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Hey nitrogen junkies,

Welcome to TANKED - the newsletter for people who like to wear tight rubber suits and flap around like injured whales. This is just our SECOND EVER edition, so we're still trying to get the balance of news items right. Nobody seems to like giving us feedback on anything these days (seriously, we hardly ever bite), but we really would love to hear your thoughts on our news stuff. We do all of this for you!

With the water temperature still hovering at a balmy 16 °C (although sadly dropping very quickly), April has seen a flurry of diving and new member activity around the place. We're now at a whopping 138 members for 2012, so BIG thanks to all of you for your support, and keep up the diving enthusiasm! Now that daylight savings is over, we're starting to tick into the realm of mid-week night dives. Some of the coolest ones about are just down the road, so if you haven't already come along to a dive at one of our favourite local places, get on board soon!

And remember, if you have any friends or family who aren't members but also want to see this highbrow news stuff appearing in their mailboxes, shoot us an email and we'll add them to our subscription list so that they too can get TANKED.

- TUDC Exec 2012
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Featured Dive Review

SS Nord shipwreck

The SS Nord was holed on ‘The Needle’ when the captain took a shortcut between the Hippolyte rocks on the way to Pt Arthur. He made it to a precipitous shore saving those on board and delivering a wreck to the ocean floor, for us to dive on.

She lies in around 40m and despite falling apart is still an awesome dive. As is usual with items of female gender the stern is suitably attractive with significant structure remaining and prolific sponge growth, nestled beside a sweet little reef that is a worthy diversion in itself from the pleasures of the prostrate madam who has seen better days but is still visited regularly by those who dare... WHICH WE DID, on May 5, with a wide range of tactics from plain air, to 2 lads on tri-mix with accelerated deco giving a 30 minute bottom time at 40m and total time of about 1 hour. I stuck to good old nitrox gleaning 15 minutes , simple as! Actually you should definitely do a course first... [see course links below in this newsletter].

So, get down on it ! by keeping your eyes peeled as TUDC will be there sometime this year.
- Sparky


News Around The Club

New TUDC Boat on the Horizon!

In breaking news, the TUDC has recently secured a major grant courtesy of the Tasmanian University Union and Sports Council for the purchase of a BRAND NEW BOAT! We all love Thumpin' Willy dearly, and we have no plans to send her anywhere just yet, but we have reached the stage where a vessel with increased diver capacity is neessary to cater to our skyrocketing membership. This will mean not only a greater number of spots available on boat dives, but also the ability for us to travel further than ever before, hopefully with less of Thumper's... errr... "thumping" charm.

The TUDC Executive is currently in the final stages of discussion as to what sort of boat we're looking to get. Considerations include capacity, weight (for towing) motor size (one or two?), hull design (rigid inflatable? aluminium? monohull or cat?). We do have a few options in mind, but we're on the lookout as of RIGHT NOW to make this purchase. If any of you have thoughts or opinions on what might best suit our purposes, or if you know of any good deals out there, then we'd absolutely love to hear from you. After all, YOU guys will be the ones using our beautiful new pleasurecraft :-)

Tassie Maritime Museum tour

The Maritime Museum of Tasmania charts our history from earliest times to today with the largest collection of maritime artefacts in the state. Beautiful paintings, historical accounts and intricate replicas of ships help bring Tasmania's nautical links alive.

Being the social creatures we are here at TUDC, we've organised an hour-long tour of the museum and welcome both members and non-members to come check out some of Tassie's oldest nautical history. Without giving too much away, some of the cool stuff you'll get to see includes a dry-suit and pump from the 1930's, artefacts from the MV Lake Illawarra (which many of you will have dived on!) and the newly commissioned exhibition, Commercial Fishing in Tasmania, the first 100 years.

The tour will run on DATE TBA, 6:00pm and will cost just $10, including nibblies.

Sign up NOW on the dive calendar, or RSVP to history

Cheap Open Water Courses for TUDC Members - STILL AVAILABLE!!!

If you're one of our many members who has signed up with all the best intentions to get wet, but just haven't got around to getting certified yet, don't forget about the super cheap Open Water dive courses Ian from The Hobart Dive Shop (67a Argyle St - 6234 3428) is offering to TUDC members. For just $295 (all gear included), you can get fully certified and get diving with the club. This PADI course will usually cost you $375, so take advantage of it while it's still cheap!

To score these crazy deals, you HAVE to call Ian or visit him and mention you are from the Uni Dive Club! Ian will set some course dates once you've had a chat to him. Visit his website at

Becoming a qualified diver opens up so much more of Tasmania to enjoy from below the surface. But don't just stop at your Open Water certification! The ocean is 11 km deep - why just skim the surface? :-)

Entertainment Books - best Mother's Day present EVER ❤❤❤

A reminder that TUDC is again selling the new 2012/13 Entertainment™ Books for just $60, with $12 from every book sold benefiting the club's fundraising efforts (new gear, anyone...?). If you haven't come across these before, The Entertainment Book is a local restaurant and activity guide providing hundreds of 25% to 50% off and 2-for-1 offers from fine restaurants, cafes, attractions, activities and accommodation. Even if you only leave the house twice a year, you'll make your money back and then some. Seriously. Massive savings to be had if you're a social butterfly!

Books are available NOW. Get yours today!

If you have any questions, please contact John Keane on 0488 575 444 or shoot him an email at

Discounted Boat Course is here and HAPPENING

As you may remember, one of the perks of your 2012 TUDC membership included the offer of attending a member-discounted motor boat licence course.

Marine and Safety Tasmania, together with the Derwent Sailing Squadron's Sail Training Scheme, have put together an awesome "tailored to divers" course, including:

  • 90 min presentation on boat theory
  • min MAST written exam
  • 90 min practical training in boats on the Derwent River
  • 30 min flare demonstration and training
  • 30 min demonstration on general diving safety and diving out of boats
  • Sail out of the Squadron a licenced motor boat driver :)
The proposed date to run this course is Saturday 26th May.

The cost will be $80 per student, which includes all exam fees and the licenses paid up to end of June 2013, this is a whopping 35% discount on normal price! Please show your interest in attending this course by signing up to the event on the Tasmanian University Dive Club Calendar. (CLICK HERE to visit the calendar and sign up.

If you cannot attend on this day but wish to get your licence, it is very possible to organise another course at a later date. Please still register your interest by signing up to the event but stipulate in the notes field that YOU CANNOT MAKE THIS DATE.


This course is offered by Sail Training exclusively to TUDC members, so if you are running a little behind paying your membership fees please contact our outstandingly intelligent, attractive, and all-round amazing secretary Emma (guess who edits the newsletter... :-) at or follow our easy online signup process.

Upcoming BALI Trip!

Not much of a fan of the Tassie winter? Why not escape it for a couple of weeks with a quick trip to BALI with our very own Treasurer and a handful of other friendly Tassie divers! Sparky has kindly opened an invitation to all of you to join him and 3 other divers for a 12 day stay, departing on on 26th May. Flights are still very affordable, it's currently off season so relatively quiet, and from just $25 a day (seriously!) you get your own nice bungalow, 2 tanks & weights plus breakfast! Why not join the group for some, all of it or stay even longer. Rumour has it there are many awesome sites also further afield...

Contact Sparky on 0428 390 393 for more information.


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

TUDC kicks off Project Dive Site Hunters

For all of you eager dive site hunters out there that don't mind a bit of sand, silt, and random underwater happenings, we're kicking off a brand new "Dive Site Hunters" project. The project mission will be to work from the navigation charts and maps that the club has recently bought, selecting unknown and unexplored dive sites off depth contours and historical information (such as potential boat sinkings and 'mystical' findings!), with the goal to hunt out new and exciting dives sites that no-one has found or recorded before!

We're starting by exploring Trial Bay (just past the Kettering marina turnoff: -43.131534,147.254367) East towards the point for a couple of shore dives. Check out the calendar for more info on this dive. From here, we'll be looking at the charts and finding the next interesting spot to explore.

After each exploratory dive, one of the Dive Site Hunter crew will be asked to prepare a writeup of what we've found, and write a review. Which of course puts you in the running for the EPIC prize at the end of the year (see the 'Contribute and Win' section above). Sound like your kind of thing? Jump on the website now to sign up to the next Dive Site Hunters adventure!

That Sinking Feeling...

The Tas Uni Dive Club has just purchased another 72 lb of lead to add to our already epic collection of random weights, cos that's how much we love [sinking] y'all. PLEASE try not to lose them. We know they're heavy and easy to drop, but so are beer jugs, and we've seen some of your mad skills with those...

Southwest Marine Debris Cleanup

The Southwest Marine Debris Cleanup has finally come to an end (for this year, at least), with over 11,000 rubbish items collected by these amazing hard-working volunteers.This project was first started in 1999 as a joint collaboration between National Parks and the Surfrider Foundation. It has grown from a self-funded bunch of guys sleeping on the water in zodiacs and tinnies in an area famous for the roaring 40's and 15 metre plus swell, to a slick team of manic rubbish collectors that have so far removed more than 100,000 individual pieces of rubbish from the area.

Described by one volunteer as:
"...that once in a lifetime experience...big seas and sea-wickness matched with rainbows and calm stunsets. It’s the Tassie you see in your dreams, and an amazing finale and closing chapter that will stay in the memory vault."

Rather than trying to show you pics of exactly what these guys do, why not go there directly to their website and check out the awesome blog, incredible photos and find out more about the amazing work these guys are involved with.

The TUDC is hoping to get involved with this project in some capacity next year, either as on-land volunteers, or by running underwater clean-ups/surveys in the Port Davey area. If this sounds like something you might be interested in, stay tuned...

More fun stuff we've been doing

Bellerive Beach (April 19th) - Simon Locke
An easy twilight... um.... night(!) dive at Bellerive beach!!

The Bellerive dive seemed to start all to plan. However, the man in charge was nowhere to be seen! Maybe he had a secret plan to deliberately come late so he had an excuse to take our divers for a night dive. The reality seemed to be a shortage of weights and a last minute rush to the dive shop to remedy.

Forty minutes behind schedule with pitch darkness upon us and just enough weights and torches, seven divers and Ben slid into the water. After a few minutes Fran’s torch failed, but hand in hand she and Simon ploughed through the murky water sighting miniature puffer fish less than a centimetre big! After only twenty minutes, Ben who ironically was borrowing Simon’s spare torch returned to shore with another diver who had to leave early and Fran was reacquainted with a torch!

All in all a rather exciting unexpected night dive.

The Lake Illawarra shipwreck (March 25th) - JPK
On the 5th of January 1975 at 9.27 pm the MV Lake Illawarra, under the captaincy of Boleslaw Pelc, crashed into the 18th and 19th pylons of the Tasman Bridge bringing down a 127 m span and sinking the ore carrier. Twelve people were killed, including seven crew on board the ship and five occupants of four cars which fell 45 m after driving off the bridge

Today the Illawarra rests on the silt under the bridge in 35 m of water. Light here barely penetrates down to 20 m making the dive almost completely dark. The ship's deck at the bottom of the bridge lies in approximately 28m of water, while the bridge itself spans up to 14 m. There are numerous port holes, doorways and corridors to look into on the way up. Moving from stern to bow, and with some close examination, the ships radar domes, hoists, air vents and funnels are home to a surprising amount of marine life including jewel anemones, crayfish, seahorses nudibranchs, crabs and cowfish.

Here I recall my first dive on the Illawarra:

"26/6/2010 - Today I dived the Lake Illawarra for the first time, and it was probably the first time that the Tasmanian University Dive Club (TUDC) had attempted it in over a decade. There was a group of seven of us and we all were expecting the worst, very cold and zero visibility. But as a frequent Derwent estuary diver for work I knew that it would be nothing I couldn’t handle – it had to be warmer than the 8 degrees from a few weeks earlier further upstream. We spent 10 minutes or so sounding out the wreck, locating the wheelhouse/ accommodation block and then sent down a shot. As I descended down the shot line and through the halocline the light levels quickly faded. At 10m we could see some old ropes covered in growth rising up through the water column. Whether these were from the original wreck or past shot-lines I was unsure. At ~15m I had my first sighting of the Illawarra, a railing probably somewhere above the ships bridge. I shone my torch onto it and in the centre of the light was a sub 1yo crayfish, all of 2 inches long, standing there like a proud janitor, curious about us and not timid like many on the reefs. We proceeded down the starboard side, past many glassless windows and portholes. At this stage it was almost completely dark. I looked at my gauge under the torchlight: 25m, 11 degrees. From here we began a slow spiral up around the accommodation block, passing numerous decks and rails covered in jewel anemones. Vertical handrails from old ladders could be seen, the old wooden steps mostly rotted away and gone. On several occasions I saw the davits where lifeboats once hung, the wooden arched support structures at the top were slowly disintegrating and cut a ghostly silhouette against the dim background. Further into the dive we came across the old smoke stack, rising high into the water column. It was outlined perfectly by the sun trying its hardest to penetrate the water. Perfectly framed between the rungs of the steel ladder running up the side was a female cowfish, if only I had taken the camera!! From the top of the smoke stack at 14m we began our ascent to safety – none of us wanted to leave, though. The 4-5m vis was more than we could have ever imagined. At no stage during the dive did we ever think we would lose our buddies, with everyone feeling safe and relaxed despite the original thoughts of doom and gloom. The 30 minutes spent on the wreck was nowhere near long enough. It is a dive everyone is keen to do again."

I have since done 8-10 dives on the wreck and each time I am surprised by the abundance and diversity of marine life, and by how large the wreck actually is. The latter meaning on each dive a new area of the ship can be found and explored. Over all my dives I have seen visibility on the wreck as great as 5-6m, and as low as 1m. A dive time on a single tank of 30-40 minutes can be expected. Low vis experience is essential to dive on the wreck. The next Illawarra dive is scheduled for May 20.


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
dive calendar signups

Upcoming Dives & Events

May 9th - Pub Night
Assignments getting you down? Take a mid-week break for cheap beer and pizza. 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

May 11th to 13th - 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 divers ONLY. Contact - JPK
This weekend is currently booked out, but register your interest as a standby to pick up a spot if another diver drops out!

May 12th - Trial Bay - DIVE SITE HUNTERS!!!
The first official dive as part of TUDC's new "dive site hunters" project! Be prepared for sand, silt and nothingness... OR being part of the first crew to discover an amazing new dive site. Exciting, right? Contact - Cashy

May 20th - MV Lake Illawarra (shipwreck)
If deep, dark and creepy is your thing. Contact - JPK

May 26th - Discounted Boat License Course
One of the perks of a 2012 TUDC membership is the opportunity to get your boat license at a heavily discounted rate. Applications close on the TUDC website calendar on Wednesday 23rd May, so get in quick! More info at here Contact - Pagey

June 9th to 11th - Bicheno Combined Clubs Weekend 2012!!!

The Tassie Combined dive Clubs Weekend provides an opportunity for divers from all around Australia to come together for a weekend of diving adventures. The event typically attracts over 100 divers resulting in all levels of experience and interests being catered for. Based at the iconic east coast town of Bicheno, the adjacent Governor Island marine reserve provides some of the best diving in Australia.

Additional to the abundant dive sites, the weekend is full of social events, an underwater photography shootout, gear and industry displays, great prizes and competitions. If you haven't been to a CCW before, this is truly an event not to be missed.

Check out the CCW website or the flyer (below) for more info. Contact - JPK/website signup

This year, there will also be a freediving event running simultaneously for all you non-tank-wielding mermen and mermaids. Contact - Tony

CCW 2012 flyer

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

  Tasmanian University Dive Club
Proudly sponsored by the TUU.
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