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Hey Divers!

The TUDC was recently named as a finalist for the 2013 Tasmania Community Achievement Awards - Environment Award for our ongoing Marine Debris Clean-Up program. A big thank you to everyone who has helped out pulling debris from our waterways over the years. Winners are announced on the 22nd of November so watch this space next month!!

November is also an exciting month for many divers around the state, as it is the start of the Crayfish season. Crayfish are super tasty and fun to catch, but remember there are strict rules and the fines are huge if you break them! I will be trying my luck to catch one or two around Bruny Island on opening weekend. If you're looking to get out for a dive, Safety Cove, Coal Point and Fortescue Bay have been reliable shore based dives to try and catch one!


- John Keane, TUDC President


Featured Dive Review

CSIRO - 22nd October

"Jian, Justin, Claire, Simon, Dan and I got ready for a splash at CSIRO. No one was too keen to jump off the wharf as it involved climbing over some construction barracades, so we scrambled down onto the rocks. It was still daylight, but you couldn't tell with such low visibility! We were off to a rocky start when I lost my fin clip, which we had no hope of finding in the murky mess. But after managing to tie a great knot, off we went...

There was plenty to see underwater - bottles, witches hats, office chair, old gloves, and even some naturalistic biota amongst all this. The boys up ahead claimed to have seen 8 seahorses - not sure what Claire and I were doing; it might have been the kicked up sediment, or maybe we were too busy bumping into poles... We did see a heap of cute porcupine fish, contracting ascidians, playful crabs, phosphorescence, squid, and many more little creatures that made this nighttime dip worthwhile. Surfacing an hour later, to our surprise it was still daylight!

D'angelos pizza and a beer washed it down well afterwards."    - Ness


News Around The Club

Crayfish Season

Crayfish season opens this month, but the opening date has been pushed back 1-2 weeks depending on the area. For most of the east coast the season opens up on Saturday November 16th. See the map below for area-specific dates, and for further details check out the DPIPWE website

Licenses can be obtained over the internet from DPIPWE HERE

Dive Boat or Tardis?
- by Richard M

As we all know, Dr Who has been zooming through the space-time continuum since 1963, (that's 50 of our piddly earth-years) and over that time, several generations have grown up intrigued over the secrets of his time machine, the TARDIS; not only does it allow travel through time, and through space at light-speed, the good Doctor can also take a huge amount of crap luggage with him too, on account of the TARDIS' most interesting characteristic; like a good book, it's bigger on the inside than it is on the outside.

In this respect, a dive club boat has a passing resemblance to the Time Lord's chosen ride on account of the huge amount of stuff we need to pack into a relatively small space; for a full boat with 8 divers onboard that's anything up to approximately 132 individual items. For a breakdown, see the table below. Trans-light speed is not yet possible for us in our current boats but Em assures us that the future replacement of the current main motor with twin outboards would get us close, which could be useful given Sparkie's outrageously early dive-trip starts.

Anyway, moving on from the realms of sci-fi; anyone who's been on a well-subscribed trip doesn't need me to tell them that it can get awful crowded inside the boat when divers are trying to get kitted up, particularly if there is still crap lying everywhere from a previous wave of divers just returned.

We don't have a lot of space to play with, so it's really important that we make the best use of what there is. We are pretty well sorted with large items, such as dive tank rigs, weights etc, which can all go in or under the tank racks, the most troublesome gear by far is personal gear. It really isn't much fun when your mask, computer, camera or torch get trodden on, a tank dropped on them, or worse still, they get lost over the side and all of these things can and do happen if we aren't properly organised.

As Dangerous Dave Page will tell you from his many years of sterling service for Queen & Country as an Army Reservist with The Drop Shorts (aka Royal Australian Artillery), the key to this is packing your gear away properly and securely; if it's properly packed away in one bag, you will always know where it all is and it can be largely protected from accidents, although you still might want to keep your camera on a strap clipped around your arm or maybe in a separate plastic box, preferably full of water.

The other issue to think about is do we really need all the stuff we often seem to bring on board? On one recent trip, a personal kitbag was found to contain jeans, shirt, jumper, underwear etc; as the bag wasn't waterproof and the journey back was through some big seas, this stuff was all soaking wet by the time the boat arrived back at the ramp.

For a daytrip on a club boat, you only need what you need to dive with, plus some essential supplies and creature comforts, like food & drink, sunglasses, sunscreen, sea-sickness pills (maybe), a floppy (ie screwupable) sunhat and for the poor deprived wetsuit divers, a windproof jacket, preferably one with a polar fleece lining for the winter months. You simply don't need anything in the way of dry clothes and by taking unnecessary stuff, it just makes it that bit harder to pack the boat and more importantly, anything that isn't really needed just gets in the way of being able to operate efficiently for diving.

Your personal dive gear such as mask, fins, gloves, torch etc can be packed in a good quality holdall made from water-resistant fabric with a robust, rust-free plastic zip; if you get one that's of reasonable size, you should easily fit in all the gear needed by both you and your buddy. You can buy suitable bags from dive shops, sailing chandlers such as Peter Johnston Marine in Hobart and outdoor shops like Anaconda etc. My own yellow bag which I still use was an Xmas present in 1980 and is still going strong. Bags are preferred to boxes as they are flexible and will fit between tank rack and tubes. And please - no suitcases, wheeled bags with extending handles belong in airports!

When diving off Trojan, the dive gear bags are normally stacked/wedged forward, out of the way on each side of the tank rack, against the tubes, where they can be easily accessed but are safe from damage or loss. With large bags, we should be able to get everyone's gear into just four bags, two stacked on each side of the dive rack. All your personal kit should easily fit in the bag. If you pack with care, there should be plenty of room for your buddy's equipment too. Small stuff like mask, gloves, computer etc can fit into fin pockets.

So what about smaller personal valuable or fragile items such as phone, wallet keys, lunch etc that you wouldn't want to leave in the car parked at the boat ramp for several hours? The best way to store these is in a small sealable drybag of the sort available at all diving, marine and outdoor shops; these are best stored by clipping them onto the sides of the A-frame, or onto the steel tubing around the steering console, provided that they don't get in the way of the driver. They're brightly coloured and, provided you don't put dive weights in them, will float if they go overboard and because they are brightly coloured they will be easily found.

Cave diving extravaganza

On Sunday night, we were treated were treated to a very special presentation by Paul Heinerth: discoverer of the Giant Cave in Belize. Check out this video from his latest expedition here:



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 November & December - jump on the Dive Shop website now for full dates and to make a booking!

  • PADI Open Water Course - from 18th November: $295 (for TUDC members!)
  • PADI Open Water Course - from 2nd December: $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!

discounted dive courses!

Our friends from GoDive Launceston have jumped on board to offer some cheap dive courses exclusive to TUDC members in the North of the state.


Recent Dives & Happenings

Exciting Freediving News! - by Tony

After a cold, wet and blustery winter with ocean temps low enough to freeze an Arctic monkey, free dive training has begun in earnest this summer at the Hobart Aquatic Centre. Finally after many tireless months of emails and telephone calls we have been granted access to the 5m dive pool where training in emergency rescue, equalisation, duck diving, finning techniques, relaxation and breathing exercises, and tips for diving deeper, safer, and for longer are now much easier when the oceans are against us. All training and dive sessions are posted on the TUDC dive calendar.

For the first time in many years, in Jan 2014 we will be sending an especially merry band of eager divers to Kangaroo Island, South Australia for the 62nd Australian Spearfishing Championships. The team of 7 including two final year high school students, our token female (who's starting to dive better than all of us), a budding Army Officer in training, a keen as mustard Polish expat, and finally us two older divers with one of us (aka me) approaching the veterans class, and we have ourselves one very mixed bag of enthusiasts making the trip.

With a stack of prizes up for grabs and for the first time in over 20 years, we will be competing against divers from every state in the country. The turnout promises to be epic, and with the competition being held in the beautiful clear blue shark infested waters off KI, it should be awesome fun. For one lucky group, they will be selected to be part of the Australian team heading to the World Spearfishing Championships Oct 2014 in Lima, Peru.

With the weather and waters warming it will soon be time to had back out to our own back yard playground and start some free diving proper. We have the Ms Danka Nalepa having recently gone from not being able to dive deeper than 3m, heading down to 5m, and back up again, and down again with the agility of a dolphin. Danka is about to begin training in some freediving competition classes. She just doesn't know it yet.. ;)

If you know of a business that would be interested in sponsoring our team to help with travel and registration costs for the event, we'd love to hear from you. Click the image on the right to see our sponsorship proposal that can be emailed to potential businesses.

St Helens dive weekend - by JPK

Camping in the Bay of Fires is always great - but when you combine camping with some brilliant dives and sunshine, an awesome weekend is to be had!

St Helens Island (~9km south of St Helens Pt) was amazing with the most dense garden of sea whips I have ever seen! At 36m, some areas were so dense that you could not see through them, creating a solid wall. Surrounding the sea whips were vibrant colourful sponges. The Outer Doughboys were also brilliant and is a great wall dive dropping down to about 25 m.

Setting up camp right on the beach meant you can walk to the water in your dive kit, go for a dive, then return to the campsite! So we did this - at night! Octopus, southern calamari, mackerel, a gigantic 3m smooth ray, schools of pufferfish and other critters made the dive memorable. Walking out of the water to the campfire is the best way to warm up after a dive, and a cold beer topped it off!

Bay of Fires - we will be back!!

dive calendar signups

Upcoming Dives & Events

November 9th - Tinderbox
A great little shore dive at one of Tassie's favourite dive spots. Perfect if you haven't been in the water much over winter and would like a gentle reintroduction to bubbling.  Contact - JPK

November 9th - Betsey Wrecks (twin day/night dive!)
Let's welcome Dave back on board at TUDC dive officer with a neat little double day/night dive close to home. The plan is to drop in on Betsey wrecks for a long recon dive, cruise back to Kingston for a bite to eat, then head back out again for a DUSK DIVE on the wrecks! Advanced Open Waters ONLY.  Contact - Pagey

November 10th, 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

November 13th - Pub Night!
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 23rd - MV Lake Illawarra (wreck)
130 m long, 35 m down, low visibility, strong currents, overhead environment, well and truly classified as "higher than usual psychological stress". If deep, dark and creepy is your thing... Advanced Open Waters ONLY. Contact - JPK

November 24th - Sisters Rocks & Cape Surville
We're heading for a great day out on the Tasman Peninsula, aiming for some magnificent fish life, sponge gardens and sea whips on The Sisters. We'll back this up with the spectacular granite walls of Cape Surville, stopping off in the shallow kelp gardens.   Contact - Pagey

November 30th - Troy D (wreck)
It's been a while since we've been out to check on the Troy D shipwreck, on the inside of Maria Island. Last time we were here, this magnificent 55m long scuttled vessel was home to huge schools of fish, encrusting sponges, resident seahorses, and even baby scallops. Who knows what we'll find now, a year on!  Contact - Ness

December 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

December 6th-8th - Bruny Island (whole weekend)
An action-packed weekend of diving on the magnificent Bruny Island. Staying in accommodation overlooking the beautiful Cloudy Bay, we will be visiting some amazing dive sites, including The Friars, Court's Island, and some treasure hunting for the 376 tonne Enchantress supposedly wrecked here in 1835 with her valuable cargo...  Contact - Pagey

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


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

  Tasmanian University Dive Club
Proudly sponsored by the TUU.
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