Tropics – Caving – Wreck artefacts

Winter is a time when many divers and family travel to tropical destinations to recharge their body’s batteries and enjoy some warm water diving!
This issue brings you some destinations that are just next door and others in distant shores.

All offer the opportunity to explore tropical reef diving and to experience different cultures and form new friendships. Let your love of diving open up the wonderful world of travel.


Over the years I’ve met many divers that have a burning passion for one particular activity that their diving skills allow then to push the boundaries.
Two groups I consider are neck and neck as to who is the most fanatical about what they do; cave divers and wreck divers. Though I have to say I think that deep cave divers could just be ahead as the most passionate or as some would say the craziest! Check out Tom Crisp’s article, page 36.


20150524_120058Recently media has been published that has commented on the diving activities on the wreck of the SS Ventnor (1902) in 150 metres off the west coast of New Zealand’s North Island. This magazine published an article re the historical first dives on the wreck in the April/May #147 issue. There has been some discussion regarding the removal of artefacts that were planned to be put in a museum’s display telling the story/history of the wreck and its connection with New Zealand’s maritime history. Many people are against removing any objects even though only a handful of people with the technical diving capabilities and the dollars to invest to dive to 150 metres.

The truth is that historical objects will slowly disintegrate and vanish for all time. Bronze and other copper bearing alloys such as brass develop bronze disease which is nearly an irreversible corrosion process. I believe one of the main problems that Government agencies face when so called amateur divers find a new wreck (I do not know of any wreck that Government agencies have found) is; what will they do with the objects if brought to the surface. Funds will have to be allocated to preserving the objects and then a place to either store (never to be seen again) or put on display in a museum. This all takes time and money and DISPLAY SPACE.

So the simple decision to make all these problems go away is to leave the objects on the sea bed. To view what can be done to tell an historical shipwreck event I recommend you visit the coastal town of Mangawhai, north of Auckland on the North Island’s east coast. Their museum has an amazing display telling the story about a German mine that on 19th June 1940 sunk the ocean liner RMS Niagara and the subsequent recovery of gold bullion in 120m of water in New Zealand’s Hauraki Gulf. The display is stunning as are all the historical presentations. I congratulate all those involved in the museum’s development.

Believe it or not, the water visibility should be enjoyed during the winter months in New Zealand and southern Australia, you do not have to escape to a tropical destination like all your mates to get a dive in!

Just do it and ENJOY!

Dave Moran

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