Following the loss of my camera the previous Saturday I planned a midweek dive back at the Poor Knights to complete a thorough search.  When the camera was reported found on Monday I decided to head on up to Tutukaka anyway, deliver a bottle of wine to the finders,, pick up the camera, and fit in a dive for good measure.

I set out on Wednesday after work and arrived in Tutukaka to find that the weather was threatening 40 knots for the following day and PK Dive had decided to cancel.  On Thursday morning I recovered the camera and found that Tutukaka Dive was heading on out to the Knights.  I booked a spot on Bright Star.

The trip out wasn’t too bad, largely due to a following sea.  The southerly swell increased from 1 m to over 2 m by the time we hit the Knights and we headed to the eastern side of the northern island to Rocklilly Inlet for a wall dive out to Hope Point.

The camera was definitely sick but I decided to fit a new battery pack and SD card and take it on the dive.  My dive buddy for the day was Aoife, a marine biologist from Ireland.  On the first dive there was plenty to see - Scorpion Fish, Eels, Parore, Snapper, Wrasse, Demoiselles,  Pigfish, Marblefish... Good dive to 23 m, 19°C, 15 m vis. for 60 min.  Back on board the camera housing had taken on more water, and the camera was operating intermittently.  It would stay above sea level for the next dive.

The weather was deteriorating and the wind was whipping the sea as we headed into the shelter of Rikoriko cave.  We raced to get our last dive in before calling it a day.   Visibility was good near the cave mouth but my torch bulb went early in the dive, and she’s pretty dark at the back of Rikoriko.  Two pairs of Lord Howe Island Coral Fish, some Scorpion Fish, eels, and a beautiful black nudibranch with bright blue flecks (Tambja Morosa) by the cave entrance.  Where was my camera when I needed it?

The trip back was hard work.  The sea had continued to build and we took a pounding as we headed straight into it.  Thankfully the wind gusts had eased.

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