Welcome to Total Bottom Time!

Total Bottom Time is my online personal dive log. A place where I can share my dives with friends, family, other divers, and the world. You can find out a bit more about me and see my full log of dives by clicking on my profile on the right. Feel free to subscribe to my dives via email or RSS.

Below are just some of my latest dives.

Latest Dives

Anchors Aweigh

May 24, 2020

As part of the easing restrictions on the nationwide COVID-19 lockdown, New Zealand has progressed to Alert Level 2. That means some normal activities can resume as long as they follow the L2 guidelines.

Time to dive. It's easier to stay 2 metres apart underwater because you have 3 dimensions in which to do so.

It's also easier to stay 2 metres apart on the surface when you gear up in the parking lot.

Dive Prep

Dive Prep

The landscape on the surface and under the water had changed due to a massive swell that hit the south coast, see Huge waves hit Wellington's south coast. 6 metres waves battered the roads, the beach, and the ocean floor.

The South Coast

The South Coast

Just Prior to Descent

An anchor that had rested against a large rock for as long as anyone could remember was still there but the rock was gone!



Of course the blue cod were still present protecting their turf.

Blue Cod

There were several nests of crayfish too, which I usually don't often see in Mermaid's Kitchen. I even saw the smallest crayfish I've ever seen. It must ...

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February 22, 2020

This time we were back at Red Rocks on the hunt for more crayfish. It was the first time I didn't see a single crayfish whatsoever on a hunt and certainly not for lack of trying. I spent most of the time with my head under the seaweed searching through every rock formation, crevasse, and ledge. Not a single crayfish. Oh well.

Rather than come back without anything, we started picking up kina (sea urchins). My buddy was keen to bring some home and prepare them in a meal. We came across a few nests and of course they were easy picking. We probably came back with 30-40 of them.

That night we grilled up the crayfish and cracked open the kina. It really wasn't so much cracking as it was cutting with a pair of scissors. Inside they're pretty gross.

Kina cutting

It's the yellow orange bits inside that are edible so those were scooped out with a spoon.

They can be prepared a few different ways but apparently they're also edible raw.

Getting some raw kina

Raw kina

The darker kina is very bitter (which is what I'm tasting in the video ...

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Crayfish hunt

February 22, 2020

It was a windy day in Wellington but we were still able to take get the boat out to Sinclair's Rock. This was my third time out on a hunt for crayfish and I was particularly happy with this dive. Last time around I grabbed whatever I could get my hands on and had to throw a number of crays back because they were too small. This time I was determined to grab only keepers.

I found a few nests but some only had juvenile crayfish so I passed on them. But it wasn't long before I found what I was looking for. Over the course of the dive I made 6 real grabs and came away with 4 crays, all of which were keepers.

The first and biggest one I caught was a handful. I got it halfway into my bag which I thought was as far as I needed to give me enough time to release the cray, get my hand out of the bag, and close it up. However, as soon as I released the cray, it scrambled out. I had to block it with my body to prevent it from escaping. I finally managed ...

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Everett Toews
TBT: 119h 19m