Browns Bay Reef and Waiake Beach Cleanup – 19th September 2015

Three boats ferried the five divers out to the Browns Bay Reef while the other group walked around the beach and reserve to pick up any rubbish they could find. The result was good and not a lot of rubbish was collected.

Margaret Howard, John Freeman, Ren Waring and Charlie Hazeldene coming in from dive

Margaret Howard, John Freeman, Ren Waring and Charlie Hazeldene coming in from dive

The Browns Bay Reef is in excellent condition with plenty of fish life, a few small crayfish, big sponges, only the occasional kina, healthy looking kelp and a variety of small fish and star fish. This years cleanup netted very little bootie which is a great result to think there is a lot less rubbish washing around the reef at the moment.

 

Some of the Dolphin Underwater Club Members that helped with the Beach and Reef cleanup

Some of the Dolphin Underwater Club Members that helped with the Beach and Reef cleanup

The divers collected a couple of anchors and chains, also a large net and rope with buoys attached. Other than that the area we were diving had very little fishing line or other debris.

The group walking around the beach found the usual cigarette butts and bits and pieces of rubbish, but once again considerably clean. It has been Keep New Zealand Beautiful Week with a big cleanup around different areas which is great to see. If only people would take more pride of our beautiful Country and surrounding Seas.

 

Richard Humphries with the net, buoys and rope found on Browns Bay Reef

Richard Humphries with the net, buoys and rope found on Browns Bay Reef

The Club raised $200 to donate to ‘Project Aware’ Dive Against Debris, NZUA got behind it this year and were hoping to raise $10K throughout New Zealand Dive Clubs and Shops. The last time I checked the NZUA website they were up to $1,128 a long way to go to their $10K target.

 

 

A Club BBQ at Ren and Chris Waring's place

A Club BBQ at Ren and Chris Waring’s place

Ren and Chris Waring very kindly offered their home for a Club BBQ.

Thank you to the divers Martin Saggers, Brian Stafford-Bush, Margaret Howard, Charlie Hazelden and Yuin Foong. Also thank you to those who bought their boat Bruce Nixon, Richard Humphries and Charlie Hazelden.

The boatmen and beach helpers were John Freeman, Tarryn Young, Jill Hazelden, Ren Waring, Peter Howard, Kiri Humphries, Denis and Trish Adams. The weather was kind and we had a very successful day.

Tarryn Young taking photo of her Mum Margaret Howard

Tarryn Young taking photo of her Mum Margaret Howard

Margaret Howard Report

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Puhoi Kayak Trip

On Sunday 23rd August we had a kayaking day up the Puhoi River teaching first timers how to kayak and also how to steer a dinghy with a small outboard motor and how to row a dinghy.

 

The weather was kind and those partaking had a fabulous day.  We took a few hours getting there and the boys were sure tired and ready for their lunch at the Puhoi Pub.  As usual the Pub was very busy with the biking and old car enthusiasts.  What an amazing meeting place for such a wide range of people.  Quaint little old Puhoi sure comes alive with so many visitors.

 

Sarita Lewis in a kayak for the first time

Sarita Lewis in a kayak for the first time

Geoff Hammond, Peter, Tarun, Sarita, Craig and Bhevan Lewis in the kayak

Geoff Hammond, Peter, Tarun, Sarita, Craig and Bhevan Lewis in the kayak

Sarita Lewis having a go at rowing

Sarita Lewis having a go at rowing

Geoff giving Craig and Bhevan a few instructions

Geoff giving Craig and Bhevan a few instructions

Sarita Lewis in a kayak for the first time

Sarita Lewis in a kayak for the first time

Craig and Sarita Lewis with their boys Tarun and Bhevan are leaving NZ and the Club and returning to the UK to live, we are going to miss them.

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YOUNG OCEAN EXPLORERS STEVE AND RILEY HATHAWAY

Steve and Riley Hathaway have just completed their first book and DVD ‘Love our Ocean’ which is being distributed to 2540 schools throughout New Zealand and the Cook Islands. The idea is to teach from a very young age to love and respect the ocean. This was a project they made happen with vision, passion and tenacity. Such an amazing gift to all of our kids. I’m inspired! The book and DVD are a wonderful achievement and the culmination of a year’s work.

A great gift idea to encourage young and old to ‘LOVE OUR OCEAN’.

The books and DVD’s are already in Whitcoulls and the Warehouse and also available from Steve and Jo, if you email Steve he will make sure you get a copy stevehathaway@xtra.co.nz

Riley and Steve on the cover of the book

Riley and Steve on the cover of the book

A great deal of the funding was provided from The Bobby Stafford-Bush Foundation and from the Kickstarter Fund. Steve and Jo Hathaway thank everyone for their incredible support in helping them produce the books and DVD’s

Thanks to the Bobby Stafford-Bush Foundation

Thanks to the Bobby Stafford-Bush Foundation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some of the helpers after a busy day packing books and DVD's

Some of the helpers after a busy day packing books and DVD’s

Some Dolphin Underwater Club Members helped with the packaging of these books, it was a great fun day and with many helping the task was not so daunting.

Margaret Howard and Anne Waddington busy packing

Margaret Howard and Anne Waddington busy packing

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Lake Wainamu, Bethells Beach Tramp Saturday 11th July 2015

The tramping group is getting bigger, a beautiful day and fifteen Club Members joined in. This was such a diverse tramp with the amazing black sand dunes, a short climb over the hill to view the beautiful sheltered Lake Wainamu and then on into the native bush.

Some of the group at the start of the track

Some of the group at the start of the track


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We all took plastic bags and cardboard to do the slides on the dunes. After viewing the mess everyone else was getting into, none of our group took the plunge. Some were losing control and not stopping and ending up in the river wet through, covered in sand and looking pretty cold and miserable.

Kate's river crossing

Kate’s river crossing

 

The length of the walk around the lake was 6km and we took our time with a leisurely morning tea and then another hour on a lunch stop near the waterfalls at the head of the Lake. Kate passed around her amazing muffins and other soup and fodder was also shared. We circumnavigated Lake Wainamu and returned back to the car park around the river and neighbouring farm land and holiday batches. The car park was full by this time as people were turning up because of the beautiful weather to play in the dunes and surf at Bethells Beach.

Some of the fun others were having before they ended up in the river

Some of the fun others were having before they ended up in the river

 

Diana Williamson crossing the black sand hills

Diana Williamson crossing the black sand hills

 

We all take it in turns to share transport to these various places, meeting at Kate and Martin’s in Milford then returning there for drinks and nibbles after.

Tarryn and Dad Peter, cold but a beautiful day

Tarryn and Dad Peter, cold but a beautiful day


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Waterfall at the head of the lake

Waterfall at the head of the lake





Peter and Tarryn, the best river crossing yet

Peter and Tarryn, the best river crossing yet

 

A cold start with these frosty mornings at the moment, but it turned out to be a beautiful clear day with lots of exercise and a lot of fun, with some Members bringing friends along. Everyone is welcome, are you booked into the August tramp on the 15th, this time to Fairy Falls.


Cheers Margaret Howard

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Mid-Winter Swim Sunday 12th July 2015 – Waiake Beach

A group of hardy Dolphin Club Divers joined in this years’ mid winter swim. Funny but the group watching these hardy fellows was bigger than the participants.

The swimmers or should I say quick dippers were Martin Saggers, Charlie Hazelden, Peter Howard and Diana and John Williamson. Martin wore the most obscene togs, good job there were no police around; he would have been booked for indecent exposure.

IMG_2536 Martin and his revolting togsIMG_2533 John and Diana Williamson

Woolly hats instead of bathing caps, what a bunch of wimps..!!

IMG_2533A John and Diana Williamson, Charlie Hazelden, Peter Howard and Martin Saggers

IMG_2541 Too cold to stick aroundIMG_2542 Martin, Diana, Charlie and John

The usual Peter Howard hip flask was passed around, very coveted by swimmers only.

With the promise of hot soup and mulled wine the hardies jumped in, got the photo for proof and then off to John and Diana’s place for BBQ and far too much food.

The weather certainly turned it on for the afternoon, beautiful clear skies and calm sees after a -2 morning frost, with ice on all of the cars and roofs of nearby houses.

A great afternoon of fun and camaraderie.

Cheers Margaret Howard

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Waitakere Tramp to the Dam, Old Railway and Tunnel

Kate once again organised a wonderful tramp for the Dolphin Adventurers. We met in Milford to share transport and headed to the Cascade Carpark at the end of Falls Road. There were new Members Jill and Charlie Hazelden and Audrey McLean-Au, along with Peter and Margaret Howard, Ren Waring and Kate Ellis.

Kate, Audrey, Jill and PeterKate, Jill and Ren crossing the Waitakere DamIt turned out a wonderful day, no rain, sunshine, bit muddy underfoot and a river crossing, but an easy going 3½ hour return 7km loop circuit.
IMG_2499 Jill, Margaret, Audrey, Charlie, Ren and PeterWe started at the Falls Road car park and the circuit tramp we did included parts of several tracks. The Auckland City Walk, Anderson Track, across the Waitakere Reservoir, and along the Waitakere Tramline Track and into the West Tunnel mouth Track and returning to the carpark along Fence Line Track and Auckland City Walk Track.IMG_2497 The old service railway trackIMG_2500 The Wettas in the old tunnel

A lovely nature and a history circuit with mature kauri, lots of steps and board walks with bird song and the occasional friendly native Wood Pigeon.

IMG_2503 Ren, Audrey and Pete waiting to give a handIMG_2505 Large friendly wood pigeonWe also viewed the Waitakere Falls from a distance, the highest waterfall in the Waitakere Ranges Regional Park but not a very popular one due to difficulty with the access to it.

IMG_2498 The Waitakere Falls largest falls in the region

Back at Kate’s for a beer and nibbles, a great day if you want to join in the next tramp, let Kate or Martin know.

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ANZAC Weekend Trip 2015

Gary, Jay, Chris2 and Yuin headed out on Sunday 26th April on board Oceandiversity with Blair Jones.  The plan was loose and weather dependent between the Mokohinau Islands and Great Barrier Island.  A forecast N/NE meant Great Barrier Island was our only option.  After a bit of messing around with a postponed trip and a miscommunication about exactly which day we were going out, we locked in the date.  Disaster struck before we even boarded the boat with Jay not bringing tanks, lessons learned for both Jay and Yuin!  Fortunately Yuin had a 4th tank so Jay was to get at least one dive.  Chris N has only brought 2 tanks so was able to lend his belt to Jay for the 3rd dive.

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The ride out to the Broken Islands was pretty rough and we were all shattered by the time we got there.  Great Barrier Island and the islands provided some nice sheltered options for us.  We anchored off the West side in 18m of water between two pins.  Plunging into the still warm 20ish degrees, the terrain was great with lots of sheer faces to explore looking up and down cracks for feelers.  Only Chris M was successful on this dive with one Crayfish.  Schools of small Kingfish and other pelagics hung off the rocks tempting us out into the deep just that little bit more.  Our 2nd dive was on an Isolated Hazard marker which has claimed more than its fair share of small craft.  We didn’t manage to find our way to the debris as we got distracted by the tempting crayfish.  The whole reef had lots of holes and sea life to explore and hunt in.  Recent rain meant that there was a layer of silt over everything but that didn’t stop us.  Chris M regaled us with first hand accounts of days gone by, it’s always great to hear these tales!  Our final dive was on a wall in some moderate current, working our way back and forth there were some nice sized Schnapper lurking about.  Chris M managed to land a whopper of a Crayfish as well.  On ascent we were treated to a BBQ of home kill sausages provided by Garry, freshly shucked oysters, mushroom and onions before cleansing out palates with Chilli Lime Chocolate! Just delicious.

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The trip back to Omaha was a little smoother with the weather following us.  En route we had a chance encounter with three Orca, two mature females and a Juvenile.

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All in all another awesome weekend on Oceandiversity with some more divers getting involved which is excellent to see.  And hopefully one new club member in Chris N!  The water is still warm out there so hopefully you’ll all still be looking for some diving in the coming weeks.

 

 

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Goat Island Dive and Dinner at the Sawmill in Leigh Saturday 1st June 2013

Sunny day at Goat Island diving

Sunny day at Goat Island diving

Denis is always scratching for an article for the news letter; trouble is though with the Club’s Goat Island Dive and dinner at the Sawmill, there is not much to rave about. The weather was being very kind on the day, although quite cold and seas calm, viz not too bad and a great turnout from the Members. It was good to see several new Club Members joining in on the day.

IMG_1491A - The Sawmill Cafe - Leigh

The group at the Sawmill in Leigh

The group at the Sawmill in Leigh

 

Jenny-Garry-Cozens-playing-up-as-usual

Jenny-Garry-Cozens-playing-up-as-usual

 

Saw a number of crayfish, nothing really big

Saw a number of crayfish, nothing really big

After 45 minutes in the water even with a dry suit on I was starting to feel the cold, and those diving in a wet suit came back freezing. Some divers went out past the point and were lucky enough to see a couple of stingrays. I dived with Emma and we saw a number of crayfish, nothing of notable size though. We had some very friendly and large snapper following us around the whole dive, possibly looking for a feed. I would say they are getting fed by divers or else they wouldn’t be so friendly or interested in us.

Snapper follow you everywhere at Goat Island

Snapper follow you everywhere at Goat Island

The glass bottom boat was very close to us a number of times, and being so shallow makes you wonder about your safety. Perhaps we should be towing a diver down flag to indicate our exact position.

Back to shore and getting fins off and undoing BCD etc is not easy with frozen fingers, glad Peter was there to give me a hand.

The divers all changed and packed their gear in their vehicles and the general consensus was no body wanted to stick around for a BBQ. The night air was cool and the thought of a warm room, hot pizza and beer at the Sawmill won the vote. We booked a table for fifteen and when there was around eighteen of us the waitress wasn’t impressed as she was busy and we had to move tables around.

Most of us enjoyed their gourmet wood fired pizza and hot chips or kumara chips with the Sawmill’s own brewed beer.

I am sure the night would have continued but we were told our table was booked for the late show with the Turnaround Band playing, and our group were thinking of the drive home.

Peter and I were in our Campervan and had a wonderful night at Matheson Bay, waking up to a million dollar view. We also called to see Paddy and Brian Stafford-Bush at their Matheson Bay batch.

Jenny and Tony Enderby, Dolphin Underwater Club Members live at Leigh and joined us at the beach and later at the Sawmill. Tony and Jenny take school children and interested groups snorkelling at Goat Island. They are also honorary marine reserve rangers for the Department of Conservation making sure visitors respect the Marine Reserve. Tony is also involved with the Leigh Volunteer Fire Brigade.

It was an enjoyable day and evening, and hopefully soon to be repeated. Margaret Howard

 

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Another Snippet from the Howard’s – Our Campervan trip to the Coromandel Peninsular

Te Puru looking over the Firth of thames

Te Puru looking over the Firth of thames

I suppose writing this is having a bit of a brag, but we really enjoyed our trip to the Coromandel and Denis is trying to organise a Club trip down there at a later date. Although we never went to Whangapoua the area he has in mind where there is a section he can use with power and caravan on site and extra space for boats, tents and campervans.
Through the NZ Motor Caravan Assn we are able to buy a Department of Conservation pass and at certain times of the year the camping is free for Members at DoC camps other than that it is $10 a night per adult.
We headed off on the Monday and had a night at Kaiaua a place called Ray’s Rest on the East Coast Road just along from Miranda. What a stunning place, suitable for self contained vehicles only as there are no facilities. Parked a metre from the waters edge this is an internationally important wetland and a ‘stop over’ for many of Miranda’s migratory birds. There is a huge stretch of shelly beach that takes hours to walk, and there are birds everywhere.

Te Puru looking back towards the Hunua Ranges

Te Puru looking back towards the Hunua Ranges

We left and bought a few supplies in Thames and headed to Te Puru for lunch. With our size camper just under 6.5 m we can pull in most places and nearly every stop is right on the water edge with million dollar views.
The roads to Coromandel Township are good, narrow and windy in places but still on bitumen, we were heading to Fantail Bay Recreational Reserve and a DoC Camp. From Colville along the Port Jackson Road it is gravel and very narrow in places with a sheer drop into the ocean. Not many people take their campers over those rough dangerous roads. I was driving and more than once had Peter on the edge of his seat.
Fantail Bay has a launching ramp and plenty of fishing spots off the shoreline clear viz and diving from the shore would be achievable. The camp itself has around 30 sites and at busy times you have to book. It has basic facilities with cold showers, water and toilets. There is a two hour tramp in the native bush behind the camp with spectacular views all the way up.

Migratory birds everywhere

Migratory birds everywhere

Port Jackson is only 8kms further on, some very interesting roads but so worth the effort. We were lucky with some amazing days, the view to Little Barrier and Great Barrier was so clear with the sun shining off the water, very pretty. We stayed two nights over the hill from Port Jackson at Fletcher Bay and did the walks from that bay. Plenty of fishing off the beach and only Tim and Miriam the DoC Ranger and his wife for company, place to ourselves – who could ask for more. There is a bunkhouse at Fletcher sleeps 24 people, very flash $25pp a night.

Ray's Rest on way to Coromandel

Ray’s Rest on way to Coromandel

We headed back to Colville to fill our gas bottle and then up the East Coast along the Port Jackson Road to Stony Bay. Not even a Ranger here, same facilities as the other camps with a smaller bunk house. Nothing like the World to ourselves a starry night and sitting around a camp fire, Stony Bay is remote but so worth a visit. We did a four hour walk back towards Fletcher Bay but didn’t go all the way as it was a seven hour return.
We headed back to Waikawa Bay for the next night, very mod Ranger facilities here now.
We have been in this area before around 30 years ago camping at Waikawa Bay with the kids and Cathy and Keith MacKinven and their family. I remember getting a cray on snorkel close to shore back then, there seems to be plenty of diving and fishing in the area still, but things have changed. The original camp and facilities was washed away with a huge mud slide that caused flooding.
After Waikawa Bay we headed to the Kauaeranga Valley for a couple of nights, to do some walks around that area. We had been very lucky with the weather with a bit of rain, mostly at night and some of the days were really warm.  The camper is comfy and warm, we did have a major drop in temperature as there had been huge snow storms down south, but the camper has a small gas heater which brings the temp up to 20⁰.  We put it on first thing in the morning before getting out of bed.
On the way home one last visit, we went to the Miranda hot pools, it was really nice and once again not many people around.
Our next adventure, we are off to Rarotonga to celebrate Peter’s 70th birthday. We are heading out to Aitutaki a diver’s paradise and will spend most of our time there.  It is getting so cold here now the warm will help to oil the squeaks and keep the old bones working.

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Lake Pupuke Cleanup

THE NEW ZEALAND DOLPHIN UNDERWATER AND ADVENTURE CLUB

ANNUAL CLEAN-UP OF THE QUARRY LAKE RESERVE AND LAKE PUPUKE

The Lake

There are many activities happening in and around Takapuna Quarry Reserve and Lake Pupuke that you don’t see in other places: model yachts, canoe polo, kayaking, fishing, scuba and free diving, and water safety events. There is also a thriving rowing and dragon boating community, as well as picnics and feeding the birds, wedding photos, people walking dogs, visitors from the hospital or hospice and young people swimming and socialising. Also on the edge of the Lake is the famous Pump House with its art gallery and Theatre, a huge NZ tourist attraction.

Management Plan for the Reserves bordering Lake Pupuke – Pupukemoana1 Stated in 2005 that Lake Pupuke makes a unique contribution to the character and lifestyle of North Shore City. The lake and adjacent reserves provide for a wide range of recreational opportunities, support a diversity of wildlife and provide visual relief in a highly urbanised environment.

The Clean-Up

On Saturday 28th April, in spite of the very changeable weather conditions, we had a fantastic turn-out for the annual clean-up of the Quarry Reserve and Pupuke Lake area. Divers, snorkelers, kayakers and walkers worked hard from above and below the waterline.

Unfortunately our club does not have the resources to tackle the whole 4.3km shoreline but from what we could access at the end of the Northcote Rd Extension we managed to salvage a huge quantity of waste including two bikes, a couch, an easy chair, discarded signs and traffic cones, a camping chair, a large wooden bench and much more.

As before, it was sad to see so many drinking cups, cigarette butts, and plastics, which may never degrade but will continue to accumulate, pollute and harm wildlife.


Disappointingly there are always some things we just couldn’t reach such as a tractor tyre, a large cupboard, and a door but maybe next year. Also on the bank there was evidence that a car had been burnt and dumped but time did not permit a search.

 


This year we again witnessed people relieving themselves, which highlights the very desperate need for public toilets in this area.

Management Plan for the Reserves bordering Lake Pupuke – Pupukemoana2 Stated in 2005 that a public toilet will be provided.

We very much hope that toilet facilities will be provided in the near future.

The Dolphin Underwater Club meets at the North Shore Canoe Club every second Wednesday of the month at 7.30pm on the edge of Lake Pupuke so Takapuna has become our home base. We are keen to keep Lake Pupuke at its best for us and for future generations but it is a community-wide responsibility. The council do a fantastic job of looking after the Lake but they too have limited resources. We all need to do our part.

Steve Boundford

President: NZ Dolphin Underwater & Adventure Club

 


1.
Management Plan for the Reserves bordering Lake Pupuke – Pupukemoana (Quarry Lake Reserve and the esplanade reserves, July 2005), p.1, Internet

 

2. Management Plan for the Reserves bordering Lake Pupuke – Pupukemoana (Quarry Lake Reserve and the esplanade reserves, July 2005), p.39, Internet

 

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