Oct 102016
 
2017 Calendars

2016 seems like it’s only just begun and 2017 is already sneaking up on us. With the end of the year in sight, my 2017 calendars are now on sale. Calendars come in both cave diving and ocean flavours with lots of space to note your important dates for the year. The caves side features a number of beautiful shots from the Timorese caves with a good mix of local and exotic. On the ocean front this year’s calendar is dominated by big animals in blue waters – whales, sharks, mantas and more. The photo pages are A4 (approx 12″ x 8″) with the dates grid on the page below. The calendars are ringbound with a punchhole for hanging. Even better, prices [read more…]

Oct 042016
 
Stern of the HMS Southwold

The HMS Southwold was a WWII British destroyer. Built during the war and launched in late 1941, she was sunk less than six months later on March 24th, 1942. She was tasked with escorting the crippled HMS Breconshire to Malta after leaving the convoy. As she attempted to pass a line to the Breconshire, she hit a British mine. The resulting explosion in the engine room killed five people on board. With her back up generator fired up and crew working to plug the leaks, the Southwold was taken under tow by a tug. Shortly thereafter her hull began to split in half and the remaining crew were transferred to another ship as she went down. The split in the wreck means [read more…]

Sep 202016
 
Torpedos on the S-31 Schnellboot

Built in 1939 and sunk in 1942, the Motor Torpedo Boat the S31 had a short life. She had a thin metal hull with a mahogany wood coating, to assist her in slipping through mine fields. With 3 diesel engines on board she had a maximum speed of 38 knots carrying her crew of 24. In the early hours of May 10th the S31 was one of 7 MTBs lying in wait for the Welshman, who was expected to arrive in Valletta Harbour. The S31 had just finished placing a new minefield to the north west when she collided with a mine. Less than 30 minutes later she was underwater with 13 men still on board. The Schnellboot lies in [read more…]

Aug 022016
 
Humpback whales

I’ve just got back from a magical weekend on the water. Packing light and leaving the dive gear behind we headed for sunny Queensland with snorkels at the ready. Light winds and flat seas made a nice difference to some of the ocean conditions out of Melbourne recently. We launched out of the Gold Coast and tried our luck both up and down the coast. We hadn’t been on the water for long before we spotted some fellow travellers. The humpback whales migrate north up the Australian coast at this time of year. They are moving from their cold water feeding grounds with full bellies, heading into warmer waters to give birth. With a big migration underway, there are whales everywhere. [read more…]

Jun 282016
 
Scooter practise under Flinders Pier

A big part of big trips is the preparation that goes into them. It’s nice to look at the results – great photos, new cave, nice maps, stories of epic adventure – but rare that the hours of practise and prep get the same publicity. So today’s photos aren’t spectacular or even very exciting. They are important though. Expedition diving is hard work, and a lot of that work occurs before the trip even begins. You have to put in the hours in advance to get results. Pretending that you were born a cave diving genius is fun but somewhat deceptive. It also encourages untrained or underexperienced divers to attempt things they probably shouldn’t. With that in mind and an upcoming [read more…]

Mar 222016
 
Nurse sharks by night

My favourite dives and swims of the Carpe Vita Maldives trip were the night dives. There’s something surreal about swimming through inky black water on a warm tropical night. The otherworldliness increases when large creatures swim through the water beside you, completely ignoring your incursion into their world. The night dive on the first day was at Alimathaa Jetty. The resort on this island conducts a sunset shark feed and the sharks are very active after the sun goes down. We descended onto the reef to see a couple of nurse sharks and their large fish escorts zipping between the corals. They were using diver lights to hunt out small unfortunate fish in the reef. As a group we tried [read more…]