Tims walkabout continued

A few years back I remember reading an article written about a diving area in New Zealand called Poor Knights, the image that accompanied  the article of manta rays  filling a  valley where the vis’ went on to infinity and the walls dropped off to 50 mtr burnt  into my memory.  Jacques Cousteau called it one of the worlds top 10 diversities, the top of a volcanic island on the edge of the continental shelf allowing upwellings of nutrient rich water to fuel an eco system in the shallow areas reminded me of another area Sipadan in Boreno and the topography spectacularly drops off to 1000mtr and the sea is full of life. After asking around some of my dive buddys I was given Jeroen,s phone number at divetutukaka.com who kindly hooked us up with one of his boats. Skippered by Craig  we meet up with him in the morning and headed off for the Poor Knights islands. We had a comfortable run out there with the sea state running at 1 mtr pooping us, the skipper Craig had time to tell us some of the history of the island, which was allegdly  named after a pudding topped with preserve by Captain James Cook; when the flowers bloom atop the island it resembled the dish. We entered a bay edged by huge cliffs of volcanic rock, the sonar read 50 mtr and Craig manoeuvred the boat to anchor on a small outcrop of rocks surrounded by deep water – not an easy task. The dive site, known as The Northern Arch, looks very small at the surface but opens into a huge arch under the water line. We entered the water and were greeted by 21 degrees, 30 mtr vis’ and arched swimthroughs and larva tubes, all caritureistic of Gran Canaria, which is where one of Davy Jones Locker’s previous dive centres was situated. All these things combined to make me feel right at home here.We entered the arch and dropped down to 30 mtr looked up into large schools of fish and red snapper, as we smam through the arch a large sting ray, around 1.5 mtr, swam past certainly making  the dive a memorable one.

Diving in Koh Tao you get used to warm water and I was feeling the cold at the end of the first dive; a chilly 21 degrees, but we warmed up on the boat and during the surface interval entered a very large cavern. Legend has it that during the second world war a japanese sub’ used the cavern to effect repairs away from the eyes of the NZ navy patrols. Our second dive was made just outside the cave around kelp forests and swim-throughs. Cracking couple of dives in the Poor Knights; shame we have to move on,  thanks to the Jeroen and the team at diving.co.nz for making us feel so welcome. One more stop off and its back to Tao and some more diving expeditions…

Add Comment