December 10, 2003

Poor Knights

I have been diving the Poor Knights islands with Dive Tutukaka. To be very original, I will mention what is said in just about every flyer of any company offering diving in those islands: "The Poor Knights are one of the top ten dive locations in the world." (Jacques-Yves Cousteau). This is very difficult to rate such things as you see different things at different places but New Zealand and Australia like very much to say that any place they have is among the top 10 of something (which leads probably to a top 1000 at the end).

Anyway. I can recommend the dive center, good boats, nice guys, they do their best to cater divers and group them with experience and what they want to do and see. Nice.

About the dive itself. First thing. It's freezing. 16C. Even with a 7mm after 20min in the first dive I was shaking like if I had Parkinson disease. I managed to stay 47 minutes but my buddy was turning blue (i'm kidding) so we came up. I stayed 65 min frozen to death for the 2nd dive, I started to have cramps just by moving legs. My original buddy retreated after 30 min and I buddied with someone else equipped with a dry suit (grrr !).

There are literally tons on nudibranchs in the Poor Knights. Splendid clown and gem nudibranchs, a couple of tambja species, a few other unindentified sea slugs. Massive stingrays and northern scorpionfish and a couple of inquisitive fishes. The dive is much different than any coral reef diving for sure. That's cold water diving with the algaes that go with that.

The water is so cold that condensation forms quickly inside the housing despite the gel packs so I wasted a few shots . It's just like putting the housing in a freezer. I will probably try putting it on slave for tomorrow to avoid the internal flash triggering and have only the preflash. I also focus so much on the fact that I'm freezing that I do not spend much time taking picture. Shooting when you are shaking is also not ideal

I'm going again tomorrow.

Salps Blue-eyed triplefin Clown nudibranch - ceratosoma amoena Long-tailed stingray Long-tailed stingray Northern scorpionfish - scorpoena cardinalis Northern scorpionfish - scorpoena cardinalis Unindentified sea slug Unindentified sea slug Gem nudibranch - Dendrodoris denisoni Salps-tube. A diver next to it help figure out the scale. Salps tube

Posted by stephane at December 10, 2003 08:26 AM

Keep your housing the same temperature as the surrounding area. I am assuming you are taking the housing from a warm environment possibly humid into the cooler outside environment and then the cold water. I have never had problems with the fogging in British Columbia where the water is 8 degrees C. The key is when you take the camera from a humid inside environment to a cool outside temperature the condensation shows up. Sometimes loading the camer in the housing outside helps equate the environments.

Good luck with that.

Posted by: Todd on December 10, 2003 08:35 PM

Problem is: Air temperature is 27C on top and 16C underwater and there is no way I can find a AC place (I was thinking for a while putting the AC in the car at max for 30 min and close it there ). I added 2 gel packs for yesterday (freshly out from a 2-min session in a microwave) and closed it during light breeze at sea and that worked ok.

Posted by: stephane on December 11, 2003 08:54 PM