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

Ocean Blue, Nov, 2003,

by Glen Gustafson, CA, USA . Report 1395.

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

Weather sunny Seas calm, surge, noCurrents
Water Temp 51 to 53 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 7
Water Visibility 35 to 80 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
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.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales None
Corals 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 N/A
UW Photo Comments 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):

Accommodations 5 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments 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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