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  • Fish Magnets - The wrecks of South-east Queensland
    steamship the Saint Paul is another unfortunate victim of Smiths Rock and sank in 1914 and now rests in 43 metres 18 people including the Captain lost their lives when the ship went down The ship sits in an upright position with most of the superstructure and hull plates rusted away leaving the wreckage scattered on the sea floor The boilers are one of the most dominant features and the wreck is alive with marine life particularly pelagic fish species such as the schools of kingfish and trevally that can be seen circling the wreck Large estuary cod can be found hiding under the old deck plates and around the engine and boilers however they are wary of approaching divers and normally dart into their hiding places when approached On a good day visibility on the St Paul can be up to 50 metres however it is also prone to very strong currents Curtin Artificial Reef The construction of Curtin Artificial Reef commenced in 1968 with the Underwater Research Group of Queensland sinking the first ship an old barge and some pontoons The reef was named after the late URGQ member Mr Frank Curtin who derived the artificial reef concept The reef now consists of more than 20 wrecks including countless tyres cars and pipes and a vast array of old harbour and marine navigation buoys These wrecks and structures have all been purchased cleaned and scuttled by URGQ who have been working on the project for almost 40 years The diversity of fish life on the reef is incredible It attracts large pelagic species such as kingfish mackerel and cobia whilst providing shelter for a variety of tropical reef species including snapper lionfish angelfishes and butterflyfishes One of the best wrecks to dive is the old tug the Melbourne which sits in approximately 25 metres of water On a single dive on the Melbourne I recorded 34 different species of fish and also encountered some humungous Queensland gropers that can only be described as small underwater cars Cetacea The Cetacea is an old fishing trawler that sank in 1992 near the Capricorn Bunker Group of islands in the southern section of the Great Barrier Reef This wreck is absolutely teeming with fish and is one of the best fish wreck dives that can be done with a maximum depth of 30 metres This wreck is home to at least 40 estuary cod that can be found throughout the inside of the wreck and sitting underneath the bow Queensland Groper and giant Cobia can be seen on the sand just off to the side of the wreck whilst large bull rays and leopard rays can also be found resting on the sand This wreck has a considerable amount of soft coral growth that provide shelter for Anthias fish species and damsels This is probably my favourite wreck in south east Queensland for diving Barcoola The Barcoola is a legendary wreck for diving with some divers claiming it has better marine

    Original URL path: http://www.daveharasti.com/articles/fishmagnets.htm (2016-02-15)
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  • Scuba Diving in Vietnam - Nha Trang, Whale Island and Hoi An
    of the best dive locations that we have come across the Electric Nose divesite They also have the really fast speedboat named Eric that caters for four divers and can be chartered for the day to visit the sites that are not frequently dived Most of our diving was off the Ocean speedboat and this is the boat of choice for small groups and photographers that like to get away from the chaos of open water classes But I also recommend a days diving from the big boat to gain the full Rainbow Divers experience The food served between dives is sensational and the crew are very friendly and helpful Nha Trang has over 20 different dive sites to choose from and these were our favourite sites Electric Nose No one on the boat could explain how this site a huge rock pinnacle emerging from 45 metres and breaking the surface was so named But that didn t matter as this is without a doubt one of the single best divesites that we have been too Like all dive sites in Vietnam big fish life is absent but the colours and diversity of soft corals made it one of the most prolific spots for macro life Over fifty different species of nudibranchs were recorded from this one spot as well as numerous types of shrimps crabs flatworms cowries and mantis shrimps The nudibranch diversity is incredible and seven of the species we found are new discoveries that have not been described yet The walls of the pinnacle are covered in a huge variety of soft corals and there is a large swim through that is encased in thousands of bright yellow sunflower corals This site was so good that we went back there every day and even after 4 visits we still didn t manage to explore the entire site Madonna Rock It is not very difficult to see how this divesite got its name two large triangular shaped rocks sticking out of the water are very reminiscent of a Madonna video clip There are a couple of excellent swim throughs and caves which are filled with millions of small glass fish Within the caves you can find many unusual flatworms and shrimp species and this is a good location to observe ornate ghost pipefish Moray Beach This is a very popular site with all the dive boats and hence it can be quite crowded underwater with all the courses being taught This is an excellent location to photograph anglerfish ribbon eels devil scorpionfish and out on the sand you can find sea whips with host shrimp and gobies as well as Saddleback anemonefish In the shallows the coral density is vast with large colourful soft corals and hard plate corals that many small tropical fish species hide in Whale Island Whale Island is approximately a 90 minute drive north of Nha Trang located on the very quiet and beautiful Van Phong Bay A quick boat across the bay brings you to the beautiful sheltered bay of Whale Island with its turquoise coloured water and white sandy beach Every year between April and July the whales and the whale sharks come to stay in the archipelago to feed themselves on the masses of krill and the plankton hence this is where the name Whale Island is derived The Whale Island resort was built in 1997 and contains 23 traditional bungalows that are located along the beach The accommodation is very basic and primitive with each room having a bed a mosquito net and a separate room with a basin shower and toilet There is also a small fan in each room which provided us with a small amount of relief in the 30 degree heat One problem we encountered is that there is only one power point in the room so you either have the fan on to try and keep cool or you unplug it to charge your camera and strobe batteries it was a major dilemma at times All meals are included as part of the tariff for staying on the island and traditional Vietnamese cuisine is served three times a day with the meals varying each day Dinner generally includes some form of seafood caught by the local fishers including fish tuna crab lobster and shellfish and you never walked away hungry The diving out of Whale Island is spectacular with diving conducted from January through to October Rainbow Divers have their own dive shop on the island located next to the wharf and each morning the boat departs for two to three dives The furthest dive site is just over one hour travelling time and it is well worth the journey Some of the dive sites we visited were Hon Trau Nam or Three Kings This was easily the most beautiful and spectacular of the Whale Island dive sites It is named from the three rock pinnacles that break the surface however it s the underwater marine life that makes this site so spectacular Mel described the bottom of this site 20 35 metres which is covered yellow white and purple soft corals and gorgonians as an Underwater Fantasy Land This spot was ideal for wide angle photography if one wasn t too busy photographing all the weird and unusual critters living in the soft corals and gorgonians White Rock This is one of the furthest sites from the Whale Island however the journey is well worth it as it is an incredible dive site Sheer walls drop from the surface down to depths of 40 metres with several huge pinnacles emerging from the depths The bottom of the site is covered in black coral trees and gorgonians and on the sandy bottom huge black rays can be seen The walls are covered in soft corals nudibranchs and if you are fortunate you may find the leaf scorpionfish that can be found on top of the pinnacles Bai Su This site is within Van Phong Bay

    Original URL path: http://www.daveharasti.com/vietnam/divinginvietnam.htm (2016-02-15)
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  • Favourite Images of Dave Harasti - Nikon D80, Coolpix 8400 and 5000
    Favourite Images of Dave Harasti 2007 Page 1 2 3 Total images 60 Generated by JAlbum 7 1 Chameleon Help

    Original URL path: http://www.daveharasti.com/favpics/index2.html (2016-02-15)
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  • Favourite Images of Dave Harasti - Nikon D80, Coolpix 8400 and 5000
    Favourite Images of Dave Harasti 2007 Page 1 2 3 Total images 60 Generated by JAlbum 7 1 Chameleon Help

    Original URL path: http://www.daveharasti.com/favpics/index3.html (2016-02-15)
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  • favpics/01-Leafy Seadragon
    8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 Camera NIKON E5000 Date 26 01 04 12 10 Resolution 599 x 452 ISO 100 Exp Time 1 1000s Aperture 7 2 Focal

    Original URL path: http://www.daveharasti.com/favpics/slides/01-Leafy%20Seadragon.html (2016-02-15)
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  • favpics/02-Australian Sealions
    8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 Camera NIKON E5000 Date 21 02 05 15 36 Resolution 700 x 525 ISO 100 Exp Time 1 250s Aperture 4 0 Focal

    Original URL path: http://www.daveharasti.com/favpics/slides/02-Australian%20Sealions.html (2016-02-15)
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  • favpics/03-greynurse2
    9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 Camera NIKON E5000 Date 05 08 03 11 25 Resolution 700 x 525 ISO 100 Exp Time 1 60s Aperture 4 0 Focal Length

    Original URL path: http://www.daveharasti.com/favpics/slides/03-greynurse2.html (2016-02-15)
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  • favpics/04-Bumblebee Shrimp
    8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 Camera NIKON D80 Date 16 04 07 10 46 Resolution 700 x 543 ISO 100 Exp Time 1 200s Aperture 29 0 Focal

    Original URL path: http://www.daveharasti.com/favpics/slides/04-Bumblebee%20Shrimp.html (2016-02-15)
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