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Bay of Islands: Diving the Rainbow Warrior wreck

Posted by daveb on March 23rd, 2009

After sailing our yacht around the Bay of Islands, our feet didn’t get to stay on terra firma for long. The next day we were being bounced up and down on a RIB speedboat towards the underwater wreck of Greenpeace’s Rainbow Warrior, which was bombed by the French back in the Eighties. The boat was then floated to the Bay of Islands where it was deliberately sunk as a monument for the pleasure of divers. Twenty-two years later and the wreck is now home to a plentiful sea life and colourful reefs. Claire and I dived separately for our first dive as she had already undertaken a deep dive in Zanzibar as part of her training, whereas I had not and so had to display my proficiency to my instructor.

It wasn’t my first wreck dive–I swam alongside and over one in Fujairah–but it was the first time I had been allowed to swim into one, which was great. I’m pleased to tell you that the dive went really well for both Squiffy and I (rarely do we have a dive where everything ‘just works’). The second dive for me didn’t go so well however. It was closer to the shore and I was being examined on my buoyancy control. Improper weighting, strong currents and tiredness made this dive one of my least enjoyable. It didn’t help that I vomited into my mouthpiece and had to spend thirty minutes breathing sick-flavoured air. The smell of which actually made me vomit again — there’s nothing quite like the smell of puke to make you puke…

Claire told me afterwards that the best thing to have done in this situation would have been to remove the mouthpiece and let the fish eat the bits–they love it–although I wasn’t sure whether my instructor would have marked me down for this. It’s a bit gross: like discovering the ‘warm patch’ of water only to find out that the diver ahead has just peed in his or her wetsuit…

Breathing vomit aside, a most enjoyable day — looking forward to diving the much bigger ex-HMS Canterbury wreck next week. I’m off to brush my furry teeth. Again.

Comments

Comment from Sarah B
Time: March 23, 2009, 3:13 pm

It’s true. I once made a school of tropical fish very happy after my noodle breakfast came back to haunt me over in Fujairah.

And Wavey, remember you have an alternative regulator matey xxx

Comment from Mum N.
Time: March 23, 2009, 4:40 pm

And there’s nothing like reading about the smell of puke to make the dear reader want to puke ! Please can we have only ‘ nice ‘ blogs from now on.

But well done anyway both of you for mastering the the sailing and diving. Glad the weather has improved.

Love Mum xx

Comment from Paul
Time: April 17, 2009, 11:02 am

Hi,

I would like to dive the R. Warrior. i’m an certified and experienced diver without my own equipment. I would like to know the prices in particular and any other information that is helpfull.

regards

Comment from daveb
Time: April 20, 2009, 2:02 am

Hi Paul,

We dived with “Dive HQ Paihia” and can highly recommend them. Their website is http://www.divenz.com/. Give them a call to discuss your requirements. We hired everything from them. If you’re doing the Rainbow Warrior, then also have a go on the nearby ex-HMNZS Canterbury, which is also a good wreck — different but probably as good as the Rainbow Warrior.

DaveB.

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