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President's Spiel [special guest appearance!]

With the opening of the crayfish season now upon us and the summer diving calendar about to ramp up to astronomical proportions, I'd like to reflect on our club, where we've come from, and the staggering growth we've seen over the past couple of years. The TUDC kicked off from humble beginnings. Back in 1968 a couple of eager adventurers fired up the then Tasmania University Underwater Club, with a small amount of direction and what was more than likely a LOT less equipment than we cart around today!

Over the decades that followed, the club membership and direction grew and dropped off, constantly changing along with what we can only put down to the political landscape of the University throughout the years. From the beginning, the club has been heavily reliant on the Tasmania University Union (TUU) Sports Council. Like so many other sporting clubs, our main source of funding and support has come directly from the Sports Council, built predominantly from student fees.

When I first came into the club as a budding young bubbler in 2004 we had 15 members and 6 active divers. Now while that's a great ratio of active divers, with the introduction of voluntary student fees from 2006 the club had to look seriously at how it was running to remain and not go belly up. With a huge and varying number of committee members working throughout the years to follow, with processes and documents written to make dives run smoother and safer, and to ensure our dives are priced at a point that makes us sustainable, I am unbelievably excited to announce that as of November 2012 the TUDC now has over 170 paid members, and dives running up to 10 bubblers at a time!

But, the HUGE thank you goes out to you, the members, the real owners of the TUDC. Without the passion and energy you bring to dives, without the help you give your Dive Officers in running weekends away or helping tow the new dive vessel 'Trojan' when our 4x4 has issues, our club wouldn't be the self sufficient and active club that it is today! Thank you!

As we all dust off the winter wetties ready for a little water action, now is the perfect time for each of us to reflect on the art of diving, the safety required, the risks that we put ourselves in each time we dive, and the excitement that we get after surfacing from that amazing deep water sponge garden bubble. A few of you will know that the committee has been working hard lately on planning the fitout for the new boat, 'Trojan', and that these new fitout plans (which include twin engines, dive ladders, and tank racks) will be happening over the Christmas and New Years period. We want your ideas and feedback on each and every dive to help us make your diving safer and more enjoyable. Don't be shy to speak up!

Our recent Executive meeting also made a few subtle changes to our Diving Code, in particular we have made the decision to allow those divers certified to undertake Planned Decompression Diving to do so with the club. Why should you miss out on a chance to practice what you're trained for!! So take a look through the Diver's Code which forms part of each and every one of our dives [see document attached to this email, or here for online version]. Familiarise yourself with your diving skills, gear, and safety practices as we move into a fantastic summer of diving together, as TUDC!

- Ben Cashman
Dunalley drifting

Featured Dive Review

Dunalley drift dive, 20th October

"A total of 11 eager divers came together to drift down the Denison canal in Dunalley a few weekends ago. The canal is named after Tasmania Governor William Denison (1847) who first proposed the idea of building the canal and we are dearly indebted to him for providing such a fantastic dive site. It was also fitting there was a Canadian on the dive as there's a Canadian connection. William Denison, prior to coming to Tasmania, worked on the Rideau Canal in Ottawa which is used for boats in the summer and a skating rink to get to work in the winter. After a car shuffle to the end of the canal, we jumped in at the fish and chips shop and were quickly swept away by the fast current generated by the incoming flood tide. The dive was bit like diving on a La-z-boy, sit back, prop up the foot rest and enjoy the ride, no kicking required.

The canal is 2.4 kms long and 17 metres wide and was built in 1905, not only for a great dive site, but to shorten the travel time for fisherman from the east coast to Hobart. It took us about 15-20 minutes to travel the canal, which equates to 4-5 knots of current! The second dive took us a little longer as the current slackened and we got closer to high tide. There is lots of life in the canal but being able to identify everything in 3 metres visibility at a great rate of speed proved challenging, however, we did see a number of leather jackets, skates and spider crabs plus other random sea life whipping by our masks. One group had a 1 to 1.5 metre skate say hello and swam/drfited alongside for a good minute. In closing, the drift divers and the TUDC would like to thank Governor Denison for his incredible foresight."

          - Nic Jansen


News Around The Club

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FINAL CALL for your chance to win a custom fit Seatec two-piece 7mm wetsuit!

Divers, as we come towards the tail end of the year, Ian from the Hobart Dive Shop is eager to give away the custom fit Seatec two-piece 7mm wetsuit. These suits are amazingly comfy, super warm, and of course have the added bonus of being measured to fit your body EXACTLY! Now is your last chance to enter this competition by submitting a dive review for an event you've been on this year. It can be a club dive, or it can be a dive you've completed somewhere fancy (think; overseas in the tropics??). Make it exciting, fill it with juicy info about the conditions, entry/exits, aquatic life you saw, and what you would rate the dive. For every review you submit, you get another entry into the competition.

So far we've had around 20 fantastic reviews, so your odds of winning are pretty damn good in our opinion! The deadline for entries is 5:00PM on Friday 30th November. The winner will be drawn randomly out of a hat, and announced in the December issue of TANKED. So get writing!

TUDC Northern Expansion kicks off THIS MONTH!

Just a reminder that the official launch of the 'TUDC Northern Chapter" is happening on November 25th. We'll be taking Trojan and Dumper up north to dive some exciting new sites in the Tamar, and to meet all our new northern dive club buddies! We'll also be bringing up a care package of 8 tanks, 4 BCDs and 4 sets of regs to help the Launceston (AMC) crew kick off their diving experience.

If you're based in the south and are keen for an explore, we'd love for you to join us on our northern road trip. Sign up on the dive club calendar now!

Design entries now open for the TUDC Club Tee of 2013!

This year we're doing something a little different with our merch. For all of you fashionista stylists who haven't yet purchased one of our 2012 club tees, then we have a stack at the dive shed still for sale for only $25. But, we've just opened the flood gates for YOUR design ideas for our 2013 club tee. Do you have a design or logo that you think would look great on a tshirt? Even if you aren't a natural artist, send us through your rough sketches with a description and we'll pick the best idea and the winner will have their design produced for next year's club tee! And as well as your name going up in lights, you'll score a free tee for your efforts.

New TUDC tees!

2012 TUDC memberships now discounted

Now that we're heading into the pointy end of our dive season (the 2013 season kicks off from 1st March next year), we're starting to discount new memberships for November and December! If you want to get your mates involved with the club, make sure you let them know that membership is now just $30 and this will get them through to March next year. For anyone signing up in Jan or Feb 2013, we'll be super generous and just tack those extra couple of months onto their membership for free. Because that's the giving sort of people we are... ;-)

Call for volunteers for ricegrass survey - walking the Derwent foreshore

Derwent ricegrass surveys

The Derwent Estuary Program (DEP) performs a survey of Rice grass (Spartina anglica) in the Derwent Estuary every year, and after 15 years of monitoring and treatment this pesky weed is still hanging on, with three small patched located last year. After three years with no sightings Ricegrass has re-emerged, highlighting the need for vigilance at the tail end of a weed eradication program. This November we are again perform a 4 day survey of the Derwent to search for this weed.

The survey is planned for Thursday 22nd, Friday 23rd, Monday 26th, and Tuesday 27th November 2012, and the DEP is seeking your involvement. Each day volunteers will meet at 8:45 at the New DEP office (Lands building, 134 Macquarie Street, Hobart), and should be finished by ~5pm.

This is a great opportunity to have a close look at some rarely visited parts of the estuary, and spot a few waterbirds along the way.

Minimum requirements are a full day (8:45 - 17:00) walking between low and high tide mark along the foreshore of small bays and open coastline along pre-planned sections from Bowen Bridge to Bridgewater Bridge. It gets muddy in parts, so gumboots are essential. You need some plant identification skills to identify the weed from other native grasses, rushes and sedges (training will be provided, and ID keys are available).

Contact Luke Einoder from the Derwent Estuary Program if you are interested in helping on any of these days. or 0427 396 947.


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.

  • Open Water Course (3 upcoming courses)
    • from November 6th, December 4th
  • Advanced OW Course
    • from November 23rd

Upcoming SCUBAVENTURES courses

These guys are a brand new dive training school in Tassie, offering both basic dive training and more adventurous courses. Find out more via their website here:

To keep your finger on the dive training pulse, make sure you sign up to the Scubaventures 'Fresh News' mailing list here:

Also check out the posters below (click for larger images) for info and dates for the following courses:

  1. PADI Night Diver Specialty
  2. PADI Enriched Air Diver Specialty
  3. PADI Wreck Diver Specialty


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 on 30th November 2012!


Recent Dives

The Nord/accidently Hippolytes! (28th October) - by Dave Page

"We couldn't have asked for a more perfect Sunday!

Gearing up at the sheds it was already a balmy 18C, the sunny drive down to Fortescue Boat ramp gave us ample time to discuss the day's diving. We welcomed Andrew and Benoit on their first TUDC trip out :-) With everybody on board sporting Deep Diver Certificates the plan was to go nice and deep on The Nord first and a poke around the Catacombs at Cathedrals on a shallower second.

The water was beautiful; swell about 30cm, if that. There wasn't a breath of wind. Once out of the Bay we had no problem opening Trojan up to do a steady 25 knots the entire way. Unfortunately our GPS and sounder were not co-operating with each other, and after a few passes over without any luck, our divers were getting a bit warm. No problem, the Hippolytes are just a few minutes east of the site, so off we gunned. We'll find you next time SS Nord!

So there we were, kitting up on a beautiful Tassie summer's day, anticipating a brilliant dive off the little Hippolyte. You know your dive is going to be good when you drop in, and at 30m you start to fall through a HUGE school of Bastard Trumpeter. I estimate the school was a good 10m thick, we were still swimming through it when we hit the sandy bottom at 42m. The water was still, 14C with very little current allowing for effortless buoyancy control. Visibility was a little cloudy at 15m, presumably the remnants of the previous few days of terrible weather. There was plenty to see however, I am always amazed at the superstructure of large rocks and boulders at this dive site. Swimming through, in and around these we were treated to massive arrays of invertebrate life, rocks covered in anemones, sea whips, nudibranchs and colourful sponges. We were stoked to find the wall of sea-whips and sponges on the western-edge; described as well worth seeing in Dive Tasmania, at 30m. Tell you what; Michael Jacques wasn't wrong it is spectacular!


After a bottom time approximating 20 minutes we let each other know it was time to start swimming up.. sniff. Following the wall of the little Hippo around we found a narrow rock shelf at 7m that supports a thick stand of bull kelp. We spotted a couple of Wrasse, Leatherjackets and Banded Morwong before, bang on cue, a couple of large male Australian Fur Seals decided to come and say g'day and play for the last few minutes of the dive! This was Andrew's first experience of these puppies of the seas. By all accounts I don't think it will be his last ;) An exhilarating poke around the catacombs and a few serves of chips and gravy later we returned to the dive sheds, a very happy sundrenched group of dive buddies. See you guys next time!"


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,, 0428 390 393.

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

dive calendar signups

Upcoming Dives & Events

November 10th - Cray Bash!
Cray season will be here and we will go try and catch a feast! The location to be determined depending on weather - Options include Butts Reef or the Peninsula. Two dives, cray license mandatory.Contact - JPK

November 14th - 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

November 17th-18th - Tasman Peninsula
An exciting weekend of diving down at the Peninsula that we'll be sharing with our friends at TSDC! Dive sites will depend on weather, but will hopefully include some favourites like The Sisters and Cathedral Caves. A great opportunity to socialise and meet buddies from other clubs. Contact - Sparky

November 24th - 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

November 25th - Tamar River
Official launch of the 'TUDC Northern Chapter' (see news on this above!). Trojan and Dumper embarking on an adventure up and down the Tamar River - characterised by epic bommies, huge sponge gardens and phenomenal drift dives in high current! Contact - Cashy

December 1st - Bruny Island [freediver friendly!]
SUMMER IS COMING, so Freedivers and Open Water divers are uniting for a search mission around the northern end of Bruny Island to scope out some cool new dive sites. Includes a pleasure cruise around the fabulous Bruny coastline! Freedivers AND scuba divers welcome. Contact - Tony

December 8st - 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 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


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

  Tasmanian University Dive Club
Proudly sponsored by the TUU.
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