About

This site is a way to help me remember things that have caught my attention or interest. It is predominantly related to diving, but not entirely. Similarly it also focuses on Hong Kong and New Zealand at the moment, but again, not exclusively.

About Me

I am a British Sub-Aqua Club (BSAC) Advanced Diver and an Open Water Instructor. I have been diving since 1992, having been trained by South China Diving Club (SCDC), which is a branch of the BSAC. I am also a former Chairman and Secretary of SCDC, and I built their website in 1996 and maintained it until 2010. SCDC is based in Hong Kong and is one of 3 BSAC diving Clubs that exist in the territory. Having moved to New Zealand, I am now a member of BSAC New Zealand.

By profession I am an IT guy. I spent 8 years involved in building and maintaining the financial messaging infrastructure for Citibank in Asia, and then built one of the first e-commerce websites in Hong Kong. I am now working for a small web development company that a few of us set up in 1998. I am now based in Auckland having moved there in October 2010.

I should emphasise that the views expressed here reflect my own opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of SCDC, BSAC or any other organisation.

2 Responses to About

  1. Alan Goh says:

    Hello Neil

    I am AOW, Deep, Wreck and Nitrox diver, with 60+ dives since started diving in Jan 2013. I plan to complete Rescue Diver before end of 2014 and clock at least 100 dives by March 2015.

    The lure of wreck diving, is unbeatable. I felt trilled every time diving a wreck. I plan to dive Truk Lagoon in Sep 2015, joining Truk Odyssey live aboard. BUT, there are some contradicting views from different sources, mainly is I should be having at least Advance Nitrox, or IANTD Advance Recreational Trimix to fully enjoy the dives and get the best value of the trip. It is expensive to make a trip to Truk Lagoon !!

    You have extensive diving in Truk Lagoon, do u think with current level I have (Rescue Diver by Sep 2015) can have enjoyable dive at Truk ?

    Or should I at least have Adv Nitrox or Trimix to enjoy the dive more ?

    Thanks Niel.

  2. Neil Hambleton says:

    I probably had 100 or so dives the first time I went to Truk, and I was a bit worried that I’d be spending a lot of money yet didn’t have enough experience to really get the most out of the trip. I came back really glad that I went and I thoroughly enjoyed it. At that stage I don’t think that the operator I used offered Nitrox, never mind Trimix. On subsequent trips that had changed, although I’m not sure how widely available Trimix is or what costs are involved. Personally, on the deeper dives I took a stage tank with 50% Oxygen for the safety stops to provide an additional safety margin. On the shallower dives later in the day I was on Nitrox. But most of the people I was diving with did without the stage, so I wouldn’t say that it is essential.

    There were a couple of deep wrecks that I’m glad I was able to do, but whose decks were at 50 metres. I’m not sure what depth restrictions the Odyssey imposes on divers, but even if you don’t get down to them, there are plenty of excellent shallower wrecks.

    So would you get more out a trip if you had Advanced Nitrox or Trimix? Possibly a bit more, but I think you’ll really enjoy it anyway. Something else to consider is that the wrecks are deteriorating over time. Between my last 2 trips, the bow had been pulled off one of the destroyers. The forward hold of the San Francisco Maru used to be completely full of mines, but is now partly empty. So if it were me, I’d go ahead and do it. One other thing I’d say is do some research on the wrecks you’re likely to be diving, either beforehand or on the trip itself, or both. I found that the more I knew about the wrecks, the more I enjoyed the dives and the more that I saw.

    Cheers,
    Neil

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