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Dive Review of Ocean Blue in
New Zealand/Poor Knight's Island

November, 2003, an Instant Reader Report by Glen Gustafson, CA, USA
Report Number 1395
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
26-50 dives
Where else diving
Island Bay, New Zealand, Matava Kandavu Fiji, Beachcomber resort Fiji,
Catalina and Anacapa Islands, California
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

calm, surge, noCurrents  
Water Temp
51   to 53    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
35   to 80    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
We dove with one of the owners so we followed his profile, but were free to
dive on our own.  They promote safe diving but did not impose any specific
restrictions I can recall.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  1 stars
Tropical Fish
1 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
4 stars  
Large Pelagics
  3 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
5 stars  
Shore Facilities  
Glenn Edney is a professional photographer and has set up a large
swing-away table just for camera gear.  Large plastic rinse tank next to
the ladder with clean fresh water for camera gear.  If you want to take
photos you will find a kindred spirit who is extremely knowledgable about
the biology of the islands.  
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
5 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
3 stars   
5 stars    
We were really lucky to have found this operation.  There are other
excellent dive operators that go to Poor Knight's out of Tutukaka but they
all take 30 or so divers.  Ocean Blue is owned and operated by a great
couple, Glenn and Tiana Edney, who live aboard their stout 45' motor
sailer, Mazurka (which means Dance on the Water).

They take a maximum of 6 divers, so really what it amounts to is a dive
trip aboard a friend's classic yacht, with the owners insisting on doing
all the work (including some terrific cooking).

Both Glenn and Tiana are avid divers, but with their little girl, Samantha
on board Tiana spent most of her time minding the boat (she's a licensed
skipper), though she did take us on one (great) dive through a deep arch
filled with snoozing pink and blue Maomao and rays and littered with paper
nautilus casings.  Some of my more party-oriented diver friends seemed put
off by going diving with a family, but we couldn't see any downside. 
Samantha spent most of her time playing in her state room and when we didn
get to see her she was delightful - "I want to do a proper dive"
she says.

The head can get a little warm from the engine room, but we never stayed in
there long enough to care - there, I felt I had so say something critical
just to give my report some validity.  It's a great boat.  By the way,
having a sail gives it more stability during the motor trip out and back,
something my wife appreciated.

Poor Knight's is fantastic diving.  It's hard to catagorize it with check
boxes for the usual atractions as it may be the most unique place to dive
on earth.  An extinct volcano at the edge of the continental shelf,
honeycombed with caves and arches and surrounded by marine life from both
tropical and temperate waters it almost defies description.

We saw a giant salp as well as a bizarre fish I could not identify, which
Glenn said had been carried up from a depth of over 800 meters (it was
alive but not likely to survive the trip to the surface for long).  The
area is protected and the marine life is thriving.  We were encompassed in
a great school of Kawahi a couple of times and did get to see a couple of
Bronze Whaler sharks.

When we were there the plankton was in full bloom, so visibility could
be as low as 35' or so.  As soon as you made the turn into one of the long,
vaulted arches visibility increased dramatically.  It's like cave diving
but open to the surface, and the gentle surge in the arches seemed pleasant
(perhaps because a large school of Blue Maomao were often napping so
comfortably above us).

The diversity and richness of invertibrate life boggles the mind.  You
could spend an entire trip wall-diving with a magnifying glass and not run
out of new things to marvel at. 

No shore diving - nobody may land on the island as it is a sacntuary where
the largest population of Tuatara live (last surviving member of the
dinosaur family still having the same skull characteristics).

There can be strong currents and deeeep dropoffs, so we were a little
concerned about going to Poor Knight's with our level of experience, but
they were very skillful at reading (and predicting) conditions so we were
always at the right part of the island a the right time to dive.  Glenn has
some 15 year's experience diving the islands and it was obvious we were in
good hands.

We plan to make the trip again when the visibility is more characteristic
of the area.  Even with all the krill in the water it has been among the
best diving we've ever done.
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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