May 192015

Backroll boat entry by Dad

While I was pootling around underground in Mexico, this website passed its fourth anniversary. Four years since I spent a weekend setting up web hosting and nervously publishing my first photo and article. I didn’t tell anyone what I’d done for fear of early criticism sinking the whole grand idea. As I said two years ago I was afraid of having one of those two-post blogs, where the second post was about not having much to say “but be sure to check back soon!”. To avoid this I wrote my first dozen articles well before I posted the first one. For most of 2011 I had a 10 article buffer that slowly became a 6 article buffer followed shortly after by feeling good about life if I was a week ahead. By mid-2012 I’d discovered that writing about a dive that had just happened and posting it the next morning was much more satisfying. It wasn’t until 2013 that last minute procrastination caused me to miss my self-imposed deadline.

Four years later and with 200+ articles posted, I’ve gotten used to the idea of having a website that people might actually look at and an email list of (?eager) readers. Despite a few small lapses early this year I have mostly kept to my once-a-week posting schedule. Happily I’m still underwater most weekends and generating more than enough photos to fill the space. There’s certainly been fun periods where I’ve had more photos I wanted to talk about than weekly spots to talk about them in, a good sign of lots of diving being undertaken. The photo above was from a fun little dive off Phillip Island two month ago that somehow missed the posting schedule. Bright sunlight let me bump the shutter to 1/500 and catch Dad splashing in using natural light only.

On the technical side various plugins have crashed a few times but generally speaking the website itself has kept trotting along with very little maintenance. I’ve taken the time recently to make a few small tweaks to the layout and the sidebar, compressing the expansive archives and hopefully improving the readability on small screens. I’ve also updated the Index page so those looking for something in particular can browse through easily. Minor updates to the content delivery and code should improve loading speeds on slower connections. A friendly wave also to those reading this in their inbox who shouldn’t notice any difference at all. If you’d like to sign up for a weekly email delivery, stick your email address in the box to the right and hit Subscribe.

I’ve also discovered that WordPress now supports integrated, tiled galleries. I know this discovery puts me a little behind the times, but I thought I’d celebrate four years of life on the web with a mish-mash of my favourite shots from along the way. I have no idea if this gallery will work on email or RSS, so you might need to click through to the site itself. Thanks for reading – here’s to the next four years!

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