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Hey bubble kings & queens,

Welcome to TANKED - the newsletter for people who are cool like the ocean. A huge THANK YOU to everyone who provided feedback on the last edition. We received a few "love it!", a couple of "where the hell did you learn to spell?" and a "5 stars for shameless editor promotion" [true, very true...]. Keep it all rolling in, because it's what helps US deliver YOU the stuff you want to read. Everybody wins!

With June upon us, we're now well and truly into the realm of winter diving. The water temperature has plummeted to 13 C, but what this means is... CLEAR WATER! There's not enough light about for those pesky phytoplankton to bloom, so make sure you get yourself along to some of our open coastal dives where you could score 25+ m vis. Tropics eat your heart out!

Dig out your thick wetties, fill up your thermos, and hit the winter waters. We'll see you in the deep blue.

- TUDC Exec 2012

Featured Dive Review

Bicheno weekend

On the evening of 11th May, a whopping 13 divers descended on Bicheno for what was to be a cracking weekend of diving. Despite horrendous southerly winds and torrential rain in Hobart, Saturday turned out to be a gorgeous day on sleepy east coast. Two boats ran throughout the day, ferrying divers back and forth to a number of sites in the Governor Island marine reserve. One of the highlights of the day was The Steps - this dive resembles a spectacular granite staircase made from piles of huge boulders. A fantastic 40 minutes was spent swimming in and out of zoanthid-encrusted caves and crevices filled with enormous schools of butterfly perch, banded morwong and boarfish. Weirdest find of the day however went to Rob and Jo, who discovered a pair of mannequin legs at 40m depth at the bottom of The Canyon. We've yet to find anyone who knows anything about them or the missing torso...

On Sunday, the 4m southerly swell that had been threatening made the reserve undiveable. Instead, a bunch of keen divers hit Waub's Bay where the vis was surprisingly good in spite of the mega swell just around the corner. The usual suspects were spotted: nudibranchs, sea spiders, old wives (the fish, not the unwanted house guests), rays and more. After a jolly around the split rock where the photographers blinded the resident morwong and boarfish, divers returned to shore, packed up, and had a leisurely trip back to Hobart.

All in all a fantastic weekend, and great practice for the upcoming Combined Clubs Weekend!



News Around The Club


In what is undoubtedly the most exciting TUDC broadcast for 2012, we'd like to officially announce that we're the proud parents of the club's newest baby. Last week, we made the final payment on a 6.6m RIB in Sydney, and it's currently in transit on it's way to Hobart! We managed to pick up the boat for $28,000, and a huge thanks goes out to the University Union (TUU) and Sports Council for their generous funding to help make it happen.

We'll keep you in the loop on when the boat will officially arrive, but it looks like it'll be getting an official launch at the Combined Club's Weekend in Bicheno THIS WEEKEND! Also, keep your ears to the ground for the upcoming naming competition to win rad prizes! (Check out more info below).

Thumper will of course not be forgotten (we love the old duck dearly), and she'll still be getting a run for those dives closer to home, but this new asset to the club will allow more divers to travel further than ever before in bouncy inflatable comfort. So if you're even half as excited to get her out on Tassie waters as we are, we'll be seeing you on a dive very soon.


NEW!!! Cheap dive courses 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. If you still haven't got around to doing your Open Water course, or you have some friends who'd like to join the club and get certified as your dive buddies, this is a great opportunity to get your ticket! No reason to stop there though - Ian is also running a bunch of other courses at a heavily discounted price for TUDC members. Winter might be here, but the water's clear, and it's never been a better time to upgrade your dive training.

The following courses have just been posted up for June & July - jump on the Dive Shop website now to make a booking!

  • PADI Advanced OW Course - 23rd June: $295 (for TUDC members!)
  • PADI Open Water Course - 2nd July: $295 (for TUDC members!)
  • PADI Enriched Air (Nitrox) - 18th July: $150
  • PADI Rescue Diver Course - 23rd July: $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!

TUDC Merchandise - place your orders NOW!!!

After months of promises, TUDC is finally doing a run of super trendy fashion T-shirts. We saw a serious lack of good-looking scuba tees on the market (and we're all pretty good at that internet shopping thing), so we're filling that hole by making 'em ourselves! For the month of June ONLY, we have a special introductory offer of just $25 per tee!

To take advantage of this special price, email orders can be sent in to (and check out the full ordering instructions below). But stay tuned for more about our online merchandise shop that's just around the corner...

TO ORDER: check out the full ordering instructions and designs here [VIEW MERCH INFO]


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 Happenings

Balinese Paradise

Four of our members are currently holidaying in Bali where the diving is apparently unbelievably amazing. Dive Officer Sparky gives us a brief review of his tough life...

"Try Balinese breakfast at 7 after walk on volcanic pebbly beach (grit-free, great for dive gear) then 3 or 4 nitrox dives from the same shore. Only shore dives you ask ? Think again !!

It's 70 m deep 150 m out, i,e, a leisurely surface swim in 28 C water with a backdrop of tropical vegetation and traditional fishing boats. The Drop Off, for example, is just that - a precipitous wall covered in beautiful hard and soft corals which plummets vertically from 10m to 30m and just keeps going at a crazy 60 degree angle forever (well, 70 m initially, but who's counting?). The vis may be reduced by the quantity of fish, however, I guess someone has to dive these sites.

Each nitrox dive costs $8 with a porter, add $7 for a short boat trip for variety if you want. Beachfront food, very affordable accommodation, sustainable diving and friendly locals make this a world apart from the Bali that most people see nowadays.

Incredible!! But I'm out of adjectives and you'll have to wait for the pics until the net picks up a bit, or even better - try coming along next time."


Stately Old Lady Finds Good Screw on Waterfront

As a result of our good relationship with other dive clubs in Tassie we received a call from Dave Robson (TSAC) who had been asked to help locate and retrieve a rather valuable underwater item.

Imagine you're driving 61 tonnes of boat into a crowded wharf. How would you feel if you engaged reverse but just KEPT ON GOING!!!

Lady Nelson Well this happened to the Lady Nelson recently when her propeller decided to cut loose for a night. Don't worry, there were no injuries or damage but Dave was asked on short notice to see if he could find it. This is where Johnny Keane of TUDC plunged in with him to cruise the murky docs in search of the large and very weighty stately Lady's screw.

At first they thought it would be one quick dive to locate the 42 inch prop - how hard could it be, right??? Numerous dives later including longitudinal swims of the ship's path and radial searches brought up nothing. Vis was ~2m but quickly declined the more they searched after the soft muddy bottom was disturbed by diver fins.

Then finally, on the 5th and last scheduled dive one quarter of one blade was seen sticking out of the mud - the screw had missiled into the soft sediment with all its weight behind it! Lift bag attached, a bit of digging and wriggling and it rose to the surface!

Subsequently the boat has been slipped and prop reattached, and is now happily cruising again.

Want to know more about Johnny and Dave's adventures with the Screwless Old Lady? Check out the Lady Nelson Newsletter, downloadable here.

Lady Nelson

More fun stuff we've been doing

Trial Bay - Dive Site Hunters #1

This dive was the first in what will be a string of dives conducted as part of Project Dive Site Hunters. Keep an eye on the dive calendar for the next upcoming Dive Site Hunters adventure!

Mission statement: To work from navigation charts and maps, select unknown and unexplored dive sites off depth contours and historical information (such as potential boat sinkings and 'mystical' findings!), hunt out new and undocumented dive sites.

Dive Site Hunters
"The day started as a short drive down the Southern Outlet to Kettering and then on to Trial Bay. During the drive there were many cruel reminders of the extreme lengths Tassie divers go to get wet which included, a snow covered Mt Wellington, air temps of ~8C, and almost 40 bloody knots of south westerly bliss. But despite all this, once we had dropped below the waves it was pretty easy to forget the reality of late autumn and simply do as the fish do.

We jumped in at the boat ramp and made the short surface swim to about halfway up the point and the drop spot. Once down, we traversed from softsediment and the critters that live in the benthos to the rocky sections of the tapering point. There were lots of weird and wonderful creatures throughout including a strange type of green and purple algae that resembled a marine mushroom??? Not the edible type I guess.

There were also a quite a few placid draughtboard sharks, mini globefish, and a very inquisitive flounder. Visibility on the day was not the best, only a couple of meters, however we only managed to lose each other once, which I thought was a pretty good effort. During the swim back there was a little bit of current to contend with but nothing to really worry about. On the whole it was a good dive in a new and unique location and I'm looking forward to the next dive site hunters location."

- Travis Baulch

For his fantastic efforts with this review, Travis goes 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!

Shinkoku Maru (shipwreck), Chuuk Lagoon, Micronesia - David Keyes

While not strictly a TUDC dive (ok, not even close to a TUDC dive), member David Keyes kindly sent in a fantastic dive report on his experiences in this Micronesian shipwreck. It makes us jealous, but we thought it was far too good not to share...

Shinkoku Maru, 152 m, 10102 T Naval Tanker was built in 1940 and was one of eight tankers refueling the ships used for the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour. In August 1942 a US submarine torpedoed her, but the damage was minor enough for repairs. In July 1943 she was torpedoed again, but was repaired in just five weeks. She met her final match on February 17, 1944 when a Dauntless dive bomber from the USS Yorktown hit her amidships, and then the next morning she was torpedoed by Grumman Avengers, which opened a huge hole into her engine room. At last she went down.

She is now regarded as one of Chuuk's most popular wrecks. Shinkoku was sunk upright with a huge torpedo hole on her aft, port side. Her superstructure is only 12m deep, her main deck 18m and the bottom rests at 38m. The after end of the ship has crew quarters, engine room, propeller, rudder and steering gear. Her galley, with dishes, stove top and utensils can be seen in the midship superstructure. The wheelhouse still contains the engine telegraph, and below, the sickbay with operating table and bathtub are easily dived. The bow gun and the most exposed structures are completely encrusted with colourful, luxurious corals.

Shinkoku Maru
10th of April 2012, almost 70 years after she sunk, we arrived. We rolled off the side of our boat into nice, clear, 30c water. With no dry-suit (only a rashy) and no weights around my waist, I felt free and nimble. A far cry from the constraints imposed by our usual cold water diving in Tassie.

We descended onto the midship superstructure at 12m and headed aft. We progressed further, over the tanker's main deck. The ship eerily quiet, still, I felt like a ghost, floating above what was once a place of work for many men. Men, much like myself. Merchant Mariners, caught in a war they probably wanted no part of.

We reached the port quarter then dropped over the ship's rail. Down to the sea floor at 38m the bulk of the ship looming above us. At this point, penetration into the engine room is gained through the large torpedo hole. This was the final blow to the ship. The blast must have been horrific. Thick, steel plating, obliterated in an instant. I would hate to have been inside the ship at the moment of impact.
Shinkoku Maru
Past the mangled shell plating and twisted longitudinals we moved, into the machinery space. It was dark, very dark. I knew we were near the bottom plates, right at the bottom of the engine room. Breathing easy with a slight narcosis buzz, I turned right to head aft. I actually work on a Tanker on the Australian coast, so I at least had "some" idea of where I was. Here I located a ladder and ascended to the 2nd deck. We then followed the exhaust trunking, to the main engine cylinder heads. Now in the main machinery space, there was light from above. We could relax a little.

Here my computer started beeping, not happy, telling me to go up. We headed further up into the accommodation spaces, then out onto the tank deck. Forward now, then up to the Bridge.

We entered the wheelhouse containing the telegraph and remains of the helm. Although most of the equipment is gone; it still very much looks like the bridge of a ship. My workplace. I can imagine the Captain and Officers going about their daily duties. I see past the rusted steel, missing bulkheads and decades worth of marine growth.

The Captain is on the phone to the office receiving his next voyage orders, the helmsman is on the wheel, and I am plotting a position on the chart.

Hang-on, I am back at work. Bugger. Oh well, I better book another flight back to Micronesia.
Shinkoku Maru

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.


TUDC brand spankin' new gear Contact: or check out the goods at the TUDC Dive Shed, any Thursday between 6:00 and 6:30 pm

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.
dive calendar signups

Upcoming Dives & Events

June 13th - Pub Night
It might be the middle of uni exams, but if you're lucky enough to have finished (or never had them in the first place), or just need some time out, take a break at the TUDC Pub Night. Wednesday is cheap beer and pizza night, so save your pennies for a rainy day. All new, old and prospective members are welcome, so come along to chat all things diving and/or completely random. Please sign up so we can book a table big enough for the hungry/thirsty hoards. Contact - dive calendar

June 16th - Wedge Island
Sitting just out from Nubeena and White Beach, on the inside of the Peninsula, Wedge Island is home to the Little Penguin and Short-tailed Shearwater seabird species. Sheer dolerite cliffs on one side, bouldery bottom on the other. Home to large schools of morwong, trumpeter, and marblefish, and a prime spot for spotting that massive cray. Contact - Ben

June 23rd - Hound's Tooth / Keane's Crack
On the outside of Bruny Island, rocky reefs carpeted with thick seaweed assemblages give way to masses of invertebrate life and sponge beds. And amongst it all, an as-yet unexplored network of tunnels. If deep crack penetration is your thing... Contact - JPK

July 1st - Betsey Island Shipwreck 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 18-25m wreck dives very close to Hobart. Most of the hulls are intact and home to a vast array of marine life. The floating bridge sections are covered in massive yellow and white Jewel Anemones, and huge schools of pelagic fish are frequently sighted. Contact - Pagey

July 22nd - 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 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 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

And of course, don't forget the 2012 Bicheno Combined Clubs Weekend on THIS COMING WEEKEND (June 9th to 11th). SEE YOU ALL THERE!!!

CCW 2012 flyer

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

  Tasmanian University Dive Club
Proudly sponsored by the TUU.
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