Diver Profile: Andrew Kennedy

I am now at rest with Grey Nurse Sharks but my first face to face encounter was at Foggy Cave off Terrigal – 35 meters down, nowhere to go and a shark only 3 meters away. Can laugh about it now but blew a few bubbles that day!

1. How I started

In early 2006 I did a trip to with my partner to an island in the Cook Islands called Atutaki we had never dived but really enjoyed the snorkelling seeing large clams Moray eels etc. In late 2006 my partner bought me my SSI open water course as a birthday present and we completed the course with Deep 6 Diving in Jervis Bay. Within 20 dives we had gone back to Jervis Bay to finish our advanced and had bought all our gear over the internet. I have just completed dive # 170 and enjoying the spectacular world of diving and the great people I have met along the way. I recently joined the committee of URG, I recognise that if there is no committee then I don’t have a dive club!

2. Top dive/s

HMAS Brisbane, Fish Rock Cave, Leru Cut in the Solomon Islands and German Channel in Palau. HMAS Brisbane and Fish Rock cave were all done around dive # 25 so a very exciting time in my dive career with so few under my belt. Leru Cut is a channel in an Island that goes back inland leaving you to surface a fair way inside the island itself. A really cool dive and a great experience. At The German Channel we were lucky enough to see Manta Rays and sharks all milling around waiting their turn on the cleaning station.

3. Top wreck dive/s

Not many wrecks but I did enjoy HMAS Brisbane partly due to the experience so early on in my diving history and also because it is a great dive. Looking forward to HMAS Adelaide if it ever happens. The Waikato in the Poor Knights was a great dive full of colourful corals and sponges – I would recommend anyone to include this is in your schedule if you ever consider diving there.

4. Night dive/s

I did a night dive with Dive Centre Manly and got buddied up with the dive instructor – naturally with this type of shop front diving you are never sure of the depth of experience with the group. Anyway we headed off keeping the wall/reef to our right, after about 25 minutes the instructor gave the signal to turn around and head back to shore. It was after about 5 minutes that we realised the group he had been leading were not following us anymore but heading out to New Zealand. Some very fast kicking to find them and bring them home!

5. Most scary dive/s

I am now at rest with Grey Nurse Sharks but my first face to face encounter was at Foggy Cave off Terrigal and it gave me quite a scare. My deepest dive I had done – 35 meters down, nowhere to go and a shark only 3 meters away. Can laugh about it now but blew a few bubbles that day!

6. Weirdest buddy

I like to think my weird buddy days are over, URG and the guys from Deep Blue all have great experience and are all excellent divers.

7. Favourite piece of equipment

Last March I bought an Inon underwater wet lens and strobe system to fit my Canon IXUS 980. – Adding my interest with photography to diving has lifted my overall experience and allows me to bring family and friends to better understand what and why we all do Scuba diving. It also makes me more aware of what is happening on the dive as I am constantly looking for subject matter to photograph. The lenses are great but the strobe and its arm have made the biggest difference. No more back scatter and now I get full colour photos instead of washed out colours. Next investment will be a video camera with housing – yes working at Canon helps this side of the hobby, lucky I don’t work at the beer factory 😉

8. Favourite buddy

Anyone from URG or Deep Blue – great bunch of people and I have learned so much since joining the club.

9. The best days diving ever!

Any day on Bilikiki Cruises in The Solomon’s – 5 dives a day.