Saturday, August 21, 2010

Wednesday Snorkel with Offshore Adventures

Clown Rock - just lots of clown fish

Ornate butterflyfish, Chaetodon ornatissimus (19cm/7in.), tifitifi 'ava'ava

Brent on the Bladefish scooter


Coral Trench at surf break

Crown-of-thorns, Acanthaster planci, alamea

Clam shell in wave break

Brent and his Boat

Inside abandoned church

Chair and church

Coast and coconuts (The trees over the water are those that populate distant shores.)

On Wednesday I was part of a group that hired a skiff (40hp Yamaha) operated by Offshore Adventures with Brent at the helm. (Phone 7508825 – Surf – Fishing – Snorkel – Lagoon tours from Saanapu Lagoon near Virgin Cove Resort)
Our intrepid foursome enjoyed the snorkeling at two locations, and some tried out my Bladefish U/W scooter. Afterwards it was time for lunch at an abandoned village site and a tour of the old church (From the 1990-91 Cyclones). A great four hours on the water. Thanks Brent for an excellent day.
Cheers from the cool breezes of the Pacific

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Sinalei Lunch and snorkel

Dark-spotted Moray, Gymnothorax fimbriatus (80cm/32 in) papata pulepule, pusi pulepule.

Brittle Star - Ophiomastix sp.

Just back from a Sunday lunch at Sinalei Resort and Spa. Took the snorkel gear just in case the pass was workable to the reef dropoff. Actually it wasn't, with a fast outgoing tide and large swells making the board riders wish they had two extra surfboards to break in their week in Samoa. I snorkeled around the spring and started upending the dead corals - first was Pipefish and Brittle Stars then I found a small Moray Eel for some close up work with the wide angle wet lens and new INON flash. Had a great day, actually a bit cold here(26c) with the rain - I was under a light blanket before. Lovely days in the South Pacific ....

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Coral Sea and GBR - another item off the Bucket List

Sea Snake - up close and personal

Clam lip and friend

Potato Cod and friends

Lion Fish

Prawn on Night Dive

Hump Head, you can hear the bighting the coral (also nice eating in PNG)

Ain't love grand - swimming together

Sponge ?

Red relation of Clown Fish

The Shark Feed at North Arm ( You have sign another indemnity for this dive and stay seated on the Ampitheatre)

Coral Sea and GBR - another item off the Bucket List

Another Oncologist appointment and another great result, 15 months of Smouldering. Would like to set a world record, but that would be a lottery win in itself.

This time back in AUS I took off for Cairns and four nights on Mike Ball’s Spoilsport boat. Twelve NITROX dives and over 1500 U/W pics, great diving on Ospreys Reef. It was a bit rough getting there but worth the effort, crystal clear water. A great mix of twenty-three divers from all over the world with a superb staff. The hot towels at your dive station made life more amenable. Also the hot soup at lunch put the life back into you after a couple of dives. Dinner was at eight after the night dive, then there was the Hobbit first, and second breakfast after the early dive. I missed one dive – just a bit shattered. The Gekko Dive Computer worked out all the calculations and kept me safe and in the zone. The shark feeding was the highlight and brought memories of New Guinea and holding speared fish away from zooming sharks.

I flew back from Lizard Island (old haunt of ’93 - two weeks diving and camping) by Cessna Caravan to Cairns at 300 meters. Bought the obligatory video and tee shirt to prove it.

Came back to Samoa just 10kg overweight with an underwater scooter (Bladefish 5000). Have done the scooter snorkel tests and I am organizing more dives.

The Va’a is currently in the Vavau Islands, Tonga and is sailing back this week. The crew will have lots of whale stories to tell.

Samoa is going flat out with the tourist season and great specials. Last weekend was a long W/E for Father’s Day and we went to Seaside Resort for the Sunday night. This is on the north east coast and is very popular with the locals. Unfortunately it is a couple of hundred meters to the good snorkeling, Sunday I took a kayak and motored around with the scooter. On the Monday I took a float and the scooter. Just tie the scooter to the float for the photography – worked well, but needs quick releases, mounts etc.

F has been flat out and survived my time away, everyone wanted to take her out, especially for her birthday. I have to check the dates before making appointments next year.
My art has shifted from fish to sailing with a Va’a and a Tasmanian schooner currently in production.
Lovely weather in the Pacific
All from us

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Vavau, Kingdom of Tonga

Some pics from the Apia, Samoa to Vavau Islands, Tonga - Va'a Voyage.

From my FB -
Sailing to Vavau, the top islands of Tonga on a traditional double canoe(73FT) tomorrow - hope to make it in 4 days(Big winds - passage in 45 hours), then small plane to Nukolofa and Air NZ back to Samoa next Tuesday. Then I can tick off another Bucket List item. Bought a carton of M&M Peanuts for my crewmates - Samoans, French, Vanutu and Tongans and Aussie me.(It was actually 11 nationalities in 17 crew, also Japanese, Finish, South African, Canadian, French Polenisian, Tokalaeuan).
The other Va'a were from Fiji and NZ.
Hi to all, arrived in Vavau, Tonga yesterday after 2 days hard sailing up to 13kts in a twin canoe (Va'a). Bit seasick first night - slept on deck both nights and got a bit wet from waves, spray & rain - the va'a was an excellent thrilling ride. Vavau is the jewel of the pacific.
Flying home tomorrow ....

Got a twin Prop Convair, the fifties aircraft featured such luxuries as LEG room and six escape window hatches, carried their own stairs, ashtrays for the faint at heart, the luggage was behind the pilots who left the door open for that windscreen view, also good vibrations from those rotation props .....
The AirNZ back to Samoa was 1 1/2 hours late ...
EXCELLENT adventure with lots of tourist shopping and great friendships of the 70 odd involved on the Va'a and the support boats. Two great parties, one onboard and the other at the Tongan Beach Resort, Vavau. 9.2GB Video + Stills - Edit - edit - edit .....
Having fun in the South Pacific, back to water aerobics this morning followed by mud cake at Morning Tea - going flat out with life ...

Friday, May 7, 2010

Some more pics from Fish Rock from Ray - Thanks

Camera with wide-angle lens

Floating around

Playing with sharks - up close and personal

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Gift to Myself - Diving Fish Rock Cave - SW Rocks

Fish Rock Cave - SW Rocks - out from Kempsey, NSW
The cave comprises The enterance from the south side of the Rock from the Boulders, depth 24m - into the cave - then up the second Chimmeny (18m along)- the dark Tunnel (62m) - then the Light Cave (25m) and exit on the NW side of the rock. Swim back along the west side to the moorings.
The sharks are in the sand trenches near the Boulders.
Excellent weekend with PRODive Milton, Fish Rock Dive, and accommodation at Costa Rica Motel; thanks peoples. Richard (ONC tomorrow)