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Hey frog(wo)men,

Welcome to TANKED - the newsletter for kids who see the world through slightly foggy goggles. We've finally hit the home stretch for winter, which means warmer waters are just around the corner. But it also means we'll lose some of the magnificent vis we've been having, so now is the time to take advantage of winter's chilly death throes! Although the 7 degrees recently reported off Tinderbox doesn't necessarily inspire confidence in us. Maybe just stick to the ocean for now...

Our new boat (which is now officially NAMED, see the result of the naming comp below in this newsletter!) has been carving up the waters all over the state. A bunch of lucky divers scored a day out on the Nord and Cathedral Caves on the Tasmanian Peninsula, in what many of them claimed to be the best dives they've ever done in Tasmania. It's a big call, but we checked them for signs of residual narcosis and they got the all clear. Read more about their jaw-dropping experience in the reviews section further down the page.

Thanks to our new seagoing vessel, we're feeling a little more adventurous and have posted a bunch of exciting first-time TUDC dives on the calendar. Get in quick to register and secure a spot. And remember to give us feedback on the kind of dives you dig - you like 'em, we run 'em!

- TUDC Exec 2012
Night diving

Featured Dive Review

Coningham Beach [night], 18th July

A brave crew of six divers hit the dark, frigid waters of Coningham Beach for a mid-winter night dive after work (brrrr!). The dive had been purposely scheduled for high tide, which was just as well given that the majority of the dive was spent in neck-deep water. As just the second dive ever by TUDC at the site, we went in with no expectations. But as soon as we hit the water, the vis looked great, and we were on the hopeful lookout for some fun creepy crawly creatures...

The standard was set high, with a stargazer spotted in a seagrass bed in the first 2 minutes. But the rest of the dive didn't disappoint - the fringing reef of blocky crevices and seaweed beds were packed with nocturnal sea cucumbers on the move, pygmy leatherjackets (apparently they hang on to the seaweed with their teeth, as they sleep...eww), ever-charismatic dumpling squid, friendly skates, seahorses, sleeping leatherjackets, baby arrow squid, flathead, spider crabs getting freaky, an awesome nudi spotted by James & Simon, and much much more, the 70 minutes spent in the icy 10 degree water flew by.

After a lighting fast roadside change into warm clothes, and a potential crisis was averted by a quick jumpstart to Nick's lazy "fire truck" ute, we peeled off for some well-deserved hot showers. All in all an awesome dive; fantastic for honing your buoyancy, underwater photography, critter spotting or night diving skills. Watch out on the calendar for more!

          - Emma Flukes

Coningham Beach pics


News Around The Club

TUDC - Expanding Into the North!

At our last Committee meeting it was agreed and approved that the Club will be setting up base in the North (Launceston Uni/AMC campus) in the coming weeks. Off the back of a grant from the Sports Council, we'll be looking at setting up a gear rental room in Launceston with 4 full sets of gear and 8 tanks. While there is still a little bit of ironing out of process and procedures, in essence this will allow our Northern Club members access to dive gear when the shops are all out. Also keep an eye out on the Dive Calendar for a few Tamar River based dives over in the coming months, as we team up with our Northern members to experience more of the State's great diving.

Brand new FREE Redmap species guides out now!

Redmap is a program that collects data on marine species that are uncommon in Tasmanian waters, by using sightings logged by the Tasmanian community. The information provided by these "citizen scientists" (that's you guys!) is used to demonstrate how species distributions may be shifting due to changes in the marine environment. And now, undertaking 'scientific research' just got a whole lot easier with the release of the Remap Field Guide.

The guide books, a result of a grant generously provided by the Tasmanian Community Fund, profiles many of the species Redmap are interested in and was produced to assist our Tasmanian volunteers or 'citizen scientists' while they are out conducting important Redmap research... errr, fishing and diving.

Redmap's 'citizen scientists' are helping Redmap track which warmer-water species are extending their ranges south in search of their preferred marine climate. Some species are shifting house in search of cooler waters as Tasmanian seas warm at three times the global average.

The guide books are compact and designed to be hardy and water resistant and can have pages added and removed with ease, it contains colour pictures of species including fish, turtles, sharks, and crays that are considered uncommon along parts of the Tasmanian coast.

If you would like a copy of the field guide sent to you or would like to know more about the Redmap project going national, please email or visit

new Redmap species guides

On the lookout for divers to help with organising CCW 2013

Our friends over at TSDC have put their hands up for the job of running the Combined Clubs Weekend (CCW) in 2013 at Bicheno and have asked if we had any eager little bubblers who would be interested in helping out on the organising committee. There is heaps to organise, ranging from sponsors, events, accommodation options, to food and festivities and the annual quiz night. So if you're interested, drop us an email and we'll put you in touch with TSDC. Your creative input would be gratefully appreciated!

FANTASTIC DEAL on dive computers!

Our friends from Southern Tas Divers currently have an awesome deal on the snazzy Scubapro Galileo Luna dive computer. If you're starting to get into your techy dives a bit more or just in the market for a multi-function dive computer with a nice big clear display, this could be just the thing for you.
[CHECK OUT THE FLYER] or hit up the shop for more details!


New TUDC boat name DECIDED!

The official TUDC "name our boat" competition has now closed, votes have been cast, and we are proud to announce that the name of our brand new boat is.... *drumroll please*... "TROJAN". Some of you may have affectionately already known her by this name, but it's now official. Our assets fleet consists of landcruiser tow vehicle "Dumper", old faithful vessel "Thumper" [Thumpin' Willy] and now the new kid on the block, "Trojan". Aww, what a sweet nuclear family we're growing...


MORE!!! Cheap dive courses now available to TUDC Members

Ian from The Hobart Dive Shop (67a Argyle St - 6234 3428) is once again offering some fantastic deals exclusively to Tas Uni Dive Club members. Great discounts are available for both Open Water and Advanced Open Water courses.

The following courses have just been posted up for August - jump on the Dive Shop website now for full dates and to make a booking!

  • PADI Open Water Course - from 13th August: $295 (for TUDC members!)
  • PADI Advanced OW Course - from 25th August: $295 (for TUDC members!)
  • PADI Rescue Diver Course - from 27th August: $250
Remember, the cheap deals on the OW and AOW courses (usually $375 each) are exclusive to TUDC members, so make sure you mention you're from the Tas Uni Dive Club!

Other upcoming dive course dates

Southern Tasmanian Divers (212 Elizabeth St - 6234 7243) also have a number of upcoming dive courses on their calendar. Now has never been a better time to upgrade your training! Check out their website for more details.

  • Open Water Course (5 upcoming courses)
    • from August 14th, September 11th, October 9th, Noveber 6th, December 4th
  • Advanced OW Course (2 upcoming courses)
    • from August 31st, November 23rd
  • Stress & Rescue: from August 14th
  • Apply First Aid: from September 10th
    • equivalent to St Johns and Red Cross courses. A perfect way to link first aid (and CPR) in a practical diving setting (and of course, a prerequisite for your Rescue Diver certification!)

Specialty Courses SPECIALTY equipment training courses

If you're interested in the equipment side of diving, you may be interested in the upcoming specialty training courses offered by Southern Tas Divers: Inspect and Fill Cylinders, and Gas Blending. [both are a 2 night theory session]

Inspect and Fill Cylinders: Wednesday August 8th & 15th, or September 12th & 19th
Gas Blending: Wednesday August 22nd & 29th, or September 26th & October 3rd

Both courses are fully Government Accredited.


Contribute and Win!

We love reading dive reviews as much as you do, and we're super keen for them to become a regular part of our newsletter. So we're offering EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU the chance to win a brand new, custom-fitted Seatec Commercial wetsuit (check it out here) courtesy of Ian at The Dive Shop Hobart. All you need to do is send us a review from a dive you've done recently. Seriously, that's it! Photos are fantastic but not essential. Simply reply back to this email with your latest dive review to go into the draw.

Each review submitted gives you one entry, so keep sending them through to maximise your chances. Competition will be drawn at the end of the year. Get writing!


Recent Dives

SS Nord & Cathedral Caves (7th July) - Rowan Blake & Tom Mackey; pics Simon Locke

We were swamped with reviews for these particular dives - clearly they were something pretty special! We just couldn't decide, so we've included two reviews to show the difference in diver experiences.

DIVE 1: The SS Nord

TOM'S take (Kevin 07)

"Rolling off the side of the rib was a relief. After spending half an hour or more looking for our "sister ship", making it all the way down to Tasman Island and getting told off by Coast Radio, it was good to be in the water and ready to go. There was air of excitement about the divers, none of us had dived the Nord before and for me it was my first wreck dive. As we begun our descent the first thing that struck me was the clarity and beautiful azure colour of the water. The second was the change in the current which had been quite strong on the surface, but dropped off to almost nothing. I was so fixated on the spot where the shot line met the bottom that I didn't really notice the wreck until about 35m. It was at this point I looked up to find the bow of the Nord, both imposing and inviting at the same time.

Swimming along the port side, I was excited by the opportunities to investigate the structure of the wreck and the marine life which now calls it home. Even more exhilarating were thoughts of maybe one day having a bit of a look around inside! Schooling butterfly perch and what looked like mackerel at the stern added another element of goodness to what was already a great dive. After a brief moment spent hunting around the prop, I looked to my computer to find that our remaining NDT was 1 minute and with reluctance, signalled my buddy and started ascending. Swimming up slowly over the stern and toward mid-ship, I hovered at around 25m enjoying the view which captured the entire span of the wreck. I was truly awestruck at this point. The sheer size of the vessel is impressive, but the ability of nature to take something so large and make it it's own is humbling. Aside from going to my happy philosophical wank place, a bunch of salps, chained and individual made the rest of the blue water ascent and safety stop that bit more interesting. Topside, everyone was beaming and proclaiming the exceptional quality of the dive, myself included. For me, in terms of diving, it was as close to perfect as I've ever been and something I would recommend to anyone who has had the good fortune to get involved in this sport."

ROWAN'S version of events

"This would have to be the best dive I've done. Yes, that's a big call, but!

After spending an hour cruising around looking for Bob Blauuw (who knew the spot) we were ready to go. This was by no means an easy feat... a big ocean, no coordinates & uncertainty as to which radio channel Bob was on. Well done to Commander Tony for his perseverance (must be something to do with his military training). I'm soooooo glad we finally found Bob as I was getting all ansie to bubble & I started saying we should dive the Monument or some other spot (patience is really not one of my virtues).

Five of us jumped in, and the viz was amazing! As I was bobbing on the surface, I could see I seal swimming around at least 20m beneath me... great viz! We were ready to descend. Bob had left a buoy on the Nord, so we all descended close to the buoy line. It takes a while to get down that far, but it was so beautiful. The colour of the ocean was so bright (not sure of which colour it actually was as I'm colour 'blind', let's just say it was oceany in colour :)

After finally getting to the bottom, I was blown away. I have never seen so many fish in one location... even more than I've seen reef diving in the Tropics. The wreck itself is pretty impressive, but Neptune has taken his toll on the structure as large parts of the ship are no longer there. I was real keen to get to the propeller as I've seen it in the pictures & it looks great. As I was swimming towards the stern I came over the structure & there was the seal only a few metres away (I was the only one who saw the seal... yes I may have been a little narced, but it was there... I swear it!). It looked at me, looked at the fish, looked at me again & decided it wasn't hungry or I was just too weird. After this cool little encounter I dumped some air and stood on the bottom behind the stern for a while looking up. I really like to look up when diving; it just puts everything into perspective. It's like I'm an aquanaut exploring inner space. I love it.

I then swam under the propeller, explored the wreck a bit, checked my computer (it was flashing at me '2min') so I knew I had to start my ascent soon. We all came up together in a group & due to the great viz (did I tell you the viz was great? It was great.) we could all see each other floating in inner space. Simon took some great shots (there's even some with yours truly in them). I think all of us took extra time doing our safety stop, mine was closer to 6 minutes. It doesn't hurt if you've got the gas, plus I was really enjoying just floating around.

The most disappointing thing of the dive was when we got to the surface Tony yelled out something like (don't quote me here): "Did you see the whale? A mother with her calf surfaced by the boat!" Now that would really have been magical.

My specs for the diver were 24 minutes dive time, max depth of 39.6m with a bottom temp of 12.4C." SS Nord

DIVE 2: Cathedral Caves - by ROWAN

"After having such a magnificent dive on the Nord, we were a bit stumped on where to dive next. We floated the idea of the Monument or the Kelp Forest in Canoe Bay, but after finding out that the guys (George, Tom & Simon) hadn't dived the Cathedral Caves I offered to lead them through one of my fav dive sites. Having dived this spot a few times, I knew my way around & we were pumped to bubble. Before diving we discussed hand signals to use if anyone felt uncomfortable during the dive (claustrophobia etc), so we could abort or dive outside the caves.

We dropped in by the entrance, & as we were waiting for the last diver to exit the boat (he was busy having a last minute cuppa), I looked down & it was spec. I was half in shadow from the cliffs, & with the visibility being in the 15-20m range, the contrast looking down was amazing! The light was reflecting back up from oceanic particles (microscopic critters, sediment?? who knows...); it was like an underwater laser light show (bit like a rave without the music & freaks!)

Having right ear equalisation difficulties, the guys had to wait on the bottom for me to get down & we then proceeded into the caves. Man, I love this spot, it's always so full of life: all over the walls plus heaps of fish. We went through the Cathedral and most of the standard caves plus we went in through some tight spots which were a bit of a squeeze! Some of the caves/cracks had no light, so it was such an eerie awesome experience (but not to fret, all of the routes we went through exited directly out into the open ocean).

At one spot there was a draughtsboard shark chilling on the bottom & we all had to swim over it with only 30cm clearance. It didn't even move, I guess we were either boring, or totally non-threatening (I am a pacifist, so maybe it could pick up on my peace, love & mung beans vibe).

With one diver reaching 70 bar, it was time to begin our ascent & do our safety stop. We dived for a total 35 min with a max depth of 19.4m. Also, the water was quite pleasant (13.2C). I didn't even have to use my special temperature regulation trick (it's not really that special, surfers do it all the time :)" SS Nord

Anna II (shipwreck), Mykonos - Elias Polymeropoulos

Definitely not a TUDC dive, but we couldn't help but share Elias's fantastic report on his experiences in this exotic-sounding Greek shipwreck...

"It's 10am, not a cloud in the sky on this once again beautiful weekend summer morning on Mykonos, a little Greek Island in the Cycladean archipelago, primarily famous for it's unweary nightlife. 30C at the surface, 23C water temperature, 3mm wetsuit, what else can you wish for, for a wreck dive at the Anna II off Kalafati beach on Mykono's east coast. Well, if there wasn't that nasty wind at 7-8 beaufort blowing in our faces. "Kanena problima (no probs)" says Waldemar the owner of the Mykonos Dive center and his assistant instructor Christos (directly translating to "Christ" - always wanted to go bubbling with that fella, glad he is a narco too!). But there you go, a German and a Greek working hand in hand! The world is in order after all! Hang on a sec... something's wrong here... the Greek dude is working... while the German is collecting the buck?! The world turned upside down! I guess it's really just the German/Greek breed from Tassie causing trouble being the only diver this morning asking to check out their prime dive spot.

After a chillaxed "Frappe" (Greek ice coffee) on the beach, it takes 4 minutes at blasting 40+knots (the German can't get the Autobahn out of his head!) on the back of Arielle II, to take us right in the middle of the bay to check out Anna II, a cargo ship sunk in 1995. The bottom of this well preserved wreck levels out at 35m and is the perfect dive spot right in front of our doorstep. Christos is guiding the way to the bow through amazing 25-30m viz. As the ship emerges in the deep, it doesn't take Christo long to spot the 1st of 3 impressive groupers measuring up to 1+m each, calling Anna II their new home. The algae covered ship, also hosts a huge variety of micro fauna and will fascinate any nudi-nurd! Anna II

Always followed by an army of black damselfish, we make our way across the freight hold, a mount of hardened cement tipped to one side in the storm, to the stern where another large grouper is indifferently hovering over the white sandy bottom amongst the odd remains of amphors scattered across the sea floor. After an easy ascent across the top of the boat, we explore the adjacent reef that comes up to a pleasant 5-6m. Looking through cracks and crevices to find moray eels and lobsters during our safety stop, we almost miss out on a small but impressive swarm of barracuda that elegantly glide around us through the deep blue. After all, Mykonos might not have the diversity and abundance of a tropical reef, the uniqueness or bizarreness of our temperature waters, but the warmth, light and color, the unexpected encounters while exploring the multifaceted micro fauna surely make a hell of a good dive that any bubbler will cherish! If you happen to travel to Greece, which might happen sooner than expected, make sure to squeeze in 1-2 dives before sipping your first ouzo on the sun lounger! Poseidon will be watchin ya! Yia mas!" Anna II

For Rowan, Tom, Simon, Elias & Emma's efforts with these reviews, all go into the draw to win a brand new custom-cut Seatec wetsuit, courtesy of The Hobart Dive Shop. See the "Contribute and Win" section in this newsletter to learn more!

More Fun Stuff

Our friends at Southern Tas Divers are running their innaugural international dive trip, this time to the famous Trunk Lagoon, Micronesia. The trip is running from 12th-23rd November, and a full itinerary has already been planned out for your ultimate convenience! Check out the flyer below for more info.

Southern Tas trip flyer

Gear Classifieds

We often have members wanting to trade up gear, so what better way to advertise your needs than in our classified section! Drop us an email if you have anything you're looking to buy OR sell and would like to post it here for next month.


Member's pre-loved gear Both are less than 6 months old, in new condition with warranty, prices up for negation. Contact: TIM on 62278978 or 0458001550 for more info.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

  • 1 x steel tank with handle
  • 1 x women's BCD with weight pockets and weights
  • 1 x regulator with octopus and console computer + reg bag
  • 1 x Merino Element 7mm female wetsuit, Medium, worn twice!
  • 1 x Pinnacle Cruiser 7mm female wetsuit, Medium Short
  • various bits and pieces (fins, mask, booties)
Happy to sell this gear individually, but am prepared to let the lot go for only $1,500 (total cost new was well over $3K).
Contact: NAOIMI on 0439 616 883 for further info.
dive calendar signups

Upcoming Dives & Events

August 5th - Orford
Exploratory diving around the clear waters of Spring Bay. Weather permitting, a run out to Maria Island or the Troy D shipwreck may also be on the cards. Contact - Britt

August 8th - Pub Night
Need some time out? Take a break at the TUDC Pub Night. Remember that Wednesday is cheap beer and pizza night! All new, old and prospective members are welcome, so come along for a beverage and/or a bite to eat. Please sign up so we can book a table big enough! Contact - dive calendar

August 17th to 19th - Bicheno weekend
Some of the best temperate diving in the world - enormous and colourful sponges interspersed with ascidians, hydroids, sea whips, sea fans and anemones. Prolific fish life, huge granite boulders and swimthroughs. We'll be going deep this weekend, so strictly Advanced OW divers ONLY.
Contact - Pagey

September 1st - Isle de Phoque
One of Tasmania's most renowned seal colonies. The island also has one of the largest open sea caves in the southern hemisphere running directly underneath the island. Spectacular stuff! Contact - Pagey

September 9th - Lady Bay - DIVE SITE HUNTERS!!!
With the success of our first Dive Site Hunters dive to Trial Bay, we've hit the navigation charts and picked our next spot in the Southport area. Steep dolerite depths and close depth contours; unknown sites, currents and bottom composition. For exploratory advanced divers only! The aim of the Dive Site Hunters project is to discover new and exciting dive sites to expand the club's diving playground, so who knows what we'll find... Contact - Britt

September 14th to 16th - Maria Island weekend
Staying at Spring Beach (with our own jetty and pool room!), we'll be heading over to Maria Island each day. Recognised as one of the most biodiverse regions in Australia, the Maria Island Marine park showcases a spectacular array of fish, kelp and colourful invertebrates, providing a plethora of rewarding dive sites both deep and shallow. Weather permitting, the The Troy D shipwreck may also be dived (Advanced open water required). Contact - Pagey

camera gear sale flyer

Your 2012 TUDC Executive
(aren't we pretty?)

  Tasmanian University Dive Club
Proudly sponsored by the TUU.
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