Archive for Scuba Diving

Ms Hook goes to Malaysia

I recently had an awesome scuba diving trip to the Semporna region in Malaysia. It was so great to dive in board shorts and a rashie again. It’s too cold in my local waters here in Australia.

So much of the diving reminded me of the Red Sea. However I saw so much small stuff on this trip, amazing little creatures that I’d never seen before. I had a great (and some times frustrating time) taking pics of everything.

I thought I’d share some of my favourite pics with you. I also tried my hand at video – it’s my first one, so I can only improve!

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A birthday with the sharks

Ms Hook was cutting it up again with the Grey Nurse Sharks.

What a way to celebrate a birthday: Great friends, perfect seas, sunny skies, whales singing and lots of sharks! It was Stradbroke Island at its best

Thanks to James and Biddy at Manta Lodge & Scuba Centre for helping us have a great time.

Photo: Michael Klupfel. Holly (a.k.a. Ms Hook) and a Grey Nurse Shark


Ms. Hook

I’m still daydreaming of my awesome weekend diving with Manta Lodge at North Stradbroke Island. I finally got to see another creature off my wish list – a Manta Ray. The much anticipated Manta Fest held in February took a while to live up to its name. We decided it should be renamed Leopard Shark Fest, so many Leopard sharks and just one brief appearance by a Manta.

I’m now used to mother nature not working to the demands of us humans, so I enjoyed the brief minute encounter we had with the Manta on Sunday morning. As I kept peering towards the surface through the low visibility hoping to see more mantas, mother nature the tricky woman, slipped a bamboo shark behind me. It was captured on camera by my dive buddy, but I didn’t see it.

It’s amazing how brief some of our encounters with underwater life can be. A white tip reef shark on the same Sunday morning dive also didn’t stick around for very long. The Leopard sharks and a massive flight of eagle rays on the Saturday morning dive definitely made up for the brief encounters, staying around long enough for us to enjoy and get some photos.

Once again Straddie delivered. Now lets see if I can get a good dive in at Julian Rocks, Byron Bay!


Ms. Hook

I finally got my scuba gear on again. After a few months out of the water it was so lovely to get back in the water. And not just any old reef diving I got to dive with some scary looking sharks!

All that time in the Red Sea and I didnt see a single shark. Here was my chance to rectify that.

Shark Fest, was a weekend trip with Pro Dive Brisbane which took us out to Stradbroke Island to dive with the Manta Lodge crew.

Id been diving at Straddie before, but as per the Red Sea, I’d not seen anything scarier than a Wobbegong.

Im so stoked to have spent time in the water with the Grey Nurse sharks. They had a bad rep for being man eaters, but they seemed quite placid and a little curious to me. Now that theyre a protected species I guess theyre a little calmer around humans.

My fellow divers and I hunted these bronze beauties with our cameras. I was so wishing I could afford or even carry a beastie of a camera with strobes and associated lenses, so many great photo opportunities. As long as you stay still they just swim on past you, back and forth along their little alleyway. Mesmerizing! grey nurse shark

Ill definitely be going back – just when its warmer (I was such a wuss over the cold, need to get a dry suit!). Summer brings the big mantas.

Local diving rocks!

Thanks to Pro Dive Brisbane and Manta Lodge for a great weekend.

The challenge continues

Ms. Hook

I thought my time here would be about overcoming physical challenges, but right now its just a challenge to work.

Im sure many of you have heard a lot of late about Sharm El Sheikh and Egypt in general. As Divernet wrote, Sharm seemed to be suffering from the trinity of sharks [attacks in December], season and the political turmoil. A combination of low tourist season, unusual shark attacks, snowstorms across Europe and now a country in crisis has hit the tourism industry and were all feeling it.

As I write this Sharm is still a safe place to be. There are no protests, riots or tanks on the streets. Many people are still laying in the sunshine enjoying their holidays. We still have quite a few guests coming to dive with Ocean College. The diving here is still great. As there are a lot less people in town you sometimes get to be the only boat on a dive site.
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It’s ohh so quiet….

Ms. Hook

Its now the quiet period for the dive industry here in Sharm. Not many people on holidays means not many people wanting to dive. Quite a few of the instructors take holidays at this time of year. I can understand why, sitting around for a couple of days with no work is very boring.

This has been the part of living the dream that has been hardest for me. Ive had so many years of full time/permanent employment that Im still adjusting to being a freelance/casual employee. To go from that type of job/pay security to freelance, only knowing what youre doing today and tomorrow is doing my head in.

Its taken a while, but Im slowly adjusting to being a casual worker and the days off. I use the time to sleep, relax and experiment on new ideas for my 1-UP hair ties mostly though; Im just a couch potato.

Can I keep it??

Ms. Hook

On the last dive of the day while bimbling around the shallows, my student and I came across a very curious butterfly fish.

Normally most fish shy away from us, but as we kept still this lil fish came up to us. It swam around me, inspecting my dive computer and watch, peeking at me through the mask and then doing the same with my student. I think we stayed there for about 5 minutes enjoying the company of this weird fish. I wanted to take it home with me!

Start em young!

Ms. Hook

Did you know kids can start diving from age 8? Start them off with a Bubblemaker course maximum depth of 2 metres.

I had the cutest lil bubblemaker today. We started in the swimming pool doing basic scuba skills and throwing an underwater frisbee and rocket around. Then it was on to the beach, where she had a great time looking at all the life on our house reef. She was so excited at every little fish she saw so sweet!

Im betting that this lil one will be starting her open water course as soon as she turns 10.

Gotta have personality!

Ms. Hook

Its amazing how much more fun teaching (or anything for that matter) is when you connect on a personal level with your students. Being able to joke around helps reduce tension so many people focus only on the risks of diving.

I had Kate and Simon for Rescue Diver course this week. I had a lot of laughs with them while teaching and practicing such a serious subject.

Weird stuff today

Ms. Hook

I was teaching the last day of open water course from the boat today. It was such a mixed up day, like a dream where things appear in unusual places.

While on the boat we saw dolphins, (bottlenose and rizzo), a large green sea turtle, a thunder and lightning storm, (very close to us), and to top it off dead sheep!

How lovely!