Poor Knights Islands

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On Sunday I finally got to diving. Weather was still pretty rough and the boat ride to the islands was somewhat bouncy. Luckily we were able to find some really sheltered sites there.

There were large schools of fish visible from the surface and I was really looking forward to the dive. We were diving a small sheltered bay, starting from one side and then crossing over to the other. Unfortunately visibility was rather poor when we got down below the surface and there was some surge from the swell as well. The dive itself was nice enough, but a poor match for the fisheye lens I had on.

The second dive was at another sheltered site where we followed a beautiful wall for most of the dive. This time around I used my macro lens with some better results. Still, both my dives were pretty short due to my buddy. He was a real old-timer who had been diving for literally decades. And he obviously had lots of cool stories to tell. But this was also his first dive in five years so he went through his air really quickly. Not really his fault, but somewhat annoying nonetheless.

Luckily on the Monday things improved considerably. Weather was lot better, we had clear skies and almost flat seas. On the way out from Tutukaka we met a pod dolphins, the people from the other smaller boat were allowed to swim with them. We had to content ourselves with watching and photographing the dolphins and the swimmers. The dolphins kept playing there for quite a while before finally moving on.

I was buddied with two other fairly experienced divers and we did our own thing for both dives. The first dive was at a site Northern Arch and likely the best dive of the trip. The site is well known as one of the best of the 60+ named sites around Poor Knights Islands. We started out following a large wall towards the arch itself. The arch looks pretty small on the surface but below surface its massive! The wall was really colorful and there was great variety of nudibranchs and fish all along the way. There were even some tropical fish there brought by the East Australian Current (or East Auckland Current as the locals want to call it).

And if that wasn’t enough near the beginning of the dive we visited a really cool small cave that was just large enough for the three of us to fit in safely together. The water near the end of the cave is actually brackish and there are some freshwater species living there! Just a shame visibility wasn’t really good enough for good wide-angle shots, while there was plenty of macro life around it felt such a waste to use macro lens on a site like this.

The second dive of the day was Trevis Rocks. This series of three small pinnacles is another great good site with good fish life and lots of nudibranchs. We found only two of the three “rocks” before heading closer to the shore. There we visited another small cave and then spent rest of the dive in the shallow water next to the island before returning to the boat.

And then on the way back to Tutukaka we spotted another pod of dolphins! What a perfect way to finish up an excellent day of diving.

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