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BENEATH THE SURFACE

by Insiders Dunedin

Don't you love it when you scratch the surface in Dunedin? You nearly always find a gem of some description, be it a character with a back-catalogue of life experience that would take a long series of dinner parties to distill, or a surprising talent. 

Thanks to our friends at Dive Otago, we recently discovered another gem. How many times have you walked out to the end of the mole at Aramoana? Have you noticed the surfers riding the waves on the beach on one side? The ships passing through the Otago Harbourmouth on the other? Or the kelp forests waving in the current near the rocky edge?

Well, just beneath all that kelp and sparkling blue water is a veritable treasure trove for divers: five different shipwrecks in water ranging from 5m deep to 12m. This weekend just gone we got to dive on the Paloona and the Mokoia wrecks with Gareth and Slade, two instructors with Dive Otago. We were doing a course so I wasn't able to shoot photos this time (but I am going back to shoot the wrecks for you soon).

On one dive Slade was taking us through our drills and we actually had to navigate through a long tubular section of the Paloona as blue moke darted about. It was a pretty amazing experience. With us was a gentleman named Tom Bliss – I was glad he was my buddy – he was prepared for every posisble situation down there at 12m. He had two sets of knives, three computers and pockets brimming with dive survival trinkets (including some scissors). He is the type of buddy you want to go diving with and I'm pretty sure it would take many, many dinner parties to distill his story.

See you at the beach ...

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Post Submitted by Derek Morris, Dunedin Light

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