New look! And more pictures!

Initially, when I set up the dark background/light font, I thought it would make it easier to read. I hmm’d and hawwed over it, and I’ve decided that I think something a little more muted and traditional would be easier on the eyes. Hence, new design! Plus, I really love jellyfish, and so now there’s a jellyfish.

In celebration of new designs and jellyfish, here are some pictures:

Jellyfish in a lagoon on Efate, Vanuatu (Photo by A. Lauritzen)

More jellyfish (unsure of the species) and the inspiration for the header (Photo by A. Lauritzen)

These were both taken at night, on the edge of the lagoon. The jellyfish were attracted to the lights on the underside of the deck, and there was an entrancing dance of jellies swarming about the light in such a hypnotic way. We stared at them for ages.

Lord Howe Coralfish (Photography by Diverkat)

Jewel Anemone varieties (Photo by Diverkat)

Yaldwyn’s triplefin on a yellow sponge and some shy Jewel Anemones (photo by Diverkat)

Clown Nudibranch (Photo by Diverkat)

Male Yaldwyn’s Triplefin (Photo by Diverkat)

Eensy Yaldwyn’s triplefin with some Jewel Anemones (photo by Diverkat)

The above photos were all taken at the Poor Knights Marine Reserve. I like the little things, because they don’t move too quickly or too far, so they’re much easier to photograph! Hope you like them!

-Diverkat

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Happy New Year! Here are some pictures.

Happy New Year to all, I hope that the holidays have been relaxing and fun. As per usual, the antipodean summer gets a bit chaotic, and the idea of long, relaxing summer days vanishes with the inevitable emails, texts, phone calls and other methods of communication that immediately turn all that beautiful free time into busy bee time.

But! That’s hardly a complaint. The days have indeed been busy, but at least they’ve been busy with productive things! There have been many days of diving in the spring and summer, and I was lucky to get a few good shots in. So, without further ado, have a look at some of the little ones living under the waves:

Yaldwyn's Triplefin (photo by Diverkat)

Yellow Moray from below (photo by Diverkat)

Gem Nudibranchs mating (photo by Diverkat)

Firebrick starfish (photo by Diverkat)

Fan with anenomes (photo by Diverkat)

Common Anenomes (photo by Diverkat)

So, a few photos for you to enjoy. I will hopefully have more to share soon, and some actual news too!

-Diverkat

International Cleanup Day Results – Job Well Done!

Recycled 2009 Banner - we practise what we preach!

Once again, Project AWARE‘s International Cleanup Day was a smashing success! This past Saturday, 25 September 2010 we tackled Mission Bay Beach’s shores for our beach and underwater cleanup.  Volunteers, divers and non-divers alike, showed up to help us collect about 12 kilograms of rubbish from the beach and the ocean.  And again, the most numerous bits of trash left behind were cigarette butts and drink bottle caps/lids.  Food wrappers and containers were the next most prevalent, indicating that in the more populous areas, individuals littering is the biggest issue we need to tackle – as well as getting food shops and food suppliers to use more biodegradable materials when packaging food and/or handing out utensils.

And once again, more than half of the volume we picked up was recyclable material.

Bearing that in mind, my suggestion for trying to curb this behaviour?  Why, yes, as always, education! If we tirelessly continue to educate ourselves, our kids, our friends, loved ones, colleagues, et cetera about the need to dispose of/recycle our trash responsibly, we can help stop thousands (yes, thousands) of tonnes of garbage from polluting our seas.  Last year on International Cleanup Day 2009, 220,000 kgs of debris were removed from the ocean alone (see Project AWARE’s global data here).  This was what was collected in one day.  Also, getting involved in being part of the solution – as our wonderful volunteers from NIWA, Global Dive, the White Shark Conservation Trust and my own dear (unaffiliated) friends did – helps raise awareness among the general public too, and of course reminds us to be responsible with disposing of our own rubbish.

Another bright moment from Saturday, other than the intermittent sun showing its face once in a while, was the chance to meet with Sam, Camden and Simon from Sustainable Coastlines, a charity organisation based in Tirau, Waikato.  Sustainable Coastlines takes a holistic approach to developing solutions for keeping our coasts clean and working with communities and individuals to implement solutions throughout New Zealand.  I am hoping to meet with these guys again soon – I’m looking forward to working with them toward a common goal, and gain some insight into what projects they are planning – and see if I can help.

Some photos from the day are below.   Thanks again to all of you who helped out, I am so grateful for the support shown and I am proud of the efforts you all put forth!  And of course, a big thank you to Global Dive for sponsoring the materials and the barbecue on the day!

-Diverkat

Divers getting kitted up for the underwater search

Bruce and Zoe sweep the west end of the beach

Francois and Juliet team up

Harry is all smiles - before he realised he'd be in 3m of water!

Jonas getting ready for the dive

Andreas, Alex and Kate on land duty

Shark talk… and some Diving!

Well, last night’s WSCT presentation at Diveshack was a great success – we raised $281.00 in donations, so a big THANK YOU is in order to the club members, and especially to Aaron and Hayden, Diveshack’s Brains and Brawn rulers extraordinaire.  That money will be going toward purchasing tracking tags for DoC’s white shark research, so once again, thank you ALL for your generosity – and for letting Bruce and I rave on and on about sharks!  Definitely one of my favourite things to to.

And also, our lovely Dive Mistress is organising day dives out to the Poor Knights on Saturday, 26 June and Sunday, 27 June with our dear friends Noel and Jo from Yukon Charters.  Contact Dive Mistress at dive.mistress.nz@gmail.com for details if you’re available, and let her know if you can come diving with us!!!

White Shark Conservation Trust Presentation Tonight!

Hello all!

This is extremely last minute, but tonight, Bruce Goorney, trustee of the White Shark Conservation Trust, is doing a presentation on the White Shark (Carcharodon carcharias) and what the Trust is doing in terms of conservation, research and fundraising.  The talk is happening at Diveshack, at 349 Dominion Road, Mt Eden, at 7pm.  Come along and meet other divers, find out what the WSCT is getting up to, and learn about what you can do to help us raise awareness about the plight of sharks.  Hope to see you all there!

I am a nice shark. Not a mindless eating machine. (copyright Disney)

-Diverkat

So, you wanna be a hero?

Come on!  Be the hero!

Come on! Be the hero!

Or maybe you just want to learn how to prevent problems, or handle a problem, you know, just in case?

If so, the PADI Rescue Course is the place for you!

Learn how to effectively deal with panicked divers, treating injuries, handling emergency situations and develop a sense of confidence in your own dive skills, all while having the best time ever!  Ask any experienced divers and they’ll probably tell you that the rescue course was most rewarding course they’ve had.  I know I had heaps of fun!

Contact me on alexandria@diverkat.com if you’re interested in finding out about training dates; our next course begins on 27 May, 2009!