Western Leader : February 22nd 2011
26 WESTERN LEADER, FEBRUARY 22, 2011 NEWS Mad about diving: Tony Harold is a member of the Botany Bottom Scratchers dive club. Photo: KRISTINA RAPLEY Sea life: This nudibranch is a member of the sea slug family. Peaceful world under the sea DIVE SAFELY DIVE Safely Coastguard has noticed an increase in diving incidents over the summer holiday period. President Colin Small says there is an urgent need for divers to re-familiarise themselves with important diving basics. Coastguard's advice is to dive with a buddy, know your limitations, don't dive if you are feeling unwell, service your gear regularly and tell someone reliable where and when you are diving. They also say ''plan the dive and dive the plan'', carry and use a dive sausage and use a dive flag. Visit www.coastguard.co.nz or www.divenewzealand.com for more information. By KRISTINA RAPLEY Starbright: A firebrick starfish crawls slowly over a colourful rockface. Good find, below: Botany Bottom Scratchers dive club member Alison Perkins with a Spanish lobster. Friendly fish: A blue cod gets up close and personal with the camera. Just give it a go. That's Tony Harold's advice for anyone who has thought about getting into diving. He is a member of the Bot- any Bottom Scratchers dive club and did his dive course when he was 40. But he wishes he'd done it 20 years earlier. It's a complete change of environment. Everything you see and everything that happens to you is completely different,'' he says. He tries to get out for a dive every few weeks and is frustrated if he hasn't been out for a while. I guess it's the few moments of perfect peace you get while you're underwater, it's just the most relaxing thing. The sea creatures, the plants and sea life you see are just incredible,'' he says. He joined Botany Bottom Scratchers dive club about four years ago and has made many friends who are just as mad about diving as he is. The club was formed 10 years ago and members meet regularly for social functions as well as dive trips in New Zealand and overseas. It's great to be able to meet other divers, increase your knowledge about diving, and it's handy having people to go diving with,'' Mr Harold says. Visit www.bbs divers.co.nz. New members are always welcome.
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