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Dive Log is the premier scuba diving monthly magazine that provides all the latest scuba news and information from across Australia and the Asia/Pacific region. You can read our monthly magazine free by clicking on the Latest Edition tab, download the iPad application at a low cost of $2.99 or find it at your nearest Newsagent for $4.95. Dive Log is also available at selected dive stores. Each month we look at the key issues that effect us all as divers as well as look at great diving locations in the region as well as the perfect scuba diving holiday destinations. We also review the latest diving equipment and gear and scuba courses and certifications, to ensure you are always up to date with the latest and best things happening in the scuba diving industry.



RAJA AMPAT - RICHES Beyond Compare

Queensland’s Gold Coast has many wonderful subtropical dive sites. Offshore from this popular tourist destination are rocky reefs, several small shipwrecks and also some delightful shore diving in The Seaway. However, one of my favourite dive sites is a classic – the Scottish Prince shipwreck.

The Scottish Prince was a 64m long steel-masted iron barque operated by the Shire Line. On February 3rd 1887, after a four month journey from Glasgow, the ship ran aground on a sand bar off Main Beach, Southport. The ship was bound for Brisbane and it was hoped that her cargo, which included beer and whisky, could be salvaged and reach its destination. However, the local population had its own plans for the precious cargo, which was looted before a salvage attempt could be made. Several days later the ship became a total wreck when a storm hit, sending it to the bottom in 11m of water.

It’s been a good number of years since I last dived this wreck and it’s nice to return here with a much more reasonable bottom time. I’m using my Inspiration rebreather, last time I was on open circuit! That’s how long it has been since I was last here. My bottom time today will last as long as the slack water period lasts, perhaps a good 45 mins if not longer! With open circuit, which was not only costly, my time was limited perhaps much less than a half hour. I’m excited, as I haven’t heard of any charter boats bringing divers to this wreck in a good number of years. This means that if the sand dunes that lay across the wreck have shifted some interesting artifacts that were once covered may be now exposed. I’m not going to discover the main ships bell as that was recovered 17 years ago but I do know, and have been lucky enough before to have found one, that sailing ships often had a second more intricate and ornate bell! Who knows I could be lucky!

A few years ago marine scientists identified an area so rich in tropical marine life that they labelled it the Coral Triangle. Covering an area of 5.7 million sqkm, the Coral Triangle is the richest marine ecosystem on the planet, home to 76% of all known coral species and over 3000 species of fishes. The Coral Triangle encompasses eastern Indonesia, Philippines, Timor Leste and parts of Malaysia, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands, but the jewel in the crown of this bio-diverse area is the spectacular Raja Ampat.

Located at the western end of the Indonesian province of West Papua, Raja Ampat means Four Kings, as the area is made up of four large islands. However, there are actually over 1500 islands is this archipelago and countless reefs and sea mounts. While it is possible to dive this vast area from an island based resort, the best way to explore Raja Ampat is to join a liveaboard boat.

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