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Looking back on the year...

2012 has been a year packed full of diving for all of us. With a swag of new faces taking our annual memberships up to 180, and an increase in the diversity of active divers, we're itching to see what next year has in store for us. A new boat, new gear, exploratory dives to some of the more remote parts of Tasmania, and the successful launch of the new TUDC clothing designs doesn't even scratch the surface of what we've achieved together so far. This year has seen some big changes in the way we operate as a club. With increasing pressure on our funding options, we took the step to incorporation. The result is that we are now TUDC Inc, which provides the foundation for us to move into government funding and grant applications for next year. What does this mean to you? Well it allows us to beef up our operation in the form of new equipment, boat fitouts, and expansion of our club (such as our launch of TUDC Northern Chapter, out of Launceston) and more. We're growing, and this is a amazing thing. I feel that scuba diving has really come out of the woodwork over the last few years and 2012 has seen the biggest jump in people willing to get wet and give scuba a go.

Over the coming months you'll see our summer calendar filled with dive days and social events, equipment and skills refresher dives, and a plethora of dropzones being explored. Now that the water is warming up and the sun is shining, its time to get your mates involved and share your passion of the underwater world with them. Show them what is so amazing about what we do, and get them involved with your club. You've helped define and grow this club into what it is today, and we're mega excited about it.

Just a quick note that this will be the last TANKED for 2012 - we're going to skip the New Year edition. SO have a fantastic festive period, and as we enter a summer packed full of diving, remember to stay safe, dive within you and your buddy's limits and always dive to the conditions. Bring on 2013!

- Ben Cashman & TUDC Exec 2012
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Warty prowfish

Featured Dive Review

Tamar River - 25th November

"Now when you think of the Tamar River, silt, sludge, and ripping fresh water currents are the first thing that come to mind. "Why do you want to drive all that way and dive the mud flats?" has been the common questions my mates have been asking over the last few weeks. I have to admit, that I wasn't expecting huge things from my home town, but hey, adventure and exploratory diving is what makes our sporting passion so enticing.

With Tony, Stuart and Travis pulling the boat from Hobart bright and sparkly, we met up with our northern squad just after 9AM on the Sunday. The sun and wind were perfect, and a car park full of empty boat trailers was a good sign for water conditions. After a decent meet and greet and kit up, we launched Trojan just after slack tide, and headed just out from the breakwater to Fish Beacon. This one's easy to spot, as it has a sketchy little fish atop the metal structure. Not that creative a name really :)

Those of us with our deep certs dropped off for a blue water decent down to 40m. With an incredibly surprising 20m+ vis, the bottom came into view after a couple of minutes and... wow. Apart from being completely narced out of my brain, the bottom was teeming with schools, and the steady mound incline (from the bottom up to the navigation beacon) was spattered with stunning deep water sponges and amazing colour. Marty, Travis, Massa and I glided along the bottom soaking in the stunningly beautiful bottom topology and fish life, which was completely unexpected for those of us who haven't bubbled the Tamar before. Nudibranchs, semi-tropical looking fish species (can you tell I'm not a marine scientist :) ), draghtboard sharks, and big black rays kept us company throughout the dive. As we navigated our way towards the beacon and up past 22m we were greeted by Adam, Matt and Kingsley, who were on their way to the inside section of the beacon for an explore.

We all curled our way north and back into the topside of the beacon to complete our stops before surfacing. The current was just picking up as we started our final stop, so we'd definitely recommend dropping in 20 minutes earlier than we did (before slack tide) to make sure you have enough time for an easy surface. The mouth of the Tamar, just our of the Low Head Pilot Station boat ramp is full of life and colour. Scrap what preconceptions you have of the river diving, and get up there for a bubble. The northern TUDC divers are always keen to show us their home turf, and I can vouch for the fact that it was the best dive I have done in Tassie. Fact."

          - Cashy Images from Tamar River

Click the thumbnails above to see more pictures in our Facebook album!

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News Around The Club


Winner of 2012 "Send us Your Dive Review" competition ANNOUNCED!

Wetsuit Winner!

Throughout the year (and hopefully you have noticed!), we have been running a "submit your dive review" competition. We've had HEAPS of awesome reviews submitted by you guys, each and every one of which makes up the great reading you see in this newsletter! But there could only be one winner. So we threw all your names into a hat (1 review gave you 1 ticket), and the winner was drawn... congratulations to TOM MACKAY, winner of our 2012 competition!

Tom scores himself a brand new, custom fit Seatec two-piece 7mm wetsuit, generously sponsored by The Hobart Dive Shop (check 'em out!)

Tom, we will be in touch with how to get your hands on your awesome prize. To everybody else, thank you SO much for all your fantastic reviews, and we hope that you'll keep sending them in for everyone's enjoyment. There may just be a bigger and better competition running for 2013 - stay tuned...




"Diving in Depth" hyperbaric information evening THIS TUESDAY

It's a little late notice, but we have received an open invitation from the Royal Hobart Hospital Department of Diving and Hyperbaric Medicine to an evening of "Dive Medical Updates". This has run for a few years now and we can highly recommend it for all levels of divers.

WHEN: Tuesday, 4th December 6-9pm
WHERE: Keith Millingen Lecture Theatre, Tasmania University Clinical School, 43 Collins St, Hobart (take the footbridge over the Hobart Rivulet)

Timetable of speakers is as follows:

A TUDC crew will be assembling at Dumpling World (corner of Argyle & Liverpool St) for a quick feed at 5:15 if you'd like to join us there beforehand.

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We like to keep things fresh for you.
Enter GEAR & DIVE SPECIALS.

Every month, we will advertise another special for gear hire or discounted dives. It'll be valid for the entire duration of that month (or as specified by the deal). So check this space regularly to score yourself some bargains!

DECEMBER DEAL

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Some upcoming dive course dates

Southern Tasmanian Divers (212 Elizabeth St - 6234 7243) have a number of upcoming dive courses on their calendar. Check out their website for more details. www.southerntasdivers.com.au/course_dates.php

  • Open Water Course (5 upcoming courses!)
    • from December 4th, January 15th, February 19th, March 19th, April 16th


Upcoming
SCUBAVENTURES courses and Christmas gifts!

Wondering what to buy your scuba crazy mate for Xmas? Spoil them with a Scubaventures dive voucher!!

Available in any amount you wish, and claimable on any Scubaventures course in the next 12 months. From Open Water to Wreck, Deep and any course in between. You'll definitely be their favourite :) Send Scubaventures a message at signup@scubaventures.com.au and grab one for any amount you want. It's that easy.

Check out the voucher below (click for larger image), and the poster for the upcoming PADI Wreck Diver Specialty, including course dates.




For more info, head to www.facebook.com/scubaventures.au or sign up to the Scubaventures 'Fresh News' mailing list here: http://eepurl.com/pKvOz

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Happening Things

YOUR HELP Needed to Stop Fishing Poachers! - by Tony

Fishwatch logo
Attention all tankie divers and freedivers. A request has come to both our clubs (The TUDC and TAS Freedivers) from the TAS Marine Police for our assistance in reporting illegal fishing in our waters.

As summer approaches and we all dust off those cobwebs to tackle the warmer waters, so too are the poachers targeting more than their fair share of our prized ocean resources. This time of year, everyone that enjoys a lobster for Christmas is putting in overtime trying to achieve their goals, as are the scale fishers including those using nets, rod and line, and snorkels. The poachers are targeting our marine reserves, with a number of illegal activities occuring at Ninepin Point, Maria Island, Tinderbox Reserve, and Crayfish Point.

Fishers play roulette this time of year, and we all need to be on the lookout. If, for instance, their cray potting is yielding no result, they'll often poach one either by accessing someone else's pot, or they'll target a reserve during the night or when they think no one is watching. Another common way to take fish from a reserve is to snorkel in shallow water, place the lobster in a bag and tie it off to a mooring boy, rock or similar. Several hours later they return to pick up the fish.

Night fishing consists of placing one or two illegal pots in a reserve with floating rope, and as they sweep past either diving, snorkelling, or in a boat, the fisher will pick them up, take the fish out, then dump the pots. The pots are unfortunately usually stolen in the preceding weeks leading up to Christmas, leaving some other poor bugger with no pot and out of pocket.

Other instances of illegal fishing practices include those taking far more than their bag limit, under sized fish, and fish species out of season. This all adds up to less fish species in our waters, much to the detriment of our precious marine ecosystems (for which we go diving to look at in the first place!).

And this is where our dive clubs can be of invaluable assistance in helping to identify these illegal fishing practices. Any and all information can be passed to the Marine Police via the Fishwatch phone number, 0427 655 557. This mobile is manned 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and info can be passed on anonymously if you wish. Take a photo or video from your phone of the activity, vehicle or boat rego details, and pass it on. All information is taken very seriously. Each offence of fishing in Marine Reserves for example attracts a fine of $650 plus additional fines for each fish in your possession, with the average fine totalling a whopping $2500, not including confiscation of the gear, car or boat depending on the extent of the activity.

So divers, please help keep those oceans inhabitants we all like to see in the water where they belong by helping to keep illegal fishing practices under wraps. It's every person's responsibility and we can all help!

Check out the DPIPWE website for more info.




Recent Dives

Isle de Phoques (24th November) - by Tony

"With an early start up at the shed and Dive Officer Pagey running around with the enthusiasm of a kid at Christmas, the trip out to the Isle was shaping up to be a stellar day indeed. And his smile was contagious as you could see the anticipation in every ones faces. No wind, very little swell, plenty of sunshine, and two boats full to capacity of 11 people that made up 9 divers and 2 free divers, 18 tanks, and 11 sets of dive gear, WOW, what a mammoth organisation task. Pagey had his lolly snakes packed though so all was good. What else do you need when running a dive to a seal colony some 20kms offshore..?!

Isle de Phoques By 0830 both boats were hitched, all safety gear packed, cars loaded with gear and people, and away we went for the start of our road trip convoy to Little Swanport (via the bakery of course for coffee, lunch, and more sugar filled energy snacks).. Which I might add we got separated from soon after the bakery stop in Sorell as two vehicles (aka me), got the wrong bakery and lost the others...!

On arrival to the boat ramp at Little Swanport, the sun was in full swing and beaming its mighty Vit D onto all of us. Now we had 11 people running around with more excitement than a 10 year old on too much red cordial. It took little time at all to get everyone suited up, and away we went. The tankies all boarded Trojan and headed out first, whilst the stripped-down free divers took Thumping Willy and followed closely behind, easily controlling its well-oiled and smooth flowing hydraulic steering... With a small swell and Trojan's bow wave, we apparently provided some entertaining moments to the crew up front as we got airborne a number of times! :-)

The trip was well worth it however. NO swell or wind at the Isle. It was totally amazing. Without hesitation, all the tankies got kitted up and in two batches jumped overboard for a play with the seals.

For us two Freedivers however, it was the VERY first time EVER we got to swim with seals. Something we (Stuart and I) have both always wanted to do, but have not had an opportunity to do (or have been stupid enough to!). But what can I say? The sunshine messed up our heads. so overboard we went. and very quickly we were diving to around 7 - 10 m and spending time swimming around with these such groovy creatures. And you realise just how fast and agile these beasts really are in their world! It made us both look like a paralytic nematode splashing around in a puddle.

Isle de Phoques

Realising that we were easy targets for any hungry creature bigger than us, we quickly made an escape plan. It was rather simple actually. If the freediver on the surface noticed that suddenly all the seals scrambled out of the water, so would we. Damned fast. It may not have been perfect, but it was a plan. and it was all we had!

Smiling faces all round, we headed to the other side of the island to do the swim throughs. All divers both tanked and unranked jumped in the water in two batches again, and the vis was super. And Ohhh boy, I have not seen anything so beautiful as the colours within the cave walls and roof. I must go back with a decent camera!

Isle de Phoques

Following one of the best days diving many of us has had it was time to head back to shore, and make the trip home. Via the pub of course for a well-earned beer! So, Isle de Phoque. Can't wait to see ya again next time...


Travis Baulch has also put together a kickass video of the day's diving - check it out here!

Isle des Phoques seal video



CSIRO night dive (29th November) - by Nick Dwyer

"Five overheating divers (28 degrees at 9pm!) lined up along the wharf edge and dropped the 2 meters to the water, much to the delight of the children fishing.

Descending into the dark cooling water, flashlights were flicking around eagerly looking to find the first object of interest... There it was, a shopping trolley, a witches hat, some bottles... Then slowly following the rock shelf, an occy... Unimpressed by its inquisitive visitors it darted off for some peace to continue its contemplation. Further on, some sea horses, little rays and a puffer fish... who got a bit too excited and puffed up.

Fumbling around I got my new GoPro underway and shot some shonky footage... Of a very interesting rock. By this stage I was down to 40bar... Time to ascend and let the lighter breathers continue to explore. Night diving is fantastic fun... I need to work on my video skills, and practice singing while diving to cut down on air usage... The things you learn!!!"


Ok, so it might just be footage of a rock, but we reckon it's still pretty cool! Check out Nick's quick GoPro vid to get the feel for what night diving is all about. YouTube vid here.



Ninepin Point (11th November) - by Sparky

"Nine divers from TUDC and TSDC checked out Ninepin Point one sunny Sunday recently, and were joined by another three including the very helpful Matt with a good toolbox who assisted with various gear modifications on the fly. We're hoping they'll join one or two clubs soon, they'll be an asset! Welcome also to TUDC divers from Launceston and Alaska !

The tannin coloured water promotes colourful sponge and other growth usually found much deeper - combine that with reserve status, a small kelp garden and some massive crays and you're definitely in for a great day.

Ninepin

This was one of those days where the benefits of club diving were apparent. We had brand new open water divers through to a scientific and a qualified deco diver. It was very satisfying to see the experienced divers happily assist and patiently wait while the 'newbies' got comfortable with their kit and ready to descend.

Fun was had and was topped off by BBQ'd snags & bacon and egg rolls : very popular and worth doing again. That's what diving is about, enjoying your sport at your pace, gaining experience and mixing it up with a bunch of good folks."

Ninepin




More Fun Stuff


Following the huge fun had in Bali, Sparky is organising another trip there in June 2013. A 12 day trip with 10 day's diving inc. boats and nitrox, private accommodation, excellent food and flights will cost around $1500. Pick your own dates and itinerary or do the same dates as us and always have a trusty buddy, it's up to you.

Enquiries to Mark Mather, mail@markthespark.net.au, 0428 390 393.

See some great video action from the last trip, including some seriously deep drop-off action, via Facebook here.

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dive calendar signups


Upcoming Dives & Events


December 4th - Diver Safety evening
Fantastic information evening on updates in diver safety held by the Royal Hobart Hospital Department of Diving and Hyperbaric MedicineContact - Dive calendar

December 8th - Betsey Island wreck graveyard
Since 1916, the area to the west of Little Betsy Island has been used for the disposal of unwanted ships. This has created a huge concentration of 22-32m wreck dives very close to Hobart. Most of the hulls are intact and are home to a vast array of marine life. The floating bridge sections are covered in massive yellow and white Jewel Anemones, and attracts hordes of school fish. Most of the wrecks are safe to enter, but Advanced Open Waters ONLY. Contact - Pagey

December 9th - Tinderbox [dive & BBQ]
Hunt for the tyre reef in Tinderbox Marine Reserve, with a reward at the end for (hopefully!) finding it of a scrummy BBQ and the classic Pagey tunes! Contact - Pagey

December 12th - Pub Night
Exams are over! 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

December 22nd - Mistaken Cape, Maria Island
One of TUDC's favourite dives. The cape is the eastern-most point of Maria Island, with the best part on some large bommies that appear momentarily on the sounder about 50m from the shore. These bommies reach within 5 meters of the surface with steep drop-offs on either side into 40m petrollod by large schools of Butterfly Perch, carpeted in colourful sponges, sea whips and hydroids. Advanced Open Waters ONLY. Contact - Pagey

January 5th - Fortescue Bay
A relaxing day of diving in kelp forests, Waterfall Bay, or Cathedral Caves. Wherever the weather takes us! Contact - Ben

March 9th (whole weekend) - Bicheno
A long weekend of diving in the beautiful Bicheno, timed perfectly to coincide with the RockPool concert! Sound intriguing? Register your interest now... Contact - JPK

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

  Tasmanian University Dive Club
Proudly sponsored by the TUU.
www.tudc.org.au
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