Diving – my new hobby

I recently decided to pursue something different this summer, so I went out and got some basic diving gear and sent out the word for a dive buddy.

Gav Herewini was nice enough to offer his experience to help me through the basics.

We got a weather gap and shot out to the island to begin my first trip out with the new wetsuit and mask.

We began shallow and quickly got into some crayfish in under 2 metres of water. I somehow pulled a crayfish out on my first attempt, so that goal was ticked off very quickly. Next was diving with some big Red Moki and Marblefish in a gutter. I’ve never been up close with many of these species, so it was cool to be down there with them and experience what they were up to day to day.

After this, it was time to collect some Kina, and we found a good patch out a little deeper. I wasn’t looking to push my depth too hard. Still, since I had a swimming background when I was younger, 4 metres was a piece of cake after the warmup, and soon I was heading up and down, grabbing three kinas at a time. I even looked in a few holes and pulled a few more crayfish out, all small so they were let go.

It was now time to try and tick the next box, which was securing my first fish on a speargun.

It was hard to tell for someone new like me, but eventually, I was diving to a decent depth around the 6 to 8-metre mark. Slowly, I was getting used to the gun, taking a few shots at fish and missing all of them! I lined up on a leatherjacket later and pulled the trigger only for the safety to be on, something I would do a lot throughout the afternoon.

Throughout the next few dives, nothing really stood out to me apart from a nice Blue Cod, but I didn’t take a shot since judging the fish’s actual length was difficult.

The final few dives my breath hold was getting longer as I relaxed into the diving. After settling on the bottom and turning 180 degrees, a nice Butterfish was swimming behind me. I swam forward and took the shot, hitting the fish in the middle of the body.

Job done! It was a nice one for my first, and I filmed some spectacular videos, too.

I spent plenty of time taking in the different species and learning as I went how tough it is reloading a speargun. I started to be more selective about which shots I took.

Eventually, I swam up on two big Butterfish as I came over some kelp, and I lined up the bigger of the two. My shot missed and went low, somehow fluking the other Butter that had swum behind him, getting me back on the board with some luck.

This was just the surface of a great day out under the water, and I’m sure I’ll see some more spectacular things in the future.

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