts from around the world to see its numerous, virtually intact sunken ships. The shipwrecks and remains are sometimes referred to as the “Ghost Fleet of Truk Lagoon”. Scattered mainly around the Dublon, Eten, Fefan and Uman islands within the Truk group, a number of the shipwrecks lie in crystal clear waters less than fifteen meters below the surface. In waters devoid of normal ocean currents, divers can easily swim across decks littered with gas masks and depth charges and below deck can be found numerous human remains. In the massive ships’ holds are row upon row of fighter aircraft, tanks, bulldozers, railroad cars, motorcycles, torpedoes, mines, bombs, boxes of munitions, radios, plus thousands of other weapons, spare parts, and other artifacts. The coral encrusted wrecks attract a diverse array of marine life, including manta-rays, turtles, sharks and corals.
Below is some information about 3 of the wrecks around Truk Lagoon.
Armed aircraft ferry ship with a crew of 40 men.
Sunk in Truk Lagoon on February 17, 1944.
Fire gutted the interior of the boat before it sank after being struck by several torpedoes midship. This is one of the most beautiful wrecks on the islands, and takes several dives to see everything. The tips of the ship’s masts break the surface, but her deck is at 70 feet and keel at 130 feet. The ship was transporting fighter aircraft, fuel and munitions, which did not explode when sunk.
A bow and stern mount defensive guns. The first hold contains the various types of machine gun ammunition, shells and weapons. The second hold contains the disassembled parts of several fighter aircraft. There are several A6M Zeros and an A5M4 Claude. Also, artillery shells, hundreds of ‘Dai Nippon Beer’ bottles, gas masks, and bombs. The third hold is empty. The last hold contains bottles.
In 1974 a Japanese delegation placed a small shrine on top of the bridge with smooth rocks with the kanji characters on then and a glass case with the names of the crew members inside.
San Fransisco Maru
Built in 1919, it served in prewar trade operations with Yamashita Kisen Gomei Kaisha until the start of the Pacific war
Served as a cargo ship transporting raw materials to Japan from Palau and Angaur, and then transport between Japan and the ‘Inner South Seas’.
On May 4, 1943 suffered mino damage during an air raid off Wewak.
At Yokosuka from January 17-20, 1944 then departed for Truk Lagoon arriving on February 5, 1944 and remained at the 4th Fleet Anchorage south-east of Dublon, when the rest of her convoy left on February 12.
During “Operation Hailstone”n February 17, 1944 anchored at Eten anchorage and attacked but survived undamaged. On February 18, 1944 a TBF Avenger from USS Essex dropped a 500lbs bomb that hit midship. Leaving the ship was burning and sinking stern first and five crew died in the attack.
Resting upright the shipwreck was initially discovered by Jaques Cousteau during 1969, the shipwreck was not dived. Located again during a 1973 fathometer survey. The ship’s bell confirmed its identity. Since then, visited by SCUBA divers as one of the most spectacular shipwrecks and often called the “Million Dollar Wreck” by divers speculating at the worth of the military cargo aboard.
Coral and sponge encrusted 3 inch bow gun.
Hold No. 1
Contain spherical sea mines and their detonators and “horns” for detonation on contact in boxes nearby.
Hold No. 2
Carries several trucks, barrels of fuel and aerial bombs.
The bridge area is intact, and the deck has winches. The crew quarters contain dishes, bottles and cups.
Forward of the bridge are three Type 95 Ha Go tanks: two starboard, and Type 95 Ha Go Tank on the port side. Also, a large truck, steam roller and another truck have rolled off the deck and are lying on the sea bed.
The aft holds contain stacked torpedoes, some are out of place because there high pressure air tanks have since exploded. The rearmost hold is full of depth charges. Here the hull plates are split and ripped apart.
Sunk in Truk Lagoon.
Discovered by Jacques Cousteau’s 1969 expedition, and identified later as the Nippo Maru. Sits upright with a 25 degree port list. She carries a tank, coastal defense guns, mines, munitions, and water tanks. Large wenches and gun platform are at the bow.
A spare anchor is against the forecastle. Inside the forecastle are many personal effects of the crew in the silt. The forward hold contains mines, detonators, artillery shells, large containers, gas masks, oil drums.
Some of these containers contain caustic substances. No. 1 and 2 holds contain large bronze range finders and a Type 97 Tank, minus the turret gun which was how they were sometimes transported. There is a large galley and crew quarters below the bridge. In the bridge are three strong boxes. No riches inside here, in the past when ever strong boxes were recovered and opened, they contained only ordinance and small arms. Three howitzers are on the deck near the No. 4 hold. In the No. 4 hold are hundreds of beer bottles, radio equipment and a variety of items. In the aft most hold are barrels for 5″ guns. Two AA guns have fallen off the ship and are on the floor nearby.
Sunday diving at the Kwinana Grain TerminalJuly 17, 2012
Hi to all,
Breakfast was first on the list, cooked by yours truly….. 2 snaggers, 2 bacon, 2 eggs, baked beans, tomatoes, black pudding and toast ……………no expense spared!!! If you believe that you’ll believe anything …. A boss?
Ok then , bacon & egg roll then , but still tasted great!!
So on a very chilly Sunday morning the dive crew from Perth Scuba headed for the sunny shores of the Grain Terminal in Rockingham.
Dive conditions were good and all looked forward to the refreshing waters. A balmy 16 degrees was the order of the day, weaker divers would not of put a fin in…. but our clubbies braved the temperatures and in we went.
The Grain Terminal has a starting depth of around 1.5 meters and slowly, very slowly deepens off to about 8 meters at the very tip. It’s a good swim , our dives times were hitting around the 50 minute mark……( except for me!).
All enjoyed the dive, visibility around 5 metres, with no swell so a nice relaxed easy dive for our clubbies.
Numerous octopuses were spotted, crabs etc ….so all in all not a bad days diving.
The club events are great fun , dive experience is varied , so if you haven’t been in the water later , get you gear out the cupboard and drag it and yourselfs down to Perth Scuba for the next meet and treat yourselfs to bacon and eggs while you are there!!
Thanks guys for a good morning…. See you next week.
Don’t let winter put you off scuba divingJuly 16, 2012
Hello divers, Glen here. Even as the water’s cools off a little in winter around the world the dive industry still certifies heaps of students in winter. Just recently a group of army cadets showed that they can handle the water just as well as navy cadets by completing their open water course. Well done guys, we look forward to seeing your dive education continue to grow with taking the next step onto your advanced course. It just goes to show no matter who you are, what you do, what environment you’re in (as long as there’s water!) diving is a sport and hobby for anyone! For more pics of the WA Army Cadets click here.
If there is one thing I will say about the dive industry it would be that it definitely takes you places and the people you meet along the way is incredible. Diving is one of the best ways to ‘make a new buddy’ so to speak. You can discover your neighbour is a diver and head out together or meet someone halfway across the world and make a diving holiday of it (hopefully you meet someone from Micronesia!). I know a lot of us here at the shop have even met their partners through diving (now they have to work with each other, that will be fun, cough). Speaking of diving and meeting new people if you’re not diving because your friend doesn’t feel like it don’t stress that is why we have club dives every weekend. This gives you the opportunity to hone your dive skills, see the dive sites all over Perth, get filmed by our GoPro guru Ben Newsome and meet new buddies (maybe meet your significant other? Karena, are you reading?).
If you think diving in winter is too chilly look out for a try dry dives. Come in and we’ll fix you up with a dry suit to try out and see how they work. Bring your best dressed and evening wear under your dry suit to add a bit of class to your diving.
That’s it for me guys, keep diving, blow bubbles no troubles!
Ssssshhhhh…. Decompression sicknessJuly 13, 2012
Do they call them silent bubbles because when someone gets decompression sickness – no one talks about it?
It happens… Trust me, I know – Not from my own personal experience, but by the experiences of others.
What actually happens when you get the bends? Is it something we should hide?
Recently in the store, I got into explaining to my staff, the physiology of diving – I know weird right? And you just thought we talked about the girls and the last dive trip we went on and all that cool stuff! Anyway, I was talking about how nitrogen works and micro bubbles and how the body works with it all when we dive. At the end of the chat a couple of my staff came up and said “wow – I have dived for years and never knew that. I have never had it explained to me so I understand what actually happens” I got to thinking that if we don’t explain these things to our professional level guys, how are non professional divers meant to understand? Don’t get me wrong, my staff are full bottle on diving within limits and avoiding decompression diving unless trained to do so, and the guys who are trained to do so are all over it, but having it explained I guess in layman terms is what seems to have been lost somewhere. So here we are… I figured that I can do a couple of things about it. I can write here and put it out there for you all to read and hopefully understand, and if that saves 1 person from getting bent or taking risks that could end up that way then mission accomplished. OR I could leave it unsaid and never know if I could have helped someone who didn’t know. Whatever the case, I figure it’s worth a shot… So here goes – and please – I am sure there is a lot more science involved in this and I am sure that there is a lot more medically that I am not putting in here – but I am writing this as it is best explained to someone who just doesn’t quite understand.
So here we go:
When we breath air, we inhale 21% Oxygen, 78% Nitrogen and 1% other gases (a mixture).
Our body absorbs the oxygen and nitrogen from the air and pushes the nitrogen out of the body through a combination of the exhaled breath and by releasing nitrogen through our body – (pores) in the form of very minute gas particles. This keeps the body free of Nitrogen build up.
When we dive, we enter an atmosphere much denser than air. What this means is that whilst we can expel nitrogen through the normal exhale, it reduces the bodies efficiency in removing consumed nitrogen through the skin. The deeper we go, the harder it is for nitrogen to escape. This added to the fact that when we dive deeper, our partial pressures change and the amount of nitrogen consumed is much higher again. The longer the dive, the more nitrogen is absorbed and the less nitrogen is able to escape through our skin due to the density of the water.
When we ascend, the pressure on our body is reduced. When we get to the last 5 metres our bodies are able to off gas the excess build up of nitrogen much more efficiently than at depth. This is why we do decompression stops and safety stops at shallower depths.
You will never be able to fully flush out all of the nitrogen absorbed, but you can certainly bring those levels down to much safer levels in a very short time.
So what happens when we get bent?
The nitrogen is transferred around your body in your blood in the form of minute bubbles by cells called hemoglobin. Hemoglobin carries oxygen around the body too so they are very important cells.
When we ascend gases expand. This includes all of the tiny micro bubbles of nitrogen that are now effectively trapped in your bloodstream unable to escape because of the density of the water and the pressure asserted on your body. These nitrogen micro bubbles continue moving around your body until they can be dispersed through the skin. If the ascent is too fast for the micro bubbles to escape through the skin, they become too big. Once they become too big to escape through the pores, they continue moving around the body until they become stuck, usually in a joint or area with blood flow restrictions. Once they get stuck, additional micro bubbles get stuck in the same area trapping the flow through that area. This makes the joints very stiff and can lead to the body contorting making it look like your body is bent up (This is where the name “the bends” comes from).
When this happens the only way to fix the problem is to take the body back to the depth where these micro bubbles became too big and force them back into solution (so small they are free to move around the body again). Then coming up at the correct speed with plenty of time allowed to slowly release the micro bubbles allows the nitrogen to escape the body effectively removing the bend. Traditionally, the only way to do this is in a controlled environment in a recompression chamber. (“Recompression” because you are recompressing the micro bubbles to a size where your body can remove them naturally) 100% Oxygen is also used in the assistance of diluting the nitrogen to a smaller percentage while giving your body the necessary boost to begin repairing the damage caused by nitrogen “scarring”.
Decompression Sickness can affect different people in different ways. There are a bunch of different types of decompression sickness too from skin bends to lymphatic bends and a whole bunch of nasties in between. The thing with decompression sickness is that any one person can be affected differently and the nitrogen build up can be anywhere in the body. Some cases of decompression sickness can end up with dire consequences, paralysis, blindness or even death. It all depends on where those tiny micro bubbles get stuck. The best way to avoid any of this – is to take the most precautions as possible.
So we now know how it all happens, how do we make sure that it doesn’t happen to us?
This is a very open ended question because I have seen some things done by divers which left me amazed that the diver who did it – didn’t end up in the chamber, and then I have seen people dive “safe” dive profiles and still get a mild bend.
If you speak to a hyperbaric doctor or nurse, they will all tell you that a safe profile is one where you don’t end up visiting them, thus the open ended question of how do you prevent it.
So here goes a list of things you can do to assist in the prevention of DCS (Decompression Sickness).
- Stay fit – no you don’t have to hit the treadmill and exercise bike – but if it’s been a while between dives, make it a short and shallow one first.
- Drink a lot of water – Prior to the dive and after the dive. Hydration is VERY important.
- Make sure you are 100% healthy before a dive. Don’t dive hung over, don’t dive super tired, and don’t dive if you just don’t feel right. Yes even if you just spent $130 on a boat trip or you have just landed on that overseas dive holiday you have been planning for a year. Rule of thumb… if you don’t feel 100% then you probably aren’t… put off the dive until you do feel 100%
- Drink a lot of water – I know I said that already but I can’t emphasize that enough.
- If you have taken recreational drugs, DON’T DIVE. These drugs usually give you a high by increasing your heart rate – something we definitely don’t want to do in relation to nitrogen transfer around the body. (Avoid drugs and diving altogether).
On the dive:
- Don’t over exert yourself.
- If you dive with a dive computer – set it to the most conservative setting – The Hyperbaric docs tell us that even that in some cases is not enough.
- If you are diving with a computer, don’t assume that you are fine. Dive computers are designed to give information to assist you in your dive calculations. Whilst better than a guess – they still have a whole bunch of parameters which they cannot calculate – such as your weight, fitness and external dive conditions.
- Plan your dive and stick to your plan.
- Make the deepest part of your dive the earliest part – don’t go and check out the sand eels at 30 metres at the end of the dive which has been predominately 12 metres. Leave them for the first part of another dive… tomorrow.
- Make your ascents slow and deliberate. Don’t lose control of your buoyancy – the ascent is the most important part of the dive to your body.
- When ascending always take the time to ease into your safety stop. If you have a 5m stop planned for 5 minutes, why not stay there a bit longer if air permits? Your buddy can do the same thing J.
- When ascending try to keep your arms and legs at full stretch – Holding a camera? Hold it in one hand and let your arms out so they are not bent at the elbows. For your legs – No bends at the knees. This will ensure good blood flow through your body without any potential restrictions for nitrogen micro bubbles to build up. – (This is a precautionary move- which whilst not proven to be a guaranteed fix, it is yet to be proven otherwise).
- If you break the surface before you have completed your safety stop, go back down to the depth you should have been at (5metres) and start your safety stop again.
- If you go into DECO then make sure you do all compulsory stops at the depth required and then complete a full set of Safety Stops – 5m for 5 minutes then 3 m for 3 minutes. If in doubt and air permits… stay longer.
After The Dive:
- Hydrate – Drink – as soon as you get out of the water, get the equipment off your back and grab a bottle of water (or sports drink) to replenish any salt which your body sweats out – yes it is true… you can still sweat when you dive. Even if you don’t feel like a drink – have one anyway.
- Avoid Exertion – Leave the boat anchor to someone who didn’t dive OR if that isn’t possible, wait until you have had half an hour of rest time (not time since you hit the surface) before you start pulling the anchor and moving tanks around the boat.
- Avoid HOT showers. Whilst it is always nice to get out of a cold wetsuit into a hot shower, it is also a known contributing factor to DCS. If you shower – make it a warm one instead of a hot one.
- Check your dive profile. Make sure no alarms have been activated on your dive computer and make sure your dive was within the plan. If there were any incidents in the dive which altered the dive plan, make the surface interval longer and the subsequent dive shallower and shorter.
When diving in tropical locations:
- Keep drinking lots of water.
- If you get a tummy bug – don’t dive. It dehydrates you and puts you more at risk.
- Adhere to safe diving practices. Yes the water is warm and clear, but the risks are still the same.
- Reduce the number of dives you do – don’t increase the number of dives you do. – I am the first one to admit – that when I go overseas I try to do 4 + dives every day. This done over a 7+ day period puts you in the very high risk category. “Sledging” your decompression limits like this will inevitably one day end up going the wrong way and if you happen to be in a remote place with no hospitals or decompression chambers around, things may not end up pretty.
- Dive within your training and within your limits. Don’t figure just because you are in the tropics and the DMs are easy going that you can hit that 50m dive you always wanted to tell your mates about… Being prepared (and training is preparation), is crucial in doing extreme depth diving.
- Don’t Take Risks – dive safely today and you will be able to do it again tomorrow.
- Dive on Nitrox wherever you can. The depth is restricted and the percentage of oxygen is better. Your decompression times are extended but take one from me on this one – try diving Nitrox on Air tables when diving overseas. This will allow a huge buffer and allow you to do those 4 dives in the 1 day albeit that the last couple of dives may be a tad shorter than normal. This way, if you accidentally skip a safety stop and have to go back down to restart it, you know you have been doing all the right things up until then and you are sure to have a safe and easy stop. – Ultimately leading to safer and better future dives.
So there you have it. When you dive, you are always at risk. The amount of risk is 100% dependant on you. The risk can be minimized more by using Nitrox when diving at depths up to 30m. Risk can also be minimized by following the few simple points I have outlined here today. If you follow them, don’t do anything silly and always adhere to them, the chances of you becoming a visitor to the chamber will be massively reduced. Remember that DCS is a blood issue. If you are on medication which affects the blood, then be aware of it. Make your doctor aware of it. AND when overseas – let your DM and tour leaders be aware of it too.
The risk of decompression sickness, once you have had it is increased. There is a risk that if you don’t change your ways you may end up with DCS again – even on what would normally be considered as safe diving practices to most. The best way is to never get there in the first place.
If you do a dive where you think afterwards, “ooh that was a bit close” – the chances are – IT WAS.
If you would like any more information about decompression sickness, avoiding the bends, computer use and understanding, Nitrox diving or anything you consider may be beneficial to you, come in for a chat or email us or call.
It’s one of the things we can do to help and it’s what we at Perth Scuba want to be able to offer to you as our valued customers… Because we care.
Don’t take the BaitJuly 12, 2012
Have you heard that ‘marine sanctuaries will lead to more asylum seekers arriving by boat’ and that ’36,000 jobs will be lost’ as a result of Australia’s historic new plan to create marine sanctuaries?
You and I know how ridiculous this sounds, but these are the sort of desperate and misleading claims being made by the fishing industry in a new and serious bid to sink Government plans for the world’s largest network of marine sanctuaries.
Faced with this new threat, we need your help to defend the amazing commitment we secured for our marine life.
With a plan as huge as this, the Government is required to seek comments from the public again before the sanctuaries become law.
However, the fishing industry is using deliberately misleading claims to fuel a public email campaign against the plan – and they’re gaining traction.
Tell Environment Minister Tony Burke not to take the bait. Remind him of the overwhelming support for marine protection and counter the ridiculous industry claims by sending a positive comment about the plan, and even how it could go one step further.
We’ve come too far to have this huge win for our marine life over-turned at the 11th hour.
Please take action and let your friends know as well.
Thanks for doing your bit to save our marine life.
All the best,
Save Our Marine Life
Drysuit Try Dive DayJuly 11, 2012
On Sunday 8th July, the Perth Scuba Crew ran a Drysuit Try Dive Day for all those divers who wanted to experience a warm and dry style of diving.
Thanks to Michael, Leanne, Alicia, Mark, Ben and Josh for coming down and giving it a go. The crew had a great time helping (and laughing) as the team pulled their heads through the neck seals for the first time – rebirthing is the only way to put it! And once we had the neck and arm seals tight they were connected to an air supply and we pumped ‘em full of gas!!! How to gain 50 kilos in 2 minutes flat? Check out the picture to the right – these guys and girls are usually slim! Hehehe
After grabbing the mandatory group photo we headed down to the pool to give swimming a try. Everyone jumped in with their gear and Lee went through the skills they’d need whilst scuba diving dry. The crew all took to it… Well, like a diver to warm water, and they all moved brilliantly underwater.
Special mention to Alicia who was a complete natural at drysuit diving with her buoyancy and trim super, and Ben for scaring the supermarket next door when he went in threatening to eat all their food “get in my belly!!!”
Well done everyone and we look forward to seeing you all soon, diving warm and dry this winter! Missed our drysuit trial day and want to have a go? Contact us for a second chance of diving completely dry and see why all of us wouldn’t be without our drysuits in winter.
GoPro Dive Housing gives you underwater sharpnessJuly 7, 2012
GoPro, maker of the world’s most versatile HD cameras, have launched the Dive Housing which can be used on their entire line of GoPro HD Hero and Hero2 cameras. The new GoPro Dive Housing features a large, flat glass lens that allows for maximum photo and GoPro’s high definition video sharpness underwater in all resolutions. Waterproof to 197ft / 60m, the Dive Housing is ideal for diving, snorkeling and any underwater filming scenario. The advantage of using a GoPro Dive Housing is that it will be free of vignetting, which tends to reduce under water video footage quality and resolution.
The GoPro dive housing is Waterproof to 197ft / 60m, and dive housing is ideal for diving, snorkeling and any underwater filming scenario and retails at $69.95.
What’s Included in the GoPro Dive Housing:
- 1 Waterproof Dive Housing (197′ / 60m)
- 1 Protective Lens Cap Assorted Mounting Hardware
- Assorted Mounting Hardware
The video above shows you the difference between the stock housing that comes with the housing and the new GoPro Dive Housing. As you can see for yourself the sharpness improves dramatically.
Currently in development is a custom flip-up colour correction filter for the new GoPro Dive Housing. The flip filter offers an ultra thin anodized aluminium mount that allows users to quickly add or remove the filter for land and water use or as colour drops off with depth. The housing adapter locks securely in place without modifications to the stock GoPro Dive Housing, is easily installed by the user, and does not vignette in any shooting mode. Stock is expected to arrive in August, keep an eye out in this newsletter and on our Facebook page to be the first to know when they come in.
Securing our new sanctuaries – important updateJuly 6, 2012
Australia has now boldly declared it will create the largest network of marine sanctuaries in the world, and for that we must extend a huge thanks to you and the whole Big Blue Army.
The Government has told us that this could not have happened without the pressure and profile generated through your support and actions.
Take a moment to feel great about what we achieved together:
- Some of the most important areas for southern right and blue whales, and unique species of fish will be protected in Australia’s South West.
- Vast areas will also be free from deadly gillnetting and highly destructive sea floor trawling, bringing benefits for tourism, fishing, science and maintaining our great coastal lifestyle.
Watch the video
- Marine sanctuaries in the Kimberley will help protect the birth of new baby whales along the pristine Buccaneer Archipelago – one of three hotspots for humpback whale calving in Australia’s North West.
- The stunning Coral Sea will be included in the world’s largest marine park, half of which will be protected as a national park in the sea, providing a globally significant refuge for our ocean giants such as marlin, barracuda and sharks, loggerhead turtles and blue whales.
- The number of marine reserves around Australian will increase from 27 to 60, with an area of ocean the size of NSW now protected in marine sanctuaries.
This announcement is a huge moment for us all, but it is not yet written in stone.
This historic decision needs to be passed into law and to do that the Government must ask the Australian public one last time if this is indeed the right decision.
We need to be ready to shout a resounding ‘yes’.
So stay tuned and thanks for all your support.
For our marine life,
Save Our Marine Life
PS – Thanks to all those that contacted the Liberal Party’s Julie Bishop last week, encouraging her to stand firm on her pro-marine parks position.
PPS – If you haven’t yet supported the campaign to stop the international super trawler coming to fish Australian waters, please sign the petition.
Andy’s Bit in the Middle returnsJuly 2, 2012
Just thought I’d put a few thoughts to paper and get you up to date with the latest info on courses and general chit chat about the shop ..
First of all a big welcome back to Lee and the Mrs !! Been well advertised that the guys have been in Kosrae checking out new dive travel destinations for our divers at Perth Scuba, needless to say they are of again very shortly to The Galapagos Islands , so needless to say if you do want to see the boss and the Mrs ….by appointment only ……once heard some guy called Father Christmas say that they get more holidays than me !!!…and I only work one day per year!!
Anyway , good to have you both back and the Perth Scuba joining induction will be next Monday 8am sharp ( early … I know !! holiday is over !)
So onto Dive Courses ….the last two Open Water courses I have to say have been sensational !! Nope not the diving but the sandwiches and lunches provide by two excellent ladies …So thank you to Kathryn Van Niekerk and Julie Davies …..beautiful lunch and really does help towards helping to pass the Open Water course !!
The course themselves have been good fun , a little chilly in the water but great conditions…I’m on the verge of pulling out the dry suit , got a little tired of getting out the water with nuts in my throat !! but hey that’s why we wear a drysuit …nice and warm ….and that leads me onto the drysuit tryout day this Sunday at Riverton Complex …..various Drysuits for trial , no more feeling cold , therefore a lot more time under the water……happiness all round !!
Divemasters are on my wanted list ……big year coming up in the dive school , so Divemasters are required urgently …..if you are Rescue Diver and considering a new challenge then this is the course for you…….work with me , you’ll learn new skills , how to teach , more in depth theory on diving and how to cash in those beer tokens at the end of every course !! so get in the shop ….talk to the guys or me and get out there !! summer is almost here !!
Or ultimately get the big challenge in life ….become an Instructor the Instructor Development Course ( IDC) starts in October , become an Instructor and get paid for what you enjoy doing !!
Well that’s about it for the minute, I’m back in the Water this week with more Open Water students … look out for all the info on the Specialty Course Calender that is coming out very shortly for the new season but above all keep diving and see you all in the shop soon !!
Dolphins playing at Palm Beach Jetty club diveJuly 1, 2012
Welcome to Sharni & Dale on their first club dive with the Perth Scuba Crew! We look forward to seeing you both on many more in the future.
The guys and girls had a cool dive at the Palm Beach Jetty, led by our Dive Master extraordinaire Lindsay Phillips. Plus the shore support (Joey) got to watch a school of dolphins playing and chasing fish near the end of the jetty for over an hour! Unbelievable how close they got to the divers but they were too fast for the crew to see.
There was plenty of life on and around the jetty pilons, including a lionfish seen by Alex! The viz was pretty good for the site and to top it off it was beautiful and sunny when the crew hopped out of the water. Palm Beach Jetty is only a couple of hundred metres from the Rockingham Wreck Trail but is subject to a lot less diver traffic – plus plenty of parking. Also there’s fresh water showers at the top of the beach access so you can wash your gear down after the dive. If you haven’t visited the jetty before, contact us for a map of the dive site.
Next club dive will be this Wednesday evening. Meet at The Coombe, Mosman Bay 7pm. The Coombe has some great wrecks teeming with soft coral, decorator crabs, mussels, leather jackets and prawns zipping away from your torch light. All divers welcome and don’t forget your torch!!!
The Perth Scuba Crew return from diving Papau New GuineaJune 29, 2012
written by Mike Doswell – Perth Scuba PADI Instructor
I can’t say I was excited to walk into the cold weather at 12am in Perth upon returning from another fantastic diving trip, I have just spent the last 8 days in the northern islands of Papua New Guinea with 6 others diving to our hearts content and here is the goss’.
We were flying from Brisbane to Port Moresby with a crew of 7 consisting of 2 Guys and 5 Girls (good ratios), for 5 of them at least this was their first Perth Scuba Dive trip and also some of their first dives since completing the PADI Open Water Course earlier this year.
We all met up in the departure lounge eagerly awaiting our boarding call for our Air Nuigini flight, which we now refer to as Air Unreliable. Our flight was on time and in fact very pleasant with plenty of space for u all to have a row each, upon arriving in Port Moresby the plan was simply, collect our luggage and transfer to the domestic airport for our flight to Kavieng, that went smooth enough but it wasn’t until we sat waiting for a flight to board that on the notice board it suddenly appeared our flight has been cancelled, thankfully having travelled through here previously I had a good idea what to do, so I made a straight line towards the service counter on the check in side of the airport. It was a clever move because not 2 minutes later I was pressed up against the glass with 60 locals behind me yelling at the guy behind the counter. To cut this bit short, it took me over 2 hours standing at the counter to get 7 vouchers for us to be put up for the night as well as meals and transfers before our flight would depart again at 4am the next morning. On the upside we were staying at the Crown Plaza and it did include a nice meal as well as a scenic drive through Port Moresby which neither of us had been through previously. As almost everyone had been flying over the past 36 hrs it really was a case of food and sleep before having to get up at 2am to catch our flight. Thankfully our flight left on time and again it was a spacious trip, we flew direct to Kavieng which was just over an hours fly time and finally we were there!
In order to get to Nusa Island Retreat we had to ride in the truck and take a small boat across to the Little Nusa Island before we were greeted by Sean, one of the owners of the retreat, after a quick run down of the retreat and well earned breakfast the girls were off to catch some ZZZ’s. Cara from Scuba Ventures had come across to see us as we were expected to be diving that morning, we decided that an afternoon of diving was a better option, with a few hours for people to chillax.
Nusa Island Retreat was originally set up as a surfers retreat. Brother and sister Sean and Shannon who run Nusa Island Retreat have spent the last decade really turning what was a camp site into a true tropical hide away. All the accommodation and buildings are built in true PNG style with woven walls and leaves for roofing all sitting on stilts, their location and sizes range from a small couple sized building to a large 6 person 2 storey house, some are set towards the back of the property while others sit over the blue waters surrounding the Island. The whole place is designed around being eco and local friendly, it uses self composting toilets, filtered rain water for drinking and well water for showers, there are no TV’s, no Internet access and only fans in the rooms, however there is more than enough cold beer or cocktails, hammocks to lay in or water to swim in to be more than comfortable. It’s fantastic to simplify because it really lets you stop and relax, it gives you a chance to chat with the locals and other patrons staying or interact with the variety of wildlife which now calls the retreat home. The whole place centers around the restaurant and bar, with its huge open air design and large benches, it makes it central for everyone to hang out while deciding which activity to take on. Nusa has a large range of fun things to do including, fishing, kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, surfing, tours, snorkeling and even table tennis.
We spent the afternoon diving, just easy diving trying to ease everyone back into it, it was a nice warm 29c with great visibility we completed a 22m wall dive followed by a 8m wreck dive, it was a good chance for everyone to try and get a handle on buoyancy as well as weighting. We retired back to the retreat to sink some of those icy cold SP browns as the locals call them or known to us as beer. Dinner was served at 7pm with the menu consisting of Mud Crab, Squid, Crayfish and all other sorts of delights, in fact over the next 7 days we were well and truly spoiled with the local foods, according to any of the Ex-Pats we spoke with in Kavieng Nusa do the best food around, we did venture into town one night to watch the local school kids perform Joseph and his techni-color dream coat followed by dinner at another hotel, the Ex pats were certainly right in saying it was the best grub around.
Over the following days we all dived, paddle boarded, ate, drank, fished, drank, ate, dived, drank etc… in fact all in all we completed 16 dives which for most of the crew was more than 4 times how many dives they had previously completed, I had offered the group the opportunity before we left to complete there Advanced Open Water while we were away, especially as we were completing 90% of the dives anyway, we only had to complete an additional Navigation dive one afternoon. So from Perth Scuba, Scuba Ventures and myself congratulations to Imogene, Rachel, Nicole and Bernie upon becoming Advanced Divers. We had a great variety of diving from Wreck, Reef, Drift and Muck diving. In fact it would be some of the best diving and some of the most isolated diving in the world which is part of what makes this place so special. I would also like to thank Cara and Dorian from Scuba ventures who really put the effort in to make the diving enjoyable and safe for everyone.
On the last day we had a dry day so we had organised with Cara to do a land trip it basically involved a trip to the shops for some supplies and an hours drive down the Hwy to see several features of the area, 1st stop was a tree house hotel and let me tell you for anyone who has seen Swiss Family Robinson it’s really cool!! We then stopped in to see Cathy the Eel Lady, Cathy is a Ex Air-Unreliable hostess who has taken charge of a fresh water stream which houses dozens of large fresh water Eels which love to come out and feed on tinned mackerel, they swim up around your feet and are super slippery, my ears are still recovering from all the girls squealing as the snaked their way around us. Next stop was a fresh water swimming hole, another amazing spot in PNG crystal clear water and a large rope swing which Bernie and I used to try and impress the girls with our skills… Didn’t quite work as they were all happily talking girl stuff. After having lunch we headed back to Kavieng for an afternoon relaxing or drinking more beer, Cara and Dorian came round later with their daughter Vicky to present us with our group DVD, whilst we had spent the day with Cara, Dorian had worked on our DVD’s which turned out brilliantly with video, photo’s and even some aerial footage of us all, we wished them well and said our goodbyes.
With only 1 more nights sleep before our flight back to Brisbane the next day the girls took the effort to make it a big one with some of them hitting the sack past 4am, reports from the tired looking staff painted a picture of cocktails, dancing on tables, trying beetle nut and god knows what else. However they were up the next morning on time looking disappointed that we had to leave, we all were.
Even though we had a few issues with flights it must be said what a great place! I have travelled all over the world and it generally takes a lot for a place to win me over, and coming back here for the 2nd time it just reassures me that this place is something special. I would like the thank the crew that came along to share the experience, my better half Michelle, the girls Imogene, Rachel, Nicole and Sophie and of course Bernie whom managed to escape getting his nails painted unlike half the male staff at Nusa. We look forward to seeing you all on the next trip!
Underwater Videography with Instructor Joseph “Daddy-Mac” BicanicJune 28, 2012
I am Joseph Bicanic and I love my underwater Videography. I started diving in 1999 whilst on Holidays with my children on Heron Island in Queensland. Since then I have become obsessed with all things related to Scuba Diving – Especially Underwater Videography.
With this in mind I have written two “PADI APPROVED” Underwater Video Distinctive Specialties. These are two courses (Levels) that flow on from each other. Level 1 is aimed at the Scuba Diver wanting to learn the basics of underwater videography and making short movies for sharing via the web or mobile media. Level 2 delves more deeply into camera moves, story creation, a greater degree of editing and producing a completed DVD or BluRay. Upon completion of each course students receive the PADI Certification Card for that course.
I started off in video after several years of fun diving when I wanted to find a way to share the underwater experience with my family and friends that did not dive. Video was the obvious choice. In 2002 I bought my first Video Camera, a little Standard Definition JVC Camcorder and its accompanying plastic housing rated to 30 meters. At the time I thought it was all I would ever need (and at the time it was).
Since then I have upgraded to a professional level Sony HD Video Camera in an Amphibico housing and unless I am teaching or catching crayfish, it is a rarity to catch me diving without my Video Unit.
My footage is aired on the locally produced TV show “The Water”, ABC TV and I have done contract underwater videography work as well. I also have a library of Video’s from local, interstate and international destinations.
My passion and hobby has turned into a part time job which I love. I hope to see you on one of my courses so that you too can learn how to share your diving experiences.
See you soon!
Joseph BicanicJoseph will be imparting his knowledge in his Underwater Digital Video Distinctive Specialty Course – Level 1 on the 28-29th July at Perth Scuba. To book on Joseph’s exciting course Contact Us.
Albany Dive WeekenderJune 27, 2012
Another great Albany dive weekend was had by 7 divers (Kate, Neal, Kendrick, Peter, Michael, Arron and Lindsay), it looked like it was going to be a cold weekend of diving but it turned out great. As we were going out diving at 12.00pm we all had a sleep in after a great night at one of Albany’s restaurants.
Saturday started off with a big hearty breakfast of bacon & eggs before we packed up, and headed down to the marina to get our gear ready for the boat. After loading all our dive gear we headed out for our first dive to the holes, the weather was good with a little bit of a swell. The holes has a number of swim throughs with a depth of around 25 meters, the vis was around 10 meters with plenty of fish life around with the water temperature around 17c .The second dive we went to seal rock to swim with the seals, the vis was around 15-20 meters with plenty of seals swimming around. Kendrick found a friend and started having fun with one seal who was copying what he was doing, I had a big friendly cuttlefish in my face who was following me around, everyone had fun and saw plenty of friendly seals. After a 55 minute dive we headed back to the marina, but on the way back we spotted some whales. We headed over to where they were and there were 3 of them, we followed them for 10 minutes trying to take pictures, what an awesome way to finish a great day. Saturday night after some pre dinner drinks & nibblies we started up the b.b.q, and had steak, sausages and salad and a few more drinks.
Sunday morning was an 8.ooam start down at the marina for two dives on the HMAS Perth. The morning was a bit over cast but the water was flat, another great for diving, we headed out to the Perth for our two dives. The first dive the vis was not so great, the second dive the vis was worse but everyone still had great dives. As this was the last dive with Albany Dive as they are closing down, also it was Perth Scuba’s last stay at Cruize Inn as this was the last time it was for hire. Everyone had a great weekend of diving, also we had better weather than Perth!!!
Breaking News: The tide has turned..!June 14, 2012
In an historic announcement this morning, the tide turned for marine life in Australia.
This has only been possible because people like you stood up and spoke out to support our unique marine life. You and everyone else in the Big Blue Army should take a bow, because today Environment Minister Tony Burke has announced the world’s largest network of marine sanctuaries.
Today also represents a turning point in the conservation and management of our oceans. You and I have known for a long time, and the science evidence has shown, that over fishing is the key threat to the health of marine life.
What today’s announcement signals is official recognition of this key threat and a clear change in direction toward action to safeguard critical areas for the future. Just like national parks on land, marine sanctuaries are now an accepted and mainstream part of the national agenda to address the unprecedented threats facing our unique marine life.
Check out the map to see which areas around our coast have been protected in this new network of protected areas.
And while the tide has now turned, it’s important to recognise that the Federal Government could and should have gone further. None of us would be under any illusions that the challenge of protecting our oceans would be resolved overnight, and many hotspots that whales, dolphins, sea lions and other magnificent marine life call home remain at risk.
Over-fishing and oil drilling remain real threats that will need to be dealt with. However the momentum of our movement is unstoppable and we will continue to fight to ensure our marine life gets the protection it needs.
But today we need to celebrate our unprecedented community movement that has resulted in the protection of so many special areas. These are places that will forever now provide sanctuary to thousands of species of marine life from bizarre and delicate leafy sea dragons, to magnificent southern right whales, to ancient Loggerhead turtles, and swirling schools of fish.
If you want to find out more about the announcement we’ve put a basic summary of the highlights and lowlights for each marine region on our web site, along withdetailed maps you can download.
We’ll be in contact soon to tell you more about what this decision means, but in the meantime the team at Save Our Marine Life would like to say ‘thank you’ for your support. By sparing your time here and there, by standing up and taking action, you’ve been part of a community campaign that has made a difference we can all be proud of.
Congratulations and thank you,
Save Our Marine Life
Perth Scuba PADI Open Water DiversJune 13, 2012
Check out this cool video by our PADI Dive Master Greg Thomms from our most recent Open Water Dive Course last weekend.
Filmed and edited by Greg Thomms – Perth Scuba Dive Master
Message from a Dive Master on World Ocean DayJune 8, 2012
Diving is my passion and I’m very lucky to say, also my job.
One of the best parts of my job is taking people for their first dive in a marine sanctuary, and seeing the amazed look on their faces when they break the surface after the dive. It reminds me of my first dive and why I fell love with the sport.
In marine sanctuaries, marine life is in original condition and the water is teaming with life – there’s swirls of big barracuda, trevally or mackerel, giant blue gropers; dive spots with lazy turtles watching from reefs, patrolled by harmless reef sharks. There’s every colour you can imagine – corals, spotted eels, blue devils, eagle rays and the tiniest of seahorses.
Unfortunately these days many spots outside of sanctuaries have been fished out and there’s almost nothing left to see.
I often get asked ‘why can’t there be more protected sanctuaries’. Well, there can be.
That’s why I’m a big supporter of Save Our Marine Life and offered to write you this email.
Big decisions about protecting our oceans currently hang in the balance. The guys at Save Our Marine Life tell me there’s one person in Government who really ‘gets’ this issue and can do something about it – he’s our new Foreign Minister, Senator Bob Carr, who has an awesome reputation for protecting nature. You should see what he’s said in the media about our oceans!
Today, on international World Oceans Day, Save Our Marine Life is asking us to send a message to Senator Bob Carr encouraging him to push this campaign for sanctuaries over the line.
So please join me in taking action and writing a personal message to Senator Bob Carr. It’ll only take a couple of minutes, and it definitely sounds like its the best thing we can do to help save our marine life.
Thanks and regards,
Manager – Perth Scuba
On behalf of Save Our Marine Life
Scuba diving the reefs of Sipadan Island BorneoJune 7, 2012
Filmed by Josh “I’m Awesome” Phillips – Perth Scuba Instructor
Edited by Ben “GoPro” Newsome – Perth Scuba GoPro Guru
What is your reason for Sidemount Diving?June 5, 2012
What is your reason?
Saturday morning and I am prepared, I have all the harnesses, rigging kits and sleek 7 litre HP cylinders ready to go. I am teaching the Sidemount course.
The students arrive and I find myself with four seasoned dive professionals ready to take on the weekend. One Dive-master and three Instructors. What is so interesting about teaching the sidemount course, there are so many reason to try.
At the beginning of the course I always ask students to share with the group, their name, dive experience and what they seek to get from this course.
At the end I ask whether they enjoyed the course, what they particularly liked and did they get what they wanted out of the course. I think this week’s course nearly had all the reasons. This is what they had to say..
Ben: I am not very flexible and struggle with the valves in a backmount configuration, I like the fact that I can see all my valves, first & second stages and are now really easy to reach. Valve drills are now a cinch.
Craig: I want to take my tech diving further but I am not crazy about lugging a heavy set of twins to and from. I like the buoyancy and trim but particularly the fact that it isn’t as demanding on my back, as I can carry my cylinders separately.
Joseph: I Love the how easy it is to find your trim in sidemount! It is going to be great, I want to do the Advanced Side mount course and then take my video camera to greater depths in sidemount configuration.
Mike: I have heard and read about this Sidemount diving and wanted a challenge. I am in the process of completing my Advanced Nitrox & Decompression procedures certification and think I would like to combine the two.
Marc: That sums Sidemount diving up right there! It has so many advantages and benefits, I enjoy diving & teaching it! It is an enjoyable course for every level of diver.
Students are somehow really pleasantly surprised and often I hear them say- Hmmm not so sure about backmount anymore..
Sidemount might not take over, but it is certainly not a FAD!