Dive TalesAfter more than sixty years obsession with diving and exploring the underwater world Rob tells some of the tales and adventures he has shared with his mates. This book is about friendship, risk, daring and fun. It provides stories about the wonderful world of fishing and boating that so many of us enjoy.

Rob Marshall, twice New Zealand Spearfishing Champion, now turned underwater photographer, shares some of his pioneering adventures, excitement, wonder and hilarity during his early days diving around the Wellington coast.  Some of these experiences we take for granted, but there are a number we would never do today.

This book brings together some of these old tales for you to enjoy.

PS Rob did get into trouble with some of his mates because he changed their names to save then any embarrassment. For this he does apologize.

2nd Edition Reprinted 2013

  • To order your copy write to:
    PO Box 14-846
    Kilbirnie, Wellington South
    New Zealand
    Send your name and postal address.
    Include payment – either cash or cheque.
    Please make cheques out to Rob Marshall.
    Sorry no credit cards.
  • Prices per book, includes postage and packaging.
    • New Zealand $25 NZD
    • Australia $25 AUD
    • Europe €20.00 Euro
    • United States $20.00 USD
    • England £15.00 GBP


For any enquiries contact Rob Marshall :
Phone +64 4 388 1395
Email rob@marshallnz.co.nz

Book Review By Bob Rosemergy : Chairman of “Freediving New Zealand.”

Short Stories about Diving Adventures as told by Rob Marshall.
Published 2002.

Diving tales about spearfishing so often concentrate on the catch. The tales in this 170-page book are somewhat different in that while they do mention the fish, they dwell on the antics of the characters. It is no accident that the laconic Willie and the irrepressible Eddie appear as they do in the book. Those who know Rob Marshall from the days where he twice won the National Spearfishing Championships and the era of the Cook Strait Divers Club, will often recognise these less fictionalised character for who they really are. There is more than a little veracity in the descriptions of the antics of this diving troupe. In this respect alone, the reading of the book is good fun.

People who have been around boats, launched at boat ramps or into the surf will identify with the author’s unexpected outcomes. You will know why you should never buy a vehicle from someone who had previously used it regularly to launch his or her boat successfully or otherwise off a beach, and you will know why you don’t wait for a few days after a diving trip before you clean the boat out!

The author’s starting position is that for real adventure you have to live life with some risks. In that respect the book may not be one that you would want to give as a present to a young person starting out in diving. But it is one that will appeal to those who have had a range of diving experiences themselves. Essentially the book is made up of short, good stories, laced with a bit of hyperbole. Some of the events, and off shore dive spots around NZ will be well recognised by spearfishers as far back as the 1970’s.

For many readers it will be a reminder of parallel experiences, and in a possibly unintentional way, will highlight safety issues that we sometimes take for granted. For example, who amongst us has not carefully read the instructions on how to use the flares carried in our boats, or used float lines that are inappropriate, taken too little fuel on a boat trip or lost contact with our boatman at the worst possible time. For the characters in this book, each development compounds the mishap. There are very good reasons why you keep your eye on the weather and compelling reasons why you generally swim and dive up current of your anchored boat. Not mentioned in the book was one person in his Club who many years before had become possibly the first member of what is now referred to as the Cook Strait Drifters club. He had floated in his wet suit throughout the night before coming ashore the next morning because he had not recognised the strength of changing tides and different sea conditions that come with it.

The tales in the book divide into three parts, NZ diving and spearfishing, diving Australia’s coral reef, and wreck diving. The occasionally stuttering Eddie to whose memory the book is dedicated, appears often throughout the pages with his wisecrack remarks and an often RS & B approach to diving. Yes, as Rob tells the story, he really did try a bicycle bell attached to his speargun in an attempt to attract kingfish. Not mentioned was his enthusiasm for having the uninitiated spear a small pelagic fish out of a school so he could have first shot at any inquisitive kingfish that might then suddenly appear. Wellington’s off shore reefs, White Island’s sharks, coral fish of the tropics, wreck salvaging, all provide the settings for occasions of excitement and mirth.

For freedivers this is an agreeable book to read. Not only will you appreciate and grin at the predicaments of these divers, but also you will recognise the skill that is often behind their successes. At the same time, if you like to read in short bursts, then the three or four pages given to each tale told, makes it an easy book to pick up and put down as time allows.

Bob Rosemergy
For more information on Freediving in New Zealand contact Bob Rosemergy : hughn@xtra.co.nz

Permission granted by Bob via email 8.6.03