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

Nest of Nudibranchs

January 11, 2020

It was a typically windy day in Wellington but it was a northerly so Mermaid's Kitchen was relatively calm and the visibility was decent. I was diving with a new buddy and we were first in the ocean. The plan was to head east for 20 minutes then turn around and come back.

I noticed a number of golden coloured cod on the site. I'm not exactly sure if they're a different species or what.

The blue cod were in fine form. They were typically territorial and particularly bold on this dive. They had zero problem getting right in my face. My dive buddy was kind enough to share some shots of me getting shots of them.


Blue cod

Me and blue cod

As soon as I arrived in his territory, this beast swam out from the murk to let me know who's boss.

Blue cod

We hit 20 minutes and spun around to head back. We had already gone as far east as I've ever been on Mermaid's Kitchen. On the way back I found these schools of small yellow fish with black stipes through their middle. Of course the blue cod had ...

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Cable Bay Crayfish

January 1, 2020

Cable Bay is a short drive northeast of Nelson. It's where I met the owners/operators of Abyss Dive, Paul and Janelle, to hop on their boat for an afternoon of diving. They were top notch and very professional (I've never seen a dive boat that clean) and I highly recommend them.

Abyss Dive Boat

Cable Bay from the Boat

On our previous dive we had spotted a lot of crayfish in the Horoirangi Marine Reserve. But now we were outside of the reserve and it was time to catch some shellfish.

The first thing I came across was a crab. I managed to snag it despite getting some good pinches from it's claws. But as soon as I had it in hand, I could tell it was too small to keep so I just let it go there and then.


Not long after that we started finding crayfish. Time to put the GoPro away and get down to business. I tried a number of catches but only came away with bits of antennae.

The dive master Paul was much more experienced and had already caught a few. One of which I flushed out his way ...

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Horoirangi Marine Reserve

January 1, 2020

First dive of the new year and first dive of the new decade. We were on vacation in Nelson for the week and I contacted Abyss Dive to see if they had any dives planned. The only day that really worked for me that week was 1 January, 2020 and they were very gracious and accommodating even though I was the only person up for a dive on New Year's Day! 

The first dive was in the Horoirangi Marine Reserve. According to the New Zealand Department of Conservation,

The bluffs overlooking Horoirangi Marine Reserve are more than a dramatic landscape, they are also the source of rocks for the rugged boulder reefs below. The reefs extend offshore up to 400 m and to a depth of around 20 m.

The boulders on the upper shore, regularly moved by the waves, are mostly devoid of life. Lower down the reefs are much more stable, forming a matrix of interlocking boulders interspersed with occasional patches of bedrock.

The reefs support a typical array of animals. Shellfish, anemones, sponges and sea squirts cling to the rocks; snails, starfish and crustaceans move secretively amongst the boulders, and various fish patrol above.

It's ...

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Everett Toews
TBT: 110h 17m