The Poor Knights Islands Scuba Diving Liveaboard
After over 10 years operating it is with a mixture of sadness and excitement that we have made the decision to close down Oceanblue Adventures.
It has been a fantastic journey with a few lows, but more than enough high to make up for it. We've had some exciting crossings and wild nights, but also sunny blue skies and dead calm waters, star-lit nights, moons so bright that night dives were almost like daytime and so many spectacular sunrises and sunsets that we almost got complacent - but just couldn't help taking that extra photo because it might be 'the one'!
There have been fish, sometimes in vast schools or just a solitary individual, swept down from the tropics, making The Poor Knights such a special place to dive. There have been marine mammals, dolphins from the odd one or two to huge mega-pods numbering in the hundreds, maybe with a few pilot whales in the mix. The mighty Orca, a majestic, but lethal, giant of the sea (seeing them in the wild for one second is infinitely more rewarding than seeing them jump through hoops and beg for fish in a swimming pool) and their lesser known cousin, the pseudo-orca, a species thought extinct until fairly recently. Let us not forget the New Zealand fur seal, the cheeky dog of the sea - they'll nibble your fins, bark at you when they are mad or tumble, spin and turn relentlessly when they want to play (just to make you feel really inadequate in the their watery world).
Then there have been Nudibranchs! OH MY GOD, have there been nudibranchs!! There have been common ones and very rare ones, not ever seen before or not documented in NZ waters before. There were big ones the size of dinner plates to the tiny ones barely visible to the naked eye. There has often been talk of producing a book to showcase all these little critters that have been seen at The Poor Knights; maybe it will come to pass!?
Of course all these things couldn't have happened without our customers. They've come from all around the world, near and far, some with only a handful of dives, others with many 1000s under their belts and some have even had dive sites named after them. There have been professional photographers, filmmakers and researchers, but also those folk who have come on board with 4-5 dives and left with double, treble or quadruple that and being well down the path to 'scuba-junkie'. There have been instructors teaching everything (and we mean everything) from open water diver to Divemaster, drysuit to DPV, cavern to cave, deep to REALLY deep using Trimix and Nitrox. Also very proud to have been offering Nitrox over the past few years and removing the mystery!
We've made some great friends, met some amazing people and many, many (not so) ordinary people with an extra-ordinary passion for diving. Cold faces and tired faces, but mostly wet, happy faces - maybe with just a small dribble of snot to keep it real :)
We'd like to thank you all for sharing this journey with us and making the last 10 years such an amazing experience. Also a big thank you to the Tutukaka dive community for their help along the way - from delivering some loaves of bread to filling cylinders, bringing out starter batteries and all those other things when 'strange things happen at sea'! Mazurka has been home, just for a few days, for many divers over the years and her homleyness will be missed out at The Poor Knights - maybe she'll make the odd visit in the future.
A special mention has to be made: Kent Ericksen!! What can we say, master diver, guide, photographer, pump monkey, 2IC and, most of all, friend. Without him all these things would have been much, MUCH harder to achieve - great knowledge, boundless enthusiasm, gentle calming nature, as well as having his hand in the holding tank on way too many occasions, have made the customers experience as smooth as possible and the skipper life as easy as could be.
As for the future, Kevin is moving on to skipper for Dive! Tutukaka on their live-aboard boat RV Acheron. It is a much larger vessel, but will still only take 8 guests (plus 3 crew) on its trips and provide a great diving experience at The Poor Knights Islands. In essence a big Mazurka with some extra bells & whistles that'll add to the spirit of adventure and the potential to travel further afield in the future. It's going to be exciting being part of a much bigger team (that will even include Kent as part of the 3 crew on the boat), on a bigger boat and a bigger potential for adventure, exploration and scuba FUN!!