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Hey Divers!

Christmas is almost here, many people are on holidays, the water is getting warmer, and the spring algal blooms are dying down. All these point to one thing: it's a great time to go diving!!

Last week I attended the 2013 Blues and Societies Awards Presentation on behalf of the TUDC. It was great to hear some of the many achievements of the numerous TUU sports and societies. The event also included the student representative council changeover and I would like to thank outgoing Sports Council President, Christian Street, and welcome income president, Shanty Priya.

I have also been working with some of the other clubs and the TUU on a funding application to UTAS to further develop Olinda Grove. This includes the construction of a shed for Trojan and a toilet in the complex. We wont find out until March as to whether the submission is successful, but fingers crossed for some fancy new facilities!

Over the last few weeks we conducted an assessment of our BCDs and decided that we're due for a bit of an upgrade. So over the next few months expect to find some shiny new BCDs kicking around for hire!

Until next time - happy diving!

- John Keane, TUDC President


Featured Dive Review

Tamar diving - 2nd November

"TUDC North recently ran the first combined dive with GoDive Launceston on the 2nd Nov. Our first dive was at Farewell Beacon. This site is suitable for all levels of divers as the depth ranges from 12 to more than 30 m deep along the channel wall. During the colder months, a healthy forest of giant kelp can also be found. Unfortunately, water was already too warm for the kelp and we could only find a few straggly plants. However, there were plenty of other beautiful sites to see with sponge gardens and many abalone which is always exciting for non-Tassie dives. Interestingly, the two new members on this dive were most excited about the biscuit stars!

The second dive was at Little Badgers Head which is located at the west side of the Tamar. Although the trip to get there was quite rough, visibility was good underwater. This shallow dive offered us beautiful natural lighting to see the real colours of the underwater fauna and flora. We found a bunch of green lip abalone, which is quite common on the north coast as this area is affected by a different current than the east coast of Tassie. We also came across a fish species that even I had never seen before! None of the other divers had ever seen one, so it may be a rare species.

The Tamar entertained us and all divers were keen to return to the Tamar to explore it further."    - Masa


News Around The Club


TUDC Happenings over the Christmas period

Just a quick note to let members know that dive shed will not open on Thursday December 26th as we (and hopefully you!) will be on holidays. As such, you can hire all your dive gear on the 19th and have it for TWO FULL WEEKS!

This is your last edition of TANKED news for 2013, and you won't be hearing from us again until February as things get pretty quiet over the festive period. Have a wonderful Christmas/New Year, stay safe, and we'll see you all in 2014!

TUDC finalists in Tas Community Achievement Awards

Earlier in the year we were nominated for the Ricoh Environment award as part of the 2013 Community Achievement Awards for our ongoing Marine Debris Clean-Ups. A couple of weeks ago we attended the presentation dinner and it was the most excellent of evenings. Unfortunately we didn't go home with the award, however it was still a great honour to be named as a state finalist. Congrats to the Bookend Trust for taking out the award!

SAFETY NOTE: use of delayed surface marker buoys
- by Richard M

We recently had an incident on a dive where a diver was getting ready to deploy her delayed surface marker buoy (DSMB). This involved unrolling it and unlocking the reel so that it would feed line out freely upon filling and release. Another diver in the group thought he'd help her and unknown to her, inflated the buoy, unfortunately whilst the reel was still locked taking the whole rig to the surface; if the owner hadn't had the presence of mind to release the reel as soon as she felt it ascending, she would have suffered an uncontrolled ascent. Fast ascents are very dangerous and carry a significant risk of burst lungs, decompression sickness etc, both potentially very serious conditions.

DSMBs are a very useful tool for letting those on the surface know where divers are positioned, however, if not used properly, they do carry a risk of entanglement and uncontrolled ascent and must never be used by divers who haven't had experience of, or practiced their deployment previously.

Whilst it is good practice for two divers to deploy a DSMB together, ie one holding the reel or spool whilst the other inflates the bag, it should never be done unless the deploying diver agrees and has indicated that they require assistance

Please, please, please don't try to assist other divers with DSMB deployment unless you've discussed it as part of the dive plan and/or they ask you to help; maintain eye contact throughout the procedure so that you both know what's going on and ensure that there's no loose line to get entangled in. Then and only when you're happy that both of you know what's going on, inflate the DSMB and release, holding the reel (or spool) well away from both divers.

'Drawing the Line' - film screening

This week, the Tasmanian Seafood Industry Council is hosting three screeings of the documentary film Drawing the Line.

The film discusses the concept of Australia's marine parks, and attempts to bridge the gap between the fishing industry and consumers of seafood. As active users of Australia's waterways, some members may be interested in seeing this film. Check out the film trailer HERE for more info.

Each screeing will include an open discussion and Q & A session featuring an expert panel.

  • Thursday 12th December - Triabunna - Triabunna District High School Hall, from 7:00 pm.
  • Friday 13th December - Hobart - Stanley Burbury Theatre, UTAS, Sandy Bay Campus (access from Churchill Avenue), from 7:00 pm.
  • Saturday 14th December - Launceston - Sir Raymond Ferrall Centre, UTAS, Newnham Campus, from 7:00 pm.

[DIY] Improvised Goodman Handle for torches
- by Richard M

Most of us will carry a torch from time to time, indeed some of us never go in the water without one. I've heard that Sparkie even takes one in the shower when he's at home but then he knows who wired up his lighting. On a night-dive, you'll be using your torch the whole time but this inevitably means that you are left with only one hand free, which can then be awkward if you have to perform any tasks which require more than one hand.

Torches 101 You can hang your torch on a lanyard attached to your BCD but from my own observations, these often become an entanglement hazard, with a torch hanging off 30cm or so of webbing and then inevitably wrapping itself around other things, like SPG hoses, octopus regulators, cameras or even the dive boat ladder etc and I've seen some mighty tangles result. So far, these in themselves haven't hurt anything apart from the diver's patience however it isn't hard to imagine the danger this could present in the event of an emergency.

Technical divers discovered the merits of mounting a torch/light so that it sits on the back of the hand a long time ago, this is known as a Goodman Handle and is usually fitted to the light-head of a umbilical/canister light, with a large canister battery clamped to the BCD/wing harness, feeding power to the light head which is fixed to a flat handle so that it's mounted (usually) on the back of the left hand, by simply pushing the fingers and hand into it.

The advantage to all this is that because the hand fits into the handle and is held there with little to no effort, it leaves the fingers free to do pretty well 90% of what they can do when the hand is unencumbered and without risk of dropping the torch or having it hang down on the end of a lanyard without getting caught up in other dive gear or worse still, on shotlines, anchor ropes, DSMB lines etc.

So where to get a goodman handle? Well obviously the easiest way is to buy one, either head to your local dive shop and see if there are any on the shelf, or failing that, get one ordered in. The only issue with this is that they are normally made for specific makes of canister light, although some diligent searching on Google will usually turn up something, more often than not, from overseas. Some, such as the neo glove type handles can be used with more conventional, cylindrical torches although in various reviews, you will read complaints that many of the glove-types aren't sufficiently robust. Torches 101

After my first dip in the water in 4 months, following a post knee-surgery, 6 weeks overseas and then 3 weeks with the mother of all man-flu, I jumped in the water at Tinderbox to try out some newly acquired kit, including a new, compact (3 x AAA) LED torch. After mucking around one handed, due the torch being held in one hand, I figured that some sort of Goodman handle would be the GO but really didn't fancy spending $70-100 on something from the tinternet; looking at the thing in my man-shed, along with all the other gear, I was struck that it is about the same diameter as the neck on a 12L Faber tank and then it clicked; back in 2005, when it seemed like a good idea, I bought a tank handle (it wasn't) for about $10 or $15, which fitted around the neck and, if I remembered correctly, I still had it somewhere. Half an hour of searching later, I found it and yes, it was an almost perfect fit for the torch.

Two minutes later, I had it fitted to the torch, four minutes later, I had it unfitted and in the vice being drilled with two holes for some left over bungee cord (I love bungee), then a hole to fit a boltsnap and voila - the finished article. When not needed, it can hang out of the way on a shoulder D-ring on my BCD.
Torches 101 The bungee simply slips around the wrist so that I don't drop it accidentally. As you can see, I can wear it but still keep 80% of the dexterity in my hand, where it can stay for the whole dive. Conventionally, they're worn on the left hand, to keep the right (usually the masterhand) free for other tasks.



We've finally got around to archiving all our past editions of TANKED news so you can check them out ANY TIME on our website!

If you want to see how far we've come over the past year and a half, are keen to check out some fantastic TUDC dive reviews written by members, or you're just worried that you might've missed out on something exciting, jump onto the "news" section of our website and take a look at...



Cheap dive courses available to TUDC Members

For those of you yet to get certified, Ian from The Hobart Dive Shop (6234 3428) is once again offering a fantastic price on Open Water courses exclusively to Tas Uni Dive Club members.

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

  • PADI Open Water Course - from 6th January: $295 (for TUDC members!)
  • PADI Advanced OW Course - from 1st February: $350
  • PADI Open Water Course - from 3rd February: $295 (for TUDC members!)
Remember, the cheap deals on the OW courses (usually $375 each) are exclusive to TUDC members, so make sure you mention you're from the Tas Uni Dive Club!


Recent Dives & Happenings

Troy D wreck (30th November) - by Ness

A sleepy bunch of 10 divers met up at the sheds at 6:30 am on Saturday morning. Coffee and pies were had in Sorell on the way to Triabunna. After much chirp and debate between Mr Page and Mr Mason we arrived. Both boats were in the water by 10 am, smoothest trip I've ever been on over to Maria Island!

We found the Troy D wreck on the sounder in no time (no GPS points needed) and dropped a shot line in. All the divers were very eager as not many had explored this wreck before. We dropped down perfectly just 2 metres from the stern of the wreck. The substrate was covered in all kinds of coloured polyps, clams, sponges and many nudibranchs which made for some great photography! Some fun was had exploring through the engine room and its many entrancs and exits. Surprisingly, the sand was covered in scallops, some of decent size, too! After 35 mins bottom time and 80 bar remaining it was time to find the shotlife for a safe exit out, with Mr Mason awaiting on the surface to pick us up.

Pulled into the Maria Island jetty for lunch and Tim Tams, then made our way around past Ile du Nord towards Fossil Bay. This was a new dive for everyone - after reading Michael Jacques' description and Mr Mason's spiel we were pretty keen to explore the area. Pagey and I were dropped in and told to swim along until we reached around 17 metres where we would find a weedy seagrass patch and see the swimthrough entrance, then shoot the SMB up so the points could be marked on the GPS. After swimming in and out of cracks and swimthroughs we finally reached the sweet spot only to find all the other divers already entering. apparently Mr Mason had remembered he dropped us too far away. Amazing swimthroughs and sea life, with sun pouring through the cracks, made for a truly spectacular dive. Plenty of good-sized crays, shrimp, big boarfish and banded morwong.

After a calm crossing home, we were back at the wharf by 3:30 pm. An awesome day all round, except for the sunburnt face!

dive calendar signups

Upcoming Dives & Events

December 14th - Isle de Phoque
One of Tasmania's most renowned seal colonies beneath an island packed with underwater caverns. A truly breathtaking wildlife experience. Contact - Elias

December 15th, 22nd - Freedive training! (Hobart Aquatic Centre)
Training session for all members new and old. Come along to learn or enhance your free diving safety, breathing techniques, breath hold times, finning style, and more. Everyone is welcome including people who have never dived before, and we cater the session to each persons ability.  Contact - Tony

December 17th - Kingston Beach
A great little night dive in one of Hobart's best kept secret places. Heaps of life here after dark, including dumpling squid, stargazers, seahorses, elephant sharks, and more...Advanced Open Waters ONLY. Contact - Elias

December 21st - The Nord & Cathedral Caves
On 16th Nov 1915, the steamship "Nord" was wrecked in the deep waters off Munroe Bight. The bow sits on the sand in 42m and the shallowest part is at 30m. The wreck hosts a thick coating of sponge and attracts large schools of fish. A few artefacts can still be seen including tiles, Chinese crockery and Mah-jong pieces! We'll complete our second dive in the spectacular Cathedral Caves system, exploring the 'sunken church' and catacombs. Advanced Open Waters ONLY.  Contact - Pagey

February 1st - Tamar River [north]
Two dives in the mouth of the famous Tamar river! Home to an incredible array of sponge and invertebrate gardens due to the high current in the area, descending down the steep slopes surrounding the beacons. Contact - Masa

February 2nd - Tamar River [north] cleanup dive (FREE!)
Location TBA, get on board for this day of absolutely FREE clean-up diving and help keep our waterways healthy!   Contact - Masa


Your 2013-14 TUDC Executive
(aren't we pretty?)

  Tasmanian University Dive Club
Proudly sponsored by the TUU.
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